Don’t Let Go

Movie Information

An overachieving opening hour gives way to cliché-filled drudgery in this supernatural thriller.
Genre: Thriller/Fantasy
Director: Jacob Estes
Starring: David Oyelowo, Storm Reid, Mykelti Williamson
Rated: R

For nearly an hour, Don’t Let Go overachieves and gives viewers hope that the film might actually make its wacky premise work.

While LAPD Detective Jack Radcliff (David Oyelowo, Selma) attempts to solve the gruesome death of his brother Garret (Brian Tyree Henry, Widows), sister-in-law Susan (Shinelle Azoroh) and niece Ashley (Storm Reid, A Wrinkle in Time)  — the latter of whom can magically phone her uncle from another timeline, hours before the murder — the absurdity of the situation fades as the film transforms into an emotional race against time.

In tandem with the strong performances from all three recognizable stars, the intriguing writing and sufficiently exciting direction from Jacob Estes (Mean Creek) are also enough to attract the high-wattage talent of Alfred Molina for a day of work as Jack’s superior officer and Mykelti Williamson (Fences) as a trusted colleague.

But once answers regarding the mystery begin to arise, Don’t Let Go devolves into a cliché-filled final stretch, complete with lengthy Bond-villain exposition, in which the antagonist’s drawn-out, violent actions come off especially cruel and empty. It’s a lousy end to what had been a promising handling of strange material — and lands with too much of a thud to warrant a recommendation.

About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA).

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.