Don't Let Go (2019 film)
Don't Let Go is a 2019 American supernatural horror thriller film directed by Jacob Aaron Estes and written by Estes, from a story by Estes and Drew Daywalt. The film stars David Oyelowo, Storm Reid, Byron Mann, Mykelti Williamson, and Shinelle Azoroh. Jason Blum serves as a producer through his Blumhouse Productions banner, alongside Bobby Cohen and Oyelowo.
|Don't Let Go|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jacob Aaron Estes|
|Screenplay by||Jacob Aaron Estes|
|Music by||Ethan Gold|
|Box office||$5.3 million|
The film premiered under the title Relive at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival on January 27, 2019. It was released on August 30, 2019, by OTL Releasing, BH Tilt and Briarcliff Entertainment. It received mixed reviews from critics, with many praising the performances but criticized its inconsistent tone and writing.
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The movie starts with Jack Radcliff (David Oyelowo), a homicide detective, getting a call from his niece Ashley (Storm Reid). Ashley's father Garrett (Brian Tyree Henry) has forgotten to collect her from the movie theater. Ashley dislikes her father Garrett due to his bipolar disorder and past years of drug abuse. Ashley urges Jack to intervene on her behalf and have a word with her father. The next day Jack receives a phone call from Ashley that comments on how Garrett "got an ear-full" and everything appears to be great. However, a few hours later, Jack receives a garbled call from Ashley that indicates that she is in trouble. Jack races to Ashley's home to find Garrett, Ashley’s mother and Ashley murdered. Garrett is found with a bullet wound to the head and container full of cocaine beside him. It appears to be a murder-suicide. Jack blames himself thinking that his chastising of Garrett sparked this murder-suicide.
Two weeks later, he receives a phone call from Ashley's phone. Jack calls it back but the number is disconnected. He receives a further call and realizes that he somehow can communicate with Ashley in the past. Jack decides to investigate the murder and try and save Ashley. He decides to covertly help her re-arrange events in her life in the hope of preventing the murder-suicide. It quickly becomes apparent that Garrett was not responsible for the attack and in fact, he was a victim along with his family. With the help of Ashley, Jack and his partner Bobby, a fellow homicide detective, they begin to uncover evidence of an underground network of drug dealing cops working for an unknown figure called "Georgie". Garrett’s old connections to the drug underworld appear to have finally caught up with him.
Bobby informs Jack that Internal Affairs need to meet with him and rule him out of the investigation. Jack meets with the detective in charge, Roger Lee (Byron Mann), who tries to insinuate that Jack was having an affair with Garrett's wife and that Jack somehow murdered the family. Jack is insulted by the accusations, mocking Roger and then leaving.
Later, following another call with Ashley, Jack identifies a car seen near the house that belongs to Roger. He reports his suspicions to Bobby who indicates that Roger may be the infamous Georgie or at least working for him. Jack is then wounded investigating the car lock where Roger's car is hit. While wounded, he receives another call from Ashley and gets her to change her past. In the future, Jack collapses and appears to bleed out, though not before telling Ashley to call the police on her father, due to his apparent drug abuse. She does so, and in changing the past, she also changes the future, and Jack is never shot. However, the date of the murder ends up being a day earlier (and the day Ashley is currently in). She also finds Georgie's hideout but is forced to flee when one of the men there spots her. She manages to escape but loses her backpack in the process. She then calls Jack, and he tells her the truth about their circumstances and urges her to flee from town in order to survive; she agrees. Jack then approaches Bobby and their chief Howard (Alfred Molina) with the evidence they have uncovered, realizing that Georgie wasn't a person; it was a group of multiple people, which is why he was never found. Howard escorts Jack and Bobby to a secure location where they are to meet an FBI agent. However, Bobby suddenly turns on Jack and shoots Howard dead. Jack tries to flee but is wounded in the leg and falls to the ground.
Meanwhile, instead of running away, Ashley calls Bobby and asks him for a ride home. As a result, when they arrive, he confronts Garrett with a shotgun, demanding to know why Garrett never left town when he promised (Bobby had instructed them to do so in an effort to protect them). He also interrogates Ashley as to how she had found Georgie's hideout since he has found Ashley's backpack. Garrett tries to reason with Bobby, but he shoots Garrett and his wife dead. Bobby chases Ashley, who, thanks to Jack's insights from the future, manages to escape. In the present, Bobby demands to know who Jack's witness is. Jack discloses it is Ashley from the past, with Bobby not believing him. Ashley then calls Jack, which distresses Bobby, and he shoots Jack in the hand, destroying his phone in the process. Ashley makes her way to Jack's house just as Bobby arrives. She alerts Jack to Bobby, who, upon seeing his partner acting strangely and dangerously, shoots Bobby to save Ashley. This saves the future Jack. In the past, Jack comforts a tearful Ashley.
- David Oyelowo as Detective Jack Radcliff, Ashley's uncle and Garret's brother
- Storm Reid as Ashley Radcliff, Garret's daughter and Jack's niece
- Byron Mann as Detective Roger Lee
- Mykelti Williamson as Bobby
- Alfred Molina as Howard, Jack and Bobby's boss
- Brian Tyree Henry as Garret Radcliff, Ashley's father and Jack's brother
- Shinelle Azoroh as Susan
On April 17, 2017, it was announced that David Oyelowo was starring and executive producing the film with Jacob Aaron Estes writing and directing. On July 18, 2017, it was announced that Storm Reid is co-starring with Oyelowo. On July 25, 2017, it was announced that Brian Tyree Henry, Alfred Molina and Mykelti Williamson are also starring in the film.
Don't Let Go was released on August 30, 2019.
The film made $2.4 million from 922 theaters in its opening weekend, finishing in 14th.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 39% based on 72 reviews, with an average rating of 4.91/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "While admirably intelligent and well-cast, Don't Let Go suffers from a formulaic approach compounded by its uneven writing and an awkward tonal balance." On Metacritic, the film has a which uses a weighted average score of 51 out of 100, based on 19 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Audiences polled by PostTrak gave the film an average 3 out of 5 stars, with 46% saying they would definitely recommend it to a friend.
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