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"Ain't Them Bodies Saints"

U.S. Dramatic

*** (three stars)

Is "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" a thriller disguised as a character study, or vice versa? You'll have plenty of time to ponder that in David Lowery's slow-moving tale of Ruth (Rooney Mara) and Bob (Casey Affleck), outlaws caught after a crime spree in Texas. Bob went to prison, while a pregnant Ruth was acquitted, even though she shot and injured a deputy (Ben Foster) during a gunfight. Four years later, Bob, who took the fall to keep Ruth out of prison, escapes from the penitentiary and comes looking to reunite with Ruth and their daughter Sylvie (played by twins Kennedie and Jacklynn Smith). But Ruth's guardian Skerritt (Keith Carradine) doesn't want Bob back in Ruth's life, and Ruth is torn about a reunion — partly because the deputy has taken a protective interest in both Ruth and Sylvie. Lowery employs rich cinematography and production design, for a look reminiscent of Terence Malick films. Alas, the pacing is Malick-like, too, and the movie spends lots of time getting to the inevitable conclusion.

— Sean P. Means

"Ain't Them Bodies Saints" screens again: Monday, 6:30 p.m., Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Salt Lake City; Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Redstone Cinema 1, Park City; Wednesday, 8:30 p.m., The MARC Theatre, Park City; Thursday, 6 p.m., Sundance screening room, Sundance resort; Friday, 8:30 a.m., Prospector Square Theatre, Park City.

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