Since David Gordon Green's George Washington (2000), there's been a virtual subgenre in American cinema of rural dramas that pay homage to the 70s films of Terrence Malick; this tale of wistful criminal lovers in 1950s Texas crosses the line from homage into straight-up rip-off. Nothing about the film suggests an original vision; even Bradford Young's handsome cinematography feels like a calculated pastiche of Nestor Almendros (who shot Days of Heaven) and Roger Deakins (specifically, his Almendros imitation in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford). Writer-director David Lowery strains for poetry at every turn, and only the strain registers. The mannered dialogue sounds like the work of an undergrad creative writing major who's just discovered southern gothic literature, and the lugubrious, "dreamlike" pacing feels like a smoke screen for a lack of narrative incident. With Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, Ben Foster, and Keith Carradine.