THEATRICAL REVIEW: Let Him Go is a gripping. splendidly acted old-school thriller

There’s an incredible little bit of showcasing going on in Let Him Go, and the audience gets the treat of being in on the little secret.

When actors with this much bravura and pedigree come together, it’s an absolutely special thing. Here, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane make this film look effortless, and their performances stun because of it.

A couple who just lost their adult son in an accident, retired sheriff George and his loving wife Margaret set out on a trek to track down their grandson. Their daughter-in-law Lorna, who remarries to abusive Donnie, takes him to live with her new husband on their family homestead.

But Margaret and George, fearing the worst, track the three down, and soon face the wrath of Donnie’s family, including terrifying matriarch Blanche. Part revenge-thriller, part drama, this film shouldn’t work.

It’s a tonally inefficient effort, and yet, Costner and Lane absolutely carry it as if it’s no big deal. In fact, all the performances are fantastic, including a scary turn from Oscar-nominee Leslie Manville as Blanche and Jeffrey Donovan as one of Donnie’s brothers.

Writer-director Thomas Bezucha is in new territory – previous entries included rom-coms The Family Stone and Monte Carlo – but he deftly handles the proceedings. There is an old-Hollywood feel to the simplicity of the script and the beauty of the cinematography.

Whatever it is, Let Him Go is quite an effort. It’s a strong, interesting adult feature during a time with little to entertain, and it sure does check all the boxes. But you’ll leave mostly happy to see Lane and Costner on-screen together again, and realizing you don’t appreciate them as much as you rightly should.

3.5/5 Stars

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