The Ice Harvest | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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The Ice Harvest

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After the gag-oriented Analyze This movies, director Harold Ramis gets a chance to show his dramatic range with this character-rich noir, adapted from a novel by Scott Phillips. John Cusack stars as a Wichita mob lawyer who conspires with a dodgy pal (Billy Bob Thornton) to embezzle $2 million from a Kansas City kingpin (Randy Quaid) on Christmas Eve. While they're waiting to blow town, Cusack attends a holiday party and winds up ferrying home a wildly drunken buddy (Oliver Platt) who's now married to his ex-wife and lives in his old home. Talented old hands Richard Russo and Robert Benton collaborated on the screenplay, a funny but genuinely dark story illuminated by twinkling lights. With Connie Nielsen. R, 88 min. Century 12 and CineArts 6, Chatham 14, Norridge, North Riverside, Pipers Alley. Not all theaters had reported their schedules at press time due to the holiday; please check www.chicagoreader.com/movies for updates.

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