The 10 Best Movies in Theaters Right Now

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The 10 Best Movies in Theaters Right Now

Movie theaters are officially back. As the cinematic offerings slowly return to the big screen compared to the streaming services and various digital rental retailers, we’re here to sort out what’s actually the best bang for your buck at the box office.

A new year and a new COVID variant are in full swing, so now might be a good time to exercise restraint even if there are bigger budget offerings hitting the big screen.

Of course, use your judgment when choosing whether to go back to the movies or not, but there’s an ever-growing percentage of vaccinated moviegoers who are champing at the bit to get back in front of the big screen. And I’m very happy to say that we’re back, here to help.

That said, things in theatrical distribution are a little strange right now, so apart from some big recent blockbusters, there’s a mix of Oscar-winners, lingering releases, indies and classics booked—depending, of course, on the theater. But thankfully, there’s been enough good movies actually released recently this year that you should have no problem finding something great to watch.

Check out the 10 best movies in theaters right now:


10. Barbarian

barbarian-poster.jpg Release Date: September 9, 2022
Director: Zach Cregger
Stars: Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård, Justin Long
Rating: R
Runtime: 102 minutes

The deceptively simple premise of Barbarian, the horror debut from writer/director Zach Cregger, is enough to induce genuine goosebumps. However, Cregger takes a creepy idea and concocts a breakneck tale of unyielding terror, giving audiences whiplash with each unpredictable revelation. When Tess (Georgina Campbell) arrives at her Detroit Airbnb on a forcefully stormy night, she finds that there’s no key in the encrypted lockbox to let herself in. After calling the host proves fruitless, she suddenly sees a light turn on through a front window. Tess frantically rings the doorbell, and the recently roused Keith (Bill Skarsgård) awkwardly answers the door. Realizing they accidentally double-booked the same rental for the next few days, Keith immediately insists that Tess get out of the rain and take the bedroom for the night (of course, he’s totally content with taking the couch). Surprisingly, she agrees. Though few viewers would likely make the same decision as the film’s protagonist, Barbarian wastes no time creating a thick sense of dread that clings until the credits roll. To divulge any further details of the film’s plot would thwart the winding, increasingly shocking narrative crafted by Cregger. With each terrifying reveal feeling fresher and freakier than the last, it’s encouraged to go into Barbarian with as little background and context as possible. Even citing Cregger’s horror references would serve to unnecessarily hint at jarring shifts in the film’s story, though comparisons to the work of fellow horror filmmakers James Wan, Tobe Hooper and George Romero are particularly apt. Barbarian offers up plenty of food for thought in its rancid banquet from hell. It’s got a biting socially-conscious undercurrent that addresses the bleak reality of existing as a woman in the U.S.—both past and present, whether residing in manicured suburbs or “shady” inner-city neighborhoods—even successfully weaving in a #MeToo subplot that doesn’t feel one-note or cursory. Even more impressive, Cregger incorporates this throughline with a heavy dose of humor, no doubt aided by his tenure as a member of IFC sketch comedy show The Whitest Kids U’ Know. Barbarian offers a fascinating take on the oft-unspoken claim men have long believed they have over women’s bodies. It does an excellent job at juxtaposing banal excuses for gendered violence with ghoulish, heinous ploys to strip women of their bodily autonomy (and their very humanity), exposing the malevolent nature of this deeply ingrained cultural misogyny. With the wounds still raw from the recent repeal of Roe v. Wade, Barbarian’s fixation on the omnipresent threat of rape in our society hits as hard as it (hopefully) ever could. Never relishing in the very brutality that it denounces, the film has its heart in the right place. It refuses to depict sexual violation on screen, cleverly illustrating the pervasiveness of this miserable reality without exploiting it for shallow shock value. Yet, even with the best of intentions, Barbarian will mercilessly run you through the wringer, letting these fucked-up facets of America absolutely ravage the screen—and your sanity—for 102 remarkably tense minutes.—Natalia Keogan


9. Hold Me Tight

hold-me-tight-poster.jpg Release Date: September 9, 2022
Director: Mathieu Amalric
Stars: Vicky Krieps, Arieh Worthalter, Anne-Sophie Bowen-Chatet, Sacha Ardilly
Rating: NR
Runtime: 97 minutes

