Frozen River (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

Frozen River2008

Frozen River (2008)



Critic Consensus: Veteran character actress Melissa Leo delivers a stunning performance in this powerful -- if grim -- indie film.

Frozen River Photos

Movie Info

Frozen River is the story of Ray Eddy, an upstate New York trailer mom who is lured into the world of illegal immigrant smuggling when she meets a Mohawk girl who lives on a reservation that straddles the U.S.-Canadian border. Broke after her husband takes off with the down payment for their new doublewide, Ray reluctantly teams up with Lila, a smuggler, and the two begin making runs across the frozen St. Lawrence River carrying illegal Chinese and Pakistani immigrants in the trunk of Ray's Dodge Spirit.

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Michael O'Keefe
as Trooper Finnerty
Jay Klaitz
as Guy Versailles
John Canoe
as Bernie Littlewolf
Michael Sky
as Billy Three Rivers
Chen Li
as Chinese Girl
Li Wei
as Chinese Girl
Pun Bandhu
as Chinese Man
Mark Boone Jr.
as Jacque Bruno
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News & Interviews for Frozen River

Critic Reviews for Frozen River

All Critics (138) | Top Critics (50)

A gripping story.

January 4, 2021 | Full Review…

Melissa Leo must take at least as much credit for the film's successes as her director. She isn't merely tough as old boots - she makes old boots look like ballet shoes.

July 6, 2018

... I thought the performances were good, but I just thought it could have done more.

September 12, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Frozen River is a taut, suspenseful thriller; a troubling of borders both cultural and national; and testament to the virtues of communion, empathy and compassion.

July 17, 2009 | Rating: 4/5

Original, sad, suspenseful and involving: the kind of work that helps independent American cinema retain its good name.

July 17, 2009 | Rating: 4/5

Occasionally marred by contrivance and a crude internal logic that doesn't bear close scrutiny, 'Frozen River' works best as a knuckle-gnawing, blue-collar genre thriller.

July 17, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Frozen River

I can't say exactly why this film so affected me, but it did. It was almost too real, viciously shot, plain and "boring" and heart-breaking enough that it could've been a Canadian film. Melissa Leo is believable, and from the opening shot - her smoking and crying in the car with the door hanging open, snow all around - you're hooked. Made me think of some of the bleaker films I've ever seen, and this one's just not uplifting in any way. A great, realistic story about the lengths people will go to for their children and their way of life, scrappy and well worth watching; strong, minimalist film-making that proves the budget isn't everything.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

A pointless film to say the least, More proof to the fact that being realistic is not enough for a movie to be good, The film depicts poverty & struggle without exploration or insight , It only tries to impress with its shallow bitterness & harshness and Fails

Arash Xak
Arash Xak

Super Reviewer

Morose tale of monstrous behavior among the desperate is ably but not expertly assembled. Leo's fearless performance is what stops Frozen from not melting into mediocrity.

Tony Gandía
Tony Gandía

Super Reviewer

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