Starring: Liam Neeson, Laurence Fishburne, Benjamin Walker, Amber Midthunder, Marcus Thomas, Holt McCallany, Martin Sensmeier, Matt McCoy, Matt Salinger
OUR RATING: ★★½
Action thriller written and directed by Jonathan Hensleigh. After a remote Canadian diamond mine collapses, The Ice Road (2021) follows Mike (Liam Neeson), an ice driver who leads an impossible rescue mission over a frozen ocean to save the lives of trapped miners despite thawing waters and a threat they never see coming.
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Johansson: How’s it feel to be best friends with a r**ard?
Mike: He’s my brother, Johansson. And I told you never to call him that.
[Mike hit him in the head with his flask, knocking him out]
Mike: [referring to Gurty] We’ve been together a long time, but he can’t hold a job, and I can’t carry him anymore. I don’t have a lot of tire left on my own treads.
Doctor: Hi, John, I’m Dr. Talbot. Pleased to meet you.
Gurty: Thank you, I appreciate it, and hope the world lasts for you.
Mike: He’s saying hello.
Tully: This morning, Tunnel 6 collapsed. I need an eighteen foot gas wellhead, three hundred feet of pipe delivered up there in under thirty hours.
Goldenrod: Eighteen foot gas wellhead, and three hundred feet of pipe? Goddamn, that’s a hell of a lot of weight, son.
Tully: Can you make it happen?
Goldenrod: What do I look like, God?
Tully: Say, for conversation’s sake, you have replacements.
Goldenrod: Well, say, for conversation’s sake, that these rigs have wings. What’ve you been smoking?
Tully: But didn’t old-timers in the ’60s drive the lake into April?
Goldenrod: Yeah, and most of them died doing it.
Tully: So it’s really that dangerous.
Goldenrod: Yeah! It’s that dangerous.
Goldenrod: If I can get drivers and a mechanic, let’s say three o’clock this afternoon, and if you can get the provincial government to open up the ice road, two very big ifs, we’ll do it.
Doctor: He has insomnia, hypertension, makes inappropriate outbursts.
Mike: Kiss my Irish a**!
Doctor: Post-traumatic stress disorder is real. I can Section 502 him.
Mike: Do it. The press’ll love another story about how the VA overprescribes opioids to America’s heroes.
Doctor: You are making a grave mistake.
Mike: You try and stop us from leaving here, so are you.
Mike: Ever been to Winnipeg, Gurty? It’s just seventy miles.
Gurty: “Win a pig.”
Mike: We might, partner. With any luck, today we might just win a pig.
Goldenrod: Tully, give me fifty bucks. You got fifty bucks?
Tully: Yeah, I do.
Goldenrod: One of my drivers just became available. Thanks.
Tully: Fantastic. What’s it for?
Goldenrod: Told you this wasn’t going to be easy.
Desk Cop: You protest and throw rocks again, we’ll arrest you again.
Tantoo: We’re going to keep doing it until you get off our land.
Desk Cop: The city owns that parking lot.
Tantoo: I was referring to North America.
Goldenrod: [to Tantoo] How’s the fight for justice going? You keep building casinos, you’ll beat the white man without a shot fired.
Goldenrod: I’m putting together a little rescue mission.
Tantoo: Ice road?
Tantoo: I’m in.
Goldenrod: You’re the driver? He’s the mechanic?
Mike: [referring to Gurty] Yep. One of the best.
Goldenrod: Says you had experience on the ice road in the Northwest Territory. That’s pretty serious country. What did you drive?
Mike: Anything on wheels.
Cody: Wellheads arrive ASAP. What do they mean, ASAP? Six hours? Twelve hours?
Mankins: What if it’s thirty?
Cody: Then we’re dead.
Tager: So the question is time. I mean, no one’s ever lasted over thirty hours under permafrost.
Tager: If Jim Goldenrod believes twenty-five ton wellheads can roll across a frozen lake in April, I suppose we should believe it too.
Goldenrod: These wellheads are beasts, eighteen feet long, twenty-five ton heavy. We got three rigs, all identically equipped so that we can achieve tactical redundancy. We’re taking every chance to save those miners lives.
Tantoo: Tactical re-whatancy?