A woman (Vicky Krieps) gets up, collects her things and leaves her family in a reckless hurry. She embarks on a road trip in the red family car and imagines what her family members are doing in her absence. As she drives toward the sea, Clarisse imagines herself encouraging her daughter Lucie (Anne-Sophie Bowen-Chatet) as she practices piano, watching her son Paul (Sacha Ardilly) measure his growing height and speaking to her husband (Arieh Worthalter) of love and loss in hushed tones. Sometimes they speak back to her and sometimes they don’t, as the line between what is real, imagined and mere memory becomes deliriously blurrier. Adapted from Claudine Galea’s unproduced play, Hold Me Tight is a visual and sonic poem that expresses the intricacies of how we communicate with loved ones across time, space, grief and memory. It is a true artistic accomplishment that writer/director Mathieu Amalric was able to take Galea’s text, originally meant for the stage, and spin it into a vivid piece with such a uniquely lush cinematic language. Amalric’s formal risks emotionally pay off tenfold each time a visual or auditory motif is repeated—such as falling snow or Lucie’s piano music. Superb performances from all four leads elevate Hold Me Tight’s emotional avalanche, but Krieps’ performance is a standout in its profound, elegiac devastation—one not seen since Juliette Binoche’s turn as a grieving woman in Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors: Blue. Amalric knew he wanted Krieps for the role ever since—as the filmmaker explained at a Lincoln Center post-screening Q&A—he saw her “walk through that door and take Daniel Day-Lewis’ order,” in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread. Grounded yet imaginative in her desolation, Krieps brings a soft yet strong benevolence to the role even in the woman’s darker moments of anguish. An enigmatic revelation about a woman’s descent into grief-stricken madness, Hold Me Tight packs an agonizingly painful wallop in the form of a complete reversal which would not work without Krieps’ deft skills or Amalric’s confident audiovisual risks. Right when the audience believes they’ve grasped Hold Me Tight’s dreamy threads, the film shifts into something totally new and nightmarish, yet still cohesive with the emotionally forthright throughline of the film overall.—Katarina Docalovich


8. Dos Estaciones

dos-estaciones-poster.jpg Release Date: September 9, 2022
Director: Juan Pablo González
Stars: Teresa Sánchez, Rafaela Fuentes, Tatín Vera, Manuel García-Rulfo
Rating: NR
Runtime: 99 minutes

The lush, rolling hills of Western Mexico set the scene in Juan Pablo González’s Dos Estaciones, the director’s first foray into narrative filmmaking. More specifically, the rows of agave plants that speckle these highlands are what bring the film into sharp focus, as the succulent plant’s most prized byproduct—tequila, named after the town in Jalisco it was first distilled in—is the lifeblood of the film’s namesake, a tequila factory named Dos Estaciones. González takes his sweet time bringing characters and their motivations to the forefront, relishing in the details of the laborious process inherent to producing the coveted spirit coupled with the surrounding natural beauty of his home state. Having grown up in Atotonilco El Alto, Jalisco, across the street from a tequila factory owned by his grandfather, González imbues the film with intimate touches gleaned by a native to the state and its most lucrative industry—blending his sparse yet stirring narrative with the observational eye typical of his previous documentary work. The director’s personal history is also evident in the setting of the titular tequila factory, which is actually owned by González’s extended family. However, for the purposes of Dos Estaciones, the factory’s owner is María García (a superb, shattering performance by Teresa Sánchez). She oversees everyone—from the fieldhands to the women who hand-affix stickers on each bottle—with a brusque directness, yet is clearly respected and admired by her workers despite her inability to promise paychecks on time. Gruff demeanor and dwindling finances notwithstanding, María is a beloved pillar of her community: she loans out her own equipment to workers, regularly supports other local businesses, and even attends the birthday parties of her employee’s kids. Dos Estaciones is Mexican slow cinema that defies conceptions often projected onto the country by Americans, while simultaneously criticizing the role the U.S. has played in destabilizing a vital industry in its financial and cultural infrastructure. Whether a tequila factory is owned by American corporations or a local independent business, those responsible for the laborious process of actually making tequila will likely always be Mexicans. What was once a mode of production that sustained a community is now having its resources depleted, with all gains flowing into one corporation’s pocket instead of the land which cultivated it—certainly something to keep in mind before buying Kendall Jenner’s recently launched tequila brand.—Natalia Keogan


7. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

mrs-harris-goes-to-paris-poster.jpg Release Date: July 15, 2022
Director: Anthony Fabian
Stars: Lesley Manville, Isabelle Huppert, Jason Isaacs, Alba Baptista, Lucas Bravo, Elen Thomas, Lambert Wilson
Rating: PG
Runtime: 115 minutes

Ada Harris (Lesley Manville) has never asked for anything. A hardworking cleaning woman in 1950s London, she spends her days cleaning up other peoples’ messes with an indestructible smile on her face, reliably spreading positivity everywhere she goes. But when she discovers the magic of Dior in the form of an employers’ dress, she realizes that it’s finally time for her to treat herself. Ada becomes dead-set on acquiring the hefty funds required to visit Dior’s luxurious Paris headquarters, using her British cunning and persevering through a number of faux pas and social blunders along the way. Mrs. Harris does indeed end up making it to Paris (thanks for the spoiler, movie title) and while there, she unsurprisingly butts up against an abundance of trials and tribulations as she pursues the dress of her dreams. Directed by Anthony Fabian and written by Fabian, Carroll Cartwright, Leigh Thompson and Olivia Hetreed, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris masterfully achieves every note essential in a captivating underdog story. A lot of the film’s tonal success has to do with Manville, who was cleverly cast as the inverse of her character in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread, where she played the stony, business-savvy sister of a distinguished 1950s fashion designer. In Harris, Manville plays the optimistic, inexperienced Ada with a perfect mix of coarse humor and clumsy mannerisms, alongside subtle yet powerful glints of empathy and sophistication. Manville’s compassionate performance is bolstered by Fabian’s detail-oriented and textured storytelling. When Ada finally makes it to Paris, we see the city as she does: In sweeping widescreen, blushing with pastel colors, with rain-covered streets sparkling like dazzling disco balls. Harris remains a careful balancing act between humor and earnestness throughout its runtime, and, for the most part, it succeeds. It is uplifting and elegantly made, and a movie that you don’t have to love fashion to enjoy—just as Ada reminds us that we don’t have to be part of the upper-class to wear haute couture.—Aurora Amidon


6. Blonde

blonde-poster.jpg Release Date: September 16, 2022
Director: Andrew Dominik
Stars: Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale, Julianne Nicholson, Xavier Samuel, Evan Williams
Rating: NC-17
Runtime: 166 minutes

There are pieces of Marilyn Monroe everywhere: In tributes, parodies and homage; in bits of her movies, sliced into iconic clips rendering them instantly recognizable even to those who haven’t actually watched them; in mournful recollections of stars snuffed out too soon. “It’s like a jigsaw puzzle, but you’re not the one to put it together,” says the version of Marilyn played by Ana de Armas in Blonde. Not every puzzle piece or image in the Monroe kaleidoscope makes it into Andrew Dominik’s film, which is neither traditional rise-and-fall biopic nor playful I’m Not There-style biographical deconstruction. But this adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ novel (not biography) is fragmented and visually rich enough to convey what Dominik and Oates seem to be after: How the collective ownership an audience feels over its beloved icons has unseemly origins, and often destructive endings. We see glimpses of Monroe as a thoughtful, well-read young woman; a passionate actress; an optimistic survivor—and for all these reasons and more, people dismiss her, or attempt to take possession of her. After a harrowing childhood sequence ending with the institutionalization of her mother (Julianne Nicholson), Blonde jumps to the early 1950s, with de Armas playing the former Norma Jeane Baker, now a model and up-and-coming actress—which means being treated, in her words, as “meat.” De Armas’ eyes have a pleading desire, and the edge of her accent peeks through her imitation of Monroe’s voice—perfectly appropriate, even lovely, for a figure who has inspired so many broad impressions. This version of Marilyn regards her stage name as a creation separate from her genuine self, and is on a perpetual search for the love that will fill the dual void left by her abusive mother and father she’s never known. Increasingly, she finds that the adulation felt by millions for Marilyn Monroe doesn’t necessarily count for Norma Jeane. Blonde can be a tough sit, for the 166-minute monotony of its images of abuse and misery almost as much as the misery itself. At the same time, its explosion of visual ideas never quite wears out its welcome. Dominik has created his own dark-flipside version of the Norma Jeane/Marilyn bifurcation, perhaps almost too neatly: The movie is both a daring and empathetic deconstruction of Monroe iconography anchored by a beautiful performance from de Armas, as well as a miserabilist wallow in exploitation. Like its fictionalized subject, the lines between the two are sad, blurry and spellbinding.—Jesse Hassenger


