Coldwater (2013)

Drama, Thriller
P.J. Boudousqué, James C. Burns, Chris Petrovski, Octavius J. Johnson
A teenage boy is sent to a juvenile reform facility in the wilderness. As we learn about the tragic events that sent him there, his struggle becomes one for survival with the inmates, counselors, and the retired war colonel in charge.
  • Breaking Glass Pictures Company:
  • N/A Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 09 Jul 2014 Released:
  • N/A DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:

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Gritty, raw, and character driven.8/10
I'd been waiting to get a glimpse of Coldwater for some time; this afternoon, I finally got my chance. There were a lot of things I enjoyed about this film. We see the tale of a young man named Brad who, after some unfortunate incidents in his life (he is certainly at fault- there are no real attempts to gloss over his character in the beginning), is sent away to one of those youth rehabilitation camps, or better yet boot camps, like the ones you used to see on Maury back in the day. Once there, he realizes not only does he have to deal with what he's done in his life, but he also has to try and contend with the ex-colonel who runs the camp and the string of young psychotics he's given some authority to so they can help run the place. It's brutal at times, harsh. It speaks to what is going on today. People act like, oh poor privileged kids are sent to a camp where they're yelled at, big deal- just because it's not a war torn country these kids are in, just because they're not poor and starving, it does not make their plight any less real. These things are truly going on in life. No young person, regardless of their tendencies towards criminal behaviour, should be stabbed with keys, or beaten, or whipped, tortured in any fashion. This film speaks to many things going on around the world in the name of helping others, especially wayward youths.

Mainly the acting really does it for me. The young man who plays Brad is wonderful, and I thought he did a great job throughout the entire film. Many of the young guys who had a significant amount of screen time really were spot on. James C. Burns did an amazing job of bringing to a life a real menace. Not only was the colonel character awful, he seemed to enjoy being awful, and it can't be easy for an actor to get into that sort of thing. Though the colonel is a bad man, it's interesting to see the character go through his own inner turmoil; one particular scene has him drinking Jack Daniels, puffing a cigar, chasing some of the young men he's charged with rehabilitating while they jog in front of him, and laughing himself to death. It's really raw, disturbing stuff.

The end of the film is what essentially put this from 7 to an 8 stars out of 10 for me. I imagined it would come to a very different close, but about 10-15 minutes left I realized it was going somewhere a little further. It was intense, and really got to me. The end comes as bittersweet- Brad comes to terms with what he has done in the past by doing something that needed to be done in the present. I really don't want to ruin it, so I'll say no more.

Great performances, pretty nice story, and the cinematography was well done. Highly recommend giving it a watch, especially if you enjoy prison-type stories; though this is more youth offenders, still along the same sort of fare.
I discovered here the Ryan Gosling's ringer...5/10
No joke, at first, I actually believed it was Ryan Gosling who was playing in this film. Young Ryan Gosling. Besides that, it's a great film, one one the best juvenile delinquency films kind ever made for me. In the line of DOG POUND, four years ago.

Terrific performances every where here. The director explained he avoided rape sequences, especially at the beginning, but he did not avoid torture scenes, especially the one with the pin Under the nail...

The independent American film industry seems very interesting these times, a billion miles ahead of the usual Hollywood crap.

A great film.
A deep and relevant movie with gripping performances5/10
I just saw this movie at its premiere at SXSW. It's an intense film about a young man who is sent to be 'transformed' at what you might call a juvenile detention camp. Things deteriorate as the Colonel, played masterfully by James C. Burns, begins to unravel himself. The film is carried by newcomer PJ Boudousque, a name we should start getting used to. In his first film, he plays Brad Lunders, a teenager haunted by the mistakes of his past but determined to change his future, and that of anyone close to his orbit. His performance is intense and meaningful, saying as much with a look as he might with 100 words. Vincent Grashaw does a marvelous job with all the young cast, each bringing something very special to the film.

The score is a triumph.

I loved this film, and think for many people involved it will be the start of something big.
good job5/10
a great surprise. not only for the theme, not exactly for acting. but for the admirable art of detail, for the precise tension, for music and for the traces after its end.a film who has the gift to give the emotions of a passing way. a film about small , ordinaries things. nothing complicated, nothing too special. only a story about people, world, error and justice. each of that does it more than a movie about the teenagers difficult cases. short, it is an useful movie. for its artistic virtues. for carefully build of story, for the lead character who translate the life profound sense in a not common manner. a film about pillars of existence. in right manner, with delicate force.
Geat FILM!9/10
Saw it at Las Vegas Int'L Film festival where it took best picture and many more awards! and decidedly so! what impressed me most about this movie was the internal development building the tension of the character arcs. It is a very rare trait in American movies recently and it is always refreshing to see it, attempted and then achieved. The colors are spot on as well as acting. Many compliments to the DP. Also, Vincent Grashaw does a great job! Pretty great production design - minimal- but confident and effective.

I wish there were more movies like this and good movie lovers should not miss it!