James C. Burns

review coldwater

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to strangers who pull you from your bed, handcuff you and put a cloth sack over your head. The last thing you hear as they toss you screaming into the back of a van is your mother saying “I love you.” This is how we meet Brad Lunders (P.J. Boudousqué). He’s a teenager mired in a life of drug dealing and other criminal acts, and after a recent incident that resulted in a death his mother has chosen an extreme option intended to keep Brad out of jail. He’s been shipped off to a “residential treatment program for troubled youths,” but while that sounds like a professional and responsibly run place, it just may be anything but. Coldwater is a beautifully acted and shot drama about troubled kids forced to grow up quickly by even more troubled adults. It’s an engaging eye-opener that moves from dramatic character piece to minor thriller, but while successful overall it’s deflated by the script’s structural problems and minimal emotion.

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? A woman is asked to interrogate her husband to see if he’s who he claims to be, or if he’s a dangerous shape-shifter in this swift, starkly-crafted science fiction gem. With verbal dexterity, it keeps up the mystery even with death on the line. What will it cost? Only 5 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films.

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