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  • This was like watching Father Knows Best (salty version) meets MA Barker and her boys! It was a good story that moved along well with the beautiful backdrop of the mountains of the west. There was pathos and you connected with the characters. I like watching a movie geared towards 50+ year olds! Make more.
  • Like many I'm a BIG Costner fan. This one could easily have been a rugged but amiable Western drama, but, like the moth flying close to the flame it gets tinged by inflexions of horror - a disquieting experience for the unwary. The plot has at its center the 'kidnap by marriage' of aged Margaret and George's grandson, goaded on by another interestingly psychotic family of near in-laws, resembling to no small degree the Snell Family of Netflix's 'Ozark', though this time featuring North Dakota as that bastion of redneck eccentricity. On the good side, it's a terrifyingly real situation, acted out charmingly by Kevin Costner with his trademark reserve. But the movie was a little long, with those now clichéd tropes, the sort that better directors do well to avoid.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    If you're a parent or grandparent this movie will touch a few nerves. The character development of our main characters are well written with an outstanding performance by Costner and Lane. However I feel like I needed to know more about our antagonists which were poorly written for the movie. It was difficult to understand the motives behind their actions and their drive to push back against our protagonists (without saying too much). Lots of questions left behind at the end but otherwise an enjoyable movie.
  • After a family tragedy for the Blackledge family, grandparents George (Kevin Costner) and Margaret (Diane Lane) are left to bring up baby Jimmy (Bram and Otto Hornung) with mother/daughter-in-law Lorna (Kayli Carter). But a few years later, Lorna marries bad-un Donnie Weboy (Will Brittain) and disappears back to Donnie's hillbilly extended family in the wilds of North Dakota, led by the fearsome Blanche Weboy (Lesley Manville). Fearing for the child's wellbeing, Margaret drags retired Sheriff George on a dangerous journey to rescue the child.

    There are strong similarities in this story with a sub-plot of the excellent "Ozark", where the psychopathic Darlene Snell (Lisa Emery) is intent on having a child to grow up with on her remote ranch. The sense of tension there is recreated here, exacerbated by the movie's extremely slow (read "glacial") pace in its early stages. It's the same sort of rising dread that I felt with "Nocturnal Animals". This reaches its peak at a tense standoff over lamb chops at the Weboy ranch, but we are probably half-way into the film by then.

    The slow pace however is broken by a couple of extremely violent scenes that earn the movie its UK-15 certificate. One (no spoilers here!) harks back to another Kevin Costner blockbuster where he was a bit luckier! And the finale turns a slightly sleepy tale of "two old folks" into an 'all guns blazing' action western that's highly unexpected. Although you could argue that this is tonally extremely uneven, it works and makes the movie a lot more memorable than it otherwise would be.

    The standout leading performance here is the one from Diane Lane as the mentally tortured Granny pursuing her convictions across the country. Here writer/director Thomas Bezucha gives the character full rein. It's a memorable 'strong female' part, that would have been dominated by the male lead in the writing of films a few years back. Lane delivers a dramatic and rock-solid performance that has Oscar nomination written all over it.

    I'm also a big fan of Kevin Costner, not just because he's a solid and reliable actor over many years. I always remember him gamely appearing as "The Postman"/'propeller-guy' in Billy Crystal's hilarious montage opening for the 70th Academy Awards. Anyhow, here he has his meatiest dramatic role in many years, and delivers fully on it. Top job, although I suspect this may not be his year for his elusive Best Actor award.

    Finally, rounding out the Oscar hopefuls is the brilliant Lesley Manville as Blanche Weboy. It's a dream of a role for the Brighton-born star, nominated of course for the Best Supporting Actress two years ago for "Phantom Thread". And she is genuinely chilling here, firing on all cylinders like some sort of deranged Bette Davis on speed. She's used sparingly in the movie, but that makes her scenes all the more memorable. Another nomination perhaps? I'd predict so, yes.

    I found this to be an uncomfortable watch, since I found myself in a moral quandary with the storyline. It's clear that Margaret is genuinely concerned for the safety of Jimmy (and less so, Lorna). Yet, what she is ultimately prepared to do is consider child abduction, when the law if probably on the side of the other party. Sure, the lifestyle and attitudes of the Weboys are alien to this more traditional "Granny". But although Blanche rules with a Victorian-level of grit, isn't she - at least before any of her more vicious tendencies emerge - entitled to do that? The film firmly roots itself behind the Blackledge's as "the good guys", but the script cleverly has you questioning that at various points,

    Two technical categories in "Let Him Go" are also worthy of note. The cinematography is by Guy Godfree, and the sweeping vistas of Montana and North Dakota (actually Alberta in Canada!) are gloriously delivered. And the music by Michael Giacchino - one of my favourite composers - is cello-heavy and fitting for the sombre storyline. I always assess the quality of a score by whether I annoy the cinema cleaners by sitting until the last of the end credits have rolled, and this is one I did that to.

