COLD IN JULY
Is Cold Justice That Satisfying?
Starring: Michael C. Hall, Vanessa Shaw,
Don Johnson, Sam Shepard,
Wyatt Russell, Nick Damici,
Rachel Zeiger-Haag, Ken
Holmes, Dorthea Swiac, Kristin
Rating: Not Rated
Runtime: 109 minutes
Distributor: IFC Films
Director: Jim Mickle
Executive Producer: Rene Bastian, Emilie Georges,
Tanja Meissner, Linda Moran,
Nicholas Shumaker, Jack Turner
Producer: Adam Folk
Writer: Jim Mickle, Nick Damici
Address Comments To:Larry Aidem, President/CEO
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
(Independent Film Channel/IFC Films/IFC First Take/Sundance Channel/AMC/WE)
11 Penn Plaza, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (646) 273-7336
Fax: (646) 273-7260
Richard Dane (Michael C. Hall) hears noises one night in his family’s home. When he sneaks out of the bedroom with a gun, he sees an intruder. Startled, Richard accidentally fires the weapon and kills the young man, only to find out he was unarmed. The police come and consider the incident to be self-defense. The young man, Freddy Russell, was a low-life burglar and already wanted by the authorities. The police quickly file the death and bury the body at a local cemetery.
Richard can’t seem to shake a feeling of uncertainty, however, especially since Freddy’s father was just released from prison. He also feels guilty over the fact that the young man didn’t attack him and wasn’t armed. When he watches Freddy get buried from a distance, Ben Russell, Freddy’s father approaches his vehicle and threatens him. Immediately driving away, Richard gathers his son and wife and tells the police that his life is in danger. Ben toys with Richard and the police and shows them he can get at them anytime he wants, but the police finally catch Ben.
Just when things look like they might be over, Richard sees a “wanted” picture for Freddy, but the young man on the picture looks nothing like the man he shot. When he starts following the lead detective of the investigation, he sees them capture Ben and throw him on the train tracks to be run over while drugged.
Now knowing that he in fact didn’t kill this man’s son, but the police are trying to cover everything up, Richard springs into action and pulls Ben to safety. Together, Richard, Ben, and a private investigator named Jim Luke begin to uncover what the dirty cops were trying to hide. They discover (SPOILER) that Ben’s son is in the witness protection program, but he’s currently involved in an underground sex ring where he’s killing young girls. The three men set out to stop the evil that Ben’s son is doing.
COLD IN JULY starts off as an interesting crime thriller with a tinge of mystery, but as the plot unravels, the story veers down a much darker and more twisted path. The movie’s second half is almost an entirely different story than the first. Michael C. Hall, most known for his starring role in the TV show DEXTER, is adequate as the dangerously curious family man. About the only great thing the movie has going for itself is the engaging cinematography and the 1980s style music.
Richard’s family is supposedly Christian, but it’s clearly more of a cultural thing than a legitimate choice to follow Jesus. Richard seems to have a heavy conscience about the whole thing, which sets him out to find truth and justice, but by the end, it turns into a vigilante bloodbath full of moral ambiguity. Though a certain amount of justice is dealt, it’s neither satisfying nor redeeming. COLD IN JULY is an excessive movie with little value.
COLD IN JULY starts off as an interesting crime thriller with a tinge of mystery. However, as the plot unravels, the story veers down a much darker and more twisted path. Richard seems to have a heavy conscience about the whole situation, which sets him out to find truth and justice, but by the end, it turns into a vigilante bloodbath full of moral ambiguity. Though a certain amount of justice is dealt, it’s neither satisfying nor redeeming. COLD IN JULY is an excessive movie with little value.