IFC Films | Release Date: August 16, 2013
6.9
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 58 Ratings
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Positive:
39
Mixed:
15
Negative:
4
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9
MarcDoyleAug 19, 2013
One of the best movies I've seen in the last couple of years. Beautifully shot, and tremendous acting performances by the four leads (Mara, Affleck, Carradine, and Foster). It's great to finally see Ben Foster in this kind of sympathetic,One of the best movies I've seen in the last couple of years. Beautifully shot, and tremendous acting performances by the four leads (Mara, Affleck, Carradine, and Foster). It's great to finally see Ben Foster in this kind of sympathetic, virtuous role after so many years of playing the unbalanced, dangerous outsider. I also have to mention the score, which was perfect in tying the movie together, especially as the tension rises toward the climax. Lastly, Nate Parker does an amazing job in a supporting role we need to see more of him on the big screen. Expand
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5
TVJerrySep 15, 2013
The story starts with Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara in deep love and expecting a child. Almost immediately, he ends up in jail, then escapes several years later to return to his family. During it all, a cop (Ben Foster) pursues them both inThe story starts with Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara in deep love and expecting a child. Almost immediately, he ends up in jail, then escapes several years later to return to his family. During it all, a cop (Ben Foster) pursues them both in different ways. To make such a simple narrative work takes good writing, performances and direction. Unfortunately, none of those are especially commendable here. To make matters worse, the pacing is too slow and the cinematography is moody, but flat. While this simple tragedy had potential to be involving, nothing about the production helped. Expand
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7
beingryanjudeSep 2, 2014
David Lowery is a fairly unknown writer and director in today's industry. With Ain't Them Bodies Saints, he paints a visually moving series of occurrences. Rooney Mara along with Casey Affleck are tremendous.
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7
SpangleJun 22, 2015
Ain't Them Bodies Saints is a film that establishes director David Lowery as a man to keep an eye on, as he displays incredible talent here in this romantic western drama. Not only is it gorgeously shot and brilliantly put together, but itAin't Them Bodies Saints is a film that establishes director David Lowery as a man to keep an eye on, as he displays incredible talent here in this romantic western drama. Not only is it gorgeously shot and brilliantly put together, but it features great performances from Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, and Ben Foster. Very similar to Terrence Malick's films Badlands and Days of Heaven, both stylistically and story-wise, Ain't Them Bodies Saints is nowhere near as good as either of those in terms of pure film quality, but in terms of entertainment, it blows them out of the water. Far more entertaining, though still quite slow and tedious along the way, the film succeeds largely on its mise en scene and acting. The story is a bit weak, though it was told well, but it is never quite compelling as it could be and for an hour and a half, it does plod along a good bit. Not as weak or slow as a Malick film, but still. All the same, this one is a film that shows the potential of its director and showcases the talents of its brilliant cast. Expand
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8
foxgroveSep 11, 2013
Beautifully photographed and superbly acted. Casey Affleck proves once again that he is the better actor than brother Ben in a performance that is second only to his 'coward Robert Ford'. For the first time I have taken note of Rooney MaraBeautifully photographed and superbly acted. Casey Affleck proves once again that he is the better actor than brother Ben in a performance that is second only to his 'coward Robert Ford'. For the first time I have taken note of Rooney Mara and I honestly don't think Keith Carradine and Ben Foster have ever been better. The star of this film ,however, is the lyrical writing which the actors bring to life exquisitely. The combination of the two makes many scenes totally hypnotic. There is also a pervading sense of tragedy throughout which is underlined by the perfect and appropriately mournful score. The abrupt ending slightly disappoints but this is actually due more to my expectation than to do with the story not concluding. It could have gone on but that is another story and in effect would make this a different film. Expand
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6
ThegodfathersonAug 23, 2013
David Lowery is the equivalent of a Terrence Malick cover band. He has all the rhythms and notes, but none of the heart and soul. He’s selling nostalgia at the expense of originality. And for some, that might be just enough. But for me,David Lowery is the equivalent of a Terrence Malick cover band. He has all the rhythms and notes, but none of the heart and soul. He’s selling nostalgia at the expense of originality. And for some, that might be just enough. But for me, sitting through his aesthetically beguiling faux-Western, “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” merely left me craving an umpteenth look at “Badlands” and “Days of Heaven,” Malick films Lowery obviously suckled as intently as his mama’s breast. He does a superb job at paraphrasing both, from the hazy, dreamlike visuals to the long pauses and dialogue so muted that you often feel like you’re eavesdropping on a conversation in the next room. The characters are pure Malick, too: Young lovers, doomed by restlessness and ennui, running from the law as intently as they’re trying to flee from their consciences. And, just like “Heaven,” a love triangle with an ethereal woman conflicted by her romantic feelings for a good man and his evil-boy rival. Just replace Brooke Adams with Rooney Mara, Sam Shepard with Ben Foster and Richard Gere with Casey Affleck. Or, if you prefer the “Badlands” motif, swap out Mara for Sissy Spacek and Affleck for Martin Sheen. Either way, you come up short. It’s not that their performances are bad; it’s that these consistently fine actors are curiously miscast, beginning with Affleck, who’s too soft-spoken and non-threatening to be taken seriously as a hardened criminal. That’s more Foster’s purview, as he proved so indelibly on “Six Feet Under” and in “310 to Yuma.” As a heroic, big-hearted deputy, he’s just not cutting it. As for Mara, I feared that she might fall asleep at any minute. She certainly doesn’t communicate what it is that drives Affleck’s Bob and Foster’s Will to chase after her Ruth so intently.