    As the last movie I see before Christmas, "Let Him Go" is not exactly a feelgood festive offering. It's a well-crafted and thoughtful story, but not one to make you feel good inside, for the reasons outlined above. If you are a movie-lover though, then it's an interesting watch, if only for the fine acting performances on offer.

    (For the full graphical review, please check out "Bob the Movie Man" on the web. Thanks.)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I hate slow burn movies n trust me dis one aint a slow burn at all. It is a western drama aided by solid performances n amazing cinematography and the film does have some very intense scenes.

    The dinner scene, the hotel scene with the axe n the final scene, they all r tension filled.

    Visiting a house situated in the middle of nowhere and that too inhabited by bumpkins/yokels is scary man. Imagine the yokels served u dinner and u r particular with kosher/halal food.
  • Great casting, cinematography, sets and location, but novice writer and director Thomas Bezucha made this one a very unnecessarily slow burner. The 113 runtime was way too long for this story, and felt twice as long with the slow pacing, long dragged out scenes and unnecessary still shots. If you watched this at 1.2x speed, it'd be bearable. The screenplay needed a good 20-30 mins edited/cut out. The sound/score could've also been better. Not sure if it was Costner's character, or he was bored during filming, because this wasn't one of his finest performances - by a long shot. Never mind all the bogus 9's and 10's, this is an honest and very generous 6/10 from me.
  • This new Western blends elements of noir, drama, and suspense to create a generally searing character study. Set in the 1960s, it tells the story of a retired sheriff (Kevin Costner) and his wife (Diane Lane.) Their young grandson has been spending time with his stepfather, whom they view as suspicious and is married to their son's widow. The leading couple leaves from Montana to the Dakotas to visit their step-family and try to get their grandson back, but things go south very quickly. The performances are generally powerful all around. Costner and Lane give clear emotional depth as well as a real sense of genuineness and urgency while in character. They feel haunted with grief from the death of their son, yet also proactively driven by a strong desire to ensure their grandson is properly treated. The film's cinematography of the Great Plains is gorgeous (although it was actually filmed in Alberta, Canada,) and the score is also quietly powerful.

    In the second half of the film, the dramatic tension is gradually increased both through the slow-burn tone as well as the dialogue. The film's gritty and slow-burn style may remind viewers of thrillers written and/or directed by Taylor Sheridan. Without going into any detail, suffice it to say that characters' instincts may be brought to a boiling point. However, the sudden and occasionally uneven increases in dramatic tension as well as violence do not always feel conducive to the film's tone. As a result, the film doesn't quite comment as starkly on its characters' behaviors or the nature of violence as thoughtfully as it intends to. The motivations of the characters are also rather predictable, and outside of Costner and Lane's characters, I did not find the rest of them to be especially engaging. Even though the characters are well-developed, the roles they play in creating some of the story's suspense are not inherently unique. That said, this is still a well-acted and well-shot thriller that should please patient viewers that know what they're in for. 7/10
  • There was a point about a quarter of the way through 'Let Him Go' where I was questioning the protagonist's motives and whether they were entitled to be doing what they appeared to be trying to do. As if the film recognised this may be an issue with audiences, they then do an excellent job from that point onwards of justifying their actions. The characters created in this film on both sides of the ledger are excellent. The heroes are people we can genuinely root for and care about their fate, and the villains are truly horrendous people who we want to meet the worst fate.

    I really enjoyed the chemistry between Diane Lane and Kevin Costner in this film. It was quite a unique relationship they had, one that isn't often seen in film, yet it felt much more realistic than what we usually get - and that's why I think it worked. I know elder couples who are exactly like these two were. I have to say the whole cast were great, but I also have to give special mention to Jeffrey Donovan. He's so good, especially in these types of roles. He has the perfect balance between being pure evil and being a potentially genuinely nice guy who could trick you into falling for his charms.

    'Let Him Go' deals with an awful situation that I imagine happens more often than we realise. It obviously ramps it up another level to make it more theatrical, but at the heart of the story remains a genuinely heart-breaking situation. This film works as both a drama and an action/thriller equally. Both genres are handled extremely well. I had a great time with this movie and would highly recommend people check it out.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Greetings again from the darkness. Diane Lane and Kevin Costner reunite on screen, only this time it's not as the earthy and earthly parents to Superman (MAN OF STEEL, 2013). Instead, this film from writer-director Thomas Bezucha (THE FAMILY STONE, 2005), based on Larry Watson's 2013 novel, features the two stars as long-time married couple, Margaret and George Blackledge, living a peaceful existence on their Montana ranch. Well, it's peaceful now, as George is retired from his career as a lawman.

