Posted June 22, 2014 by editor in Film Reviews

Cold In July Review


Richard Dane (Michael C Hall) and his wife are woken in the night by the sound of an intruder in the house. With a baby in the house as well, Dane goes on high alert and fetches his dad’s pistol from the closet and goes to investigate the break in where we happens upon the intruder and ultimately shoots him dead.

Cold in July is set right off on its path literally within the first couple of minutes of the film.

The aftermath of the shooting sees Dane heralded in the paper as a local hero. The police quickly wrap the case up and move on. Then the boy’s father Ben Russell (Sam Shepherd), recently paroled, rolls into town and Dane’s problems have only just begun.

Cold In July spends just the right amount of time building suspense and delivering scenes that could turn your knuckles white as a game of cat and mouse begins. But as events progress it becomes clear to Dane that all is not as it seems.

The twists and turns in the plot are not just brilliant, but they keep the narrative fresh and offer new directions for the story to go in.

As Dane, Michael C Hall is on comfortable ground in this seedy noir thriller effectively making a strong choice dramatically after his departure from Dexter. Sam Shepherd has never been more restrained as aching father Ben Russell. So restrained he often threatens to fall asleep in certain scenes. Russell literally is a man of very few words.

Don Johnson comes into the film later on, and is a welcome addition to the cast not just because he brings a much needed levity, but he also helps to propel the story and momentum forward (and yes often stealing scenes along the way).

Cold In July really goes for it in terms of heightening tension. If a good comedy has a quota of big laughs to reach, then Cold In July reaches that number in the amount of times it raises the tension bar. This is very confident acting, directing and storytelling working at its best.

4 Stars




Steven Hurst