It’s not that their performances are bad; it’s that these consistently fine actors are curiously miscast, beginning with Affleck, who’s too soft-spoken and non-threatening to be taken seriously as a hardened criminal. That’s more Foster’s purview, as he proved so indelibly on “Six Feet Under” and in “310 to Yuma.” As a heroic, big-hearted deputy, he’s just not cutting it. As for Mara, I feared that she might fall asleep at any minute. She certainly doesn’t communicate what it is that drives Affleck’s Bob and Foster’s Will to chase after her Ruth so intently. As for the plot, there really isn’t one beyond Bob breaking out of prison (off camera, no doubt due to the expense of shooting such a scene) and taking it on the lam in search of his beloved Ruth and their soon-to-be 4-year-old daughter, Sylvie, whom he has never met. Standing in his way, are three squinty-eyed bounty hunters, Ruth’s father-figure neighbor (Keith Carradine doing his best work in years) and a host of sheriff’s deputies, including Will, who persistently attempts to insinuate himself into the lives of Ruth and her daughter. Beyond that, nothing much happens. But given Lowery’s passion for Malick-esque visuals, it’s hardly a shock that his script is so bare-boned and derivative.
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5
BrianMcCriticDec 21, 2013
The film is well made and well acted, but it's just to slow to recommend. The pace of this film makes it real hard to get emotionally invested in any of the characters. C
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10
DrBlahBlahMay 2, 2017
Another underrated gem, one of the few Westerns (like No Country For Old Men) that doesn't feel immediately anachronistic and silly. Beautifully shot, filled with nuanced acting, this is a movie to savor.
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7
BITESCREENJun 22, 2017
Das Liebespaar Bob (Casey Affleck) und Ruth (Rooney Mara) erwartet ein Baby und stockt die Finanzen statt mit Kredit lieber per Raubüberfall auf. Das geht natürlich schief und endet in einem Schusswechsel mit der texanischen Polizei und einerDas Liebespaar Bob (Casey Affleck) und Ruth (Rooney Mara) erwartet ein Baby und stockt die Finanzen statt mit Kredit lieber per Raubüberfall auf. Das geht natürlich schief und endet in einem Schusswechsel mit der texanischen Polizei und einer Gefängnisstrafe für Bob. Der hat jedoch bald die Nase voll und bricht kurzerhand wieder aus – doch draußen warten bereits die ausgenommenen Killer, ein liebeskranker Deputy sowie Ruths beschützerischer Ziehvater. Zwei gewalttätige Turteltäubchen im schwülen Süden der USA – das klingt schwer nach Terrence Malicks Bonnie-und-Clyde-Interpretation Badlands. Und in der Tat borgt sich David Lowery für seinen melancholischen Neo-Western The Saints einiges vom großen amerikanischen Filmemacher: Viele Aufnahmen erstrahlen in rötlichem Zwielicht, ein Gitarren-und-Geigen-Soundtrack pluckert hypnothisch, während das offenbar tiefgründige Innere der Figuren meist aus dem Off ertönt. Audiovisuell und schauspielerisch beeindruckend, bleiben Spannung und Story dabei etwas auf der Strecke – ganz wie bei Malick also. Expand
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