Movie Reviews: Cold In July




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     IFC Films (1 hr. 49 min.)
     A murderous ex-con teams up with a protective father to find the people behind his son’s death.
     Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard, Don Johnson, Ann Dane
Bottom Line:

Laurence Washington

“Dexter’s” Michael C. Hall plays Richard Dane, an everyman in a small 1989 East Texas town who shoots a burglar in his home and becomes a local hero – an open and shut case, as far as the police are concerned. But ah, that’s the rub.

The would be thief’s father Russel (Sam Shepard), an ex-convict shows up for his son’s funeral and begins stalking Dane and his family (a la “Cape Fear”) At this point “Cold in July” seems to be a routine by the numbers revenge flick. But the plot takes a wicked twist when Dane discovers the man he shot is not the man the police say he killed. You know Texas lawmen can’t be trusted in the movies, or it will be a very short film.

After a little convincing involving a fistfight and blood, Russel and Dane team up to find out what really happened to Russel’s son by administrating a little frontier justice. Aided by Russel’s private detective/part-time pig farmer friend Jim Bob (Don Johnson), the trio takes the law into their own hands and things get nasty fast.

Don’t expect logic in this noirish B-type movie, because “Cold in July” isn’t about logic. It’s about sinister pulp-fiction violence, and an adrenaline rush.

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