Steely, gun-toting, horse-riding grandmas are very likely to have an appeal for audiences of a certain age -- and that age doesn't have "teen" in it. The story of Let Him Go plays out sort of like grandma fantasy camp: Margaret is critical of her former daughter-in-law's capability to parent, and it turns out she's right! Lorna married a bad man from a rotten family, and viewers learn that the rot comes from the root: Lorna's new mother-in-law, Blanche Weboy (Lesley Manville). After convincing the reluctant George to come with her (she's packed up all the dishes and the coffee maker; he doesn't have much of a choice), Margaret must literally ride in on her horse to save her grandson from Lorna's poor decisions.
The setting is the Great Plains (although the credits say it was shot in Alberta, Canada): The land is beautiful, and it's a visual treat to see it in all its splendor. Although well acted, the characters lean into stereotypes, but the more you embrace the idea that this film is a noir, the more you're likely to be OK with that -- and even enjoy it. George, a former sheriff who runs a ranch and tries to stay out of the way of his hard-nosed wife, is the perfect Costner role. Blanche is the cackling, nasty, red-lipsticked matriarch whom you do not cross -- her ridiculousness as a prototype is part of the pleasure. But Lane seems miscast as Margaret -- the actor's vulnerability, nervousness, and empathetic face belie the behaviors and lines coming from others to describe her: "I can see you're no day at the races." Let Him Go is a juicy bit of suspense; yes, it's over the top, and there are some holes that were undoubtedly explained in Larry Watson's source novel, but it's fun in its own way -- though the mature subject matter won't likely be too interesting to teens.