By Justin Chang
Developed through the Sundance Institute's Native filmmakers program, pic is billed in the production notes as "a story that can happen anywhere," which is part of the problem. While "On the Ice" offers a unique immersion in the language and customs of the Inupiaq culture in MacLean's hometown of Barrow, Alaska, the harrowing moral journey it serves up--part "A Simple Plan," part Cain and Abel--feels artificially applied to these rural environs, rather than emerging organically from regional specifics.
By John DeFore
The Bottom Line: Alaska-set drama about a momentous secret holds cultural interest but can't sustain much tension.
A decent premise, but not enough solid acting.
By Aaron Peck