The Ice Road (2021) ending explained- will Liam Neeson save the miners?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: June 25, 2021
ending of The Ice Road

This article contains major spoilers for The Ice Road and discusses the ending. The film is now streaming on Amazon Prime for UK viewers and Netflix for everywhere else. 

“In the coldest regions of North America, Drivers traverse man-made roads over frozen rivers, lakes and oceans of ice less than 30 inches thick on 65,000lb. vehicles”. 


Following the collapse of a remote diamond mine in the northern part of Canada, Liam Neeson plays Mike, an ice road driver who leads a rescue mission over a frozen ocean in a bid to save the trapped miners. Recently unemployed after punching a fellow worker for mocking his brother, Mike goes to leave his brother Gurty (played by Marcos Thomas) in care at a facility. However, after discovering that his has been brother subject to ill-treatment at the facility, Mike breaks him out.

Together, they both join Goldenrod (played by Laurence Fishburne) in an effort to save the trapped miners. Joining them is Tantoo (played by Amber Midthunder), who is the sister of trapped miner Cody (played by Martin Sensmeier), and Varnay (played by Benjamin Walker). 

First Man Down

As the crew drives along, the ice begins to crack, and with his foot trapped, Goldenrod is powerless as he falls under the ice; alongside his truck. Questioning whether Tantoo has somehow caused this, Varnay reveals that they will all get a share of $200,000 for the rescue mission. However, if a person dies, the share of the money will increase for the remaining members. 

Mike wants answers. He confronts Tantoo in regards to Varnay’s claims. She is more than offended by the accusation and nearly blows their heads off when she reveals she is only on the mission to rescue her brother, a fact none of the characters had been aware of. Unaware of Varnay’s true intentions, Mike and Gurty nearly die when Varnay plants explosions in their truck. Luckily, they survive, but Mike realizes that the rescue mission was in fact meant to fail. He is now more determined than ever to succeed. 

Fights Ensured

Meanwhile, Tantoo, aware of Varnay’s true intentions, kicks him out of the truck and drives off. But he’s not far behind her and chases after her with his mob. Running low on gas (thanks to Varnay), Tantoo calls for help, getting through to Mike and Gurty. Varnay’s mob jumps on Mike’s truck and try to force them into pulling over. A fight onboard the truck develops, although Mike and Gerty knock out/kill the mob attempting to attack them. Just as Tantoo’s truck breaks down, Mike drives up and rams Varnay off the road and down a hill. Somehow, Varnay survives. 

Driving with the last wellhead that ensures the miners can be saved, Gurty and Tantoo slowly drive the truck across a weak bridge. At the same time, Mike and Varnay are fighting to the death as they both attempt to regain control of a smaller truck. On the bridge, the cables begin to snap. Gurty and Tantoo successfully manage to drive across the bridge just as it collapses. Varnay indirectly drives to his death, when in an attempt to stop the wellhead from reaching the trapped miners, he sinks into the icy water. Shortly afterward, Gurty is crushed to death as he stops the truck from falling off the edge. Finally able to reach the trapped miners, Mike and Tantoo take the wellhead, and the trapped miners are rescued. As Tantoo and Cody are reunited, the truth about the sensors getting turned off comes to light. 

Three Months Later – the ending of The Ice Road

Mike and Tantoo meet up again at the trucking business that Tantoo now owns. Hugging each other goodbye, Mike drives off in a truck he bought with the share of the money he gained from the rescue mission. Both seem in a relevantly good place and it’s presumed that the people Varnay worked for will not be imprisoned. 

Ending in a manner that is predicated with this kind of film, it’s not the most exciting film to exist. This film will probably be best suited to watch whilst busy with housework.

What did you think of the ending of The Ice Road? Comment below.

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