Let Him Go
Let Him Go (2020) movie review
Let Him Go is a dramatic thriller from writer/director Thomas Bezucha based on the novel of the same name by Larry Watson. The film stars Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as a retired sheriff and his wife who set out to reclaim their only grandson from a dangerous family in North Dakota. The film was released this past weekend to a fairly positive reception all things considered.
Now having not read the novel, we were honestly both a little cold towards this film going to see it. It certainly looked- interesting. Interesting enough to go see? Well I’ll have to let you be the judge of that. It is definitely a good film, and one that is absolutely worth watching! However I think it depends on how you like your movies. If you like slow-burn dramas with enough tension to keep it going, it’s probably worth it! But if you want a thoroughly exciting film that lands on its feet by the end, well this might be one to save for RedBox…
Now let me get one thing out of the way before I get going. Diane Lane is absolutely fantastic. Oscar worthy? Possibly. She is not only the emotional drive of the film, but both she and Costner deliver stellar performances that deliver on everything this film promises to be. On top of that, the character writing it very well-handled. The film has a strong setup for the Margaret and George Blackledge, and continues to use smart character writing to drive the story. While this is almost perfect, it does lead to an unfortunately messy finale.
The character writing for antagonist Blanche Weboy was a bit inconsistent. By the end of the film I was confused at the choices she made, since the characters in the film never seem to deviate from what we the audience would expect from them. Ultimately this hurts the finale more than it intends, and there’s nothing worse than ending your movie on a bad note.
The other thing I would hold against this film is a very clearly what this film wants to be: Dry. Now I typically love dry films, but Let Him Go is like a bite of coffee cake without anything to drink with it. Sure it’s great, but I don’t think I would take another bite. Similarly, I wouldn’t watch this again. The drama is great, the tension is really great, and no scene lasts longer than it needs to! In fact I adore the way this film treats the audience when it comes to information. Still wouldn’t watch it again.
Finally I had some mixed feelings about the quality of filmmaking. Overall Let Him Go is very well shot, but it also breaks the 180 axis more than once. The small scale keeps it from being confusing of course, but it does have a few noticeable cuts. I did really like the score from Michael Giacchino though! It’s slow and dramatic and not like him at all. Granted I wouldn’t listen to it twice.
So overall Let Him Go is good, but not great. I want to tell everyone to go see it for Diane Lane alone, but the slow nature of the film and the messy third act keep it from being a riveting thriller that warrants a second watch. Instead it’s probably only worth watching once, and I don’t think anyone needs to run out and see it. Now I’m glad I saw it, but I was almost watching it for the performances by the end. It’s a solid thriller and a solid drama, but not the most captivating film overall. 6/10.
So Let Him Go? Did you see it? What did you think? And what’s your favorite dramatic thriller? Be sure to leave a like or a comment below and let me know! And if you liked this review and want to read more like it, be sure to leave a like or a comment below and let us know what you’d like us to review next!
-review by Ryan Prince