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589 Ratings

Cold in July

Directed by Jim Mickle
United States, France, 2014
Drama, Thriller


How can a split-second decision change your life? When family man Richard Dane kills an intruder identified as Freddy Russell one balmy Texas night in 1989, he soon finds himself fearing for his family’s safety when the man’s ex-con father targets him for revenge.

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Cold in July Directed by Jim Mickle
Though the sudden shifts in tone were in Joe R. Lansdale’s original crime novel, it’s really the strength of Mickle and Damici’s script that makes Cold in July lean and consistently tense rather than verbose and confusing. (Richard Kelly’s disastrous 2006 film Southland Tales springs to mind as a classic example of what not to do when genre-bending.) Of course, this accomplishment is helped by fantastic performances from Hall, Shepard and Johnson.
June 27, 2014
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Pulpy and fierce, Cold in July manages to overcome its drastic tonal shifts and its female-unfriendly nature—the film’s one non-disposable woman, the protagonist’s wife (Vinessa Shaw), is underdeveloped and unconvincing. But the acting in the film is exquisite, and matched in caliber by the direction, cinematography (by regular Mickle DP Ryan Samul), and writing…
March 05, 2014
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Mickle borrows a lot, but he tends to borrow from the best, and he has a strong sense of when to stick to the expected genre conventions and when to gently subvert them. “Cold in July” is, like all of his work since his industrious, no-budget bio-terror debut, “Mulberry St.” (2006), a modest, unpretentious exercise in old-fashioned thrills and chills, made with a level of care and craft that elevates it well about the fray.
January 23, 2014
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What are people saying?

  • Luca Soldati's rating of the film Cold in July

    Sviluppo narrativo eccellente, dotato di forza e tensione, ben amalgamato con la componente umana dei personaggi, i quali sono approfonditi bene e denotano numerose sfaccettature. Ritmo ottimo, non veloce ma con le giuste accelerazioni. Interessante lo Stato che non aiuta la società. Finale splendido. Ottimo comparto tecnico che crea una bella atmosfera. Bel contesto disagiato e corrotto. Grandissimi i personaggi.

  • Tendoza's rating of the film Cold in July

    Maybe the most nightmarish film I've experienced in a while. Its plot is so increasingly strange, it appears to function on a kind of dream logic, picking up and dropping characters and plotlines on a whim. I understand why this film would inspire indifference, but it thoroughly freaked me out.

  • Palmat's rating of the film Cold in July

    A prime slice of pulpy noir with great performances by Johnson and Shepard. Hall feels a bit out of place with his low key turn as an ordinary man out of his depth but holds his own. The narrative starts out quite slow but midway things take a couple of left turns and rushes towards a grim and exhilarating finale. Well worth your time!

  • J. O.'s rating of the film Cold in July

    Easily the director's best effort to date, with a talented cast walking tall through a perplexing genre mash-up. This film is confident. A gritty neo-noir story that takes a turn towards vigilante justice, under the campy glow of primary colours and a pulsing synth score. The ironic, anti-climactic climax was a perfect end to the twists and turns. A particularly great moment boasts a blood-spray tinted light.

  • Michael Harbour's rating of the film Cold in July

    Initially it looked like I was in for something routine, pedestrian, and familiar; then then plot started turning in unexpected directions and I was hooked.

  • HKFanatic's rating of the film Cold in July

    "Cold in July" unfolds like a Texas-fried take on the small town revenge of "Blue Ruin," with a nostalgia-fueled Eighties synth score a la "It Follows." Director Jim Mickle, who previously delivered the fun but ultimately forgettable "Stake Land," announces himself as a filmmaker to watch with this stylishly-shot and damn well-acted slice of neo-noir, one that remains unpredictable to the last violent shotgun blast.

  • Addy K.'s rating of the film Cold in July

    Sam Shepard adds somber elegance to what is essentially a throwback to John Carpenter and pulpy 80s horror thrillers (note: the film's events takes place in 1989). Jim Mickle and d.p. Ryan Samul really crank up the atmosphere and mood with noir furnishings. But there's an exaggerated restraint to the whole thing; a faux Clint Eastwood-ism. Being "a man" in America means killing bad guys while remaining monosyllabic.

  • msmichel's rating of the film Cold in July

    The Texas pulp crime film is alive and well in Jim Mickle's latest genre mash up. The film starts in 'Cape Fear' mode before its elements of the 'cover-up' pic and finally vigilante justice. Performances from old dogs Johnson and Shepard are quite good but Hall falls a little flat here. Its fairly enjoyable and fairly disposable overall. Interesting synth score at times though.

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