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"THE ICE HARVEST"
(2005) (John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Extreme Extreme Extreme *Moderate Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Minor Moderate None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Moderate Moderate Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Black Comedy: Two men hope to get out of town during an ice storm after robbing a mob boss of $2 million on Christmas Eve.
PLOT:
It's Christmas Eve in Wichita Falls and the weather and roads look dicey as an ice storm is moving in. Nevertheless, that doesn't deter mob lawyer Charlie Arglist (JOHN CUSACK) and his partner Vic Cavanaugh (BILLY BOB THORNTON) from stealing more than $2 million dollars from mob boss Bill Guerrard (RANDY QUAID).

Charlie actually does the deed and is the nervous one, especially since he's heard that Guerrard's thug, Roy Gelles (MIKE STARR), is looking for him. Vic, on the other hand, is nothing but confident and tells Charlie to be cool for a few hours and they'll then be home free. But Charlie has a hard time doing that, especially since he can't keep his eyes off the alluring Renata (CONNIE NIELSEN) or that his best friend, Pete Van Heuten (OLIVER PLATT) drunkenly (and loudly) tells everyone that Charlie's a mob lawyer.

As the evening wears on and Roy eventually shows up, the duo's plan takes unexpected turns as things become just as slippery for them as the icy streets outside.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Fans of anyone appearing in the film might be interested in it, as might those who like black comedies. Otherwise, older teenagers seem the likeliest audience among kids.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For violence, language and sexuality/nudity.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
Considering the actions (robbery, murder, attempted murder, language, drinking and driving, etc.) and motives displayed by the main characters, it's doubtful any parents would consider them as good role models for kids.
CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


(Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
Here's a quick look at the content found in this black comedy that's been rated R. Profanity consists of at least 85 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually explicit dialogue is present, while bare-breasted and otherwise scantly clad strippers and another woman are seen, as is a still photo showing a man having rear entry intercourse with a woman, and a brief clip (and plenty of audio) from a porn video showing a sexual encounter.

Violence consists of people shooting and killing others (sometimes with very bloody/gory results), while a man drowns and people strike others. Most everyone has a bad attitude of one form or another, while some of that violence might be unsettling or suspenseful for some viewers (although much is played as black comedy). Various characters smoke and/or drink, some to the point of intoxication (with one man drinking and driving). One man takes some sort of pills for pain relief, while some potentially initiative behavior is present, as is some tense family material.

Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Miscellaneous people have drinks in a strip club where Charlie order a rum and pineapple juice, but he thinks it tastes horrible and thus orders a beer.
  • Renata tells Charlie that he should either sober up or get really drunk.
  • Vic has a drink.
  • Charlie drinks from a flask in his car and is pulled over by a cop who recognizes and lets him go, despite seeing the open flask in the car.
  • People have drinks in a restaurant where Vic has wine.
  • Pete is quite inebriated and makes a scene in a bar and later interrupts a family dinner in that state.
  • People drink in a bar where an already intoxicated Pete has more.
  • Pete says they should have one more drink and Charlie agrees. We then see Pete drink from a flask.
  • Charlie drinks from a flask while driving.
  • Charlie talks about his uncle who was drunk all of the time.
  • Charlie and Pete order drinks in a bar where Pete says he's at the perfect stage of drunkenness where he'll go home, fall asleep and dream about their female bartender.
  • Charlie pours himself a drink.
  • Renata pours a drink for Charlie.
  • Charlie drinks from his flask.
  • Renata has some wine.
  • Charlie drinks from his flask.
  • Charlie opens a beer and drinks it in a convenience store.
  • Charlie drinks from his flask.
  • Bill drinks.
  • About his foot that's just been stabbed, Charlie asks Renata if she has any morphine or Demoral. She then hands him some sort of pills that he downs with a drink from a bottle of booze.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We hear the sound of Pete vomiting (from being drunk and having just been kicked in the crotch). Later, Charlie complains about the smell resulting from Pete having also vomited in his car (and later leaves him a note about that as the reason for taking Pete's car).
  • Charlie sees blood on the floor and then spots a severed and bloody finger in a vice.
  • Charlie vomits over the side of a bridge.
  • Charlie holds the above severed thumb in a bloody hanky.
  • A shot fires out from inside a large foot locker, hitting a man in the chest (we see blood spread on his shirt). The "victim" then gets out of the case, but the first shoots him in the chest, killing him (with blood on his shirt).
  • Bill's face is very bloody after being shot there with birdshot from a shotgun.
  • When a cop enters, Bill shoots him in the forehead, killing him (we see the hole and some blood comes out of it).
  • A man goes to kill Renata, but Charlie shoots him in the head with a shotgun blast (we don't see that act), sending blood and possibly some brain matter all over Renata (with her responding "Oh yuck!").
  • Charlie's foot is very bloody after he's been stabbed there.
  • A woman runs a straight razor along a guy's neck, drawing some blood, but not killing him (as she's shot dead by the intended victim).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • All of the main characters have bad and/or criminal attitudes including the following:
  • We learn that Charlie has stolen more than $2 million from his boss (a violent mob figure) with the help of Vic.
  • Charlie drinks from a flask in his car and is pulled over by a cop who recognizes and lets him go, despite seeing the open flask in the car.
  • Pete is quite inebriated and makes a scene in a bar, later interrupts a family dinner in that state and comes on to a bartender in her boyfriend's presence (including calling her a "Jesus Freak").
  • Pete admits to Charlie that at the end of Charlie and his wife's relationship, Pete and that woman were "f*cking like minx," adding that they did it everywhere (and lists the places). He wonders if Charlie is upset, with the latter saying that "it makes me wonder who she's f*cking now."
  • Rather than shooting a thug dead, Vic has him in a large foot locker and plans to drown him in an ice-cold lake.
  • Either Vic or a thug is responsible for killing Vic's wife.
  • Vic says that only morons are nice on Christmas. He then adds that there are many of them, especially in Kansas.
  • A woman double-crosses a man and tries to kill him.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers (although much of it's played for dark comedy rather than true suspense).
  • Charlie sees blood on the floor and then spots a severed and bloody finger in a vice.
  • Charlie sees a flash of light and hears the sound of what appears to be a gunshot coming from Vic's place. Charlie then slowly goes in, carrying a tire iron, looking for Vic. He spots Vic's wife kneeling down in front of the Christmas tree, but then sees that she's dead, with blood running down from her head onto the packages below her.
  • While helping one man carry a large foot locker case holding a man (or his dead body), a man's foot falls through the small pier they're on. A shot then fires out through the case, hitting the first man in the chest (we see blood spread on his shirt). The "victim" then gets out of the case, but the first shoots him in the chest, killing him (with blood on his shirt). The end of the pier then collapses, sending the case and the first man into the frozen lake, breaking the ice on their impact. That man can't swim and calls for his accomplice's help, but since the latter is suspicious of the first man's motives, he doesn't help, prompting the first man to fire at him several times (but he misses). The accomplice then throws the plastic wrapped body of Vic's wife down onto the first man and when the accomplice returns moments later, the first man is dead (partially seen in the dark water floating just beneath the surface).
  • As Renata talks on the phone, we then see that a gun is being held on her.
