• R, 2 hr. 21 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Derek Cianfrance
    In Theaters:
    Mar 29, 2013 Limited
    On DVD:
    Jul 23, 2013
  • Focus Features

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The Place Beyond The Pines Reviews

Page 1 of 201
Liam G

Super Reviewer

July 12, 2012
The scope of Cianfrance's follow-up to ''Blue Valentine'' may be larger than that film, but the director still has the ability to create engrossing characters and produce outstanding performances from his actors. Gosling gives one of his best performances and Cooper shows why his Oscar nomination for ''Silver Linings Playbook'' was no fluke. The cinematography, editing, music and direction are all pitch perfect but what makes Cianfrance's third feature so special is the themes it tackles and the way Cianfrance chooses to tackle them. There are many opportunities where the film could fall apart but Cianfrance structres the film in very assured fashion and never comes close to losing the audience. ''The Place Beyond the Pines'' is a surprising, sprawling and thought-provoking tale of old and young generations and what happens when certain people's morality is put to the test.
Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

August 16, 2013
This was like three movies in one...very long, and pointless. The first 30 minutes of the movie has action, fine acting, a story line. After that point, it becomes a jumbled up mess. Some parts are excellent, but overall, it goes from exciting to boring. There were just too many lulls between meaningful scenes, in my opinion.
cosmo313
cosmo313

Super Reviewer

January 20, 2013
I rather enjoyed Blue Valentine, so when i heard that writer/director Derek Cianfrance and star Ryan Gosling were teaming up again, I got pretty excited, especially after I saw the trailer.

The result is another fine cinematic gem. What we get here is a sprawling, gritty epic drama about fathers, sons, actions, and consequences, and the impact a legacy can have.

The film is divided into three interconnected chapters. Part 1 following a carnival motorcycle daredevil who, upon hearing from an ex that he has a son, decides to turn his life around and acquire a decent amount of money to provide a decent livelihood. He goes about this by using his skill set to perform a series of daring robberies.

These robberies lead into Act II where the action is focused on a decorated but troubled cop who tries to do the right thing, which proves hard due to mounting pressure from his less than ethical colleagues.

The film's final third takes place about 15 years after the events of the first two-thirds, and follows two teenage boys whose growing friendship and individual lives are tested when they learn about their pasts and their fathers.

This is a really ambitious, powerful, and gripping drama. It's also really long, somewhat slow, and has a final act that, while decent, isn't nearly as good or interesting as the rest of it. It ends on a decent note though, so that makes up for it, but still.

On the technical side, this one is clearly an artsy/indie type of deal, but that's fine by me. The cinematography is gorgeous, there's some great lighting, mood, and atmosphere, and you know a film is trying for greatness when it opens up with a killer long take tracking shot. The music by famed musician Mike Patton perfectly fits the vibe of the material, and really highlights the fact that, while the film does have a solid plot and characters, it's primarily about the aforementioned mood, tone, and atmosphere.

As the daredevil, Ryan Gosling is awesome. It's another killer gritty notch in his belt, and if he decides to do more of this type of stuff than mainstream romance fare, that'd be just fine by me. Eva Mendes turns in a stellar performance as Gosling's lady, and it's good seeing her show the world that she does indeed have acting chops. It's just unfortunate that she doesn't display them often enough. Bradley Cooper is a joy to watch as the decent but haunted cop, and it's good to see him expand his horizons acting wise. Rose Byrne is unfortunately underused as Cooper's wife, but even then she lends some credibility to the role. Ray Liotta is fine, though nothing special as one of Cooper's superiors, and, as one of the two boys facing a troubled legacy, Dane DeHaan is pretty stinkin' good.

So yeah, for the most part, I really liked this. It has a few issues here and there (namely pacing and the potency of the final act), but in the end, this is a really good film, but not quite the masterpiece it gets hailed as.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

February 11, 2014
The Place Beyond the Pines is a great exit from your typical Hollywood formula. Original and unexpected are two very different things and this film has ample of both in the best possible way. For me this is another example of a new wave of American cinema, I for one welcome its long overdue arrival. It's the ultimate anti-blockbuster/anti-franchise film when you think about it, instead of a story being stretched out in 3 films, you actually get 2 films for the price of one (with a Return of the Jedi conclusion plus the next three films). Derek Cianfrance is another new director to watch out for, he deserves all the praise he's received so far. He deserves praise for the story alone but the direction, editing, soundtrack, performances etc are all top notch too. I think when you've got a story this good people raise their game, let's hope other directors and producers take note. Hollywood needs a revolution and these types of films are leading the way.
Everett J

