The Place Beyond The Pines (2013)

The Place Beyond The Pines has been a movie that has stuck with me throughout all of 2013. I left the theater feeling numb and sad. The realism and raw emotion that Director Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) has implemented into the Father-Son epic is simply astounding. His ability to tell three intertwining and emotional stories so seamlessly is incredible. This is one of 2013’s best films and is one that will stay with you for a long time after viewing it. Fathers and sons, especially, should watch this amazing film.

In the first story, we’re introduced to Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling), a traveling motorbike stuntman. When he arrives in Altamont, New York, he runs into his ex-love Romina (Eva Mendezs). ¬†As Luke is persistent to see her, he discovers that she had a child to whom he’s the father of. This new discovery in Luke’s life prompts him to leave the traveling life to try to provide for his son. How does he provide without a job? Well, beyond the pines, he befriends Robin (Ben Mendelsohn), whom teams up with Luke to rob banks. This bank robbing leads us into our next story, involving Police Officer Avery Cross.

Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper) is a young Police Officer whose wife (Rose Byrne) recently had their first child. Avery also wants to provide for his child as well, but is constantly under fire from his wife for always putting his life on the line when he should be there for his son. Avery is the Officer in pursuit of Luke and the two eventually cross paths. Later in his line of work, Avery is faced with moral decisions involving around dirty cops (including the great Ray Liota) that are offering him large sums of money. What would be best for his son?

In the third act of this film, we meet two boys, AJ (Emory Cohen) and Jason (Dane Dehaan) who befriend one another due to their similar outcast personalities. The bond they form is a very interesting one and the way their story unfolds is fantastic.

This three-part film is beautiful. It will have you crying, emotional and sad. There are few “happy” moments in this film, but that’s why I think it’s so great. It’s an unconventional story, like Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine, which follows the story of a degrading marriage. This film feels so real that it will make you care for each and every character. It’s one that is unlike any other movie that I’ve seen and I think the feeling is mutual for anyone else who has seen this.

Though he’s billed as the star of the film, Ryan Gosling is joined by Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes in some of their best performances. If anything, this films weakness is its 2:20:00 runtime and its slower pacing. It doesn’t feel overly long, but you may check your watch once or twice. Other than that, this is a film that everyone needs to see. If I still haven’t convinced you to go see this film, please keep reading for my Top Ten Thoughts on The Place Beyond The Pines!

Ryan Gosling also appears in Derek Cianfrance's first film, Blue Valentine. Both films are incredibly raw and should be watched by all at some point.

Ryan Gosling also appears in Derek Cianfrance’s first film, Blue Valentine. Both films are incredibly raw and should be watched by all at some point.

What I Enjoyed

What I Enjoyed Also

Outstanding performances by the cast as a whole and separately.

Gosling gives an incredible performance that rivals his performances in Blue Valentine and Drive.

This film is three-in-one, yet they’re all connected in amazing ways.

Cooper’s struggle with moral decisions couldn’t be any more realistic and relatable.

This movie is raw and real. Cianfrance has mastered this feeling in only two films.

Seeing Gosling and Cooper’s sons learn about their pasts is a wonderful thing. It’s executed well.

This is truly a father and son tale that will move you to tears at times.

For being around two hours and twenty minutes, this films’ pace is pretty solid.

The sons of Gosling and Cooper interact incredibly well.

The dirt-biking scenes reflect Gosling’s true place of serenity.

Gosling’s transition and development as a father is a beautiful thing. As is Cooper’s.

The suspense that lingers from Ray Liota is terrifying. He’s superb in this.

All of the scenes have raw emotions and tensions built up that only enhance the overall film.

This story is strewn with moral decisions that seem helpful, but could pose to be harmful later on in life.

The transition of showing how one’s actions can affect another’s down the road is shown spectacularly in this film.

The soundtrack for this film compliments the visuals very well. The two go hand-in-hand.

Cooper gives, in my opinion, his best performance to date. Even better than his performance in Silver Linings Playbook.

As the story unfolds, we get to see different sides to Gosling and Cooper that most movies wouldn’t show.

This movie, or these movies, are all a work of art by a director who knows how to tap into the darker side of reality.

This is, in my opinion, one of the best movies of 2013…. So far…


The Place Beyond The Pines is another testament to how great of a storyteller Derek Cianfrance really is. His ability to create such raw and emotional stories is unprecedented and he will command your emotions throughout the entirety of the film. Fantastic performances from Gosling, Cooper, Mendez and Dehaan fuel this wonderful and real story. The Place Beyond The Pines has been and still is one of my most favorite films of 2013! I’d highly recommend it.

The Place Beyond The Pines Trailer

5 STARS!!!

5 / 5 stars     

4 thoughts on “The Place Beyond The Pines (2013)

  1. Pingback: Best Films of 2013 | Nick Tiffany's Movie Reviews

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