Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin
Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin

Kathleen Murphy writes:

Traditionally, noir's habitat is urban mean streets, but something about American Heartland snowscapes welcomes the stain of black betrayal and spilled blood. Movies like A Simple Plan, Fargo, and now Thin Ice suggest that long, cold winters offer ordinary folk time to fall into—and for—impossibly sunny plots and promises. Such falls are seldom fortunate.
      The third film by the Wisconsin-born Sprecher sisters—director Jill and co-writer Karen—Thin Ice plays as mild, less-than-lethal noir. It's clear the Sprechers (Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, Clockwatchers) are far more interested in profiling the quirky types who populate this hinterland farce than in plunging into the dark existential waters that might lie beneath their noir title. Thin Ice chronicles the slow caging of a domesticated weasel, sans intent to maim or kill.
      That domesticated weasel would be Greg Kinnear, bringing skin-deep charm and knee-jerk venality to the role of Mickey Prohaska, a Kenosha insurance salesman. In Noirland, the notion of buying insurance against any of the ways you can lose everything works as nasty metaphor for humankind's inescapable state of risk. (See Double Indemnity for pointers.)

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