10+ Let Him Go Reviews – Costner and Lane Shine

Kevin Costner sure seems to find, create and/or produce roles for himself featuring his style of acting. He’s got a unique voice. Kind of dry sounding, almost whiney sometimes, but it’s like he is on the verge of either crying himself or making viewers cry.

As movie houses make a bold effort to return to normal, I’m grateful for the few rare films that have managed to slip through the fence. One of the best is Let Him Go, an uneven but satisfying domestic thriller starring Kevin Costner and Diane Lane, two accomplished and mesmerizing contemporary screen icons who just keep getting better every time they hear a director yell “Action!” and the camera rolls.

Let Him Go Review: Kevin Costner & Diane Lane’s Quagmire of Horror | Observer

It’s been awhile since last posting one of these review compilations, so for those new to how they work, the details follow the comments below. Strangely, this movie was among our most favorite of the 44+ films watched in theaters in 2020. In January we watched 0 new films in theaters, because theaters have been closed in our area so far this year. On February 5th, AMC has announced they’ll be reopening theaters again. Yay!

Phase 2 in Washington State will allow movie theaters that have been closed since November 2020, to reopen in early February 2021.

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Leslie Manville

The quality of trio of actors make this film shine. The story isn’t amazing, it’s a basic spin on a parental rights and child as leverage story, but it’s powerful enough. Grandparent love is incredibly strong. That bond is thoroughly tested here.

And just when you think they won’t go there, they do

I love it when the tension gets ratcheted tighter and tighter. There is a quiet tension in the beginning, more like an ominous feeling that something isn’t right. That feeling worsens. And worsens.

Some might think the film is slow, and it is in the beginning, but it’s a purposeful slow. By the time we reach the third act, we’re wondering if the story will go completely off the rails. It does and doesn’t.

I expected Costner’s character would go off, but didn’t see him going all in. We want him to go all guns blazing and he doesn’t disappoint.

Reviews by Others

What do others think of Let Him Go?

Recommended

  1. film-authority.com: “…those seeking old-school Western gravity will enjoy the attractions here; two big, personable movie stars fighting to defend their family is easy to watch, particularly when Costner and Lane evoke the hard-scrabble back-stories of a desperate, driven couple who have already known enough pain for one life. Sure, we’ll always have streaming, but films like Let Him Go represent the last gasp of a kind of traditional cinema that’s unlikely to survive beyond the year.”
  2. For What It’s Worth / tbmeek3 (3/4): “Writer-director Thomas Bezucha rekindles the essence of a B-noir potboiler with the fast, efficient and lean in execution “Let Him Go,” based on Larry Watson’s novel, which gets a big boost from some knockout performances – in the end, the main reason to see the film.”
  3. It’s A Stampede / Alex Wiggan: “…sneaks in at the eleventh hour, to stand toe-to-toe with its peers. For me, this is one of the best films of the year, is something truly special, and is most certainly one to check out as soon as you can. “
  4. Jason’s Movie Blog (4.4/5): “…stands tall and proud as a beacon for its subgenre category as well providing a talented and enthralling tale of family and how far one would go to protect the ones that they love the most.”
  5. Keith & The Movies (4.5/5): “…hits all the right chords from its wonderfully low-key early rhythm to its effectively pulpy final third. It helps to have seasoned talents giving perfectly calibrated performances. And the story’s unexpected layers of humanity make us genuinely care while ultimately bringing out the deeper meaning to the film’s title.”
  6. Movies, Films & Flicks: “If you are in the mood for an old school thriller anchored by A+ performances, I totally recommend Let Him Go. You won’t be disappointed.”
  7. Screen Zealots (4/5): “…a compelling story full of drama and suspense that presents no easy answers to the notion that vengeance is justified when it comes to family.”
  8. Seoyong’s Private Place (3/4): “…is a rather plain genre film on the whole, but it is supported well by not only Bezucha’s competent direction but also the enjoyable performances from Costner, Lane, and Manville. Yep, the story is quite familiar to the bone, but these good performers elevate their stock materials to some degree, and I appreciate that a lot.”
  9. theidiosyncratist: “This is a well-plotted movie with an unusual plot arc that moves from family sorrow to Gothic horror, all set in the largely empty western interior from Montana to North Dakota in the early 1960s.”
  10. The Underscene: “…showcases a story and script we’ve seen plenty of times before, but Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, and some truly suspenseful action make for a perfectly enjoyable and stylistic watch.”

Not Recommended

  1. Little Movie Reviews / Sarah C (Grade: C): “Nothing stands out to me, and the overdramatic trailer doesn’t do the film any favors, but I found myself to be mildly surprised. The acting is well done, but the script suffers from a storyline that’s been done one too many times. There’s not much to say about Let Him Go. There’s only one standout, however, and that’s Manville. Sadly, when Manville isn’t onscreen, everything else just feels like a bore.”
  2. The World Of Celebrity: “…really excels in certain tense moments so it’s just a shame it didn’t sustain that for the whole running time.”

