Scott Marks 4:30 p.m., Dec. 5
Michael Shannon is incapable of delivering anything but brilliance, and all too often, the success or failure of one of his pictures hinges on a filmmaker’s ability to meet him halfway. Ariel Vromen (Rx, Danika) isn’t quite there yet, as evidenced in The Iceman, a true-crime mob movie based on the life of Richard Kuklinski. Kuklinski is a one-time serial killer who decides to make cash off his hobby by going pro and joining the mob. We’ve marched these mean streets many times before, and apart from Shannon’s ever-present intensity, the storefronts are beginning to look mighty familiar. Little meaningful attention is paid to the relationship between Kuklinski and his clueless bride, Deborah (Winona Ryder); the poor simp never once detected a trace of blood on her hubby’s hands? Shannon so far outclasses Ryder as an actor that their scenes together frequently play like teacher and student, rather than co-stars bouncing off each other. Worth seeing, if only for Shannon and Ray Liotta. 2012.
— Scott Marks