There's a mix here of early and late Terrence Malick, something of Badlands (1973) and also To the Wonder (2012): it looks derivative, with the familiar lens flare and sunset wash. But if it is a homage, this is an intelligent and accomplished one, a conscientious matching-up of style and substance.
If Ain't Them Bodies Saints doesn't entirely work, on account of a certain self-consciousness, it is still a valuable and worthwhile drama. Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara play Bob and Ruth, a Texas couple on the wrong side of the law. After being cornered in an armed standoff, Bob takes the blame for having shot a cop and goes to jail. He dreams of escaping and, meanwhile, on the outside, the injured cop Patrick (Ben Foster) befriends Ruth. It's a poignant story of sundered love, earnest and intense, without being exactly tragic, and although writer-director David Lowery interestingly refuses certain romantic cliches, you wonder if he knows exactly where he's going with the narrative. Strong performances from Mara and Affleck.