Customer Reviews: Whiteout [Blu-ray]
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VINE VOICEon February 21, 2010
The studios seemed unsure on how to market this movie and the punchline of being the coldest movie ever filmed hardly inspired confidence in the Antarctica-set thriller and the movie quickly vanished from movie screens. That it did not get an audience could also be explained by the fact that the film never quite identified itself in its marketing material. Was it a paranormal thriller? Was it a horror movie? Was it a psychological thriller? The truth be told it was none of these and was probably closest in structure and narrative to a western.
The plot revolves around a research station in the Antarctic that is prepping for a hibernation period where a skeleton crew keep things runnning through the Antarctic winter. A body is discovered on the ice and it is down to a U.S. Marshall (played competently by the always watchable Kate Beckinsale) to piece together the mystery of precisely what happened. The mystery is tied to a missing Cold War era Soviet Union plane that crashed into the ice decades earlier, which is shown as the movie opens, and the mysterious cargo on board.
Many complained that the movie makers covered the lithe, beautiful Beckinsale in many layers, but this criticism was hardly a valid one. The star strips down to her underwear within moments of her appearance on the screen but the scene is not gratuitous and is not graphic. For the rest of the movie necessity has her all bundled up but this is in keeping with the nature of the frigid weather which is a character unto itself in the movie. One quickly understands why the movie is set in the Antarctic for the movie uses the inhospitable climate as a mechanism with which to ratchet up the suspense and claustrophic feeling of the production.
Overall a satisfying thriller that surprised me in how much I liked it. I had expected to be bored by it but found myself entertained.
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on September 12, 2009
I didn't quite know what to expect when I sat down in the theater today to watch Whiteout. The trailers led me to believe it would be some sort of supernatural type film set in Antarctica, but I wasn't really sure if it was just the weather that would be the evil force or some sort of creature. It was none of the above. Whiteout is really just a typical thriller/mystery that happens to occur on the coldest land mass in the world. It involves some murders back in 1957 and few more in present day that Kate's character investigates. Within the first ten minutes you get the gorgeous Kate Beckinsale stripping down to her undies (always a good thing), but I didn't expect that to be the films only true highlight. Other than her obvious use in that particular scene, I can't believe they casted a good looking woman only to cover her up from head to toe and in multiple layers for the last 90 minutes. Not to mention a giant snow hat on her head. Anyways, most of the acting was okay I guess. Kind of bland, but nothing noticeably bad.

Whiteout is actually pretty darn entertaining if you take it for what it is and don't expect anything special. It deserves better than all the negative reviews it is receiving from the critics, but I have to admit that without the early gratuitous scene or the atmospheric location, I probably wouldn't give this thing more that two stars. You might get a couple of shivers from this one, but those looking for some true frostbite should stick with John Carpenter's The Thing.
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on January 29, 2011
I originally saw this film, about murder and mayhem at a scientific station at the South Pole, on HBO and was a bit disapponted. I picked it up on blu-ray and watched it again and enjoyed it more the second time. The film based on a graphic novel is interesting but does have its flaws. The fight scenes out in the cold are okay, but it is difficult to tell who everyone is and as a result the suspense is diluted. Furthermore the macguffin of the mysterious cargo that men are dying and killing for is, once revealed, a distinct disappointment. The sets are very nicely designed and the scenes at the South Pole, (actually filmed at Lake Manitoba in Canada,) are beautiful
But the really most beautiful thing in this film is Kate Beckinsale. I found her absolutely gorgeous in "Pearl Harbor." My opinion didn't change in the "Underworld" films or the disappointing "Van Helsing." I think she is one of the prettiest actresses in films and can even make a burnt-out U.S. Federal Marshal at the South Pole look good. (The writers obviously knew what their main asset was since they almost immediately have her strip down to take a shower. No nudity however.) The supporting cast is good with Tom Skeritt a standout. Alex O' Laughlin also appears and uses what is probably his normal Austrailian accent. Watching him in this film makes me realize why I have a hard time accepting him as McGarrett on the new "Hawaii Five-O."
The picture and sound quality on the blu-ray are great. There is a nice documentary on the making of the film (where Beckinsale looks more beautiful than ever.) There is also a interesting featurette comparing the graphic novel with the completed film. There are also a couple of fairly long deleted scenes.
As stated, this is a well-made film that kind of came and went in the theaters. It is not bad and not great, but a fairly enjoyable way to spend an hour and forty minutes. And, in case I haven't mentioned it, that Kate is soooo beautiful!
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"Whiteout" is an implausible but enjoyable thriller set at the South Pole. In its opening sequence, set in 1957, a Soviet cargo plane carrying a mysterious cargo goes down somewhere in Antarctica. In the present, the Amundsen-Scott Scientific Station at the South Pole is preparing to rotate out its summer crew and batten down for the winter darkness, just ahead of an approaching storm. US Marshal Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale) is preparing to depart, along with her doctor friend (a grizzled but amiable Tom Skerrit).

