EIFF 2014: Cold In July ****




Run Time: 109 mins                   Cert: 15


Synopsis: In Jim Mickle’s powerful thriller set in 1980s Texas, a protective family man (Michael C Hall) shoots an intruder and finds himself terrorised by the man’s father (Sam Shepard). However all is not as it seems and the two men team up. 


At the beginning of the movie, Ann Dane (Vinessa Shaw) alerts her husband Richard (Michael C Hall) when she hears an intruder in their house. Richard shoots the intruder and within days the intruder’s father Ben (Sam Shepard) begins to harass the family. When it turns out things are not as they seem, the two men team up along with private investigator Jim Bob (Don Johnson) in an attempt to find the truth.


The story is well written and has some great twists. What first appears to be a psychological thriller about a man out for revenge on his son’s killer becomes something entirely different by the halfway point. From then on, the movie is full of surprises and the ending leaves a few questions unanswered.


Johnson steals the show and is both comic and entertaining as Jim Bob. Hall gives a reasonably good performance as a family man who finds himself involved in a violent chain of events while Sam Shepard is believable as an ex convict out for revenge.


The soundtrack fits with the movie consisting of rock classics from 80s bands Signal and White Lion as well as original music composed by Jeff Grace.


Overall, “Cold In July” is an enjoyable and unpredictable movie in which Don Johnson shines.


Reviewed by Lesley Logan

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