This naturalistic drama is ambitious to the point of being unwieldy... But once the story has advanced from one generation to the next and its thematic sweep has become apparent, these flaws seem much more tolerable.
To the film's credit, it's damn near impossible to imagine where The Place Beyond The Pines will end based on where it begins, even though its ever-widening scope causes it to lose some of the grubby intensity of its early scenes.
The Place Beyond the Pines wants to be a deep-dish meditation on fathers, sons, and the consequences of the decisions we make. But it's a slow-burner that burns so slowly its wick completely fizzles out.
''The Place Beyond the Pines'' aims admirably for an epic sense of Greek tragedy, and it does have some powerful individual moments, but the characters are all so underdeveloped that the whole effort feels like studied posturing.