May 23, 2014
Studio: IFC Films
Director: Jim Mickle
MPAA Rating: R (for disturbing bloody violence, language and some sexuality/nudity)
Screenwriters: Jim Mickle, Nick Damici
Starring: Sam Shepard, Vinessa Shaw, Don Johnson, Michael C. Hall, Nick Damici, Wyatt Russell
Copyright Holder: N/A
How can a split-second decision change your life? While investigating noises in his house one balmy Texas night in 1989, Richard Dane (Michael C. Hal) puts a bullet in the brain of low-life burglar Freddy Russell. Although he's hailed as a small-town hero, Dane soon finds himself fearing for his family’s safety when Freddy’s ex-con father, Ben (Sam Shepard), rolls into town, hell-bent on revenge. Michael C. Hall brings a shell-shocked vulnerability to his portrayal of Dane that contrasts perfectly with the grizzled badasses portrayed by Sam Shepard and Don Johnson. Directed with an excellent eye for the visual poetry of noir by Jim Mickle ("We Are What We Are"), this pulpy, southern-fried mystery is a throwback to an older breed of action film, one where every punch and shotgun blast opens up both physical and spiritual wounds. Twists and turns accelerate as the film reaches its inevitable destination: a gore-soaked dead end. "Cold in July" is as muggy, oppressive, and hard to shake as an east Texas summer.