  • Charlie slowly and cautiously enters a closed strip club, carrying a gun. He finds Renata with her arms tied to a chair and then hides when Bill enters the room. Charlie then sneaks out to find a shotgun hidden beneath the bar. A violent encounter then ensues between all of them.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Shotgun/Straight razor: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "I'm f*cked," "That's f*cking horrible," "F*ck me" (nonsexual), "F*ck you very much," "F*ck it," "Christmas f*cking Eve," "What the f*ck /were you thinking?" "Not that it's any of your f*cking business," "She and I were f*cking like minx," "Shut the f*ck up right now," "Oh f*ck," "I'm f*cking ecstatic," "You scared the f*ck out of me," "Jesus f*cking Christ," "You must be one f*cking optimist," "Big m*therf*cker," "F*ckers," "F*cking asshole," "Open the f*cking door," "For f*ck's sake," "F*ck you," "I f*cked up," "Big f*cking trouble," "Don't be a f*cking idiot," "F*ck he is," "You stupid f*cking whore," "Am I gonna have to slap the sh*t out of you?" "Dipsh*t," "Don't know sh*t," "Bullsh*t," "Sh*t-faced," "Piece of sh*t," "I gotta get my sh*t," "Sh*tload," "I don't give a sh*t," "D*ckhead," "Half are in this bar trying to get laid," "All that's left for man is money and p*ssy," "P*ssy-whipped," "P*ckerwoods," "Yo, ho-ho, mo-fo," "Whiskey d*ck," "You (toothless?) old whore," "Moron," "Don't go squirrelly on me," "What the hell are you so worried about?" "Balls" (testicles), "In all of Kans-ass," "As Wichita Falls, so falls Wichita Falls," "Screw the pie," "You old harpy," "Bitch," "Go to hell," "Shut up," "Bastards," "Sporty nuts," "Hot ass," "Little Jesus Freak," "Oh my nuts," "Man down" (said by Pete who's lying drunk on the floor), "Pissed," "Pissed off," "Big ass," "Pay no attention to the man in the trunk," "You asshole," "Sweet ass," "Nitwit," what sounded like "Fart hammers" and "Sorry ass."
  • A stripper has a tattoo.
  • Charlie drinks and drives on several occasions.
  • Renata gives "the finger" behind her back, while a person later gives the same.
  • While intoxicated, Pete rips a turkey leg from the bird with his bare hands and carries around the drumstick.
  • We see a guy with a ring of tattoos around his head.
  • We see a guy with rings in his pierced nose.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • The sound of a sudden gunshot might startle some viewers.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 85 "f" words (1 used with "mother" and 4 used sexually as are repeated uses of "laid"), 16 "s" words, 6 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck" and "p*cker"), 4 using female ones ("p*ssy," "tw*t" and what sounded like "twazala"), 1 for breasts ("t*ts"), 14 asses (7 used with "hole"), 4 hells, 2 damns, 1 S.O.B., 9 uses of "Jesus," 8 of "G-damn," 5 of "Jesus Christ," 3 of "Oh my God," 2 each of "Christ" and "Oh God" and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "My God," "Oh Jesus" and "Swear to God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see a sign that reads "XXX" on a strip joint called "Sweet Cage" and there's the neon outline of a reclined woman that shows the shape of breasts and her pubic area (in the shape of a "Y"). Inside, we see a bare-breasted dancer and an old man who runs his hand up her inner thigh.
  • Renata talks about people coming to the club to see "t*ts and ass."
  • There's talk of a compromising photo of a local councilman and a woman. Charlie later finds it and it shows the man having rear-entry intercourse with a bored-looking woman who's bent over a desk or table. We see the tops of her bare breasts (but no nipples).
  • We see a dancer in the strip club shaking her mostly bare butt (that's in a thong), then see her holding onto her pole while upside down on it. We also see other such similarly "dressed" dancers/strippers in the club.
  • A stripper -- dressed in a bra that's really just an outline with stars affixed to her nipples -- comments on patrons looking at her "tw*t," and then walks away in her chaps that show her bare butt. We see another bare-breasted dancer in a very skimpy bottom.
  • Pete asks if it's true a mobster cut off a person's hand for sticking their fingers up a dancer's "twazala" (presumably vagina).
  • Pete asks a sexual question of Charlie who says he sometimes has it, but then says that his woman still wears flannel to bed. He then asks if he ever had sex with a stripper (making a whistle sound for the verb part of that question), with Charlie saying sometimes.
  • When a councilman (the one in the compromising photo) tells Charlie that the people in town are Christian folk, Charlie jokes that half are in the bar "trying to get laid."
  • The sexual term "laid" is used again.
  • Pete admits to Charlie that at the end of Charlie and his wife's relationship, Pete and that woman were "f*cking like minx," adding that they did it everywhere (and lists the places). He wonders if Charlie is upset, with the latter saying that "it makes me wonder who she's f*cking now."
  • Charlie talks about his uncle who "f*cked everything that walked."
  • Charlie and Pete order drinks in a bar where Pete says he's at the perfect stage of drunkenness where he'll go home, fall asleep and dream about their female bartender. He then tells the woman that she's going to be wearing just a necklace in his dream and then tells the woman's boyfriend that if that guy doesn't "get laid tonight" it will be his own fault. He then refers to her as a "hot ass" and says that the "Jesus Freak" will introduce him to cunnilingus.
  • Talking about Renata, a bartender tells Charlie that he hopes Charlie isn't thinking "she's going to f*ck you."
  • After being kicked in the crotch, we see Pete with his hands down to his crotch (nothing explicit and no nudity) trying to feel his testicles that he claims are up inside his body now. He then has Charlie bounce him up and down to try to get them to drop. We then see him standing there with his hands down at his crotch as his pants are down, feeling for his testicles again (in his boxers, but no nudity is seen).
  • Looking at the above photo of the councilman having sex with the bent-over woman, Renata states that she can read the fine print on the lubricant.
  • Charlie and Renata passionately kiss as she sits crossways on his lap (both are clothed). She then tells him to meet her at her apartment later.
  • We see large posters of bare-breasted women in a strip club called "Velvet Touch." As Charlie walks past them, he hears sexual sounds ("Oh God," "Oh yeah!" etc.) but then finds that it's just a porno video on the TV (briefly seen, it shows a woman squatted down having sex with a man below her with movement and some nudity).
