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The Playlist

Review: Jim Mickle's Balmy Noir ‘Cold In July’ Starring Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard & Don Johnson

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • May 22, 2014 6:07 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Cold In July
Give filmmaker Jim Mickle credit; just when you think you’ve got a handle on his ever-evolving pulpy noir thriller “Cold In July,” the movie snakes sinisterly in abruptly twisting directions. The director behind the celebrated (but uneven) cannibal movie “We Are What We Are,” and the vampire indie “Stake Land,” Mickle certainly has a proclivity for dark and bloody genre films with intense horror tropes, and “Cold In July” evinces much of those affinities.

Watch: First Trailer For Jim Mickle's Noir 'Cold In July' Starring Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard & Don Johnson

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 16, 2014 1:27 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Cold In July
They don't make 'em like this anymore. Well, more accurately, they don't make 'em like this anymore, but Jim Mickle still does. The director behind "Stake Land" and "We Are What We Are" returns with another genre exercise with "Cold In July," and the first trailer has arrived.

Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan Reunite For 'Ithaca'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 29, 2014 6:34 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Tom Hanks Meg Ryan You've Got Mail
The younger readers out there may not remember how much of a box office powerhouse Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan once were. What started as playful chemistry in "Joe Versus The Volanco," erupted into a pair of romantic comedy classics, "Sleepless In Seattle" and "You've Got Mail." Now, sixteen years after they traded emails on the big screen, Hanks and Ryan are back together again, though not quite in the capacity you might expect.

Sundance Review: Absorbing & Memorable Noir ‘Cold In July’ Starring Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard & Don Johnson

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • January 21, 2014 12:32 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Cold in July
Give filmmaker Jim Mickle credit; just when you think you’ve got a handle on his ever-evolving pulpy noir thriller “Cold In July,” the movie snakes sinisterly in abruptly twisting directions. The director behind the celebrated (but uneven) cannibal movie “We Are What We Are,” and the vampire indie “Stake Land,” Mickle certainly has a proclivity for dark and bloody genre films with intense horror tropes, and “Cold In July” evinces much of those affinities.

Review: Sprawling, Sneering 'August: Osage County' Starring Meryl Streep & Julia Roberts

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 27, 2013 1:07 PM
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  • 1 Comment
August: Osage County
It's undeniable that, at least on paper, "August: Osage County" looks like a can't-miss proposition. Pairing Tracey Letts' Pulitizer Prize and Tony Award-winning play with an outstanding ensemble cast ranging from awards-nominated veterans to rising young stars—Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Sam Shepard, Misty Upham—it's hard to fathom the material not working. And while the choice of helmer John Wells ("The Company Men") might not seem like the most inspired decision, all he theoretically has to do is put the camera on a tripod and let the actors do their thing. And he does. And yet, 'Osage County' still turns out be an exhausting, screechy drama, in which a lot of very good actors work very hard, and yet produce so little as a result.

Review: Powerful & Confused 'Out Of The Furnace' Starring Christian Bale & Casey Affleck

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • December 5, 2013 3:07 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Out Of The Furnace
In telling the story of a fundamentally decent man's descent into violence and retribution, Scott Cooper's “Out of the Furnace” plants its cues of chilly neo-noir in the claustrophobic corners of America's Rust Belt, and then nearly gets away with its own high-minded meditations. Loyalty and consequence collide in the “Crazy Heart” director's sophomore feature (from Cooper's rewrite of a script originally by Brad Inglesby), but while those themes eventually result in payoffs that are noticeably muted and confused, the film is luckily powered by a powerful trio of performances at its core, and a unique, unpredictable structure that constantly reframes the action in a compelling way.

Watch: New Clip & 15 New Photos Of 'Out Of The Furnace' Starring Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana & More

  • By Edward Davis
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  • November 17, 2013 9:51 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Out Of The Furnace, Affleck, Christian Bale
Directed by Scott Cooper ("Crazy Heart"), "Out Of The Furnace," is an dramatic thriller about brothers that stars Christian Bale along with Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe and Sam Shepard.

AFI Fest Review: 'Out Of The Furnace' Starring Christian Bale, Casey Affleck & Woody Harrelson

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • November 10, 2013 12:20 PM
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  • 23 Comments
Out of The Furnace
In telling the story of a fundamentally decent man's descent into violence and retribution, Scott Cooper's “Out of the Furnace” plants its cues of chilly neo-noir in the claustrophobic corners of America's Rust Belt, and then nearly gets away with its own high-minded meditations. Loyalty and consequence collide in the “Crazy Heart” director's sophomore feature (from Cooper's rewrite of a script originally by Brad Inglesby), but while those themes eventually result in payoffs that are noticeably muted and confused, the film is luckily powered by a powerful trio of performances at its core, and a unique, unpredictable structure that constantly reframes the action in a compelling way.

Review: Sam Shepard Documentary 'Shepard & Dark' A Fascinating Look At Male Friendship

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 28, 2013 2:02 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The thorny dynamics of heterosexual male friendship is a fascinating black hole that few narrative films ever bother looking into. Instead, most choose to focus on simplistic, superficial social maneuvering (or the all-important bromance) without ever investigating the knotty emotional undercurrents that course through every lengthy male friendship. One of the chief pleasures of “Shepard & Dark,” which concerns the relationship between Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Sam Shepard and his buddy Johnny Dark, who now runs a deli counter at a New Mexico supermarket, is that you get to see all the wonderful, horrible, emotionally raw components that go into male friendship and how those can go from being solid building blocks to puddles of muck.

Exclusive: Sam Shepard Explains He Was Once An "Enemy Of Sentimentality" In Clip From 'Shepard & Dark'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 24, 2013 11:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments
If you want to know who someone really is, sometimes it pays to talk their friends. And it's somewhat from that angle that filmmaker Treva Wurmfeld approaches her upcoming documentary "Shepard & Dark." And it's an interesting peek into the life of Sam Shepard using the conduit of his lifelong friend, Johnny Dark.

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