Movie Review: The Frozen Ground (2013)

Synopsis: When 17-year-old prostitute Cindy Paulson accuses a prominent baker and family man, Robert Hansen, of kidnapping and raping her, the local authorities don't believe her story, especially when he provides a solid alibi. However, after meeting with her, Alaska State Trooper Jack Halcombe believes she escaped the clutches of a serial killer and pursues her lead. However, a reluctant district attorney and his key witness' lack of stability threaten to shut him down.

Who's in it? The movie stars Nicolas Cage, Vanessa Hudgens, John Cusack, 50 Cent and Kurt Fuller.

Review: My wife found this movie at the library a couple days ago and, while it sounded like something she would enjoy more than me, I did decide to watch it with her last night. Overall, I have to say I thought it was a good movie.

Since this was based on a true story, there was some risk of the movie being a bit too predictable, especially since there was no mystery about who the killer was. Fortunately, that didn't turn out to be the case, partly because of all the obstacles Jack (Cage) faced, especially when it came to Cindy (Hudgens), who started stripping and doing drugs while he was still trying to make his case, putting her testimony at risk.

Helping this movie tremendously was Hudgen's performance. When I first learned she played a prostitute, I had some doubts, but she pulled it off. There were times when I felt sorry for her character and other times when I thought she was being stupid but, overall, she was very believable as she portrayed someone who went through a traumatic experience and had no support network to help her through it.

Another thing that surprised me about this movie was Cusack's portrayal of Robert Hansen. Again, I had some doubts because, as my wife pointed out, he is an actor you kind of expect to play the good guy. However, I absolutely loved how he came off as a confident, normal, businessman, husband and father. It made his sinister side stand out more and made it easy to see why he wouldn't be on anyone's radar as a serial killer. As I've said in the past, movies like this are only good if they have a believable bad guy and he ended up being the perfect choice.

Final Opinion: I had some doubts, partially because of some of the actors playing roles that I didn't think fit them but the film ended up being a pleasant surprise and is one I would recommend.

My Grade: A


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