  • Pete says that in this country, all that's left for men is money and "p*ssy."
  • Bill comments on Renata's "p*ssy-whipped pal" and then comments on someone's brain overruling his "p*cker."
  • With Renata tied to a chair, Bill runs his hand up the inside of her thigh. Needing to distract him from seeing that Charlie is sneaking up, Renata tells Bill that she has an idea of what will help him relax. He then moves the chair around so that his crotch is near her face, but Charlie enters and nothing happens.
  • A comment is made about a "d*ck with no brain vs. a brain with no "d*ck."
  • Bill says that naked women and hand jobs are the only things he believes in.
  • We see Renata in just her slip that shows cleavage.
  • Renata approaches Charlie in an open robe that shows her in her bra and panties, telling him, "To the victor go the spoils." They then embrace and she kisses him, but nothing else sexual happens as the scene turns violent.
  • SMOKING
  • Charlie smokes at least 4 times, while Vic smokes a few times.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Pete's father is disgusted with him and how he's acting (drunk) with Pete then letting him have it about how much financial support Pete has given him.
  • Charlie's son is very upset with him, saying Charlie gave them no Christmas gifts and adds "I hate you." We also learn that Charlie is divorced from his wife.
  • Charlie talks of his father (embolism) and uncle (car wreck) dying with a day of each other in the past.
  • Vic's wife is dead, but he shows no grief over that (as either he or a thug killed her, and he doesn't care).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The notion of the perfect crime and how it rarely turns out to be just that.
  • Charlie drinks and drives on several occasions.
  • Charlie's son is very upset with him, saying Charlie gave them no Christmas gifts and adds "I hate you." We also learn that Charlie is divorced from his wife.
  • Pete says that for guys their age, all they have are regrets. Charlie, however, says that since no matter what you do, the results are the same (death), having regrets is futile.
  • Black comedies.
  • Charlie buys Christmas gifts for his kids from a convenience store and leaves them at their home for them.
  • Pete says that in this country, all that's left for men is money and "p*ssy."
  • VIOLENCE
  • After an older man runs his hand inside a stripper's inner thigh, a younger guy (possibly her son) rushes up, grabs the old man and then pounds him repeatedly to the floor. That then prompts the bartender to rush up and whack the younger guy on the head with a bat, knocking him out.
  • Charlie slips on the ice and falls hard to the parking lot.
  • After a drunken Pete comes on too much to a bartender, her boyfriend drags Pete out from the bar, appears to give him a wedgie and then kicks him in the crotch quite hard.
  • A bartender holds a guy's head to the parking lot and pushes hard and we then hear what sound like bone-breaking sounds (somewhat played for comedy as Charlie sees this, but does nothing to stop it other than offering lawyerly advice that it would be wise to stop).
  • Charlie hits his head on a street sign when a cop surprises him, causing him to bolt upright (thus causing the contact).
  • Charlie sees a flash of light and hears the sound of what appears to be a gunshot coming from Vic's place and then finds his dead and bloody wife inside.
  • Vic holds a gun and indicates that the thug who's after him and Charlie is now locked inside a foot locker. Some gunshots then suddenly blast out through the case as the thug tries to shoot them. Vic then repeatedly smashes the case with a golf club in anger.
  • Vic carries out his dead wife wrapped in plastic and bangs her body against his car's open trunk lid.
  • Tired of listening to Ray complaining in the foot locker case he's held in, Vic fires a single shot into it, silencing him.
  • The foot locker case holding a man (or his dead body) bounces down some steps to a dock.
  • While helping one man carry a large foot locker case holding a man (or his dead body), a man's foot falls through the small pier they're on. A shot then fires out through the case, hitting the first man in the chest (we see blood spread on his shirt). The "victim" then gets out of the case, but the first shoots him in the chest, killing him (with blood on his shirt). The end of the pier then collapses, sending the case and the first man into the frozen lake, breaking the ice on their impact. That man can't swim and calls for his accomplice's help, but since the latter is suspicious of the first man's motives, he doesn't help, prompting the first man to fire at him several times (but he misses). The accomplice then throws the plastic wrapped body of Vic's wife down onto the first man and when the accomplice returns moments later, the first man is dead (partially seen in the dark water floating just beneath the surface).
  • Charlie shoots a man with a shotgun, knocking him to the floor. Renata then tells Charlie to get his gun since the shotgun only had birdshot in it. Charlie tries to free her instead, allowing the man to stab him in the foot with his knife. When a cop enters, that man shoots him in the forehead, killing him (we see the hole and some blood comes out of it).
  • As Bill goes to kill Renata, she seems to hit or stab him repeatedly as the two then struggle over a gun, with him then throwing her down to a sofa.
  • A man goes to kill Renata, but Charlie shoots him in the head with a shotgun blast (we don't see that act), sending blood and possibly some brain matter all over Renata (with her responding "Oh yuck!").
  • A woman runs a straight razor along a guy's neck, drawing some blood, but not killing him (as she's shot dead by the intended victim).
  • A man shoots a woman he knows is going to kill him (while in an embrace).
  • An RV accidentally backs over Charlie, knocking him to the road (but he's okay).



  • Reviewed November 18, 2005 / Posted November 23, 2005

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