Cold Weather - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cold Weather Reviews

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Super Reviewer
September 9, 2012
So laid back it almost seems merely like a slice of real life ... until a mysterious disappearance in Portland jars an ex- forensics student out of his self- induced doldrums and onto the case. The result is a heightened suspense factor in this clever slacker take on the film noir detective genre that's difference makes for a matter of taste.
Super Reviewer
½ March 17, 2011
Cast: Cris Lankenau, Raśl Castillo, Robyn Rikoon, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Jeb Pearson, Brendan McFadden, Ben Stambler, Katy Rothert, Paul Rothert, Jerry Moyer

Director:Aaron Katz

Summary: After things go south for former forensic science major Doug (Cris Lankenau), he leaves Chicago and returns home to Oregon to live with his sister, Gail (Trieste Kelly Dunn) -- and soon finds himself entangled in an unexpected situation that calls on his investigative mind. Together with Gail and his friend Carlos, Doug uses his forensic skills and the techniques he's learned as a detective fiction enthusiast to unravel the mystery he encounters.

MyThoughts: "The movie is a bit slow and doesn't give a lot of background on the character's, but I still found the story interesting and the character's to be likeable.The film is an independent mystery with the concept being the likes of Sherlock Holmes. It's a simple film. No blood or guts. But enjoyable none the less. I found it to be funny too. It's one of those films where you feel like you've been dropped into the middle of these peoples lives. No build up, no back story, just the here and now of what's happening. Not a bad film to watch on a long day."
Super Reviewer
½ January 24, 2012
Sometimes when you are viewing a film, it seems like you are a fly on the wall, witnessing the events as they naturally occur. This can be a definite plus, as it shows how seamlessly actors can suspend the wall between the screen and the viewer, but it can also be a deterrent, as in the case of Cold Weather, the events are so natural and seem so mundane that instead of being real, it becomes almost surreal.

Fortunately for me, I had forgotten why I wanted to view this film, other than that Ebert had recommended it. So I had no preconceptions going in, other than the short synopsis that Direct TV gives its films ("a comedy/mystery" now there's a novel concept).

The beauty of this film is that, yes, there is a mystery - and I'm not going to say what it is - only that said mystery only begins to unfold half way through the films 100 minute run time. In the meantime you get to know the main characters, by witnessing how they go about their everyday lives. It's reality TV, only it's REAL, not some jumped up, look at me, BS, but actual, understated, this is my daily/weekly routine kind of stuff. Boring? Perhaps, and you keep wondering where the film is headed; but there's a point to it all - giving the film a very quirky tone that is yet another double edged sword - serving it well, but perhaps being too understated for its own good. It's hard to decide. As the film abruptly ended (literally) - I sat and thought for several minutes - yeah, it all worked, the tone, the fabulous "non-acting" of the actors... and yet does an Indie film have to scream Indie at the top of its lungs?

In all, the characters are all believable, just regular folks, and there are so many subtle moments where the film seems just right, that I found this a refreshing trip away from Hollywood - note the fact that there is a chase scene ... involving only one car! Said scene, and the setup behind it are perfect examples of "what would you do?" Probably the same things these "regular" folks did - and that's the beauty of it... although the film's abrupt end, while I understood it, left me wanting some kind of resolution - see, I'm brainwashed by Hollywood after all.
Super Reviewer
½ February 10, 2011
I won't address the story of Cold Weather in detail, because I think the less you know of it, the better. But if you do need story details in advance, I'm sure they're easily found in the movie synopsis or other reviews. I'd just like to cover a few points about why I liked it.

First of all, it's pretty awesome how Cold Weather mixes the everyday, mostly uneventful, almost boring lives of their characters with surprising levels of mystery and tension. It's not often the word "realistic" fits a film as aptly as it does this movie.

Second, I thought it ended much too quickly and abruptly, which is actually a partial compliment. For one, I wasn't ready for it to be over, and it ended in an unexpected and non-formulaic way.

Third, this was simply one of the freshest movie experiences I've had this year, and I expect that it will be even better upon subsequent viewings. The closest thing I can think of to compare it to is Winter's Bone. Not because the stories are similar, but because they center around realistic, un-stylized characters that make small, personal events seem more urgent and engrossing than the world-ending, massively bombastic plots of some much bigger films.

With that said, I definitely think the audience for Cold Weather is more narrow than broad. It's by no means a perfect movie. The plot relies on coincidence after coincidence, and that may be hard for some to swallow. It's also a slow-burner throughout, and that may bore some people. Slow-paced doesn't necessarily mean boring or bad in my opinion, though, so I don't hesitate in giving Cold Weather my approval.
Super Reviewer
½ March 14, 2011
In "Cold Weather," Doug(Chris Lankenau) is in something of a rut, having given up on his studies of forensic science, and moved back to Portland, Oregon to live with his sister Gail(Trieste Kelly Dunn). That has not stopped his general enthusiasm as he persuades her to take a day off from work to go whale watching. That energy comes in handy at his new job working nights at an ice factory where he befriends Carlos(Raul Castillo) who he invities over when Doug's ex-girlfriend Rachel(Robyn Rikoon) comes to town.

