Movie Review: Cold in July (2014)

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I think that tagline describes life pretty damn well. Really, that’s all I can say. I don’t have anything clever to put here.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s… “Cold in July”.

Texas, 1989. Richard Dane (Michael C. Hall) kills a person who has broken into his home. Soon after that he finds out that the intruder’s ex-con father (Sam Shepard) is out for revenge. And after that, Dane finds himself getting pulled into the seedy underworld of Texas, filled with lies and violence. And fro that we get a dark, suspenseful, twisty, and unpredictable plot that I was completely invested in. The plot here is a slow burn, and requires a bit of patience from it’s viewers. It’s not a long movie, but it’s not exactly fast-paced either. It’s like I said, a slowly burning movie that is very rewarding, giving us some good twists and turns throughout. And I thought it all was pretty great.

The characters in this movie are complex and interesting. Michael C. Hall does a really good job in his role as this very protective father getting dragged into this dark world. Sam Shepard is great as the father of the intruder that Dane kills, perfectly portraying this menacing and interesting man. Next we have Don Johnson as a sort of private investigator that Dane gets to know in the movie. And he was great in the role. His character was interesting and the performance was pretty great overall, definitely a bit different from Johnson’s typical roles. We also have Nick Damici as a police lieutenant, and he was really good in the role. I’d say that all performances in the movie were good. Sure, the kid playing Michael C. Hall’s son wasn’t really that great, but his role was so small that I can’t complain too much.

The score for the movie was composed by Jeff Grace and holy shit, he did a great job! The music that he composed for the movie is based heavily around the synth and it all sound fucking fantastic. As I watched the movie I constantly found myself saying “Wow, this song is great!”. And I think it all fit the dark and seedy tone of the movie. There were also a few licensed tracks spread throughout and they all worked pretty well in the movie.

This movie was directed by Jim Mickle and I do think he did a really good job. The scenes are tightly constructed and the shots looks great. I mean, the movie looks dirty, like it should… but it’s dirty in a kind of beautiful way. It has the seedy dirtyness one should expect from this plot, while still looking gorgeous. This is especially apparent in the final act, where we get the dirty and violent thriller stuff while also having some gorgeous use of colors. Speaking of the violent stuff, there isn’t too much of it in the movie. The violence only comes in short bursts at a few points in the movie, which kind of gives it more of an impact. Fun fact: This is based on a novel. I had nowhere to really go with that, I just thought it could be fun to mention.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 86% psoitive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 73/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,8/10.

“Cold in July” is a really good movie that rewards patient viewers. It has a really good plot, interesting characters, great acting, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “Cold in July” is a 9,59/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Cold in July” is now completed.

“Cold in July”… sorry, that is not possible unless we’re in Antarctica.

 

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