Cold in July 2014

Critics score:
86 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Matthew Kassel, New York Observer: It has a seedy underbelly that will appeal to hard-core Mickle fans; it's more deranged than it initially seems. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: One of those movies that arrives every now and then with no fanfare but a canny sense of how to grab our attention and hold it in a tightening grip. Read more

Tom Keogh, Seattle Times: Movies incorporate plot twists all the time, but rarely with the mind-blowing relish of "Cold In July." Read more

Scott Foundas, Variety: A superior piece of Texas pulp fiction that starts out like a house on fire, sags a bit in the middle, then rallies for an exuberantly bloody finish. Read more

A.A. Dowd, AV Club: "Unpredictable" is one of the highest compliments one can pay a movie, especially an American thriller. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: It is a brutal, beautifully shot movie that starts out to be about revenge but then becomes something more, something even more primal and disturbing. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: "Cold in July" ultimately tries to do too much and ends up not doing quite enough - often entertainingly, not always believably. Read more

Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader: Initially the late-80s setting of Cold in July registers as kitsch, but it grows more evocative as the Carpenter impersonation gives way to something weirder and uglier. Read more

Joy Tipping, Dallas Morning News: Hall couldn't have picked a better role to definitively launch his post-Dexter career. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Hall does his best to make sense of Dane, but the plot turns simply don't add up. Good work in a not-so-good movie. Read more

Cary Darling, Fort Worth Star-Telegram/ A gritty, sweaty and entertaining little slice of Texas noir. Read more

Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly: Johnson has a nice little streak going of turning seemingly disposable characters into indelible scene-stealing rascals. Read more

David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter: Mickle's bracing sense of style and cinematographer Ryan Samul's moody visuals keep it gripping until the final bullet is fired. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: A tangled tale of crime and punishment that mines the Lone Star lore of guns and killing. Read more

Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News: These unique characters and performances breathe life into the moody world Mickle creates in this vivid, shocking thriller that sticks with you long afterward. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: Unpredictable, progressively violent, with a knockout performance by Hall. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: Strictly for connoisseurs of violent genre pulp. Read more

Ian Buckwalter, NPR: On the one hand, the movies hardly need yet more examinations of perceptions of masculinity. On the other, one as well-crafted and constantly surprising as Mickle's adaptation of Joe Lansdale's pulpy crime novel is hard to argue against. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: Jim Mickle's gripping adaptation of Joe R. Lansdale's pulp novel. Read more

Stephen Holden, New York Times: As the movie's resident live wire, Mr. Johnson, obviously having the time of his life, is a hoot, and the feisty camaraderie among these three men gives "Cold in July" a euphoric goofiness. Read more

Michael Sragow, Orange County Register: The best thing about Jim Mickle's movie is that it retains the down-home-gone-wrong feeling of Lansdale's book. Read more

Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer: Pulp fiction doesn't come much better than Cold in July, a gritty, grisly - and perversely giddy - crime yarn directed by Pottstown-born indie-film provocateur Jim Mickle. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Get ready to squirm. Be sure to seek out this twisty and terrific sleeper in theaters or on VOD. It's a real find. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, Mickle is the new Carpenter, and if you're into that kind of thing and haven't heard about him, you soon will. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: It doesn't cut too deep. But that can be a relief sometimes, and even a virtue. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: A tense, engrossing Texas thriller with a sense of humor as sharp and wounding as a Bowie knife. Read more

Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "Cold in July" has all the qualifications of a midnight movie in the making. Read more

Bruce Demara, Toronto Star: A well-paced story that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats as it bucks and rolls in unexpected directions to a bloody and satisfying climax. Read more

James Rocchi, TheWrap: "Cold in July" never actually turns into the film you think it's going to, and even if that means there's a few unanswered questions ricocheting around your head after, it also provides real, rich pleasures as it zigzags into the darkness. Read more

Tom Huddleston, Time Out: This relentless tale of small-town treachery spiralling into bloody vengeance is one of the year's best indie thrillers Read more

Scott Bowles, USA Today: Has enough nods to classic capers to make for effective pulp fiction - and revive Don Johnson's career. Read more

Ernest Hardy, Village Voice: While Hall and Shepard nail their parts, Don Johnson, still magnetic after all these years, steals the film as a sardonic private eye with a vintage cherry-red convertible. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: Mickle made one of the few excellent post-Romero zombie thrillers, Stake Land, and Cold in July is even more fun. He clearly relishes genre conventions and relishes even more turning them inside out. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: The first half of "Cold" is tense and suspenseful, albeit in a conventional way; the second half is sickeningly compelling. Read more