Freeview film of the day: Cold in July

Texan family man Michael C Hall kills a burglar to protect his family, but the violence doesn't end there


Cold in July ★★★★ 
Premiere 10.00-11.45pm BBC2


A terrifically atmospheric recent example of “Texan noir” (a genre I’m inordinately partial to), this 1980s-set revenge tale brings together three great male actors (women rarely get more than dutiful wife in a Texan noir, I’m afraid) in a hard-boiled story. It begins with a peaceful family man, Michael C Hall, shooting a burglar dead in his home and inadvertently drawing the interest of the intruder’s father, Sam Shepard, just out of prison. After threats are made, Hall hires Don Johnson’s flamboyant private eye, a deeply unpleasant world of sleaze is uncovered, and more bullets fly. Keenly and stylishly directed by relative newcomer Jim Mickle (We Are What We Are), Cold in July pulsates with humid menace and brings the best out in its lead trio, not least Johnson, who might just have entered a renaissance since Django Unchained.


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