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Ice Road | 2021 | PG-13 | – 0.6.5

content-ratingsWhy is “Ice Road” rated PG-13? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “strong language and sequences of action and violence.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes many explosions, a mine collapse, trucks sinking through ice, a drowning in frigid water with a little blood, several fights, and at least 1 F-word with other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


A diamond mine on the ice roads of northern Manitoba caves in, trapping two dozen miners underground. A trucker (Liam Neeson) and a Cree activist (Amber Midthunder) agree to help rescue the men, but must fight corporate corruption to succeed. Also with Laurence Fishburn, Benjamin Walker, Matt McCoy, Marcus Thomas, Holt McCallamy, Martin Sensmeier and Matt Salinger. Directed by Jonathon Hensleigh. [Running Time: 1:48]

Ice Road SEX/NUDITY 0

 – None.

Ice Road VIOLENCE/GORE 6

 – The interior of a mine is dusty and dark, lit only by miners’ helmet lamps and a few lights mounted along a wall: An explosion shoots a large fireball out a mountain and knocks a truck off a mountain road, then a fireball explodes through a mine entrance in a long shot; men inside shout and scream and one man is half buried under debris, screaming with a leg wound (we see blood on his pant leg and we later hear that he has a compound fracture that has become infected); we hear that eight men are dead and 26 are trapped alive. A portion of a mine roof caves in, trapping a man in some debris as he groans, but other men dig him out and he does not have serious injuries. Men begin to cough, coughing harder in later scenes and eventually all fall unconscious, grimy and sweaty.
 A man climbs a snowy hill to reach another man and a woman driving a truck slowly across a bridge (we hear and see bridge cables snap), the woman drives across the far end of the bridge, the man gets out, the bridge collapses, the man takes several seconds to slam the bridge gate closed and the truck slides backwards a few feet and crushes him against the fence as we hear crunching sounds until the woman finally is able to pull forward and the man falls to the ground, gasping; the man on the hill rushes forward and the downed man dies in his arms with his eyes open.
 Two truckers are chased by four men on snowmobiles: they pull alongside the truck cab, draw handguns as they climb onto the running boards, and order the driver to stop and the driver and another man slam open the cab doors and fight with punches and choking; after several seconds, the men lie on the ice with two men continuing to struggle for several seconds, choking each other, until a man beats the other man in the head with a helmet, and then finally kills him.
 A man locks two other men in the back of a truck trailer and punches a woman driver unconscious after she tries to stab him with some sort of blade but misses; he then rigs the truck trailer with dynamite and drives away with the woman; the captive men lift a heavy pipe, punch out a heating unit after several tries, and escape through the open hole and one man sees the dynamite and throws it as it explodes with flames and smoke.
 A man tells another man to kill a woman trucker by driving her off a mountain road and the second man pushes the woman, whose hands are tied, into the driver’s seat of a truck cab, but is bitten by a large rat; the woman grabs a pipe, beats the man in the head (we see a spot of blood on his cheek), throws him out of the cab and he falls to the ground and disconnects her fuel line; the woman radios a Mayday call for help and runs out of gas and the man who tried to kill her catches up to her in his pickup truck, gets out, and she shoots her handgun at him, missing. Two men slam into another man’s vehicle and it falls through a guardrail and down a hill; we later see the first man exit the pickup with a spot of blood by his eye. A man takes an abandoned snowmobile up to a ledge and plants an explosive in the snow, and in a long shot we hear a muffled explosion and see clouds of smoke. An avalanche hits two trucks and one of the trucks comes to rest against a tree; a man stops and opens the other cab’s door to find a woman with a tree branch sticking out of her chest, with some blood around it and below the frame; he pulls the branch out quickly as the woman gasps, and he puts pressure on the wound and helps her into his own cab (we see her later wearing a wide sling around her shoulder and chest).
 After a struggle of kicks, punches, and head stomping on the ice, a man tries to drive a truck cab away, but another man climbs on top of the roof; the second man accelerates, dives out the door, and the cab falls through the ice with the first man going down, drowning (we do not see his death). Truckers jump out onto running boards in two scenes in case they must jump clear when their trucks sink through ice roads, but the ice does not crack and the truckers jump back into the cabs.