Super Reviewer

May 6, 2013
I absolutely love watching a movie that I really have no idea what it is about, and being thrown curveball after curveball. Movies nowadays are very much the same and predictable. Doesn't mean they're bad, just it's usually same ole same ole. So, when you get a movie like "Place Beyond the Pines" it's a real breath of fresh air. Kind of like how "Looper" was in 2012. Ryan Gosling stars as a motorcycle stuntman who finds out he has a year old son that he didn't know existed with Eva Mendes. He realizes he needs to be a father and provide, so he gets involved with a guy who robs banks. From there Gosling robs a couple banks, and he eventually has a run in with a cop(Bradley Cooper) and from there, things completely change. If I say anything else about the plot of this movie, it would ruin it. It's basically 3 different movies within one and it's fantastic. There's some real high thrilling drama in this movie. Gosling and Cooper both give one of their best performances. Ray Liotta is amazing also in the small role he has. He is the best sleazy cop actor alive. But to me the best performance of the movie is Dane Dehann. He's the troubled kid from another great movie called "Chronicle". He is just mezmorizing. Dehann's one of the best young actors today, kind of like a younger Ryan Gosling, weird I know. He's only in a quarter of the movie, and some of his scenes are some of the most effective. If I made a best of 2013 list right now, this would either be 1 or 2(It's that close to "Iron Man 3"). If you love movies, then do not pass this up. Great movies like this come out once or twice a year, if that, so you gotta check em out when they do.
boxman
boxman

Super Reviewer

November 14, 2013
Ambitious filmmaking is welcome, but usually ambition leads somewhere, which is the main problem with co-writer and director Derek Cianfrance's unwieldy 140-minute multi-generational crime drama, The Place Beyond the Pines. First we watch Luke (Ryan Gosling) as a traveling motorcyclist enter a life of crime to support his infant son. Next the focus shifts to Avery (Bradley Cooper) as a cop with a conscience running into corruption on the force. Last, we jump ahead into the future and watch the dramatic irony unfold as the children of Avery and Luke interact, waiting for them to learn their paternal connection. I believe Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) and his team was attempting to tell a meditative, searching drama about children paying for the sins of their fathers, the lingering fallout of bad decisions and moral compromises. Except that's not this film. By the end of the movie, while some secrets have been laid bare, there really aren't any significant consequences. The film does an excellent job of maintaining a sense of dread, but it doesn't come to anything larger or thought provoking. The entire structure of this film is geared toward a tragic accumulation, but it just doesn't materialize. That's a shame because it's got great acting through and through, though I have grown weary of Gosling's taciturn antihero routine that seems like a rut now. Avery's portion of the plot was the most interesting and anxiety-inducing, but I found the movie interesting at every turn. The characters are given pockets of nuance and ambiguity as they traverse similar paths of desperation and conciliation. The Place Beyond the Pines is a perfectly good movie, albeit disjointed, that cannot amount to the larger thematic impact it yearns for.

Nate's Grade: B-
MANUGINO
MANUGINO

Super Reviewer

April 15, 2013
One moment can change your life.

Great FIlm! What he have here is a story about fathers and their sons. In fact, three separate stories - each one leads into the next. A lesser movie would have just told one story, but "The Place Beyond the Pines" is larger in scope and needs all three parts to tell the complete story. A life is not just about your life but those you affect and those you leave behind for years to come. The opening tracking shot was absolutely brilliant and did a great job establishing Ryan Gosling's character without any dialogue. The soundtrack, by Mike Patton, was impeccable and did a great job capturing the tone of the film. The story of the film is really well told and does a great job dealing with multiple genres. This film will appeal to anyone who wants to watch captivating performances, intense drama, and a great story! I highly recommend it!

