‘Let Him Go’ Review: A Bit Uneven, but Wrangles Up Some Solid Adult Drama

If Zack Snyder’s DCEU got anything right, it was creating the Costner-Lane power couple.

“Let Him Go” stars Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as a husband and wife who, after the death of their own son, set out to retrieve their grandchild from their new abusive father. Thomas Bezucha writes and directs.

In recent years Kevin Costner has really made his mark in television, winning a Golden Globe and Emmy for his work in “Hatfields & McCoys” and more recently starring in the popular “Yellowstone.” While this is set in the 1960s Dakotas, Costner is still a rancher with a gun, and fans of his previous works should get enough of a kick from this (at times uneven) adult drama.

Kevin Costner is quietly one of our better actors, who has added some gravitas to films like “Molly’s Game” and “Hidden Figures.” Here, he and Diane Lane feel like a genuine married couple, and despite losing their son in the opening sequence you feel the toll it takes on them. They’re a ride or die partnership, and whether it’s the film’s more tender and subtle moments (like Lane indicating she doesn’t want to leave a meeting simply by glancing up at Costner) or the big explosive dramatics, the pair give the material way more quality than it deserves.

Set in the Midwest but shot in Canada, the film looks great. Cinematographer Guy Godfree captures some great wide shots of sprawling mountains and creeks, but also creates an eerie, dark, and gritty feel when Costner and Lane meet Lesley Manville’s matriarch character (Manville gives an entertaining and dedicated performance herself, but she thinks she’s in an entirely different movie).

The first act of the film follows Costner and Lane trying to track down the grandson, and it plays out like the family drama that it is. The film then lingers for a bit, rinsing and repeating a few scenes and plot points behind suddenly transforming into a blood-soaked finale. The jarring shift into a Tarantino film didn’t bother me, but I do wish that middle part didn’t sag so much leading up to it.

“Let Him Go” is perfectly fine adult entertainment, and fans of things along the lines of Taylor Sheridan’s work (“Yellowstone” and “Hell or High Water”) should get a kick. I was never fully engaged, but I was also never bored, and you can take all that how you wish.

Critics Rating: 6/10

Focus Features

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