Directed by Jill Sprecher
Starring Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin, Billy Crudup
Few actors are better suited than Greg Kinnear to play a luckless guy caught up in illegal behavior that spirals out of control - he has a way of making extreme concern seem as dramatic and compelling as any other emotion.
He certainly does a lot of worrying in "Thin Ice" - a fun, minor-key noir that offers him the perfect part as Kenosha, Wisc., insurance salesman Mickey Prohaska, who is mired in a big to-do surrounding a valuable violin owned by client Gorvy Hauer (Alan Arkin). A minor scam grows into an epic catastrophe when the unstable locksmith Randy (a hilarious Billy Crudup) gets involved.
Director Jill Sprecher keeps things moving at a fast and funny pace, with the narrative's sleazy underpinnings well disguised by the Upper Midwestern niceties. The filmmaker exploits the contrast between the homespun demeanors and the sinister motives at play, with the friendly surface enhancing the entertainment value of the darkness driving the story.
The film is no "Fargo," which achieved that same tricky balance to masterful effect, but it works.