Cold in July

Rated R 109 minutes 2014

As a deranged father recently released from prison and seeking revenge, Sam Shepard is just one of the many reasons to see this Texas thriller from director Jim Mickle. As frame store owner and nervous family man Richard Dane, Michael C. Hall delivers his best movie performance yet. The film isn’t more than 8 minutes into its running time when we are greeted by the sight of Richard and wife Ann (Vinessa Shaw) cleaning blood and brain matter off the family couch and pictures, the result of a confrontation with a late night intruder. Enter Shepard as Russel, a man none too pleased with Richard, for Russel knew the man that brain matter belonged to. Sure, this could just be a movie where Russel terrorizes the Dane family, and I’m thinking that could’ve been a good movie. As it turns out, Mickle and screenwriter Nick Damici, basing their work on a novel by Joe R. Lansdale, have something far more complex, twisted and even a bit funny in mind. When the film feels like it can’t get much darker, in rolls Don Johnson as Jim Bob, a private investigator out to help an old friend, and inject the story with some blessed comic relief. Johnson doesn’t show up until half the film is already over but, I assure you, he figures prominently in the proceedings from that point on. The movie works up to a brutal and violent conclusion that shows Mickle is a director with major teeth.

Film Credits

Official Site: www.ifcfilms.com/films/cold-in-july

Director: Jim Mickle

Producer: Linda Moran, Rene Bastian, Adam Folk, Marie Savare, Jean Babin, David Atlan-Jackson, Joel Thibout, Emilie Georges, Nicholas Shumaker, Manuel Chiche and Jack Turner

Cast: Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard, Vinessa Shaw, Don Johnson, Nick Damici, Wyatt Russell, Brogan Hall and Lanny Flaherty

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Cold in July

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