Let Him Go
Provided by Metacritic.com
Let Him Go isn’t subtle, but as a genre film it’s original and shrewdly made, with a floridly gripping suspense. And Lane and Costner give it their all in a casual way that only pros this seasoned and gifted can. They turn the movie into an unlikely thing: a touchingly bone-weary romance steeped in vengeance.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
A skilfully executed thriller that is narrowly aimed at one demographic – audiences over 50 who like a little violence with their late-life dramas – but succeeds at entertaining just about anyone who comes across its dusty, blood-soaked path.
San Francisco Chronicle
In the end, Let Him Go is like a Southern Gothic, only set in the Northwest. It’s just a genre movie that delivers the goods, but the restraint and emotional insight of the direction and the quality of the performances bring it up an essential extra notch.
Great as our actual dads might be, they simply cannot compete with Costner. The guy perfectly hits all the right notes: honesty, dignity, quiet reserve, rugged Americana – all qualities we want in a hyperbolic father figure. Let Him Go exploits all this and reminds us of one other thing he’s good at: ass-kicking. But Let Him Go isn’t really Costner’s movie. Instead, it belongs to Diane Lane as his wife.
It’s a throwback slow-burn thriller and an over-the-top scenery-chewing buffet — sometimes in the same scene. The back-and-forth tone prevents it from being the serious examination of human behavior (and misbehavior) it believes itself to be. It makes the experience of watching more strange than immersive.
The A.V. Club
Writer-director Thomas Bezucha, adapting a novel by Larry Watson, shows remarkable patience in developing this low-key rescue mission — or maybe he just assumes that he’s courting an older audience who won’t need much prompting to side with Diane Lane and Kevin Costner, but will enjoy extra time with them all the same.
The New Yorker
A showdown of blood and fire, and the one point, I’d argue, at which Let Him Go takes a seriously false step. It is George who girds himself for the final reckoning, but it ought to be Margaret. Her grief has driven this fable. She should be the one to end it.
Here is a tanned hide of a movie about the violence that results from conflicting ideas of what this country should be, and while the writer/director of “The Family Stone” lacks the chops to tell this story with the suspense it demands (or the hard-nosed focus required to mine something new from the myth it deconstructs), he fully understands the symbolic power of seeing these actors lose something they can never get back.
Bezhucha seems to have spent all his effort and imagination on the journey: the destination an afterthought, the denouement bizarrely prolonged, and all but written in a flashing neon sign above the Blackledges’ heads.
Despite a searing performance from Diane Lane, writer-director Thomas Bezucha’s film ultimately self-immolates.
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