Ain't Them Bodies Saints 2013

Critics score:
79 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine/Vulture: As Ain't Them Bodies Saints moves along, its elliptical approach to drama goes from keeping us on our toes to dulling everything down. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: This film's longing for ... for a simple, elemental truth that will be both specific to its time and place and ripe with deeper meanings - is precisely what makes it unconvincing. Read more

Matthew Kassel, New York Observer: If Ain't Them Bodies Saints seems insubstantial in structure, it may be because Mr. Lowery has chosen to focus on appearance over plot, which doesn't mean the movie is less effective as a result. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: This is Terrence Malick territory; you might guess that with the sound turned off, thanks to the bronze sunlight low on broad horizons. Still, Mr. Lowery stakes out his own distinctive boundaries ... Read more

A.A. Dowd, AV Club: Lowery, it can't be denied, has Malick's moves down pat. It's the Malick touch that eludes him. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: A slow-moving story of devotion, obsession and Texas justice. Read more

Jake Coyle, Associated Press: Awash in 1970s filmmaking and the kind of stylized folksiness that pickling Brooklyn hipsters with handlebar mustaches will positively drool over. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: The characters are too ordinary to care deeply for and the story doesn't add up to much, but Lowery has made a shrine to his actors, to the land through which they move, and to the kind of cinema that once sustained us. Read more

Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader: Writer-director David Lowery strains for poetry at every turn, and only the strain registers. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: It is not a large film. But Lowery may well be a large talent, and he sure knows how to cast the right actors. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Lowery has a way with actors, though. As a local sheriff with an eye for Ruth, Ben Foster is excellent and, in a too-small role as a grizzled shopkeeper, Keith Carradine proves himself yet again to be one of our finest performers. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: On its own terms, Saints conjures a mood of stoic obsession at the service of a tale older than the Hill Country dirt it calls home. Read more

Jordan Hoffman, A fever dream facsimile of an eventful movie Read more

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: An exceptionally beautiful, if a bit fuzzy-headed, romantic Texas outlaw saga that announces a considerable talent in writer-director David Lowery. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: A wistful and wayward drama about an outlaw couple who will get under your skin and work on your heart if you're not careful. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: Lowery has a lyrical style of storytelling that is delicate and subtle yet suffused with emotion and atmosphere. It's gentle and pointed at the same time. Read more

David Thomson, The New Republic: This is a hell of a film, a marvelous experience, far more beautiful than sentimental, so long as you don't have to have a mind made up for you. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: A repository of fugitive Americana that's substantial and satisfying. Read more

Richard Brody, New Yorker: The feel of the movie is intimate and handmade, as if Lowery were renewing, lovingly and poignantly, the landscape's ruined landmarks and infusing them with his own memories and dreams. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: The places feel lived in. The story feels like life. Read more

Tomas Hachard, NPR: Ain't Them Bodies Saints has big thematic ambitions matched by a grandiloquent style ... Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: The shadow of Terrence Malick falls hard across this Texas crime drama, a beautiful-looking prose poem that starts strong but winds up with nowhere to go. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: Lowery put 90 percent of his energy into the atmosphere and 10 percent into the script. Read more

Michael Sragow, Orange County Register: A lyrical modern Western that casts a contemporary but un-jaded eye on the romantic mythology of outlaw couples. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: A loping and lovely romance, steeped in tragedy, with a Texas twang. Read more

Christy Lemire, A muted but always engrossing tale of young, doomed love. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Ain't Them Bodies Saints offers no glib answers or smooth resolution, but there's no question that Lowery is a filmmaker with a striking future. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, It marks the arrival of an immense talent who will be new to most moviegoers - although Lowery is a well-known figure in the indie-film world - and it's surely one of the best American films of the year. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: The tone never changes. Scenes aren't inflected, and when the end comes, it registers, but without much impact. Read more

Kristin Tillotson, Minneapolis Star Tribune: It feels raw, and real, and sets a tone that is sustained throughout. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: This Sundance-sanctioned, love-on-the-run melodrama is indie filmmaking of a deliberately timeless sort. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: It's a gorgeous film to behold, but writer-director David Lowery gets so wrapped up in the visuals that the storytelling lags at critical moments. Read more

Cath Clarke, Time Out: A slow, banjo-string-tight thriller ... Bodies gets under your skin and stays there. Read more

Sam Adams, Time Out: If it's not thrillingly new, it's old in the best way-worn, comfortable and embodying virtues too often lost. Read more

Peter Debruge, Variety: David Lowery's Ain't Them Bodies Saints landed with the excitement of a bold new voice, and yet, there's also something undeniably old-fashioned in his approach, suggesting a lost artifact freshly unearthed from the 1970s. Read more

Chuck Wilson, Village Voice: Lowery isn't a Malick and he's certainly no Kazan, but he's his own man, and a filmmaker to watch. Read more