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3.8
3,530 Ratings

The Ice Storm

Directed by Ang Lee
United States, 1997
Drama

Synopsis

It’s November 1973 in New Canaan, Connecticut and the lives of a wealthy family are quietly falling into peril. As the teenagers surreptitiously experiment with drugs and alcohol and the adults drift into mate-swapping, a dangerous blanket of freezing rain begins to cover the town.

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The Ice Storm Directed by Ang Lee
Lee’s New Canaanites are largely adrift in their easy privilege and luxury, only coming together for a climactic key party during the titular visit from Mother Nature. And though Lee takes pleasure in detailing their dullness, disconnect, and shallow indulgences, he works with the uniformly excellent cast to bring these selfish creatures to vivid, haunted life.
July 31, 2013
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James Schamus’s elegant screenplay, based on Rick Moody’s slyer, more loquacious novel, favors clipped, short dialogue uttered in discrete, jewel-like scenes.
June 24, 2013
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It’s possible to view the characters in The Ice Storm as a bunch of sinners and to look at what happens to them as well-deserved punishment. It’s also possible to see The Ice Storm as an indictment of suburban hypocrisy and the sexual revolution. But this is not a morality tale or a period piece. It’s about what it takes to live in a world where moral authority has collapsed.
November 22, 2010
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What are people saying?

  • Ben Wheeler's rating of the film The Ice Storm

    One of the best movies I've seen in a while. I was totally engrossed in this textured, lugubrious underworld of 1970's upper-class Connecticut. Repression is the unsaid elephant-in-the-room. It's a tragedy of missed connections & human longing, & sadly the difficulty in escaping our own fears. Directors Gore Verbinski & Sam Mendes have borrowed liberally in their own suburban critiques. Lee fashioned a masterpiece.

  • Trevor Tillman's rating of the film The Ice Storm

    Something about this haunts me after every viewing. The Native American flute on the soundtrack is so vital in distinguishing this from an American Beauty-style tragicomedy. It evokes a feeling that the drama is being played out on land that existed long before the characters dwelled there, and will continue to exist long after we're gone.

  • Tara Violet's rating of the film The Ice Storm

    I can't help but starting thinking of this film sometimes. I saw it when I was slightly too young to and felt almost rebellious due to its overt theme of sexual exploration and its darkness/twistedness. even then it fascinated me and I'd love to see it again soon. I thought that Christina Ricci in particular was wonderful and the ending was heart-wrenching

  • Caden Cotard's rating of the film The Ice Storm

    Subtle is the antithesis of this film, but The Ice Storm doesn't need it. Instead, it's a curious and clinical look at rich WASPs. An interesting subject for the director of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, I know, but it miraculously works. Mad props to the huge, phenomenally talented cast.

  • Lori Glumac's rating of the film The Ice Storm

    One of the many reasons I worship Ang Lee! One of my favorite films of his. So brutal and subtle at the same time. An examination of the suppression of suburban housewives and artists during the '70's. I have recommended this film countless times and have never gotten a bad review. The last 15 minutes is deafening...you know what I mean if you've seen the film. Brilliant!

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film The Ice Storm

    Cinephile Thanksgiving! Despite my initial misgivings about Lee's transcendentalist pacing and the final tragedy-too-far, this may be his greatest film, finding innocence and empathy in every characters' confused fuck-ups. It was also filmed near where I grew up, which often doubles as the home of suburban ennui. I know the street corner where they all face the sobering light of day. There's a Starbucks there now.

  • Renton47's rating of the film The Ice Storm

    Studiously composed and created with moments of wonderful insight, banter and revelation. I like this type of American film quite a bit. Something in this one has left me somewhat cold (sorry). Maguire's narration is a factor, privileging a perspective that's away from most of the action. The content of his talk doesn't help, laying out a blueprint for family dysfunction when the film is so individualised.

  • Filipe F. Coutinho's rating of the film The Ice Storm

    The film kept telling me how great the book must be, and how Lee's adaptation fails to capture it. There's a sense of constant incompleteness, that either the scenes run too short or too long, that characters say too little or too much. Worse, most of the interactions are awkward, and not in a "Lanthimos-good-awkward" way. The viewing was still enjoyable, but never emotionally involving.

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