Bowie (Keith Carradine) is an escaped convict who embarks on a crime spree with fellow former prisoners Chicamaw (John Schuck) and T-Dub (Bert Remsen). While in hiding between bank robberies, Bowie meets a young woman named Keechie (Shelley Duvall), and the two quickly fall in love. A life of crime doesn't sit well with Keechie, however, so she and Bowie try to settle down, but the law is determined to bring him to justice.
- Keith Carradine as Bowie
- Shelley Duvall as Keechie
- John Schuck as Chicamaw
- Bert Remsen as T-Dub
- Louise Fletcher as Mattie
- Tom Skerritt as Dee Mobley
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four, writing that it "no doubt has all sorts of weaknesses in character and plot, but which manages a visual strategy so perfectly controlled that we get an uncanny feel for this time and this place.
Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune awarded two-and-a-half stars out of four, saying that the film "at least on the story level, breaks no new ground" in that the criminals' actions "are reminiscent of 'Bonnie and Clyde' and a host of lesser films," adding, "Indeed, the major element of surprise in 'Thieves Like Us' is that Altman doesn't surprise us at all."