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Movie Review: The Iceman (15)

Playing a real-life contract killer, actor Michael Shannon has found himself with some very dirty work to do - and lots of it

The Iceman (15)
Michael Shannon in The Iceman
Michael Shannon in The Iceman

Fresh from starring in last month’s Mud and before he arrives as General Zod in next week’s Man of Steel, Michael Shannon has some very dirty work to do. And lots of it.

Here he’s playing a real-life contract killer called Richard Kuklinski, with a boss who might just even more unhinged than he is.

Roy Demeo (Ray Liotta) tells Kuklinski he must only work for him and on his terms... or else he’ll be in trouble.

But with partner Deborah (Winona Ryder) and two daughters to support, Kuklinksi wants to be a ‘good’ father, too – rather like Ryan Gosling’s character Luke in this spring’s best thriller The Place Beyond The Pines.

Not easy when you are bumping people off at a fair rate of knots.

Written and directed by little known Israeli filmmaker Ariel Vroman, we can’t learn too much about Kuklinski the killer when he’s with his family – Deborah initially thinks he works for Disney – or the dad when he’s out on a job.

And, given the title of the film, which reflects his cold heart when the dirty deeds have to be done, there’s little emotion to warm to.

But there’s a certain Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer relentlessness about the way Kuklinksi goes about his tasks, Shannon’s mesmerising performance has a Frankenstein edge to it and the cinematography by Bobby Bukowski (Rampart) is first class.

The Iceman is a welcome adult thriller and its neat period touches will help to transfix many from start to finish.

With the cast including Captain America star Chris Evans as Mr Freezy, David Schwimmer as Josh Rosenthal, James Franco as Marty Freeman and Stephen Dorff as brother Joey, it will become one of those terrific thrillers you’ll be glad you stumbled across like Thirteen Days and Dinner Rush from the year 2000.



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