 Two men chop ice from the rear wheels of a truck using hatchets; they drill a hole in the ice, stick in a large pipe, anchor the truck to it with a strap, and use a squealing winch to pull the rear wheels out of the ice, with one man steering the truck while the other man operates a winch to pull the rear wheels out of a hole in the ice; when the cable snaps, the winch man falls, and a heavy piece of equipment is thrown into him, sending him into the ice hole and under sub-zero water and the other man dives in and pulls him out, cries, drags him to the truck cab, and gives him CPR inside the cab (the victim coughs up water and revives).
 A woman and two men agree to deliver three wellheads to a Manitoba mine cave-in and we see the three trucks driving on wet ice-covered roads; one truck’s engine seizes, blowing steam, and the rear of the truck trailer sinks into the water, wrapping a cable and a strap around his leg and as he slides toward the hole; a woman approaches and he shouts that his leg is broken, and to cut him loose so she and two other men will not die and she cuts him loose (he sinks under sub-zero water and we later hear that he died); two other men approach, but ice cracks all around them, and the men and the woman drive two trucks away. Two trucks escape ice cracks as they fishtail and slide over onto their sides; two men grunt and groan as they operate squealing winches to pull two trucks upright from lying on their sides on the ice as a large snowstorm approaches, and we see it add ice to the ice road that helps to support the trucks.
 In front of a crowd, a mine official berates a mine manager for illegal and unsafe practices, while another man rushes forward and punches the manager in the face, knocking him to the ground unconscious, and authorities take the manager away. A man belittles a woman several times for being Native American; once, he waves a lit cigarette lighter under her nose to wake her up after he punches her unconscious, and she coughs as she revives. A man finds out that his brother was given Xanax, Lexapro and OxyContin for PTSD in a veterans’ clinic and he becomes angry and removes his brother from the clinic.
 A veteran has PTSD and aphasia that affects his speech; three coworkers in a trucking company taunt him and call him “retard”; the man’s brother hits one bully in the face with a large thermos bottle knocking him unconscious and we later see a supervisor yelling at the brother and we hear that both brothers were fired. Two men shove each other, and a mine boss takes out a cigarette lighter and says he will blow up the methane in the mine if they don’t stop arguing and talking about killing men. Two men accuse a woman of sabotaging another man’s truck, they all argue, she pulls out a handgun, a man takes it away and the other man ties her wrists together and puts her in a truck. A mine boss argues with a worker in a cave-in when the worker says some men should be killed to save oxygen. Brothers argue briefly several times and once one is slapped hard in the face by his brother, who tells him he has a bad attitude. We hear that a mine manager instructed the miners to disable the methane sensors for $100/month for each worker, to avoid the cost of complying with safety measures. A man bails a woman out of jail after she is charged with rock throwing during a land protest.
 A man speeds a truck cab after a truck on ice, with both trucks swerving; the first driver sideswipes the truck twice, as the second driver is told to “kill him” by a woman in his truck, and he takes a handgun and climbs out of his truck and into the other truck cab where a brief fistfight occurs; both men flail and fall from the truck to the ice, one man briefly hanging by a seatbelt, but he gets loose.
 Two men on stretchers and about two dozen walking men exit a caved-in mine after we hear blasts off-screen during a rescue.

Ice Road LANGUAGE 5

 – About 1 F-word, 20 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 15 mild obscenities, name-calling (stupid, retard, crazy, nuts, idiots, ridiculous, “these people” [Native Americans/First Nations], white, thief, big baby), exclamations (jeez), 5 religious profanities (GD), 10 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Thank God, God, Sweet Jesus, Jesus, Do I Look Like God, Holy [scatological term deleted, a Native American prayer). | profanity glossary |

Ice Road SUBSTANCE USE

 – A man asks another man what he has been smoking, and a man discovers that his brother was given Xanax, Lexapro and Oxycontin for PTSD in a veterans’ clinic. Two men pour whiskey into rocks glasses in an office (neither drinks).

Ice Road DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Dangerous jobs, ice road truckers, over-prescribing opioids to U.S. veterans, Native North American land rights, worker safety, corporate corruption, sabotage, activism, death, loss, families, heroism, determination, helping others, teamwork, isolation, danger, fear, anxiety, life and death situations, leadership, understanding, trust, forgiveness.

Ice Road MESSAGE

 – Greed, racism, and mistreatment of veterans cause serious problems in the workplace and society.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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