THIN ICE Movie Review

Thin Ice starring Greg Kinnea and Billy Crudup image

THIN ICE trailer looked promising with a Fargo-esque feel to it , but the Greg Kinnear and Billy Crudup dark comedy was likable at best.  

In THIN ICE it is said, “Never believe what you hear and only believe half of what you see.” This is the philosophy of Mickey Prohaska. Mickey also believes that there is no such thing as being over-insured and he has no problem mixing his business finances with his personal ones. This strategy has not served Mickey well and at the present time his life is a mess. He has just won a prestigious award for being a model salesman and he should be proud of his achievement, but his wife has kicked him out of the house, he took his son’s college fund to pay off a gambling debt, his business is floundering and his constant lying is catching up with him.


Greg Kinnear as Mickey Prohaska lives his life in shades of grey. He is a likable fellow, charming, fun to be around, but he is always on the make and trying to round up the next client. At an insurance convention he steals away a new hire from his competitor just because he can. And when that new hire turns out to be a honest, hardworking, genial salesman with the client’s best interest at heart. Mickey feels that he must step in and teach this guy a lesson.

David Harbour plays Bob Egan and he is the kind of insurance salesman you wish you had, kind, thoughtful, caring and looking to save you money and get you the best deal. But Mickey is looking for big sales so he steps in and takes over one of Bob’s clients. The client, an old, senile farmer by the name of Gorvy Hauer (Alan Arkin) has lots of money and no family to speak of. Mickey gets him to invest to the hilt, but the man is temperamental. Mickey has to work to keep the fish on the hook. Especially when he discovers that the man is in possession of a expensive rare violin.

This is where Randy Kinney (Billy Crudup) comes in. He has just installed an alarm system at the Hauer house and Mickey has a great idea. Gorvy Hauer is going out of town to visit his ailing sister and Mickey is slipping some money to Randy to turn off the alarm so Mickey can “get some important papers”. But what Mickey really does is switch the expensive violin for a reasonable copy with plans to sell it and keep the cash. This caper goes horribly wrong and Mickey is now officially on THIN ICE.

THIN ICE, shot on location in the mid-west, has that trapped winter feel. As Mickey dreams of a tropical retreat he becomes increasingly frustrated with his wintery home. Everything is a hazard, death trap or accident waiting to happen. It has gotten so bad that Mickey is believing his own lies. Mickey’s last minute accomplice turns out to be a really bad idea because the man is unstable and also has a record. As the two try to untangle themselves from a crime of opportunity their biggest threat is each other. This film is about bad choices, bad decisions and bad luck. It’s also about insurance, sometimes you are better off accepting your losses.

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