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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 15.25%
Average: 5.08%
Pretty Bad: 23.73%
Total Crap: 1.69%

3 reviews, 41 user ratings

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Ice Storm, The
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by Filmink Magazine (owes us money)

"One of the best of the year."
5 stars

In the new film from director Ang Lee (Sense And Sensibility), the 1970's are sliced open and laid bare. Here, elements of the 'decade that style forgot' are treated not as kitsch but as sources of true unease. Wife swapping, drugs, key parties, illicit sex and new age philosophies are not painted as roads to liberation but as sign posts indicating the way to personal tragedy.

Conservative? Maybe. Great film making? Definitely.

It's November 1973, and the tumultuous seventies have finally arrived in the neat and tidy town of New Canaan, Connecticut. Two essentially conservative families have decided to get into the swing of things.

Ben Hood (Kline) is cheating on his wife Elena (Allen) with sexy neighbour Janey Carver (Weaver) who has tired of her spaced out husband (Sheridan). Meanwhile teen Wendy Hood (Christina Ricci) is playing "you show me yours, I'll show you mine" with brothers Mikey and Sandy Carver (Elijah Wood and Adam Hann-Byrd). Her older brother Paul (Tobey Maguire) is in the big city chasing pussy and smoking pot. All this sexual confusion comes to a head at a wife swapping party which will lead to tragedy and a dark personal reckoning.

Lee has fashioned a truly mesmerising film that never becomes a nostalgia piece or a campy joke. He is too intelligent and incisive a director for that. His interest lies not in the surface elements of the seventies, but in the profound effect that those free wheeling times had on the people who weren't ready for them. His cold, icy suburban landscape is unlike any ever seen on the screen before: a moody, almost menacing atmosphere aided by a superbly unsettling musical score.

With such richly textured characters to inhabit, all the actors shine. Kline is at his vacant, endearing best while Weaver creates the ultimate suburban ice queen. Lee has also picked the best adolescent actors in the business and they all bring remarkable maturity and depth to their performances.

With the visually striking The Ice Storm, Ang Lee has created a wholly original portrait of a time when irresponsibility and experimentation were forced on people who should have known better. Thankfully his stance is more humanist than conservative.

This is a film of rare intelligence and compassion which stands as one of the best of the year. A moving, deeply affecting experience. ---Erin Free

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originally posted: 09/14/98 01:49:51
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User Comments

11/03/09 Carrie too mch sex 1 stars
6/01/09 Jeff Wilder One of the best films of the 1990s 4 stars
6/09/07 fools♫gold I thought this was a B-list flic b4Gonsalves'review. Whatdecadeitis doesn't change a thing. 5 stars
2/03/07 David Pollastrini very well done 3 stars
12/01/06 Brad Bourland Few films are as bad as their detractors say they are or are perfect as their best fans pro 4 stars
6/06/06 Dave Webber Totally agree - the worst art-house ripoff I've seen in a long time! 2 stars
2/23/06 jp pretty good 4 stars
1/07/06 Jin A film of true beauty and depth. Acting is top notch. 5 stars
10/05/05 Jesse Taylor Deserved more critical acclaim. An amazing movie, one of the best of 1997! 5 stars
1/05/04 cwlg420 I suggest watching it once if your into the artzy thing, otherwise stay away from this 2 stars
11/18/03 he a great film 5 stars
9/08/03 Kyle Good, but uneven. 4 stars
7/26/03 nr great 5 stars
5/23/03 mr. Pink Quietly chilling and occasionally funny. Great acting especially from Weaver and Ricci. 5 stars
4/01/03 Jack Sommersby Elijah Wood dry-humping Ricci is only inspired moment in another Ang Lee wank-fest. 2 stars
9/25/02 movie guy GREAT 5 stars
8/08/02 Jack Thompson Wow. Just...Wow. 5 stars
8/06/02 KMG I liked the atmosphere 4 stars
6/02/02 stud good 5 stars
4/28/02 R.W. Welch Some sort of existentialist thing, I think, about people who don't have enough to do. Slow. 3 stars
11/16/01 John American Beauty had to have stolen its plot from this movie. 5 stars
10/18/01 Henry Ginsberg Kevin Kline was great in this film 5 stars
10/15/01 Adam Interesting and entertaining. Strong script and acting. Well set.Overall above average. 5 stars
4/18/01 Jesse L Enjoyed only by the massively hard up - 2 stars
2/24/01 Marie I wanted the freaky swingers to die in the storm, but they didn't? 5 stars
1/10/01 Rob Banfitch Leaves you stung. 5 stars
8/16/00 Drew Vogel Excellent. American Beauty with depth. 5 stars
8/08/00 Rue the Whirl Ice makes me RANDY! 5 stars
6/24/00 Aaron White Solid drama. Attention to detail goes beyond trotting out period cliches. 4 stars
2/14/00 Erna Rosemond Hard to tell whether it was supposed to be comedy or a drama 2 stars
11/04/99 hum dull and pradictable 2 stars
11/02/99 Bozo hated it the first time; saw it three more times & now its brilliant 5 stars
8/15/99 Kate It was great...Especially Elijah Wood. 5 stars
7/11/99 Daria I was led to belive it was one of the best films of the year. It WASN'T. 3 stars
5/29/99 kmk interesting characters, but moved a little too slow. 4 stars
3/01/99 Spankey I fell asleep...need I say more?! 2 stars
2/19/99 Bruce Hedge Loved it, my era ,Sigourney turns me on!!! 5 stars
11/28/98 Mr.Pink A. Lee is a man who understands relationships.Story IS clichéd but not in the way it's told 4 stars
9/14/98 Keith Griffith Great job capturing many of the things I remember about that time. Cop-out ending though! 4 stars
9/05/98 Badass It breaks the ice on what we inherent from our parents and what elements we mimic of them. 5 stars
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  27-Sep-1997 (R)



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