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‘Don’t Let Go – good performances almost hold movie together

David Oyelowo and Storm Reid in "Don't Let Go"

By Eleanor Ringel Cater

I don’t know what cell phone plan David Oyelowo is using in “Don’t Let Go,” but it’s a doozy.

David Oyelowo and Storm Reid in “Don’t Let Go”

Probably best known for his starring turn as Martin Luther King Jr. in “Selma,” Oyelowo here plays Jack, an LAPD detective who has a particularly close relationship with his adorable, precocious teenage niece, Ashley (Storm Reid).  But within the movie’s first 10 minutes, that relationship is shattered because she and her family are brutally murdered.

Jack himself is pretty shattered, too. Even more so when days later, he receives a phone call on his cell.

From Ashley.

Much like the 2000 movie, “Frequency,” “Don’t Let Go” uses technology as the basis for a time-tripping murder mystery. And thanks to the performances, especially Oyelowo’s, the movie pretty much holds together.

Movie poster of “Don’t Let Go”

Unfortunately, “pretty much ”isn’t “ always,” and while it’s easy to go along with the sometimes strained concept, there are also moments when you just throw up your hands and wish the movie truly knew what it was doing.

Still, Oyelowo is just wonderful and the supporting performances, ranging from young Reid (“A Wrinkle in Time”) to veteran Alfred Molina as Jack’s boss, are strong. Bottom line: there are a lot worse ways to spend a sweltering early September at the movies.

 

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Eleanor Ringel

Eleanor Ringel, Movie Critic, was the film critic for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for almost 30 years. She was nominated multiple times for a Pulitzer Prize. She won the Best of Cox Critic, IMAGE Film & Video and Women In Film awards. An Atlanta native, she graduated from Westminster and Brown University. She was the critic on WXIA’s Noonday, a member of Entertainment Weekly's Critics Grid and wrote TV Guide’s movie/DVD. She is member of the National Society of Film Critics and currently talks about movies on WMLB and writes the Time Out column for the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

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