the mostly true story of a serial killer named Richard Kuklinski (a.k.a.
The Iceman) who eventually became a contract killer for the mob.
Extremely well directed by Ariel Vroman, who also cowrote the script
with Morgan Land, the story and chronology have been changed, probably
for the purposes of making it into a movie.
gets exceptional performances out of Michael Shannon as Kuklinski,
Winona Ryder as his wife, Deborah, Chris Evans as fellow hitman Robert
ďMr. SofteeĒ Pronge, Stephen Dorff as Kuklinskiís younger brother Joey,
Ray Liotta as The Gambino Crime Family soldato, Roy Demeo, and David
Schwimmer as Demeoís goombah Josh Rosenthal. In fact, this is the best
performance Iíve ever seen Liotta give. He proves he can act without
using an F bomb every other word.
only thing off-putting about this film is the graphic violence. Many of
Kuklinskiís murders are shown in relatively graphic detail. But the
story is so well told that even if you have to avert your eyes a couple
of times, itís an entertaining film.
film was shot almost entirely in Shreveport Louisiana (because thatís
where producer Millennium Films is located), although the settings are
New Jersey and New York. While the film shows that Kuklinski was working
in a porn film lab when he met Demeo and became a contract killer, in
fact his killing spree started in the early to mid-50s when he started
killing for the sport of it, and he probably didnít meet Demeo until the
early Ď70s, after he had been a contract killer for Newarkís
DeCavalcante crime family for an extended period of time. This only
shows a small portion of his murders and completely omits the fact that
he killed for the fun of it and was doing so before he hooked up with
aspect of the film shows that Kuklinski was extremely protective of his
wife and daughters, and that they knew absolutely nothing about his
murderous activities. However, this diverges somewhat from the facts and
is an oddly sensitive portrayal of a cold-blooded monster. It downplays
the fact that while he never mistreated his daughters, he often beat his
film is well made and holds interest, but I deplore the delicate
treatment and shading of truth of this despicable beast. Watching
Vromanís take, one almost feels sympathy for him.