    Their son James (Ryan Bruce), his wife Lorna (Kayli Carter, "Godless"), and young son Jimmy live on the ranch with Margaret and George. Grandma Margaret's devotion to her grandson and judgmental nature sometimes crosses the line, creating quiet tension with his mother Lorna. George's trained eye sees it all, but he mostly keeps his thoughts private, although the communication he shares with Margaret is often through a simple gesture or nod. Their chemistry is one that's only built through time (and fine acting). When a freak accident leaves James dead, we flash forward three years as Margaret and George attend Lorna's wedding to Donnie Weboy (Will Brittain, who was excellent in this year's BLOW THE MAN DOWN). George senses that Donnie does not possess the highest moral character, but Margaret is hit hardest by the newlyweds moving off the ranch and taking her beloved grandson with them. Concern escalates quickly when Margaret witnesses Donnie being physically abusive to Lorna and Jimmy, and then he relocates them to North Dakota to be near his family ... without so much as a warning or goodbye to Margaret and George.

    Crossing Grandma Margaret is like kicking the hornet's nest. Poor George arrives home one day to find the car packed and Margaret on a mission to bring Jimmy home. George's feeble attempt to reason with her fails (as he knew it would) and the two are soon on the road through some gorgeous countryside captured by cinematographer Guy Godfree. Along the way, they cross paths and befriend Peter (Booboo Stewart), a Native American who deserted "Indian School" for a life of solitude on the plains. It's also on this road trip where Margaret and George are inundated with every possible warning about the notorious Weboy clan of North Dakota. No specifics are provided, but the message is clear ... no one messes with the Weboys.

    A tip leads the grandparents to Bill Weboy (Jeffrey Donovan, "Burn Notice"), and he provides living proof that the Weboy clan is rotten to the core. Behind an evil grin, Bill invites Margaret and George to the family ranch for dinner and a visit with their grandson. At the ranch, we are introduced to the twisted matriarch, Blanche Weboy (Lesley Manville, PHANTOM THREAD, 2017). This meeting of the families is about as tense as any we've seen on screen. A clash of good versus evil is always welcome, which makes it so disappointing that a film so stellar to this point, abruptly shifts from an intriguing psychological thriller into a ludicrous circus of violence, poor decisions, and absurdity.

    There is a lot to like here, before it spins off the axis. Diane Lane is ferocious in the role, and Costner is very effective as her 'still waters' husband. It's a hoot to see Ms. Manville lose her British accent and go over-the-top as nasty Blanche, and the early 1960's setting looks great, including the vehicles. As mentioned before, the scenery is breath-taking, with Alberta (Canada) standing in beautifully for Montana and North Dakota. Composer Michael Giacchino is more accustomed to working on superhero and animated movies, and the score is often distracting in the first half, but fits better in the final act. Brace yourself for a couple of tough to watch scenes and a jarring tonal shift.
  • 'Let Him Go' is a tense and powerful movie. It's a slow burn to begin with but turns intense 'edge of the seat' white knuckle ride towards the end. A tremendous dinner scene mid way through is also simple fantastic. Great performances by all the actors especially Diane Lane, Kevin Costner and Lesley Manville... Lane especially is incredible and she carries the film beautifully. 'Let Him Go' is the Best Film of 2020 that I have scene - A truly wonderful masterpiece with an Oscar worthy performance by Diane Lane.
  • Kevin and Diane make a good movie couple and they go good together in this western drama set in the 60's. I wouldn't say this is a thriller as almost all the scenes are predictable once they start and the pace is quite slow. The scenery is a nice touch for people who haven't seen the Alberta/Montana area but it's not a reason to watch this.

    For the most part I felt like I was waiting for the good part of the movie and then it ended and I was left still waiting. There are many scenes with dialogue that feels forced and it just make for an entertaining movie.

    For all the hype that the reviewers have been giving on here for Oscars and 10stars I can only assume that since the virus stuff has the theaters mostly empty, the studios are putting out their bare bones stuff. And that's what this movie is. Filler. Until things clear up and the better movies can be released upon a paying audience movies will continue to be of this quality.
  • The beginning of the movie is an excellent use of "show; not tell" as the dialogue is very spare. The settings are fabulous.

    The story is really about Diane Lane's character. Her love for her family and what she will do for it.

