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Ain't Them Bodies Saints Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    For all its derivative poetics -- as many exteriors as possible were shot during or just after magic hour, a la Malick -- the film is a lovely thing to experience and possesses a measure of real power.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Mary Houlihan

    Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is a tone poem that doesn’t quite live up to its luster. It is so shrewdly perfect and solemn that the strong emotions layered throughout Bob and Ruth and Patrick’s intertwined story become lost in the film’s one-note mood.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    Since he popped up and broke hearts in Altman's "McCabe and Mrs. Miller," Carradine has learned a wealth of practical acting knowledge about how much and how little need be done at any given moment. He provides the on-screen link to those earlier days and brings the natural authority a director craves in a performer.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    Variety Peter Debruge

    Slow as molasses but every bit as rich.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    Village Voice Chuck Wilson

    Lowery isn't a Malick and he's certainly no Kazan, but he's his own man, and a filmmaker to watch.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    It's a tone poem, really, less concerned with conventional action than with exploring themes of love and commitment through understated performances, sumptuous images (Bradford Young did the cinematography), lovely music (Daniel Hart composed the score) and very few words, intoned elegiacally.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 16+

Poetic outlaw romance is beautifully acted but violent.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Ain't Them Bodies Saints is a stylized, atmospheric indie drama that's part Western, part relationship drama. Chronicling the intense romance between an outlaw and his bride, the movie has been compared to both Bonnie and Clyde and Badlands, and you can expect a fair amount of gun violence and on-screen death. There's also some language ("s--t," "a--hole"), but this is ultimately a love story, so there's a romantic undercurrent to the plot -- and some flashbacks to the passion between the central characters (no actual sex scenes, though). Because of the mood and the adult themes, this is a drama best reserved for mature teens.

  • Families can talk about the amount of violence in Ain't Them Bodies Saints. How is it reminiscent of a Western? In what ways does the end deviate from a typical Western ending?
  • Some people have said the movie seems like it's set in another century, even though there are clearly more contemporary elements. What gives the movie that period feel?
  • Compare the movie to other love stories about outlaws or criminals. What makes this one unique?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Despite the fact that it's about outlaws, the movie holds unconditional love on a pedestal and speaks of forgiveness and the enduring bonds of marriage and family.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Nearly all of the characters are flawed (to the point of being criminals in some cases), but they have the power to do good. Despite her past involvement in crime, Ruth is a dedicated mother who loves her daughter unconditionally. Bob might be a convicted criminal, but his love for Ruth and their child is powerful. Patrick is the most righteous character in the film. He doesn't judge Ruth or even Bob for their misdeeds and just wants to protect Ruth and offer her a way to move forward.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Gun violence bookends the film; there's a shoot-out at the beginning and one toward the end. Characters are injured or die from their gunshot wounds.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Flashback to kisses and caresses between Bob and Ruth. Their relationship is clearly passionate, but there are no actual sex scenes in the film.

  • language false2

    Language: Occasional profanity includes "s--t" and "a--hole."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adults drink, mostly in bars.