The Ice Harvest (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Ice Harvest2005

The Ice Harvest (2005)



Critic Consensus: The Ice Harvest offers a couple of laughs, but considering the people involved, it should be a lot funnier.

The Ice Harvest Photos

Movie Info

In icebound Wichita, Kan., its Christmas Eve, and this year Charlie Arglist just might have something to celebrate. Charlie, an attorney for the sleazy businesses of Wichita, and his unsavory associate, the steely Vic Cavanaugh have just successfully embezzled $2 million from Kansas City boss Bill Guerrard. But the real prize for Charlie is the stunning Renata, who runs the Sweet Cage strip club. Charlie hopes to slip out of town with Renata. But as daylight fades and an ice storm whirls, everyone from Charlie's drinking buddy Pete Van Heuten to the local police begin to wonder just what exactly is in Charlie's Christmas stocking -- and the 12 hours of Christmas Eve are filled with surprises

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John Cusack
as Charlie Arglist
Billy Bob Thornton
as Vic Cavanaugh
Bill Noble
as Culligan
Randy Quaid
as Bill Guerrard
Oliver Platt
as Pete Van Heuten
T.J. Jagodowski
as Officer Tyler
Tab Baker
as Dennis
William Dick
as Manager
David Pasquesi
as Councilman Williams
Max Kirsch
as Spencer
Shana Goodsell
as Christian Girl
Diane Frances Fisher
as Lounge Patron
Michael Kilcullen
as Restaurant Busboy
Michael Stailey
as Restaurant Patron
Jenny Wade
as Cupcake
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News & Interviews for The Ice Harvest

Critic Reviews for The Ice Harvest

All Critics (134) | Top Critics (33)

Robert Benton and Harold Ramis, put on dunce caps and go stand in the corner.

January 3, 2006

Nielsen's Renata is icy cold in her calculations, and an object lesson in how to play a lethal charmer plausibly without losing any of her erotic appeal. She alone is worth the price of admission.

December 7, 2005 | Full Review…

The comedy in The Ice Harvest comes in shades of dark and darker. That's my kind of humor.

November 29, 2005

The Ice Harvest is like Sin City without the bold style and crooked smile, disgorging grisly bloodbaths without drawing artful things out of them.

November 28, 2005 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

... a thriller that's not very thrilling but is as violent as the best of them.

November 28, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

The Ice Harvest isn't a subversive piece of work; it's not making some grand statement about the dark side of the holiday spirit. But what it is saying in its grimly funny way is that we can't always control the timing of our disasters.

November 28, 2005 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Ice Harvest


Charlie Arglist: As Wichita falls... so falls Wichita Falls. "'Twas the night before Christmas" The Ice Harvest is a good little, dark comedy-thriller that has more than just shades of Fargo all over it. This was a fun movie for me. I loved the story and I liked John Cusack as the lead and the supporting cast just helped add more to the whole film experience. I fail to see why this has been so negatively reviewed. Maybe people expected something different, maybe people think it is just a rip-off, but in my mind, this is a worthwhile and really fun movie that doesn't take itself to seriously, but also doesn't give itself completely over to ridiculousness.  Charlie Arglist is a mob lawyer in Wichita, Kansas. It's Christmas Eve and the bad freezing rain is expected to fall all night. Charlie and his friend Vic have just embezzled $2 million from the local mob and now they're just waiting out the rain so they can get out of town. Crimes such as this normally don't go unknown though and soon after successfully getting the money, Charlie begins to think that the mob is looking for him and Vic.  While this isn't wholly original, it's a fun movie that I enjoyed. Every second was entertaining and there is suspense around every corner. I don't understand how so many people could think this was boring. That seems like the one thing it isn't. The movie is dark, funny, wacky, silly, exciting, fun, and suspenseful. Boring is the one thing that never came to my mind while watching The Ice Harvest. So give it a look if you get a chance.

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Its a rainy Christmas in Wichita, 1979, icy rain and cold, when small time mob lawyer Cusack decides to skim a little moolah from mean ol'boss Quaid's illegal loot. Luckily his friends want to help him out (outta the goodness of their widdle hearts!) before he gets permanently iced but good in this wee bit of a enjoyable comic noirfest surprisingly directed by Harold Ramis.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


I was expecting something pretty good with this film, but I was disappointed. With a great cast of actors and interesting story, I'm surprised that the filmmakers couldn't have created anything better than what this film turned out to be. This is a pretty bad film, and I was disappointed because the cast and story were promising. However the film just didn't do it for me. As far as a dark comedy is concerned, this one just doesn't have what it takes and it is plainly a bad film that not even with the good cast at hand, they weren't able to save it from failing. This film could have been great, but it isn't. Harold Ramis over the years has made some great comedy classics, but nowadays he's losing his touch. The Ice Harvest is a boring film that you'll lose interest after a while. I thought that the film could have been much better considering the cast and director. However Harold Ramis can't seem to direct something consistent here. In the end, this is a boring film that could have been better. I think that the black humor elements could have been reworked as well, as even by those humor standards, it didn't do anything to make this film stand out. This film could have been good, but it was just a poorly made film with nothing interesting going for it. I was very disappointed in this film, thought it could have been much better than what it turned out to be.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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