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Parents' Guide to

The Ice Road

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Thrilling action movie has some violence, swearing.

Movie PG-13 2021 103 minutes
The Ice Road Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 13+

Would not recommend

Unfortunately this was one of the worst action movies I've seen I've seen in a few years. Liam Neeson is great and some of the action was fun, but the overall plot was very weak and many of the action scenes and situations were flawed and painful to watch. The relationship between he and his brother is endearing but doesn't make up for the rest of it. It does preset some good opportunities for discussion with kids such as how people with disabilities are treated, racism and loyalty.
age 11+

Intense, Good for 11+

I watched this with my 11 and 15yr old girls. My 11yr old was on the edge of her seat. She’s sensitive and doesn’t take well to too much violence, so this was a good balance. There’s one scene in the beginning where someone sacrifices his life to save the others. It’s a dramatic scene. There were also some teaching moments for me and I was able to discuss the treatment of people with disabilities and about relations with Native/indigenous people of Canada. We even looked up ice roads after the movie. There are curse words, violence (no horrific scenes), but no sex or nudity. I recommend it.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (6 ):

This edge-of your-seat action tale is taut and suspenseful from beginning to end. In The Ice Road, Liam Neeson, in what may be his last action movie, plays Mike McCann, a North Dakota trucker who bounces from job to job primarily because he's trying to keep his brother Gurty from getting into trouble. Desperate for work and wanting to keep Gurty out of a VA Hospital where he'll be numb and drugged by uncaring doctors, Mike decides to apply for a job other truckers consider to be a "suicide mission" -- a delivery of needed supplies to trapped miners that requires driving along melting "ice roads" in April. From the moment the trucks leave to make the journey north to the diamond mine, the action is unrelenting, with some enjoyable (if not altogether unsurprising) plot twists along the way.

While The Ice Road has its fair share of action movie conventions, there's as much of a reliance on the story as on the action sequences to sustain audience interest. We know what's at stake for these characters, and the dialogue is nowhere near as groan-worthy as, for instance, the entire Fast and Furious franchise. While Neeson delivers a fantastic performance, the other leads are also solid throughout, and we also learn that, despite its much-lauded national identity, Canadians are quite capable of being bad guys. If this is Neeson's last action movie, it's a terrific way to bow out, as The Ice Road is as thrilling as it is fun.

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