Mike: Redundancy. Each rig doesn’t need the others to complete the mission.
Goldenrod: Gold star to the man from North Dakota.
Mike: What happens to anyone that doesn’t make it? To their money?
Tully: Paragraph four. Their share goes to those that do.
Mike: That’s pretty cold.
Tantoo: Sounds fair to me.
Varnay: Tantoo, is it? Tully says you’re Cree. What’s your name mean?
Tantoo: Name mean “like to drive alone”.
Goldenrod: Mount up! Use the head if you have to now. We’re on a Bull Run!
Mike: I thought I heard every trucker’s expression. What the heck’s a Bull Run?
Goldenrod: Bull Run. Well, back in Minnesota, all the livestock haulers never used to stop, because bulls, you see, got to be standing when they’re being transported. Because if one gets tired and lies down, then the others will step on him and kill him. All livestock haulers know this, so they never stop for anything.
Mike: Ah, I see. I’m learning something tonight.
Tantoo: Hey, Jim, how you feeling about the ice?
Goldenrod: Cold, hard, and stiff. I wish we weren’t running in bright sunshine tomorrow though.
Tantoo: You’ll know when I’m hungry. It’s very unattractive.
Varnay: You get cranky?
Tantoo: Worse, I act white.
Goldenrod: Naming a big rig’s a sacred thing.
Mike: What will we name our truck, Gurty?
Gurty: Truck Truck Truck.
Mike: You hear that?
Goldenrod: “Truck Truck Truck.” I like it. It’s got a ring to it.
Tantoo: You go too fast, you create a pressure wave. In you go. You go too slow, the ice can’t handle the pounds per square inch on your tire. In you go.
Goldenrod: Sweet Jesus, that ain’t good.
Tantoo: What the hell are you doing?
Mike: Going back.
Tantoo: I thought we weren’t stopping for anything. You know, all that Bull Run stuff?
Mike: I said, we’re going back.
Goldenrod: Towline’s got me! Cut me loose. My leg’s broken. Cut me loose, or you’re all going in! Towline’s got me, and my leg’s broken. Do it! Do it!
Tantoo: I can’t.
Goldenrod: Do it! Do it!
Mike: [referring to the ice] It’s spreading out.
Varnay: Meaning what?
Mike: Meaning it’s going to keep cracking for two, maybe three thousand meters.
Varnay: That’s over a mile!
Mike: We’ll outrun it. Let’s move!
Tantoo: We got to unhook first.
Mike: There’s no time. We’re going to have to run tied together. Go!
Mike: I got a pressure wave ahead of me.
Tantoo: Well, I got one hell of an ice crack behind me, so how do you want to die?
Mike: Hang on, pal. This is going to get ugly.
Mike: We capsized for a reason. Now our weight’s displaced evenly instead of on the tires.
Mike: [referring to continuing the mission] Are you coming with, Tantoo?
Tantoo: Hell, yeah.
Varnay: But this is ridiculous. You’re all going to die.
Mike: You want to go back, go back. I suggest you do it quick.
Mike: Let’s get the rigs upright and haul a**. We’re back in business.
Varnay: You’re out of your minds. All of you!
Varnay: It appears you’re the new leader here.
Mike: I’m not the leader of anything. Everyone’s on their own.
Mike: You were going to take us all out, weren’t you? So you could claim the whole two hundred grand.
Tantoo: I don’t know what you’re talking about!
Mike: Who else, then? It wasn’t me. It wasn’t Gurty. It wasn’t him. He works for the company that’s paying us.
Tantoo: This is not about the money for me, you idiots! God, my brother is in that mine! And the longer that we stand here, the closer he is to dying.
Mike: We call the company and check your story.
Tantoo: Yeah, and then go f*** yourself.
Mike: Tie her up, Gurty.
Cody: They want to decrease our numbers.
Claude: Can’t be serious.
Barney: Looks serious to me, Claude.
Mankins: Nobody wants this, Barney. Don’t make it personal.
Barney: Hate to tell you, friend. This is about as personal as it gets.
Claude: What if we say no?
Mankins: It’s going to a vote.
Claude: That’s like two foxes and a chicken voting on what’s for dinner.