The discovery of a body on the ice triggers an investigation that leads in short order to an old Soviet scientific station, another dead body, a killer, and the Soviet cargo plane, minus its mysterious cargo. Stetko is assisted in her investigation by the doctor, an aircraft pilot (Columbus Short) and a UN Security Officer (Gabriel Macht). The group, almost inevitably, becomes trapped in an evacuated station with the killer or killers.

Stetko, traumatized by betrayal in a previous assignment told in flashback, finds she can't trust anyone in her present. The action sequences inside and outside the station work well, moving the audience quickly past some plot holes and cold weather implausibilities to a twisty ending. "Whiteout" isn't going to win any awards, but manages to be moderately entertaining. Canada does stand in for the Antarctic with some stunning exteriors.
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on May 14, 2014
Who would imagine a movie with Kate Beckinsale could be this bad?? Now I know why I'd never heard of this film. I'm sure simple word of mouth killed all hope for it.

Plot was so S-L-O-W and dull. It's a who-done-it and you know all the time who the culprit is but you just don't care.
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on November 12, 2011
I wasnt sure about this since I had not heard anything - but it looked
intriguing - I was surprised and pleased with this film - very good work
and has its surprises in the mystery.
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on July 23, 2012
I'm no fan of Kate Beckinsale by any stretch, but this film was on my queue of films that got bad reviews but had a premise that interested me. So with no expectations at all I started watching 'Whiteout' and was thoroughly entertained by it's characters and deliberate old school thriller pacing. I don't know who said it, but this film is essentially a western, and looking at it in that light it has alot of strength. Beckinsale plats US Marshall Carrie Stetko, posted at a US research camp in Anatarctica. The story concerns a series of murders relating to the mysterious cargo of a crashed Russian plane from the 1950s. Like a western, the main focus of the film is the examination of the character and morals of it's protagonist, who is haunted by the guilt of a murder in self defense she committed. Otherwsie 'Whiteout' is a Mcguffin story, and if you're only interested in "what's in the box", you're not going to enjoy this film. 'Whiteout' is about character and setting. The film had some pleasant surprises for this viewer, in that it was nice to see (for a change) the extreme weather of Antarctica rendered fairly realistically... 100 mph winds, -50 F temps have a visceral, scary, believability. I was happy there was no throwaway nudity or sex scene, it makes Beckinsale's character stronger. At one point an escape scene used a bit of realworld hardware that I wasn't expecting. Most important the climax of the film was not violent, which I think is probably where alot of reviewers got disenchanted with the film, but I found it refreshing that the writer chose to keep the established character relationships intact at the end, rather than throw in some gratuitously sour betrayal scene. This alone made the film special to me, but especially in the context that the film is a WESTERN. I think Beckinsale and the rest of the cast did a great job in their roles. I think if you enjoyed 'Copland' with Sylvester Stallone, you should give this film a look.
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on February 29, 2016
Another great Kate Beckinsale movie. Although implausible, this movie is an enjoyable thriller set at the South Pole. It starts out with a lost cargo plane from the 1950's. The crews are getting ready to move-out due to the winter darkness They discover a body on the ice and start investigating. After another dead body, there's a killer and they the cargo plane's back in play (but what was the plane's cargo?). Although there are some inaccurate portrayals with the weather and plot holes; I found this to be entertaining and kept me on my toes. I don't know if I would've even noticed the inaccuracies if I didn't have a biologist pointing them out throughout (thanks honey!). I would watch it again though, and that says something! (Not child appropriate)
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on April 18, 2016
This movie is really good! The plot, acting and character development are all excellent. There's a lot of suspense. My husband and I have seen it twice and I am not one to watch a movie a second time, typically.
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on April 23, 2015
I like all winter type of thrillers, and cold and cold-blooded thrillers especially. But I specially like this one because it was from a best selling graphic novel; and different from the novel itself, the opening was just fabulous. Beyond that, there's Kate Beckinsale, she's one of my favorite actresses and such a great looking model too.
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