Take Me to the River

Watch Take Me to the River

  • NR
  • 2016
  • 1 hr 24 min
  • 6.2  (2,708)
  • 65

Take Me to the River is a coming-of-age drama film that premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Matt Sobel, the film stars Logan Miller as Ryder, a gay California teenager who goes to visit his conservative Nebraska relatives during a family reunion. From the very first scenes, we get a sense of the tension that exists between Ryder and his family. His parents, Cindy (Robin Weigert) and Don (Richard Schiff), seem to be loving and supportive, but there's an underlying sense of unease between Ryder and his uncle, Keith (Josh Hamilton), who is hosting the reunion at his farm. Keith is polite but distant towards Ryder, insisting that he sleep in a separate room from his male cousin, and making it clear that he doesn't approve of his nephew's sexuality.

As the reunion gets underway, Ryder tries to connect with his cousins and other relatives, but they are hesitant to let him in. Even his grandpa, Clyde (Bruce Dern), who is affectionate towards Ryder, makes unexpected comments that reveal his discomfort with homosexuality. The only person who seems to truly accept Ryder is Molly (Ursula Parker), Keith's young daughter, who is fascinated by her cousin's unique fashion sense and artistic talents.

As the days go by, tensions rise and secrets are revealed. Ryder becomes increasingly isolated as he grapples with his own identity and his relatives' reactions to it. Meanwhile, Keith's family starts to unravel as well, with his wife, Bonnie (Elizabeth Franz), nursing a bitter resentment towards him and his son, Brad (Ashley Gerasimovich) acting out in destructive ways.

The film is a slow burn, with long stretches of silence punctuated by explosive moments of conflict. The cinematography is stunning, capturing the stark beauty of the Nebraska landscape and the isolation of the farm where the reunion takes place. The soundtrack is also notable, featuring haunting original songs by Sharon Van Etten that perfectly capture the film's melancholic tone.

Ultimately, Take Me to the River is a poignant portrayal of family dysfunction and the difficulties of being true to oneself in a world that resists change. While the film doesn't offer easy answers or a tidy resolution, it does leave the audience with a sense of hope and the possibility of reconciliation. The performances are stellar across the board, with Miller in particular delivering a nuanced and heartbreaking portrayal of a young man trying to find his place in the world. Fans of indie dramas and character studies will find much to appreciate in this understated gem of a film.

Take Me to the River is a 2016 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 24 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.2 and a MetaScore of 65.

Take Me to the River
Where to Watch Take Me to the River
Take Me to the River is available to watch free on Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV, Tubi TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Philo, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Take Me to the River for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 24 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.2  (2,708)
  • Metascore