    The Weboy family is really evil and very convincing.

    Lane and Costner are exceptional.

    The little boy in the movie is now about my age so I really connected with him and his mom.

    The third act is action packed.

    I loved all the period details including the Red Owl store in Montana.
  • A good film, quite solid, is slow and maybe some scenes are too long, but I don't understand so many negative reviews, probably the younger generation who can't hold their attention for more than 30 seconds and everything is boring to them.
  • Let Him Go is a western-gothic crime thriller with a North Western setting and some resemblance to vintage oaters like The Searchers. The search has elemental film roots with mental and physical violence enhanced by Leslie Manville as a bad grandma and her wicked sons.

    It's fun to see the bad guys get roughed up. It's also satisfying to see the searching-for-family motif of contemporary super-hero films played out in the Western plains even if it was filmed in Calgary. The craggy mountains and little towns complement the late fifties setting when love and crime occur in simple but stark ways.

    Retired Montana Sheriff George (Kevin Costner) and his wife, Margaret (Diane Lane), search for their grandson, Jimmy (Bram Hornung and Otto Hornung) after the death of their son, James (Ryan Bruce). Former daughter in law Lorna (Kavli Carter) has left abruptly with new husband, Donny Weboy (Will Britain), and grandson, relocating under duress to North Dakota and his family- Weboy territory where matriarch Blanche (Manville) wields absolute power. Very bad move. The chase begins.

    Lane and Costner are in top-aging form, tough and tenderhearted enough to fight the Weboy clan for the grandson. This is a different, more nuanced role for them when they were Superman's parents. Let Him Go adds an authenticity to the thriller formula by emphasizing the devotion of the loving couple to each other and their quest to keep the family whole, or at least provide a fitting family life for their grandson.

    The usual Western tropes apply like the corrupt sheriff, bad grandma and sons, the kind stranger, the tough mother, and the epic ending battle. What goes beyond the formula is the sincere love propelling the plot and corralling our hearts. And, of course, the fully-seasoned Lane and Costner.

    Let Him Go is much more than the genre it represents.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Was hoping this might have some of the quality associated with it that Yellowstone does. Wow, that was not the case. Diane Lane's character was extremely annoying. Wondered if she was mentally deficient in parts. She caused her husband to get beat up, badly injured and ultimately killed do to here ridiculous actions and horrible decision making. She was not likeable at all. As for Kevin Costner's character. His character's personality was difficult to like. He was very gruff. He was supposedly a policeman for 30 years, but he showed a complete lact of tactical strategy or situational awareness with regard to the situations that he put himself in. All in all, I'd save your money and your time.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Simple plot with too many side stories. Who's the Indian boy? Just shows up, for what purpose? The Costner character was a lawman, why didn't he use the law to get the kid back? No husband would let his wife run amok. They go to his hotel room, cut off 3 fingers, self defense? Could have been good, actually funny in some parts. Next time stick to the script.
  • fanemerald15 April 2021
    Warning: Spoilers
    In all my many years of watching movies I have never written a review, until now. I am so upset with how selfish Diane Lane's character is in the movie. She sacrificed her husband for her grandson and daughter-in-law. And, she left Peter the random Indian boy that helped her in the rearview mirror ... literally. I hated the ending, I hated everything about it. If you want to be depressed after two hours of watching this movie then I highly recommend it.
  • IN BRIEF: A Western drama that gets lost in the dust.


    Let Him Go is a Western drama about an elderly couple who decide to rescue their grandson from an abusive environment. Set in rural America during the 60's, George and Martha Blackledge are a decent and loving couple and they are living their lives with grace and dignity. He is a retired sheriff and she is a mighty good housewife and baker par none. But ranch life has its share of hardships and tragedy befalls them. A freak accident kills their son and his wife and child grow up under their roof until their daughter-in-law takes another husband who physically abuses them. One night, they secretly move away which sends the Blackledges on their rescue mission. This leads them to a crazy family called the Weboys who give the term "deplorables" a bad name.

    The film starts off with an intriguing premise and director/writer Thomas Bezucha creates a tense and engaging drama in the first half of his movie. As a director, he uses his visual eye to intermix images of the country vistas and slowly builds the relationship between the leads most astutely. That he has Kevin Costner and Diane Lane centerstage is his wisest decision. Their performances are totally convincing and their chemistry is in sync. One hopes that this story will build on their dilemma and become a courtroom battle over custody of Little Jimmy. Alas, that is not the case.