5. Goodbye, Don Glees!

goodbye-don-glees-poster.jpg Release Date: September 14, 2022
Director: Atsuko Ishizuka
Stars: Natsuki Hanae, Yuki Kaji, Ayumu Murase, Kana Hanazawa, Rino Sashihara, Atsushi Tamura
Rating: PG
Runtime: 94 minutes

The gnats are swarming, the fireworks are glowing, and it’s time to get the boys together for one last summer hurrah. A quintessential “last teen summer” story, the premise of Goodbye, Don Glees!, writer/director Atsuko Ishizuka’s first original feature, is a bit trite at first blush. But like the nectar of succulent flowers in full bloom, there is much to savor. Teens Roma (Natsuki Hanae; Adam McArthur) and Toto (Yuki Kaji; Nick Wolfhard) are childhood friends united as outcasts in their rural mountainside village. Now high schoolers, the pair have begun to drift apart. With a sense of obligation masked as desire, Toto left their hometown to attend a high school in the city while Roma remained to help his family’s farm. Returning briefly for a summertime festival, Toto’s newfound sense of maturity and Roma’s unchanged wonder come to an impasse. The duo, under the self-proclaimed banner of the “Don Glees,” is further altered by the presence of a new member: Drop. Drop (Ayumu Murase; Jonathan Leon) is the smallest boy of the group and the least restrained, a foil to the person Toto imagines himself becoming, and one who pushes Roma further from what Toto thinks he needs from his friend. But when the trio is blamed for a forest fire, they have to adventure into the wilderness that will, of course, push them apart before pulling them back together. From its technically impressive, sweeping 3-D landscapes to powerful orchestral themes, Goodbye, Don Glees! looks like an anime that could be narrated by David Attenborough. Ishizuka and art director Ayana Okamoto, one of many returning A Place Further than the Universe staff, recapture the series’ characteristic lighting and lensing that, coupled with changing color gradients, invoke the use of film. That sentiment is further carried by A Place Further than the Universe composer Yoshiaki Fujisawa’s soundtrack, which is paired with energizing alt-rock themes from YAMO that really brings home all the emotions of a YA indie flick. With recurring themes and imagery already emerging after just a few projects, Don Glees! makes me want to see more of Ishizuka’s voice come through as her team at Madhouse further refines their production—and as Ishizuka works with more collaborators in future endeavors. With Goodbye, Don Glees!, she’s readily assumed the spotlight as a leader of animation. In capturing the ephemeral magic of childhood wonder and the natural world, and further depicting how our relationships—to each other and the land—change into adulthood, Goodbye, Don Glees! is a perfect way to ring in the changing of the seasons.—Autumn Wright


4. Top Gun: Maverick

top-gun-maverick-poster.jpg Release Date: May 27, 2022
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jenifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Jon Hamm, Monica Barbaro, Ed Harris, Val Kilmer, Jay Ellis, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Danny Ramirez, Greg “Tarzan” Davis
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 137 minutes

Not quite four years since Mission: Impossible—Fallout and much of Tom Cruise’s purpose remains the same—if it hasn’t exactly grown in religious fervor. In Top Gun: Maverick, the sequel to Tony Scott’s 1986 original, Cruise is Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a man trapped in the past, refusing to advance his career as resolutely as he refuses to do much of anything besides continue to prove he’s the greatest pilot in the world—a title the film never forgets to remind the audience that Maverick earned long ago—and mourn his best friend, Goose (Anthony Edwards), who died 35 years ago in an accident for which Maverick still feels responsible. Tom Cruise is also, simply, “Tom Cruise,” the only notable show business scion left to throw his body into mind-numbing danger to prove that it can be done, to show a younger generation that this is what movies can be, what superstars can do. Must do. The more modern action films teem with synthetic bodies bursting apart at the synthetic seams, the more Tom Cruise builds his films as alters upon which to splay his beautiful sacrificed flesh. To that end, Joseph Kosinski is the precisely correct director to steer Cruise’s legacy sequel. As was the case with Kosinski’s Tron: Legacy, Maverick seems to exist to justify its existence, to update an IP that seems to only work in the past. For Top Gun this means translating Scott’s vision of sweat-drenched beach volleyball and unmitigated military spectacle into a soberer IMAX adventure, moving from the halcyon days of Reagan’s America to a world with no more need of a man like Maverick. “The future’s coming, and you’re not in it,” he’s told; every one of his superior officers appears to have no patience for him left. One can’t help but imagine that every new Tom Cruise vehicle is a way for him to reckon with that. Kosinski’s dogfights are pristine, incredible feats of filmmaking, economical and orbiting around recognizable space, but given to occasional, inexplicable shocks of pure chaos. Then quickly cohering again. If Scott’s action was a melange of motion never meant to fully cohere, keeping the American dream just that, then Kosinski is dedicated to allowing the audience a way into the experience. With his regular cinematographer Claudio Miranda, he revels in symmetry to keep the audience tethered. A wide glimpse of a dogfight in total, resembling a beach scene earlier, so suddenly appeared silently in the vast theater and unlike anything I’d ever really seen before, I gasped.—Dom Sinacola


3. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

marcel-the-shell-with-shoes-on-poster.jpg Release Date: June 24, 2022
Director: Dean Fleischer-Camp
Stars: Jenny Slate, Rosa Salazar, Thomas Mann, Isabella Rossellini
Rating: PG
Runtime: 89 minutes

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On gives us the opportunity for a delicate, whimsical and poignant escape that will make you feel stronger, taller and better for it on the other side. Who knew that a one-inch shell with shoes on would be our existential savior this summer? If you were poking around YouTube about a decade ago, you might have been witness to the viral introduction of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. The tiny shell with insightful observations, and questions, about our everyday existence evolved into a trio of stop-motion animated shorts created by director Dean Fleischer-Camp and writer Jenny Slate (who also voices Marcel). It took more than a decade for the pair, along with co-writers Nick Paley and Elisabeth Holm, to come up with a broader story that would bring their bitty big thinker onto the big screen for a worthy continuation of his adventures. What they came up with connects loneliness, grief, hope and Lesley Stahl. No prior knowledge is necessary walking into Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, because the first act sets up the broader origin story for Marcel and their family, as well as recreates the heyday of their Internet notoriety into the film’s overall story. Taking place in a lovely Airbnb rental home in Los Angeles, Marcel is a resourceful little shell who lives in the vast home with his aging Nona Connie (Isabella Rossellini). Marcel spends most days creating Rube Goldberg contraptions, out of everything from standing mixers to turntables, to navigate challenges like climbing stairs or shaking kumquats from outside trees for food. The rest of their time is spent watching out for Connie as she gardens and makes friends with insects who assist in her garden-box tending. As Connie’s gotten more frail and forgetful in her old age, Marcel is the dutiful and gentle caretaker who cherishes her presence as his only existing family. Like the shorts, the canvas for Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is our real world, so Fleischer-Camp and cinematographer Bianca Cline are tasked with turning the mundane—a nice but regular old house—into a micro-playground filled with dappled light and ordinary obstacles meant to push Marcel’s ingenuity. Coffee tables become ice rinks, plant boxes become communal gardens and washing-room window sills become contemplative nooks for self-reflection. Their macro lens reframes everything we take for granted and makes them charming spaces for Marcel to navigate—and for our eyes to discover with fresh perspective. Of course, the cynics and the naysayers may accuse Marcel the Shell with Shoes On of being too twee or not cinematic enough. That’s ok. From the jump, a huge part of the film is allowing yourself to go to the tender places this movie intends to take you. This is an introspective journey that, if you let it, shatters the tiny boundaries of Marcel and Connie’s shells, connecting us all to the wealth of shared experiences, feelings and wants that take up essential space inside every one of us. That we can learn to embrace those things, with such vulnerability and bravery, from an anthropomorphic mollusk proves the true power of cinema.—Tara Bennett


2. Nope

nope-poster.jpg Release Date: July 22, 2022
Director: Jordan Peele
Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun
Rating: R
Runtime: 130 minutes

