The younger Affleck stars as Bob, a hotheaded, self-mythologizing outlaw, opposite Rooney Mara's Ruth, the smart, soft-spoken love of his life. During a shootout early in the film, Ruth, who is pregnant with their daughter, wounds the sheriff (Ben Foster) in the Texas town where they live. Bob takes the blame and is sent to prison across the country. Four years later, on his sixth attempt, Bob finally breaks out of prison, determined to reunite with Ruth and their daughter. In the meantime Ruth has settled into life in the small town, where various forces are determined to keep them apart, including the overprotective father figure (Keith Carradine) who watches over her and the sheriff she shot, who proves to be a much more layered character that we may initially think.