Family movie night? There's an app for that
Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
While there are themes of friendship and loyalty, they're overshadowed by violence and greed. The story is also about class and the protection against consequences that money can afford some and not others.
Positive Role Models
Emily and Sammy betray themselves and others by lying, manipulating, stealing, and committing violent crimes.
Principal characters are broadly White, straight, and able-bodied.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Teens punch, shove, and knock each other to the ground. One character is shown unconscious, with a bloody head wound. Another character drives a car into a ditch. Sexual assault involving intoxicated teens.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
While not explicitly sexual, Emily and Sammy are shown showering together. Characters talk in detail about their body parts, oral sex, and penetrative sex.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Frequent use of the words "f--k," "bulls--t," and "bitch."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Frequent marijuana use, cocaine use, cigarette smoking, and alcohol consumption by minors. Teens seen purchasing and ingesting pills in a parking lot.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that What Breaks the Ice is a dark teen drama about a summer friendship gone terribly wrong. When Emily (Madelyn Cline) and her family leave the city for the summer to vacation in Sammy's (Sofia Hublitz) small hometown, the two girls become fast friends. Emily quickly introduces Sammy to a world of sex, drugs, and crime, much to Sammy's delight. Until, of course, they have to face the consequences of their actions. Mature content includes sexual assault, frequent swearing ("f--k," "bulls--t," "bitch"), talk about sex/sex acts, and scenes of teens punching, shoving, and knocking each other to the ground. Teens also drink, smoke cigarettes, and use drugs (pot, cocaine, pills) frequently. While there are themes of friendship, loyalty, and the deep bonds that can form among female friends, any positive messages are wildly overshadowed by violence and greed. The story also contributes to the misinformed belief that people frequently lie about sexual assault and shows the protection against consequences that money can afford some and not others. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is the classic story of an innocent teen pulled into partying and crime by an unlikely, troubled friend. (One is blonde and the other brunette -- can you guess which is the innocent one?) When Sammy and Emily meet, Emily's shoplifting is what "breaks the ice" in their friendship. But as their crime escalates, the ice breaks completely, and Sammy is left in the freezing water on her own.
What Breaks the Ice is also a story about class and the protection against consequences that money can afford some and not others. The girls' friendship is tested and their loyalty to each other prevails, but not without more problematic choices. In order to save Sammy, Emily concocts a story of sexual assault -- an irresponsible storyline that adds to the misinformed belief that people frequently lie about sexual assault. While there are themes of friendship and loyalty, Sammy and Emily are asked to make choices against their own interests to preserve their friendship, which shouldn't be a condition of any true friendship.
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.