A desolate look at the poisonous legacy of violence, this adaptation of Russell Banks' novel (he also penned The Sweet Hereafter
) is as icy and lacerating as its title suggests. Wade Whitehouse (Nick Nolte) is a hard-drinking, quick-fisted cop
in a Vermont town so small and virtually crime-free that he works a second job plowing snow to fill the time and make ends meet. He's dating local waitress Margie Fogg (Sissy Spacek) and trying to patch up his relationship with Jill (Brigid Tierney), his daughter by a first marriage that flew
apart under the pressure of his boozing and explosive temper. The key to Wade's seething anger lies in his embittered relationsh...