Barney: I always knew you were a prick, Mankins. Didn’t know until now you’re also a murderer.
Tantoo: It was you. You piece of s**t. “Insurance actuary” my a**. What do you actually do for Katka?
Varnay: Let’s just say I work in a different department of the company.
Tantoo: Yeah, the sewer.
Mike: [referring to Varnay] He took the phone, the pistol, our gear bags.
Gurty: And the Too.
Mike: And the what?
Mike: Tantoo as well!
Mike: [to Gurty] Do you know why we get fired? It’s not your disability. It’s your freaking attitude! You probably didn’t take orders before your disability.
Mike: [to Gurty, referring to Varnay] I don’t know what’s going on here, but that prick, he killed Goldenrod, and he nearly killed us! He pinned it all on Tantoo, who’s out here to save her brother, and we helped him. We have one chance, one chance to get out of this, and make this right. And you’re not going to wreck it. Not this time.
Mike: They want us to fail. That’s it. They want us to fail. I didn’t see it. I’ve been too wrapped up in what’s in this for us. Oh, now I’m angry. Let’s get out of here. It’s not about money now. This is personal.
Sickle: The miners oxygen window closes in three hours, so the press is going to be all over us. They need to be told our valiant rescue had a tragic end.
Varnay: I’ll make it happen, sir.
Lampard: If you do this, it’s on your head.
Mankins: You want to blame someone? Blame management.
Lampard: What does management got to do with it?
Lampard: You turned off the gas sensors for a hundred dollars a month?
Claude: And anyone who blew the whistle gets s**tcanned.
Lampard: These men are not the enemy. The enemy’s up there.
Mankins: Bulls**t! The enemy’s asphyxiation.
Lampard: We’re getting out of here together, or not at all.
Mankins: You’re one stupid son of a b**ch, Rene. You too, Cody.
Lampard: Maybe so, but this is how it’s going to be.
Tantoo: You’re never going to get away with this. There’s going to be an investigation.
Varnay: That’s the plan.
Tantoo: Those b****rds, they caused the cave-in. Now they’re trying to cover it up.
Mike: Not going to happen. Just hang on. We’re coming.
Tantoo: The other drivers are going to come.
Varnay: The other drivers are dead.
Mike: Listen. We seriously misjudged you. Friends?
Mike: I know you’re anxious about your brother.
Tantoo: Yeah. Cody’s all I got, you know? It’s kind of like you and yours.
Mike: Gurty’s like that commercial. Takes a licking but keeps on ticking.
Mike: We can’t stay here, and we can’t back up. We’ll have to outrun it.
Tantoo: You’re dreaming.
Mike: You got a better idea?
Tantoo: [after being impaled through the shoulder by a branch] It’s not as bad as it looks.
Mike: It looks pretty bad, kid.
Tantoo: Just be fast about it. Like pulling out a wisdom tooth.
Mike: A wisdom tooth? Do I look like a dentist?
Sickle: There is nothing in those e-mails that implicates us. Everything was cash, so there’s no paper trail. To the authorities, this just looks like another tragic mining accident. Right in the morning, we open Tunnel 6. We remove the bodies. We let the public hold their ritual funerals. We weather the obligatory “occupational hazard” debate. And we open back up. Business as usual.
Tantoo: [to Mike, referring to Varnay] Hey. Kill him. Not for me, for my brother.
Gurty: [after he’s crushed between the rig and the bridge gate] Mike, you brother mine. My brother.
Mike: Brother. Mine.
Tantoo: Look, Gurty died so that the miners would live, okay? My brother is alive. I’m going to find him. Let’s go.
Tantoo: You’re alive. Oh, my God.
Cody: You saved my life.
Tantoo: I had help.
CEO Thomason: [to Sickle] You paid them? You paid them to shut off their sensors? You’re disgusting.
[Mike punches Sickle in the face]
Tantoo: [referring to Mike’s gold-colored truck] What you hauling?
Mike: Sporting goods.
Tantoo: Oh. Ain’t that the life?
Mike: Yep. No bosses, no punching time clocks. Good pay rates.
Tantoo: Yeah. Well, you find yourself pining for the ice road, you know where to find me.
Tantoo: Thank you, Mike.