This crime drama is a tense 2 hrs 20 min watch. Three stories rolled into one provide changes of perspective and pace which culminate in a satisfying experience. It is not a masterpiece by any means but The Place Beyond the Pines is definitely worthwhile – at times adrenalin-pumping – entertainment.
Ryan Gosling – as always – glues you to the screen, although I would have liked a character portrayal a bit further removed from his lead in Drive (2011).
Eva Mendes is great. It is good to see her in a serious role, showing her acting talents. Her appearance portraying a minimum-wage working mum in this film is so far removed from the glam and beauty she displays in her small part in Holy Motors (2012). She really is an astoundingly beautiful woman.
Bradley Cooper is the only player in the film which I found a little unconvincing. He seems to me a perfect choice for vehicles such as Limitless (2011), but even in Silver Linings Playbook (2012) his performance seemed wanting. I do not see much depth from what I have experienced so far from this actor. Matthew McConaughey springs to mind, an actor who can play fun roles as well as rough ones, like in Killer Joe (2011). He would have been a better choice for this film, in my opinion.
Anyway, don’t let my small quibbles put you off. The Place Beyond the Pines has a fully-absorbing storyline which veers off in interesting directions before returning full-circle. And your heart will beat a little faster than normal throughout.
As always, we recommend you don’t ruin any surprises by reading spoilers or watching this trailer:
Title: The Place Beyond the Pines
Direction: Derek Cianfrance
Screenplay: Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, Darius Marder
Cinematography: Sean Bobbitt
Editing: Jim Helton, Ron Patane
Score: Mike Patton
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Dane DeHaan, Emory Cohen, Ray Liotta, Ben Mendelsohn, Rose Byrne, Mahershala Ali, Bruce Greenwood, Harris Yulin