    Instead, as the screenwriter, Mr. Bezucha makes a terribly wrong detour into a bloody revenge thriller genre and the film lets go of any logic. It's a "them against us" mentality and the movie quickly loses its focus. Leaps of Logic appear outta nowhere. The dinner confrontation scene between the two families with straight-laced British actress Leslie Mann playing a deranged matriarch, Blanche Weboy, remains powerful, even though her menacing brood of good ole boys are so one-note evil, without any character development, that they become walking clichés of wickedness. From that point, the plot becomes more far-fetched and brutal to watch. Of course, the dastardly sheriff sides with the locals and has the obligatory "git outta town " scene, so is it any wonder that it's The Hatefuls versus The Blackledges as George and Margaret are forced to take matters into their own hands!

    It's a shame because the actors deserve better material. Mr. Costner brings his measured and stoic persona to his role and Ms. Lane radiates confidence and determination. They are very good. Ms. Manville is also fun to watch in a part that is far away from her stiff upper crust roles and she munches on the scenery with relish. One begins to question if Leatherface is not a distant cousin.

    After a promising start, Let Him Go lets go of all reason and falls flat on its face on its journey to Crazytown. (GRADE: C+)
  • maclock11 November 2020
    I expected to like Let Him Go more than I did. While the cast was exemplary and the scenery was breathtaking, the movie failed to engage me more often than not. That's a pity. I won't be recommending it to others.
  • Okay so I'll say ive seen a lot of movies in very different ways than I'm used to however this is a movie I saw in theaters but it's most definitely one of the absolute best movies I've seen this year it's action packed and to the core so much fun very brief swearing which is another plus I say this isn't a sweet happy Thanksgiving movie for family's but it's a very very good movie for those looking for a action packed good time at the movies I highly recommend it
  • I can't believe this good movie had the misfortune to be released in the midst of the Pandemic. This originally constructed, well acted, and somewhat terrifying film is a winner. In some ways it is a romantic film. The oddly standoffish relationship between Costner and Lane is tinged with romantic elements. The landscapes of the West in the 1960's is romantic. The 1950's itself is romanticized. Costner gives a brooding, powerful performance as a deeply thoughtful and powerful man. This might be one of his best performances to date. He plays it close to the vest. Lane is the driving force of the mission that sets the wheels in motion for this western drama with a chilling tone that is also a Hithcockian suspense thriller. The acting is superior. Jeffrey Donovan and Leslie Manville are subtly eerie in this one. This film is brutal and violent at times. It is downright shocking at points. This film is too intense for kids but it crosses over many genres.
  • This is a tense and exciting flick, but the basis on which the film starts off reveals the grandmother is extremely stupid. Watch the film but you'll soon spot a long journey and a wholeload of trouble could have been saved if the grandmother had spoken up in the first place.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The stupid wife would prefer sacrificing her husband for the estranged daughter-in-law and grandson is so ridiculous! "Let Him Go" in the end means to let her husband go as the horse is such a stupid title that just makes me sick! I don't think my wife would prefer sacrificing me for anybody. We both cursed loudly after the movie ended. One of the worst movies ever viewed during the pandemic lockdown at home!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    But it goes something along the lines that - when an American novelist doesn't know how to end his story he just kills everyone off.

    This is what happens at the end in this movie - along with a conflagration of fire and destruction.

    It's too bad because we did have a story going with our two main protagonist (Kevin Costner & Diane Lane) searching for their grandson in North Dakota who disappeared with their daughter-in-law who remarried after the her husband (son of Kevin and Diane) died.

    It all starts to slowly slide downhill when they encounter this wacko mother in some remote area - the knifes and guns start to come out.
  • This is a strong film and a special one I'd say. How unusually unsatisfyingly it unravels, but yet you still totally want to see what happens next. The film is authentic feeling enough to really drag you into it, whether you like where it's going or not. I think for most mature audiences, it will affect them in this way for the most part. Thankfully this is not just another predictable Hollywood film. It certainly isn't unfamiliar territory, not at all, but it's certainly far more uncompromising and the characters are more realistic than most modern Hollywood films; And therefore the film is a breath of fresh air on this basis alone, even though the movies atmosphere is somewhat stifling. It seemed to me that this role was absolutely perfect for Diane Lane at this stage in her career/life. Or is it that she just totally embodied the character and nailed it? Definitely both! In my view anyway. And the Oscar goes to...if I was handing them out. She was amazing in this. I would even venture to say one of the better female performances I've seen out of Hollywood in the last many years. She was that good, and the part was also a pretty interesting one. Subtle and intense I think describe her performance the most accurately. Costner was definitely very understated and subtle himself in another very strong performance. My advice to those with mature viewing eyes, don't miss this film!

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