The Iceman
2012
**
Director: Ariel Vromen
Cast: Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, James Franco, Ray Liotta, Chris Evans, David Schwimmer, Stephen Dorff, Erin Cummings, Robert Davi

The wife and daughters of Richard Kuklinski (1935-2006) were blissfully unaware that the husband and father they loved and admired killed more than 100 people in his 20-year career as a mob hitman. In the right hands, this intriguing premise would make a great movie. Sadly this dull, aimless, and misjudged biopic is not it. Ariel Vromen cannot decide whether he wants to tell a story of a soulless, two-faced monster or a cool-as-ice mobster. The end result feels like a poor man’s Goodfellas, which is not diminished by the presence of Ray Liotta. In the end, I feel nothing for Kulinski, his family, or his victims, which I don’t think was Vromen’s aim. Michael Shannon is a terrific actor, but either his performance is terrible or he is miscast. The role calls for an actor I believe could be a loving family man, not one who looks like he’s ready to chop up his own family any minute. Based on The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer by Philip Carlo.