I've been meaning to note for some time that, while I'm not quite as enthusiastic as BJ/okri, I too would recommend American Honey as one of the few truly praiseworthy films of 2016. I'm another "didn't much care for Spring Breakers" fellow, and I can see certain surface similarities between the two films. But I didn't get the whiff of nihilism floating off Honey that I did Breakers. (This would also distinguish the film from another I've heard it compared too, Larry Clark's Kids.) American Honey deals with a subculture, for sure, and a part of American life with which I'm not exactly in sympathy or in tune. And the behavior of many of its characters can border on appalling. Yet I didn't feel distant from the characters, because Arnold kept their (unsentimentalized) humanity front and center. It's mostly unspoken (except in scenes involving our primary character), but you get the solid sense that all of the crew come from families who provided no attention or affection, and that the camaraderie among the group is the closest they've ever come to a home-base. So, even while they do horrible things (to outsiders and to each other), I never found myself just rejecting them (as I had no problem doing with many characters in Spring Breakers or Kids).
I don't want to sell this too hard. I'm a classicist at heart, so this film is pretty far from my preference-wavelength -- it barely hints at any central plot, and it's more likely to feint at dramatic developments than carry any forward to crisis (as with the gun, or the news that our main character can't swim). And the film does go on about 10-15 minutes too long (I, too, thought the film's logical endpoint was the bus sing-along, and didn't see what the scenes that followed added). But, the bottom line: for a film that ran close to three hours with little sense of structure, I found myself surprisingly engaged almost all the way along. In a year such as this, that's something to merit gratitude.