Against the Ice

Watch Against the Ice

"Survive the search. Survive each other."
  • TV-MA
  • 2022
  • 1 hr 42 min
  • 6.5  (27,094)
  • 49

Released in 2022, Against the Ice is a harrowing true story of survival, exploration, and the indomitable human spirit set against the merciless backdrop of Greenland's icy wilderness. Starring Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, best known for his role as Jaime Lannister in the hit television series Game of Thrones, alongside Joe Cole of Peaky Blinders fame, and Icelandic actress Heida Reed, this film is a testimony to the lengths humans will go to for discovery and to claim honor for their country.

Directed by Peter Flinth and adapted from the book "Two Against the Ice" by Ejnar Mikkelsen, Against the Ice takes its audience back to 1909, at the height of the race to the North Pole and territorial claims in the Arctic. The story revolves around Denmark's Alabama Expedition led by Captain Ejnar Mikkelsen, portrayed by Coster-Waldau. Mikkelsen’s goal is to disprove the United States' claim that Greenland is divided into two separate pieces of land, which would threaten Denmark's sovereignty over the northeastern part of the island.

The film opens with Mikkelsen and his crew aboard the ship Alabama as they navigate through treacherous ice. Upon docking at the shores of Northeast Greenland, they prepare for an arduous land-based expedition to retrieve vital evidence left by a previously unsuccessful Danish team. The laborious trek takes them deep into territories unmarked by time, battling blizzards, hidden crevasses, and possible starvation.

When Mikkelsen seeks a volunteer to accompany him for the most crucial part of the mission, Iver Iversen, a young and inexperienced but determined mechanic played by Joe Cole, steps forward. Leaving the rest of the crew with the ship, the two men venture further into the ice, fortified only by their relentless drive to secure Denmark's claim to the land.

As Mikkelsen and Iversen journey deeper into the vast white unknown, the cinematography stunningly captures the stark beauty and overwhelming scale of the Arctic landscape. The endless expanses of ice and snow become a character in itself, one that ranges from breathtakingly beautiful to utterly unforgiving. We witness scenes illustrating the expedition's relentless efforts to navigate this harsh environment, providing a startling glimpse into the immense challenges faced by early polar explorers.

The juxtaposition of the stunning Arctic wilderness with the human frailty of our characters adds to the drama of their struggle to survive. Their camaraderie fuels the narrative, as Mikkelsen, the seasoned explorer, and Iversen, the brave but green companion, depend on each other for moral and physical support. This story deals not only with the physical confrontation with nature but also with the psychological battles the men face as isolation, uncertainty, and the crushing weight of their task set in.

Against the Ice finds its emotional core in the interpersonal dynamics between the team members, particularly the bond that forms between Mikkelsen and Iversen. Their relationship, which spans the gamut from mentor and mentee to survival partners and friends, serves as the emotional anchor for the film. Through their interactions, the narrative explores themes of loyalty, trust, and the tension between human vulnerability and resilience.

Supporting the lead pair is Heida Reed, who plays a tole that ties the polar adventurers to the world they've left behind, providing an emotional counterbalance and a reminder of the human connections at stake amidst the grandeur of the Arctic. While the isolation of the protagonists is palpable, the memories of those waiting for them back home serve as a soft echo of the lives and society they have temporarily abandoned for honor and duty.

Throughout the film, the expedition’s setbacks, and the survival skills of Mikkelsen and Iversen are depicted with acute attention to historical detail, emphasizing the resourcefulness and ingenuity required in the face of such extreme conditions. Their fortitude is tested time and again as they confront not only the brutality of the Arctic but the potential treachery of their own minds.

Against the Ice is a film that immerses viewers in an era where maps still contained uncharted territories and where pride in one's nation could drive individuals to embark on near-suicidal missions. It’s a story of true adventure, a stark reminder of the conditions early explorers endured, and an intimate portrait of friendship and humanity strikingly contrasted against a beautiful, cold, and unforgiving world.

For an audience in the modern age, Against the Ice brings out the timeless allure of exploration and the lengths humans will go to in their search for glory and understanding of the world we inhabit. It's a gripping frozen odyssey that captures the expansive silence of the ice and the thunderous will of the human spirit — a captivating historical venture delivered through a poignant narrative and arresting visuals that stay with you long after the final frame.

Against the Ice is a 2022 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 42 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5 and a MetaScore of 49.

Against the Ice
Where to Watch Against the Ice
Against the Ice is available to watch, stream, download and on demand at Netflix. Some platforms allow you to rent Against the Ice for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 42 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.5  (27,094)
  • Metascore