Among his most amusing directorial quirks, Jordan Peele appreciates the melodrama of a good biblical citation: 2019’s killer doppelgänger vehicle Us tirelessly invokes Jeremiah 11:11 and his latest effort Nope opens with Nahum 3:6: “I will cast abominable filth upon you, make you vile, and make you a spectacle.” It’s that last clause which perfuses Nope, a shrewd, tactile yarn about a brother-sister rancher duo in pursuit of video evidence of a UFO circling their home. Though Peele routinely prods at the Hollywood machine and its spectacles, here he unlades it all: Image-making as brutality, catharsis, posterity, surveillance, homage, indulgence. Six months after a freak accident killed their father, siblings OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald Haywood (Keke Palmer) have taken over “Haywood’s Hollywood Horses,” Agua Dulce’s intergenerational horse-wrangling business which specializes in equine showbiz. Working in beautiful contradistinction, Kaluuya plays OJ as stoic and reticent—the true older brother type—and Palmer’s Emerald is prodigiously magnetic and full of puckish chatter. After a series of strange happenings—blackouts, agitated horses, pained noises emanating from the canyons—OJ observes what appears to be a flying saucer gliding through the inky night sky. The next day he spots a cloud that doesn’t move an inch. Suspecting a connection between the saucer and their father’s death, OJ and Emerald enlist the help of gawky, unstable techie Angel (Brandon Perea) and renowned documentarian Antlers Holst (Michael Wincott, excellent rasp) to obtain proof of the UFO, with intent to profit off of the footage. In a sense, the Haywoods want to make a movie. This is Peele rescripting the American film canon, asking what it means to engage with such an exclusionary medium. Shot in IMAX by Dutch cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema—a Christopher Nolan regular, responsible for the slick, beautified landscapes of Interstellar, Dunkirk and TenetNope configures a world of sweeping, dusty landscapes and bloodied dwellings. Steven Spielberg is less a point of reference here than he is the emotional roadmap. The Close Encounters of the Third Kind comparisons write themselves, but notionally, Nope is more like Jaws in the sky. Parts neo-Western, family drama, sci-fi and cosmic horror, Nope sees Peele balance more throughlines here than ever before: Aliens, Muybridge revisionism, undigested grief, chimpanzee carnage, a punctilious documentarian chasing the impossible. Nope is indisputably one for Peele—a spectacle in the least derogatory sense; a palimpsest of nostalgic blockbusters and Peele’s deservedly self-assured vision of Hollywood’s future; but mostly, a solution to and an undertaking of modernity.—Saffron Maeve


1. A Love Song

a-love-song-poster.jpg Release Date: July 29, 2022
Director: Max Walker-Silverman
Stars: Dale Dickey, Wes Studi, Michelle Wilson, Benja K. Thomas, John Way, Marty Grace Dennis
Rating: PG
Runtime: 81 minutes

One of my grandpas died right before the pandemic. My grandma met someone in the middle of it. Her new relationship wasn’t well-liked in my family, but it made her giddy as a schoolgirl—finding another cowboy to look at livestock with, play cards with, to make dinner with. When I was little, she used to live in a trailer, driven out into the woods and bricked into the earth. I see a lot of her in writer/director Max Walker-Silverman’s sublime debut, A Love Song, where a widow and widower find a teenage verve for each other—weathered but not beaten in the sun of the American west. Faye (Dale Dickey) lingers at one of several campsites surrounding a crawfish-filled lake, waiting for Lito (Wes Studi). She’s not sure he’ll arrive, but as we observe her daily routine—listening to birds, making coffee and catchin’ crawdads as she spins the radio dial in search of another country tune—her uneasiness is couched in a kind of contentment. Walker-Silverman situates us the same way, with ogling environmental photography that takes pleasure in a rare flowery purple on dried brown dirt and Faye’s tininess in relation to the lake, the mountains and the overwhelming dark (or starry splendor) of night. The location is spectacular but, conspicuously, never as enthralling as the actors. When they eventually meet up, top-level turns from Studi and Dickey combine for a contained masterclass, a relationship that’s been nursing a low flame for decades. They’re shy, affectionate and oh-so awkward—spurred by nervous attraction and lingering guilt surrounding their lost loved ones—with an honesty that makes the most of a sparse and quiet script. A Love Song’s a brief and pretty little thing—less than 90 minutes—with the warm melancholy of revisiting a memory or, yes, an old jukebox love song. Walker-Silverman displays a keen eye, a deep heart and a sense of humor just silly enough to sour the saccharine. Dickey takes advantage of one of the best roles she’s ever had to tap into something essential about loss, lonesomeness and resilience. Her performance is a gift, one given by someone who knows about simple pleasures and those that last—how both are important, and how they might not always be separate.—Jacob Oller