A mysterious and mythical motorcycle racer, Luke, (Ryan Gosling) drives out of a traveling carnival globe of death and whizzes through the backstreets of Schenectady, New York, desperately trying to connect with a former lover, Romina, (Eva Mendes) who recently and secretly gave birth to the stunt rider's son. In an attempt to provide for his new family, Luke quits the carnival life and commits a series of bank robberies aided by his superior riding ability. The stakes rise as Luke is put on a collision course with an ambitious police officer, Avery Cross, (Bradley Cooper) looking to quickly move up the ranks in a police department riddled with corruption. The sweeping drama unfolds over fifteen years as the sins of the past haunt the present days lives of two high school boys wrestling with the legacy they've inherited. The only refuge is found in the place beyond the pines.
puffchunk
puffchunk

Super Reviewer

August 20, 2013
Some interest, but the multi part story being told stretched out over too much time. After a while I just didn't care anymore.
Thomas J

Super Reviewer

January 20, 2013
Great acting and a really good story.... But it is just too long!
Albert K

Super Reviewer

May 21, 2013
What may come off as a small tale about a group of characters turns out to be an incredibly ambitious epic drama. Sounds great, right? Wrong. "The Place Beyond the Pines" is the perfect example of a film that's extremely ambitious -- perhaps too ambitious that it becomes over-bloated with themes and messages.

Without getting into the meat of the plot for spoiler's sake, "The Place Beyond the Pines" cuts right down to three different acts. Undoubtedly, each act is especially effective in delivering riveting drama complete with its own themes, messages, and downright brutal questions it asks audiences. But clocking in at 2 hours and 21 minutes, "The Place Beyond the Pines" has a hard time keeping audiences emotionally involved with all of its characters as the story transitions from one act to the other. So then by the end of the movie, there's so many messages, themes, and characters that "The Place Beyond the Pines" embodies that you can't help but feel distant from the movie.

If "The Place Beyond the Pines" were split into a trilogy or a TV miniseries, it would work, but it unfortunately falls under its own roof for its ambitious expectations.
familiar s

Super Reviewer

July 20, 2013
Indeed beyond the pines that so many liked it to this extent. I wonder if it's the charm of Gosling because there's hardly anything beyond mediocrity in this film.
Carlos M

Super Reviewer

June 26, 2013
Cianfrance puts a lot of effort into generating apprehension but is unable to find any direction in this horribly misguided soap-opera that relies on an absurd amount of contrived coincidences and is downright predictable, artificial, unfocused and pointless.
Mark W

Super Reviewer

June 10, 2013
When director Derek Cianfrance and star Ryan Gosling collaborated on the grim, but excellent "Blue Valentine" in 2010, they explored the dissolution of a married couple's relationship. Two years later, they're at it again with yet another personal journey about the relationship between fathers and sons. The results are no less impressive than their previous delivery and, this time, arguably better.
Motorcycle stunt rider Luke (Ryan Gosling), meets one of his old flames Romina (Eva Mendes). It turns out that Romina has a son and Luke is the father. Luke then decides that he wants to provide for him but it leads him into robbing banks where he crosses the path of a rookie but ambitious policeman (Bradley Cooper). Their altercation ends up affecting more people than they ever expected.
A triptych movie - divided into three parts - where Cianfrance adopts a deliberate pace and allows his characters the space to grow and develop. First off, this is the most impressive element to the film; the characters are all three-dimensional with deeply emotional drives and motivations as Gosling, Cooper, Dane DeHaan and relative newcomer Emory Cohen, all get ample time to find their feet and get into their roles in each of the chapters. Despite the maleness on show, a solid Eva Mendes flits in between them with an impressive turn in what is a very underwritten role. It's through the committed performances that we are easily able to identify with each the characters and become embroiled in their tangled relationships, that spans a generation. Cianfrance's scope is highly ambitious and for the most part, very successful. In the first third he focuses on Gosling's, Luke and his life of crime while striving to support his family and delivers some very intense heist scenes, one after another (all the more impressive as they were apparently done in one take). Much like his performance in "Drive", Gosling combines good and bad so well. He's able to exude an innocence but also an underlying darkness that few actors that achieve. It's this very combination of qualities that has Gosling at the forefront of contemporary performers. There is an absolute smouldering intensity to him. Then, just as we're getting to know Luke, the film takes a shift towards Cooper's tortured police officer, Avery Cross, in the mid-section. The blending and shift in tone is seamless and impressively delivered but as much as I was a big admirer of Cooper's recent, Oscar nominated performance, in "Silver Linings Playbook", he doesn't quite have the gravitas to make this role work for him in the same way. He does well and can't be faulted too much, but he's too blue-eyed to cut it as a tortured soul here. The intensity that Gosling brings to his role is the very thing that Cooper fails to capture. This may be slightly unfair on Cooper as he's by no means bad, but it only serves to show how strong Gosling is. His performance actually permeates the remainder of the film once he gone but it does still stumble without his presence.
Cianfrance then goes on to finish the saga by audaciaclly jumping 15 years ahead. At this point, the director fully states his ambition and although admirable, he also stretches credulity somewhat. That being said, the film is so well delivered that it's acceptable and just about gets away with it. Unfortunately, the father/son relationship that runs deep within becomes a little muddled and relies far too heavily on a coincidental encounter. With Cianfrance stretching his canvas so far it almost tears apart, held only with the most tenuous of threads. His ambition is almost too vast in relation to his material or more appropriately his running time. I could easily have watched another half hour for the latter characters to be fully rounded and any shaky plot developments ironed out.
However, the more I'm writing this, the more I'm realising that I'm being quite critical. It's not my intention to put this film down, I'm merely pointing out the things that stop this film from being a five star experience. It's very nearly there and I enjoyed it immensely.
Vast, immersive and marvellouslly assembled. Cianfrance really seems to know his stuff when piecing his stories together. "Blue Valentine" was proof of that already but he goes another step further here and the results are no less impressive. It's early doors, but so far, this is the best of 2013.

