In the wintry countryside near Canada, smooth-talking heist man Addison (Eric Bana) and his femme fatale sister Liza (Olivia Wilde) are on the run with a bag full of cash from a casino job. With a deadly blizzard swirling around them, they split up to make a desperate dash for the border. Meanwhile, troubled boxer Jay (Charlie Hunnam) has just been released from prison and is heading home to spend Thanksgiving with his mother (Sissy Spacek) and retired sheriff father (Kris Kristofferson). A twist of fate sets them all on a collision course, hurtling this icy thriller to a shocking climax.
Austrian director Stefan Ruzowitzky, whose film The Counterfeiters won the Academy Award for best foreign-language film in 2008, commands his frigid setting with a careful attention to the mood-setting sights and sounds of a snowbound small town. First-time screenwriter Zach Dean’s tightly wound, twisting-and-turning suspense story always puts character first—providing a generous amount of character depth for these ace actors to play with, and proving that no good guy is all good, and no bad guy all bad. –Joel Hoglund
Stefan Ruzowitzky was born in Vienna in 1961. He studied Theater and History and attended film courses and seminars by such industry figures as Syd Field, Zdenek Mahler and Vilmos Zsigmond. In the first half of the 1980s, he worked in the theater as a director and wrote radio plays for the Austrian broadcaster ORF. From 1987, Ruzowitzky worked as a freelance director and author for television, commercials and music videos. In 1996, he made his feature directorial debut with “Tempo”, which won the Max Ophuels Award in 1997. His second feature, “The Inheritors” (“Die Siebtelbauern”, 1997), was sold to 50 countries and shown at numerous film festivals around the globe, winning many prizes including a Tiger Award in Rotterdam. The Inheritors was also Austria’s entry for the Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film in 1999. Since then, he has made the successful thriller “Anatomy” (“Anatomie”, 2000), “All the Queen’s Men” (2001) and “Anatomy 2” (“Anatomie 2”, 2002). In 2008, Ruzowitzky’s… read more
flawed but very watchable character based crime film. It borrows elements from countless films before it but does what it aims to do. Eric Bana and Kate Mara are the standout performances, but it's also great to see Treat Williams pull off a serious role as a truly lousy father and Kris Kristofferson as a conflicted one. Sissy Spacek is great too, a welcomed break from the "panicked woman hostage" role.
Some movies are bad on a level that makes you wonder if it's some sort of elaborate joke. Because surely actors like Kate Mara, Olivia Wilde, Eric Bana and Charlie Hunnam, on the upswing of their careers, wouldn't sign up for a script this terrible for any other reason. Sample dialogue: Police Chief to his deputy daughter "What if we got out there and you had to change your tampon??!" "Then I'd change it, Dad."