Sleeper to See: Michael Shannon Chills in 'The Iceman'

Last weekend’s Iron Man 3 kicks off a blockbuster summer movie season packed with big budget sequels, prequels, and, of course, remakes. But if you're looking for a  little counterprogramming to a summer full of superheroes and explosions, here's what we suggest—hopefully it's playing in a theater near you.

The Movie: The Iceman

The Director: 2012 Capri Breakout Director Award winner Ariel Vromen

The Cast: Future "General Zod" and Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon (Best Supporting Actor, Revolutionary Road); Captain America himself, Chris Evans; James Franco (127 Hours); Ray Liotta (Goodfellas); David Schwimmer (Friends); Goonie chaser Robert Davi; and last but not least, our favorite Heather, Winona Ryder.

The Story: Inspired by horrifying true-life events, this riveting crime thriller journeys into the intense world of notorious contract killer Richard Kuklinski (Shannon), tracking him from his early days in the mob until his arrest in 1986 for the murder of more than 100 men. Appearing to be living the American dream, Kuklinski kept his real profession a secret from his wife and daughters.

The Buzz: Michael Shannon’s name is primed to go household when Man of Steel opens, but right now it’s critics who are salivating over it for his work in The Iceman. Stephen Holden of The New York Times says, "Michael Shannon's mesmerizing portrayal of Richard Kuklinski, a notorious contract killer, has the paradoxical quality, peculiar to many great screen performances, of being unreadable and transparent," while Claudia Puig of USA Today says, "Shannon is brilliantly unnerving as he callously dispenses with people, then returns home to maintain his façade of a loving husband and father."

The Verdict: If you’re a fan of true-life crime dramas like Donnie Brasco and Goodfellas or tales of characters living a criminal double life, don’t miss The Iceman before it leaves the station – er, theater.

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