"Cold Weather" is an engagingly offbeat movie about how disappointments in life can weigh us down. So to escape the drudgery of work, we should play hooky every so often and have an adventure. That holds true especially for Doug who was inspired by Sherlock Holmes stories and Carlos who is a Star Trek fan.(What they forget to mention are the Next Generation episodes where Data dressed up like Sherlock Holmes. By the way, I totally agree that Gul Dukat was a really cool character. And, no, I have no idea why I am referencing Star Trek since I'm not really a fan and I promise not to do so in my next review.) In fact, I'll bet Doug bailed on forensic science when he found out how really dull it is.(I thought CSI would get referenced sooner or later, for that same reason.) So, while the movie makes great use of Portland locations, it does end suddenly, after a climax of almost unbearable suspense. I'm not so much interested in the resolution of the mystery, as after getting to know these characters so well, it seems a shame to leave them like that.
Super Reviewer
½ October 28, 2012
Aaron Katz's mumblecore effort "Cold Weather" surprisingly isn't as unlikeable as other films of the subgenre are. The elements are all here - sophomoric acting, realistic dialogue and attention paid to characters rather than plot - but something about "Cold Weather" makes it a little bit more interesting than you would expect. I guess that the answer lies in Aaron Katz's charming, low-key direction. And even though the central mystery is never fully explained, "Cold Weather" is well-shot, well-edited and endearing, and the characters are relatively intriguing.
September 13, 2013
Interesting fizzler that dies at the end. Well put-together, but drifts all over the place from midpoint on.
June 26, 2013
How the hell did this movie get such a high score? It's a slice of life that goes no where! it was exactly what you'd expect form a pretentious hipster movie about nothing of substance. there's a lack of continuity and just plain leaves you wondering wtf just happened and what exactly is happening? lame and disappointing.
½ January 20, 2013
Pretty damn good for an independent film. Some of the shots were rather inventive. Decent plot, with a couple of great scenes.
½ November 29, 2012
Wow, I was really impressed with this movie. Cold Weather is so charming that before you really realize there's going to be a plot, you're already pulled in and invested in the characters. I keep hearing this described as a mumblecore movie but I just don't believe it, it looks way too good. The acting was great too. Such an endearing film.
October 6, 2012
Without having seen either of filmmaker Katz's previous directorial efforts as of this writing, Cold Weather makes it immediately obvious that at least at the point of his third feature, Katz is a director in absolute control of a vision. It's equally obvious, however -- and just as readily -- that his skill as a screenwriter (particularly of efficient and meaningful dialogue, admittedly a difficult skill to achieve) is an opaque yellow to his vision's solid gold. Cold Weather suffers from its script's lack of weight, though remains a very good example of film craft from a non-writer standpoint.
May 17, 2012
this was one of those movies i knew nothing about and after watching i'm still not sure what it's about it starts out as this indie dramedy then it morphs in2 this mystery that never really gets explained
March 4, 2012
Turned it off after 10 minutes after a scene of them eating a sandwich (no talking) went on for 2 minutes.
January 20, 2012
Between this and Bellflower I'm actually coming to enjoy the mumblecore movement. It's fun seeing the different ways it can be applied to various genres (in this case mystery/gumshoe films). My only complaint with Cold Weather (and the only reason I didn't give it a higher score) is the sudden ending.
½ December 24, 2011
A slacker mystery about finding identity. Very natural performances create real, likable people rather than the usual movie caricatures. The mystery evolves mostly credibly with appropriate tension and danger but the ending doesn't quite deliver a satisfying conclusion; close, but not quite.
½ September 27, 2011
Take a young independent film crew, tell them to film a real life mystery set in Portland (the independent capitol of the world), put some charismatic young actors in front of the camera with a budget of say, $1,000, miraculously have this formula work out *perfectly* and you get Cold Weather. Funny, suspenseful & good looking.
½ September 10, 2011
Pretty good. Has some indulgent moments that seem self-conciously "Mumblecore-y" but a lot of good scenes and the actors are really good.
½ September 5, 2011
This is an interesting indie film by auteur Aaron Katz. I had not seen any of his previous work but had heard the film was well received at SXSW in 2010. Similarly, I had seen a review that compared it to the film Brick (2005) that I had enjoyed immensely.
Plot wise the film introduces us to a forensic science college dropout Doug who idolizes Sherlock Holmes and his Slacker sister Gail as they move into an apartment together in Portland Oregon. Doug lays about and searches for some direction in life, eventually finding a menial night job at an ice factory. We are then introduced to one of Doug's co-workers Carlos and Doug's ex-girlfriend Rachel who is in town for business.
The four start hanging out together, playing cards and board games, drinking coffee, going to clubs and enjoying each other's company. Rachel's sudden mysterious disappearance from her hotel room spurs the other friends to action and ignites Doug's inner Sherlock Holmes.
This film is considered by many critics to be part of the mumblecore movement. As such it has lots of long shots, a slowly evolving plot and realistic dialogue between lots of slackers. In some respects this film is more about the brother sister relationship between Doug and Gail than it is about the mystery of Rachel's disappearance. It has an arty independent feel to it and it was obviously shot on a low budget. Cold Weather is certainly not going to be for everyone's taste, especially the abrupt ending. However, I really liked its quirkiness and indie feel probably because I've got thing for overly educated layabouts.
Since this is available on Netflix instant streaming I would suggest you give it a viewing. That is if you enjoy small independent films with a grungy vibe. I found it inspiring that the writer/director was able to get this made, I plan on checking out some of his previous films. O and I think I would like to take a trip up to check out Portland Oregon it looks amazing.
Super Reviewer
½ August 15, 2011
A college drop out who studied forensic science finds himself embroiled in a mystery after moving to Seattle in this amusing little mumblecore drama. Still has some of the same rambling tendencies as other mumblecore films, but here it seems to reflect its characters' aimlessness, as they drift through searching for meaning that may or may not be there.
½ August 14, 2011
I was complaining about the slow start to the movie to a friend while watching it and then without realizing it, I was gripped. It feels like there could have been a lot more packed into a neat script, but I enjoyed the movie for what it was. It felt like this is what it would look like if I were trying to solve a missing person case.
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