CENTIGRADE (2020) Reviews and overview of blizzard survival thriller

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‘Based on chilling true events’

Centigrade is a 2020 survival thriller feature film about a married couple find themselves trapped in their frozen vehicle after a blizzard. They are forced to struggle to survive amid plunging temperatures and unforeseen obstacles.

Directed by Brendan Walsh from a screenplay co-written with Daley Nixon, the movie stars Vincent Piazza, Genesis Rodriguez and Mavis Simpson-Ernst.


Centigrade is exceptionally well-acted and, just as importantly, one hundred per cent credible in the depiction of being inside a frozen car. The breath of the actors is even visible when they talk. That makes us feel like we’re in there with Naomi and Matt, which, of course, is the primary function of an Ordeal Movie. Centigrade delivers ninety-eight minutes of non-stop tension.” The Aisle Seat

” …director Brendan Walsh and cinematographer Seamus Tierney are able to mine a much-needed claustrophobia that will purposefully make one stir-crazy. They do an impressive job of varying the camera movements and setups in the SUV without growing stagnant or too repetitive.  A craftily considered two-hander set in close quarters…” The Artful Critic

Centigrade is effective, but less so the longer it plays out, unintentionally exposing storytelling limits while asking viewers to remain in a place of physical and psychological torture without much in the way of a cinematic reward at the end.” Blu-ray.com

“It just becomes harder and harder to engage with even the simplest of thrills when the protagonists are so hard to root for. Unlike other films with unlikable protagonists, there isn’t any grand, gory payoff with Centigrade (nor should there be), and that makes everything about the central characters feel so pointless.” Elements of Madness

“Walsh does a more-than-adequate job of keeping the audience on its toes, despite the cramped location and two-character setup, but I couldn’t help but feel like this entire story could have been compressed into a sub-60-minute short film without losing any of the suspense or plot.” Film Pulse

” …director Brendan Walsh (TV’s Nurse Jackie) seems to make a rookie mistake by not exactly ingratiating the couple with viewers right off the bat, but this proves to be wise; with both being so flawed and fraught with alarm, the tension between them starts at a level higher than normal. While it may wane from there, one part remains constant: wondering what you would do.” Flick Attack

” …it’s mostly just bickering regarding the correct approach to their predicament and slow scenes of not much happening. At only 89 minutes, Centigrade is still strained for material; you could probably cut down the final act by 15 minutes and while it probably wouldn’t be a good movie yet, it would at least be tighter without dragging itself across the finish line.” Flickering Myth

“If anything, Walsh and Nixon had just enough material for a short, not a feature-length film. And with a single, contained setting baked into the premise, it’s just as clear that Centigrade shouldn’t have been forced to fit a predetermined running time.” Screen Anarchy

“A film like Centigrade works only because the director succeeds in building a claustrophobic setting, and a seemingly hopeless scenario, but also finds ways to show that hope is possible, if difficult. On all of these fronts, Walsh succeeds […] He’s a strong craftsman, and Centigrade ends up holding us captive the whole way through.” Sonic Cinema

“Even at 89 minutes, too much of Centigrade is uninteresting filler. The payoff, when it comes, feels like an unsatisfying layup, and though the stakes and the characters are both well-defined, somehow that primal question of survival is never truly palpable.” UK Film Review


Centigrade is released theatrically and On-Demand on August 28th, 2020 by IFC Midnight.

Cast and characters:

Vincent Piazza … Matt
Genesis Rodriguez … Naomi
Mavis Simpson-Ernst … Teenage Liv

Technical details:

89 minutes

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