Linked above and wondering what would be cool to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

Let Him Go ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Let Him Go – R – 1 hr 54 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Thursday November 5, 2020
AMC Lakewood 12 – Lakewood, Washington
#42 new movie seen in theater in 2020

It’s not often that we get to see a movie for grandparents, about grandparents and their strong, unbreakable love for their grandchildren, and yet this movie is even more than that. We’re treated to Kevin Costner and Diane Lane playing a rural Montana couple in the 60s and their chemistry is good.

Costner plays retired lawman George Blackledge. He’s kicking it on the farm with his adult son, James, his daughter in law Lorna (Kayley Carter), their grandson Jimmy, and strong-willed, loving wife Margaret. A tragedy on a horse leaves their son dead and Lorna moves onto another man, Donnie Weboy (Will Brittain). All seems to be well at first until Margaret spots something bad happening in town with Donnie, Lorna and their grandson Jimmy. The next thing we know, the family has moved on without even saying goodbye to the grandparents. This puts them into protection and separation from grandson mode. From there, we’re wondering what happened.

Burn Notice’s Jeffery Donovan has an oddly sinister part as one of the Weboy clan and Grandma Weboy (Lesly Manville) is, well, you have to see her in action to truly despise her cold, calculating demeanor. Perhaps the only less than great acting in this movie comes from Lorna, who we can never really get in favor of. She’s supposed to be a victim but there’s something untethered about her performance, likes she’s maybe some part accomplice.

This is all we can say about the story without spoilers. You can see our reactions as we came out of the theater and it’s all good. Going in before the movie I told Kara my suspicion is that we’d enjoy this movie and we sure did.

I have successfully managed to stay away from all other reviews before watching the movie and writing this review, so no idea if others enjoyed it as much as we did. I only have a couple minor complaints.

There were a few scenes that seemed to drag a bit and I felt like if they just cut like 10-15 minutes of the film it would have been even tighter. Also, the ending was entertaining but it felt like we needed an epilogue. At least some sort of coda. Maybe they should have cut the 15 minutes in some longer scenes, like trimmed some of the interplay with the young man who lived on the North Dakota border and added some sort of coda.

2020 hasn’t been a productive year at the theaters for great movies, but this one is very good. It’s almost Oscar bait, simply for the acting performances and the story which might seem pretty basic, but manages to expose a family love conflict we don’t often see on the big screen. Sure, if you watch a bunch of Lifetime you’ll run across stories like this, but they are more rare in wide theater release movies. And I might be somewhat biased, but Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as a couple are worth recommending alone. They could have been in this film reading cereal boxes and pulled it off with vim and vigor. Loved their performances.

Even if you’re not a grandparent or parent, this movie will grip you almost from the beginning and hook you in deeper and deeper as the dramatic tension increases. It’s like a vice on your heart pulling it tighter and tighter and you almost want to turn away but can’t. It’s done matter of factly at times and that caught me off guard. If you’re seeing anything in the theaters in your area, and you like a tense family drama in a western 60s setting, make sure you see this one ASAP.

Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Todd) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ (Kara – her highest rating of 2020 so far)

FIRST LOOK: Let Him Go

I like Kevin Costner’s acting style and his clean-cut look fits. He has a certain regalness to his roles.

Diane Lane has been around awhile and in a few films I’ve enjoyed. I can’t really remember her being a bad actress in anything, but she’s been in some dreadful movies. Most recently she’s played Martha Kent in the Superman movies.

Costner clearly has a better resume of good to great films, certainly he has some stinkers too — it just happens if you’re around long enough and active in the business. He played Clay Shaw in one of my all time favorites from Oliver Stone, JFK. Have seen Costner in Yellowstone, his newest TV show, recently and liked what I saw there. So, Costner’s involvement in any film, regardless the story, has me a little more interested than just random unknown actor. Diane Lane, purely on her many years of experience also ratchets up my anticipation.

So with these two leads, particularly Costner, I’m intrigued by what this film might offer.

Kevin Costner and Diane Lane are starring together in a new thriller titled Let Him Go. It looks like a western version of Taken, with Coster and Lane trying to rescue their grandson from an “off the grid” family being led by Phantom Thread’s Lesley Manville.

Kevin Costner Goes Full Liam Neeson In Let Him Go Trailer

Like the description of a Western version of Taken, but Costner doesn’t give me the same vibe as Liam Neeson, so kind of hoping that’s not what this film is like.

Let’s look at the official trailer:

Uh oh, did Costner’s character in the first few seconds just say, “Don’t start what you can’t finish?”

Yeah, that’s definite Liam Neeson territory. Maybe he can play the heavie, but he just works better casting-wise as less of a heavy type and more polished. Maybe I’m typecasting him, but that’s what I think from his past work. He’s played flawed characters including athletes (Bull Durham!), but I don’t remember him venturing very often into roles like Rutger Hauer or Liam Neeson.

Still looking forward to seeing this based on the trailer. Will try my best to clear my memory and see if Costner surprises. He’s done it before. He’s got the talent to do so. What do you think of this one?

Let Him Go opens wide domestically in theaters on November 6, 2020.