Sundance Film Review: Cold in July

Posted January 20, 2014 in
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Photo courtesy of: Ryan Samul

Cold in July
Sundance Film Festival
Director: Jim Mickle

Director Jim Mickle returns to the Sundance Film Festival after terrifying people last year with his cannibalistic horror “We Are What We Are.” This time around, we’re transported to 1989 in a small town in East Texas. After hearing a window break in the middle of the night in his home, Richard Dane (Michael C. Hall) shoots and kills the intruder. Upon hearing the invader’s father (Sam Shepard) has just been released from prison, it doesn’t take long for the parolee to bring his own wave of revenge to the Dane’s home. However, just when you think Mickle’s tale is about two fathers fighting against each other, a cyclone of mysteries, twists and turns band the adversaries for a greater purpose. I in no way want to spoil the secrets that lie within this well-executed thriller. Hall’s transformation from a squirrelly frame shop employee (with mustache and mullet to match) to a man seeking justice and answers is phenomenal, to say the least. The tight-lipped, rugged Shepard only adds to the film’s tension and mysticism, but it’s the arrival of the loud-mouth private detective, Jim Bob Luke (Don Johnson), that brings smiles to this dark tale of deceit. With Mickle’s triumphant return, I think it’s safe to say we’ll see him again in Park City real soon. 

– Jimmy Martin 

Screening Times: 
Monday, Jan. 20 — 9:15 p.m. • Salt Lake City Library Theatre, Salt Lake City
Tuesday, Jan. 21 — 3:30 p.m. • Eccles Theatre, Park City
Thursday, Jan. 23 — 11:45 p.m. • Library Center Theatre, Park City
Saturday, Jan. 25 — 4:30 p.m. • Redstone Cinema 7, Park City