LET HIM GO movie poster
A few years after the tragic death of their son, retired sheriff George Blackledge (Kevin Costner) and his wife Margaret (Diane Lane) face another change in life. Daughter-in-law Lorna (Kayli Carter) remarries and takes their only grandson away from them. The Blackledges leave their Montana ranch and head for the Dakotas to find their grandchild, who now resides with controlling matriarch Blanche Weboy (Lesley Manville) and her vicious clan. After the Weboys refuse to let mother and child go, George and Margaret prepare for a deadly confrontation.

Striking emotional drama and a powerful cast highlight this intense modern western. Based on Larry Watson's novel of the same name, director/screenwriter Thomas Bezucha ("The Family Stone") has created an imposing portrayal of family, loss and determination. It follows the structure of "High Noon": character-driven, with the bulk of action at the end. The deliberate slow-pacing allows the main characters to develop while a lurking sense of doom adds suspense. Kevin Costner, star and executive producer, ably takes on another stalwart role that's a slight variation on his portrayal of the formidable John Dutton in TV's terrific "Yellowstone". But it's Diane Lane and Lesley Manville (playing an extremely vile villain) as two strong-willed adversaries who elevate the story. When they're on screen together the tension mounts. Most notable among the supporting players are Kayli Carter as the embattled daughter-in-law and Booboo Stewart as Peter Dragswolf, a loner native American who reluctantly helps George and Margaret. Jeffrey Donovan and Will Brittain are Bill and Donnie (Lorna's abusive husband), members of the Weboy clan. Alberta, Canada fills in nicely for the open range landscapes of Montana and the Dakotas through the lens of cinematographer Guy Godfree. Weaving throughout the film is another magnificent score by composer Michael Giacchino. All of the ingredients add up to a compelling experience. "Let Him Go" skillfully captures the essence of the rugged west. (4/5 CAMS)

Rated R (for violence)
Running Time: 114 minutes

In theaters November 6, 2020.

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