The Frozen Ground is a 2013 American mystery thriller film directed and written by Scott Walker in his directorial debut, and starring Nicolas Cage, John Cusack,Vanessa Hudgens, Katherine LaNasa, Radha Mitchell and 50 Cent. Based on the crimes of real-life Alaskan serial killer Robert Hansen, the film depicts an Alaskan State Trooper seeking to apprehend Hansen by partnering with a young woman, who escaped from Hansen’s clutches. 

A teenage escapee (Vanessa Hudgens) provides a critical break in the case, as an Alaskan detective (Nicolas Cage) hunts a serial killer who has been preying on women for 13 years.

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Jeffrey M. Anderson (Common Sense Media) As written and directed by Scott Walker, THE FROZEN GROUND isn’t great, but it’s surprisingly effective, thanks to its no-frills approach and its care with the actors and characters. Full Review
Jack Giroux (Film School Rejects) It’s all around safe and plain, simple and to the point, and all very, very by-the-numbers. Full Review
Jason Best (Movie Talk) The Frozen Ground covers familiar territory but benefits from authentically seamy scene setting amid the bars and strip-joints where the killer found his prey, and from solid performances by its leads, all of whom are acting against type. Full Review
Richard Haridy (Quickflix) The Frozen Ground is trying its best to act as a genuine tribute to the victims of a horrible crime. Unfortunately it falls short… Though still functioning as a solid genre piece, the chasm between intention and execution is embarrassingly apparent. Full Review
Forrest Hartman (Reno Gazette-Journal) The Frozen Ground isn’t innovative, but it is a well-paced and engaging thriller that has the added appeal of a truth-based narrative. Full Review
MaryAnn Johanson (Flick Filosopher) In a rote cat-and-mouse cop-and-serial-killer story, Vanessa Hudgens’ ‘victim’ is far more compelling than either cop Nicolas Cage or killer John Cusack. Full Review
Paul Chambers (Movie Chambers) The scenes where Cage grills Cusack are the best thing about this very average thriller. Full Review
Susan Granger (SSG Syndicate) Choppy and chilling, it’s destined for a quick burial in the icy tundra. Full Review
Betty Jo Tucker (ReelTalk Movie Reviews) A chilling thriller with first-rate performances by John Cusack, Nicolas Cage and Vanessa Hudgens. Full Review
Brian Orndorf ( Are we mourning the loss of these women or delighting in their downfall, relishing their abuse? Cheap thrills destroy whatever pure intentions launched Ground, chaining the effort to the most banal of B-movie pursuits. Full Review
Sheila O’Malley ( “The Frozen Ground” trucks in cliche, as most serial killer and police procedural films do, but the strength of the acting (from the leads down to people with only one or two lines) helps ground the film. Full Review
Doris Toumarkine (Film Journal International) Impressive debut from New Zealand-born Scott Walker is told with style and panache. Strong performances, fevered pacing and immersive location lensing are big pluses pushing this from “B” pic to A-. Full Review
Pete Hammond (Movieline) We’ve seen a lot of serial killer movies but this intriguing true story is well-acted and involving enough to be worth a shot. Full Review
Brent Simon (Shared Darkness) A true crime period piece that somewhat interestingly eschews a lot of investigatory grind in favor of moral certitude and throwback, cat-and-mouse tension. Full Review
Annlee Ellingson (Paste Magazine) Unfortunately, with a confusing script pocked with plot holes, The Frozen Ground misses an opportunity to create a lasting testament to their memories. Full Review
Chris Bumbray (JoBlo’s Movie Emporium) Not bad at all. Nicolas Cage gives his best performance in years. Full Review
Lou Lumenick (New York Post) A taut procedural with atmospheric location work that traces Cage’s clock-racing efforts to find evidence against Cusack … Full Review
Stephen Holden (New York Times) The movie’s only fresh element is the wintry setting, which shrouds everything in a mood of weary fatalism. Otherwise, it’s the same old, same old, efficiently discharged and utterly disposable. Full Review
Brian Tallerico ( Unfocused, flitting back and forth from separate Cage, Cusack, and Hudgens arcs without forming them into one vision. Full Review
Joe Neumaier (New York Daily News) The movie’s late-night cable feel and skeevy salaciousness grinds everything to a snowy slush. Full Review

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