Mel Valentin
4 min readNov 7, 2020

Movie Review: “Let Him Go” Delivers a Solid Mix of Drama and Genre Thrills

The estranged family that brunches together …

Pop culture-wise, the Western genre’s relevance has faded over time, but for Kevin Costner, a throwback movie star and Oscar-winning director, it represents a figurative second home, a genre where he can explore, examine and dissect varying iterations of masculinity, from the playful, Hawksian charms of Silverado thirty-five years ago, the physical, emotional, and mental toll of the Civil War in Dances With Wolves five years later, to a weary, middle-aged gunfighter exhausted with the violence of the American West in Open Range seventeen years, through a modern rancher’s struggle against corporate greed and the excesses of unchecked capitalism in Yellowstone, and his current role as a retired ex-sheriff, George Blackledge, forced by cultural expectations and familial obligations to attempt an ill-conceived rescue mission in Let Him Go, a neo-Western set in early ’60s Montana and North Dakota.

When we first meet George and Margaret (Diane Lane, Costner’s one-time Man of Steel co-star) in a broad-strokes prologue, they’re living their definition of an idyllic existence. They apparently have everything they could ever want or need, including a comfortably sized homestead, a stay-at-homestead twenty-something son, James (Ryan Bruce), his equally young wife, Lorna (Kayli Carter), and a newly born grandson, Jimmy (Bram and Otto Hornung as a three-year-old), Margaret…