COLD IN JULY

USA 2013; R: Jim Mickle; D: Michael C. Hall, Don Johnson, Sam Shepard, Vanessa Shaw; 109min, DCP, OV

Cold in July 1

Texas in den 1980er Jahren. Das friedliche Leben des Ehepaars Richard und Ann Dane ändert sich schlagartig, als Richard eines Nachts einen Einbrecher aus Notwehr tötet. Danach wird der Familienvater nicht nur von Schuldgefühlen geplagt, sondern auch mit Russel, dem Vater des Getöteten, konfrontiert. Dieser entpuppt sich als gewaltverherrlichender Ex-Sträfling und sinnt auf Rache, die sich in einer alttestamentarischen Auffassung von Gerechtigkeit zu äußern droht.

COLD IN JULY tells the story of Richard Dane, a small town frame builder from East Texas who is forced to kill a man in self-defense. He then meets Ben Russell, a rough ex-con and the father of the man Dane shot, who is hell-bent on avenging his son’s death. But small town corruption and paranoia turn these bitter enemies into unlikely allies, as the two guilt-stricken fathers begin a search for truth, aided by Dane’s tough-minded wife and a pig-raising detective from the backwoods of Houston. Before it’s all over, they uncover a bigger secret, darker and more dangerous than any of them could have imagined.
Michael C. Hall brings a shell-shocked vulnerability to his portrayal of Dane that contrasts perfectly with the grizzled badasses portrayed by Sam Shepard and Don Johnson. Directed with an excellent eye for the visual poetry of noir, this pulpy, southern-fried mystery is a throwback to an older breed of action film, one where every punch and shotgun blast opens up both physical and spiritual wounds. Twists and turns accelerate as the film reaches its inevitable destination: a gore-soaked dead end. (Sundance)