The Ice Harvest
The late Harold Ramis will always be best remembered for the comedies he worked on from the eighties to mid-nineties, but The Ice Harvest remains as quite possibly the most underrated film in his directing resume. Set in Wichita, Kansas, on Christmas Eve, John Cusack plays a mob lawyer who along with the help of his criminal associate, Vic (Billy Bob Thornton) robs over two million dollars from his boss. Treacherous weather prevents them from leaving town so soon, and Cusack must deal with a mob enforcer tracking down him and Vic, in addition to keeping his drunk friend, Pete, out of more trouble than he’s already in. Oliver Platt’s scene-stealing performance as Pete produces most of the laughs in this dark comedy noir, and the film’s critique of Christmas materialism, most notably shown in Cusack’s character buying cheap, last minute gifts for his kids at a convenience store, make this one of the more exquisite and naughtier Christmastime movies of the last decade.