Home > Movie and Anime Reviews > Movie Review The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)

Movie Review The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)

The Place Beyond The Pines Movie Poster

Like Father, like Son. Like Thief like Hero. Once lost, never found.

Movie Review The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)

Their history comes back to haunt the future.

I’m not so sure about the described plot for this movie. It suggests a story about a criminal stunt rider going up against an ambitions cop. I could see that synopsis, but I feel like the underlying thread is about the idea(s) of fatherhood [and its suggested responsibilities] when it comes to impacting the destiny of a child. We have Ryan Gosling [The Ides of March, Blue Valentine] playing Luke, a carnival stunt rider pushed to extremes when he attempts to assume the provider role in his son’s life- with disastrous results.
Director Derek Cianfrance must have sat down with the actors and told them to channel their previous roles for the characters in this movie. This film could have taken place hours before or after Ryan Gosling portrayed the scorpion in Drive [read that review here] or parallel to the slick politician Avery [played by Bradley Cooper] becoming the chemically enhanced  ambition-beast in Limitless [2011]. We have Ray Liotta (with too little screen time) playing a cross between GoodFellas, his FBI Director in Hannibal and Smokin’ Aces…and whatever other darkness he is known for.

Overall, I love the tension and suspense. The only issue I have is the movie being split in two. There is an obvious moment where you will ask yourself “How can this movie go beyond this point?” and that is where the second act begins. Derek Cianfrace is also credited as writer along with Ben Coccio and Darius Marder. It’s as if they picked a pivotal transition point between lives and made that the middle of this movie. We have the story of a biker bandit and a conscientious cop. Either one would have made a great movie on its own. That’s right; start either story one hour of screen life-time earlier and you have two separate movies really worth watching. Edit them together and you have one okay movie with some really good parts. Ignore the grit, drama, action and tension and you have social commentary of what it might mean to a child if he is left without a strong image of his father to help guide him. Or you can just sit back and watch a few solid actors do a little more of what they’ve already done great.


The Place Beyond The Pines movie review, Ryan Gosling, Ray Liotta, Bradley Cooper

  1. May 8, 2013 at 11:18 am

    I dug this film but I will disagree with all the people ranting and raving on how great it is. Good review.

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