Frozen River

Movie review by James Rocchi, Common Sense Media
Frozen River Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 16+

Superb indie drama features great acting, smart script.

R 2008 97 minutes

Parents say

age 13+

Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 14+

Based on 2 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

A winner!!!!

Frozen River is an exceptional movie. Seen it several times and it's a must watch!! A very realistic look at smuggling illegal immigrants across the frozen river from Canada to New York. Ray (Melissa Leo) and Lila (Misty Upham) cross paths when Lila steals Ray's car. They're both short on money and both have children. Ray's desperate to make extra cash for Christmas when her husband took off without notice with their down payment on a new home. Making minimum wage at Yankee Dollar, she confronts her manager to move her up to full time as he had promised but he refuses. After one round of smuggling together, Ray and Lila develop a special bond and an agreement to split the profits from then on. The story is quite sad and depressing, but is a real eye opener too. Lila losing touch with her one year old son is very sad but doesn't stop to fight for him back! There's some language (several uses of the "f" word, b*tch and bulls**t, some racial slang) - one brief scene in a strip club with a semi-clothed dancer - some violence, main character smokes. Perfect for adults - Kids won't be interested in this although it's safe for ages 13 and up!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
age 10+

Good for mature children 10 and up

I just watched this alone and it had no sex or drug use in it. The movie is intense because of the subject matter but that's it. It's a exciting movie to watch and you won't be bored. I think a mature 10 year old will be able to watch it and understand that these two women and smugglers and that it's a crime.

Movie Details

Our Editors Recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate