Frozen River

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Released 2008

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Movie Summary

Director:
Courtney Hunt
Released:
2008
Rating:
R

Frozen River is a 2008 character drama starring Oscar winner Melissa Leo ("The Fighter") as a struggling single mother going to extremes to raise her family. A few days before Christmas, Ray Eddy (Melissa Leo) is deserted by her husband, a gambler who loses the down payment for their trailer and then runs way with their only car. Ray lives in Massena, New York, just over the border from Ottawa, Canada. With two sons to feed, and desperate to hold onto her home, she can only find a part-time job as a clerk. One day, she recognizes the family truck being driven by Lila Littlewolf (Misty Upham). Lila wants to use the truck to transport illegal immigrants into the U.S. and proposes a business deal to Ray. Without any other means of keeping her family afloat, Ray agrees to the enterprise, hoping she can quickly make the down payment money in spite of State Trooper Finnerty (Michael O'Keefe) keeping an eye on their activities.

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Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    As the summer heats up, let Frozen River wash over you; let its bracing drama and the intensity of its acting restore your spirits as well as your faith in American independent film.

  • 90

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    Ms. Hunt's eye for detail has the precision of a short story writer's. She misses nothing.

  • 70

    Variety Robert Koehler

    No trendsetter or breakthrough, this is more than anything else a welcome chance for the fine actor Melissa Leo to finally dominate a film in a terrific and affecting lead role.

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    Categories

    Drama

    Themes

    Independent, Crime