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The Ice Harvest (Widescreen Edition) (2005)

John Cusack , Billy Bob Thornton , Harold Ramis  |  R |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Oliver Platt, Connie Nielsen, Randy Quaid
  • Directors: Harold Ramis
  • Writers: Richard Russo, Robert Benton
  • Producers: Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Focus Features
  • DVD Release Date: February 28, 2006
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000DZ7YN8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,862 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Ice Harvest (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Alternate Ending #1 (Rough Edit and Visual Effects)
  • Alternate Ending #2 (Rough Edit and Visual Effects)
  • Outtake with Billy Bob Thornton
  • Cracking the Story
  • Beneath the Harvest
  • Ice Cracking: Anatomy of a Scene
  • Feature Commentary with Director Harold Ramis

  • Editorial Reviews

    John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton lead an all-star cast in this hilarious and unpredictable thriller that critics are calling, "very funny stuff" (Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper). When lawyer Charlie (Cusack) and his partner Vic (Thornton) steal from a mob boss, they think they've pulled off the perfect crime. But when they race through a night filled with mayhem, lust and lethal surprises, they realize that the biggest risk they'll take will be trusting each other. From the director of Analyze This and Groundhog Day, The Ice Harvest cracks with outrageous laughs and slippery twists that will keep you guessing until the very end!

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    61 of 70 people found the following review helpful
    Format:DVD
    This is more than just another last-man-standing suitcase-full-of-money movie.

    John Cusack plays an everyman, a lawyer who has sold out to the values of corporate corruption. With mixed feelings, he steals over two million dollars from the local mob on Christmas Eve, then plans with Billy Bob Thornton to make a break for it later on Christmas Day.

    The mob boss (Randy Quaid) finds out and sends a hit man to get his money back, and the movie plot is about John Cusack trying to avoid getting killed by them.

    The movie has been pretty much panned by almost every critic to review it, although Roger Ebert praised it enough for three stars. I loved it and loved the book before it. I realize that I am in a small minority in this regard.

    What makes THE ICE HARVEST work for me is its noir blend of saltiness and satire, its mixture of comedy and karma.

    The comedy here is based upon the hypocrisy of Christmas in this era of corruption and greed. All of the liars and killers and thieves in this movie talk about Christmas, about being home opening up presents with their kids. If you don't get that, I guess you won't see the comedy. It is nice that it is set in Wichita, Kansas, especially if you have read Thomas Frank's WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH KANSAS?

    The opening graffiti above the urinal, "As Wichita Falls Falls, So Falls Wichita Falls," is a repeated line of jazz that caused an existential crisis for the film's French translator who had trouble distinguishing between "falls" as a noun and "falls" as a verb with a misplaced execution, Wichita Falls not being in Kansas but in Texas.
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    23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Why are so many people down on this flick? February 7, 2006
    Format:DVD
    As a fan of John Cusack, and a fan of FARGO-ish dark caper comedies, this was a perfect combo -- lean, smart, and entertaining. I have no idea why so many people seem to LOATHE this movie.

    This is easily the best flick Cusack has been in since 2000's HIGH FIDELITY and the wait was painful. His character is a bit of a throwback to his role in THE GRIFTERS, but with a hint of additional warmth.

    Admittedly, this movie was marketed all wrong. Advertising this Coen-brothers-like neo-noir as being from "The director of GROUNDHOG DAY and CADDYSHACK" is like advertising MUNICH as being from "The director of 1941 and JAWS." Sure, it's true, but it gives people the wrong expectation.

    I say, give it a shot.
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    13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars New Meets Noir April 27, 2006
    Format:DVD
    If you're dreaming of a black Christmas try putting this DVD in your player for a few hours of entertainment. But be forewarned: it won't be for everyone. If you're a fan of John Cusack (specifically if you really, really, really loved GROSSE POINTE BLANK) then you'll probably enjoy the dark comedy flooding this film.

    Harold Ramis steps outside his normal feel-good comedies (ANALYZE THIS, etc.) and jumps headlong onto the dark side. Having the look and feel of a Cohen Brothers noir film, Ramis chose to incorporate old themes (good-looking but flawed guy falls for even more flawed girl while trying to pull a fast one) but did so using an updated script.

    The film opens with Charlie (Cusack), a lawyer for the local mob in Wichita Falls, stealing two-million dollars from "The Boss" and meeting up with his partner Vic (Billy Bob Thornton, BAD SANTA). They plan to leave the city in the morning but a horrendous ice storm hits town and life on the roads (and in general) becomes slippery and dangerous. A recurring poetic verse keeps popping up, too: "As Wichita Falls, So Falls Wichita Falls." Charlie keeps seeing it written everywhere. But who's the author and what does it mean?

