On the Ice
On the Ice (2012)

Shot entirely on location in Barrow, Alaska, On The Ice is the engrossing and suspenseful feature film debut by filmmaker Andrew Okpeaha MacLean about two teenage boys who have grown up like brothers go about their lives in the comfortable… More

Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: February 17, 2012
DVD Release Date: August 7, 2012
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Critic Score: 67% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic

The effect is stunningly effective, submerging us in a snowy, frozen, barren land with few options but plenty of opportunities for trouble. It is an offbeat gem.

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Sara Stewart
New York Post

Unfortunately, the emotional landscape of MacLean's stoic main character, Qalli, is often as blank as the tundra.

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Jamie S. Rich

MacLean finds a steady rhythm that nicely captures life in the middle of nowhere. "On the Ice" stays frosty throughout, but it's engrossing if you can adjust to the temperature.

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Gary Goldstein
Los Angeles Times

An authentic look at life in remote Alaska (the film was shot with a native cast in MacLean's hometown of Barrow) and at a people grappling with drugs, alcoholism, poverty and the limits of an unforgiving environment.

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Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times

While Mr. Irelan and a few of the supporting players have some solid moments (the entire cast consists of nonprofessionals), the general vibe is too stilted to convince.

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Chris Fyvie
The Skinny

Set in a remote Alaskan village, the film's great strength is making the landscape utterly extraordinary to the audience but painfully mundane to its protagonists.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

If only because of the setting, this is an uncommonly involving thriller. I could call it a film noir, except that the sun never sets in the film.

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John Anderson
Wall Street Journal

A sturdy vehicle for unadorned morality and pragmatic justice.

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Marshall Fine
Hollywood & Fine

Stark, unadorned, timeless and yet of the moment. Wear your mittens.

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More reviews for On the Ice

Flixster Audience Score: 62% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
An Alaskan thriller that benefits from its locations and cinematography, efficiently exploring the white vastness of the snow and the atmosphere of isolation.… More
Walter M.
In "On the Ice," Aivaaq(Frank Qutuq Irelan) and Qalli(Josiah Patkotak) are the best of friends while living on the Arctic Circle. At the same time,… More