Mark Walker
Nikhil N.
Nikhil N.

Super Reviewer

May 1, 2013
Brilliant scenery and powerful acting with a moving, gripping plot makes Place Beyond the Pines the best movie I have seen in a while. This movie is filled with rich themes, making it definitely worth your money.
Al S

Super Reviewer

May 28, 2013
An instant American Classic that's a towering brilliant and epic piece of work. A visceral, intense, captivating and explosive crime drama. A raw, bold, heart-tugging, devastating and beautiful film. An exhilarating shot of adrenaline right to the heart. A powerful, magnetic and vastly character-driven piece of work that's thoughtful, compelling and always enthralling. Director, Derek Cianfrance embraces the body and soul of the material, he makes it stylish and impressive and knows how to bring out the best of his actors, who all are at the top of their game in this film. It delivers explosive performances all around in this. Ryan Gosling is riveting, he gives such depth and emotion to this intense role. Bradley Cooper is outstanding, he delivers it with honesty and resilience. Gosling and Cooper give performances in which movie stars are made of. Dane DeHaana and Emony Cohen are terrific. Every actor has a chance to shine in their roles. It's a solid slice of dramatic and strong entertainment and also has a great soundtrack. This is one hell of a great movie.
366weirdmovies
366weirdmovies

Super Reviewer

May 16, 2013
A trick motorcycle rider's decision to rob a bank to try to support his illegitimate child leads to consequences that echo through generations. It's the story of three different men; each tale is well-acted and dramatic, but after a while you might start to wonder why this is one movie rather than three.
Dan S

Super Reviewer

April 27, 2013
A riveting, intense look at parenting and providing for one's family concerning a motorcycle stunt rider (Ryan Gosling) and how he turns to robbing banks to provide for his one-year old son, the cop (Bradley Cooper) who becomes entangled in tracking him down while struggling with police corruption in his facility, and how the two's paths cross in multiple ways. Yet another gem of a film from Derek Cianfrance ("Blue Valentine"), a movie that leaves you with a lot to chew on and talk about, all while providing ample character development and shocking twists and turns in the story. The way it hooks and connects multiple characters is really impressive, all while maintaining a sense of realism despite all the madness. Perhaps the finest hour for Gosling, who is dynamite, and the cast all-around is just excellent (especially little-known actor Ben Mendelsohn as Gosling's wingman in crime). But most importantly, it is a movie that has a lot of good lessons to teach about good people making bad decisions that ultimately end up costing them more than what they could possibly fathom. A masterpiece.
Kevin C

Super Reviewer

April 5, 2013
A difficult to comprehend third act (characters do things that make absolutely no sense) hinders this otherwise masterful effort.
Julie B

Super Reviewer

January 2, 2013
I found this movie confusing. I wasn't sure where it was going. I wasn't sure it knew where it was going. And then it just kept going.
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