    We quickly learn that Vic is as morally bankrupt as a person can get and has no intentions of sharing the ill-gotten funds with Charlie (are they really ill-gotten if you steal them from the mob?) But thrown into the mix is a beautiful femme fatal named Renata (Connie Nielsen, GLADIATOR). She runs a strip club in town but has an unusual attraction to Charlie, Vic and money. But which will win out?

    When mob boss Bill Gerard (Randy Quaid, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN) discovers the theft, he puts a thug named Roy (Mike Starr, KNOCKAROUND GUYS) onto Charlie and Vic's tails.
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    12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
    Format:DVD
    First a disclosure--this film isn't for everyone. This is sort of the anti-"It's a Wonderful Life". There are always great movies that are lost in the shuffle of holiday releases. Somehow this fine film was overlooked during the holidays. No word of mouth, no buzz and no worthwhile advertising heralded this films arrival. Lucky for you and me we have DVD to save this film from having to be rediscovered in ten or twenty years as one of the funniest film noirs to come out in years and one of the best films of 2005. Charlie Arglist (John Cusack) plots the perfect crime-stealing $2 million from his boss with his partner Vic (Billy Bob Thornton) that goes horribly wrong in this black comedy set on Christmas Eve. Charlie believes that the perfect crime can be committed as long as you have character something that Charlie admits he can't have otherwise why would he be committing this crime? In the meantime he has to deal with his drunk buddy Pete (Oliver Platt) who has married his ex-wife, a lawyer who is being blackmailed for a photo of his indiscretion and a mob heavy looking for him that Charlie suspects knows all about his planned heist. Thank God this project came along as I was afraid that one of our generation's great comedic leading men was going to continue to be wasted in projects like "Must like Dogs". Ramis manages to capture just the right note desperation, comedy and madness that infect all of these unhappy people on what is supposed to be the warmest night of the year.

    The chilly surface of the film is captured perfectly here. The cool looking surface of the film mirrors the subject matter. Detail and clarity are exceptional. The 5.1 presentation sounds quite nice but keep in mind that this is a comedy with action not an action comedy.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great movie !
    Published 6 days ago by Gaylen R. Rinaudot
    2.0 out of 5 stars The Ice Harvest tries to be a good movie but sadly its not!
    Sorry folks, but I found nothing redeeming in this dark comedy. Everyone one of the characters was intent on getting
    the $2.1 Million Dollars. Read more
    Published 7 days ago by Robert Pylant
    4.0 out of 5 stars Turns out I enjoyed it a good deal
    After reading reviews for this film I had very low expectations.
    Turns out I enjoyed it a good deal.
    Its a kinda subtle, slow film. Even the action is subdued. Read more
    Published 9 days ago by J.S.
    5.0 out of 5 stars ... 70s - I was not only blessed with a great family and education by...
    As a kid growing up in northern WI in the 60s and 70s - I was not only blessed with a great family and education by the true Wisconsin FORWARD progressive tradition - which means... Read more
    Published 15 days ago by Pg
    4.0 out of 5 stars Cusack a highlight
    Unconventional casting but a coil little film.. Billy Bob Thornton is his usual self. As a Cusack fan not a disappointment.
    Published 22 days ago by Stephen
    4.0 out of 5 stars Good
    I actually liked this movie, not a masterpiece but it kept my attention. Love John Cusack and Billy Bob though so maybe I'm slightly biased ;)
    Published 26 days ago by Furmom<3
    5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, funny, funny!
    Funny, funny, funny. Outstanding actors bring their characters to life. I've watched eight times since I purchased it. Billy Bob Thornton and Cusack are naturals.
    Published 28 days ago by Gary Biggs
    4.0 out of 5 stars dark and funny -
    This movie was not one I had even heard of but saw it on a preview and decided to give it a shot. It is funny and has nice twists and turns to the plot. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by J. Bates
    5.0 out of 5 stars Mean But Good
    Here's a film noir in technicolor with an involved plot and lovely characters all interacting during a Christmas season that seems to underscore the cheap motives that drive these... Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Arnold Asrelsky
    5.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie
    If you like dark movies, you will like this. Good story line and good acting. I saw it in the theatre and it was worth the money. It is a keeper.
    Published 4 months ago by Timi L. Rothe
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