Movie Review – The Place Beyond The Pines

WARNING: Spoilers. There are plot giveaways in this review. (But nothing big so stop having a cry and read the damn review!)



IMDB Rating: 7.6 out of 10 (36,524 votes)

Director: Derek Cianfrance

The poster for The Place Beyond The Pines.

The poster for The Place Beyond The Pines.

The Place Beyond The Pines was good. Was it great? No. Was it really good? No. It was just good. Why is that? Because the ending was overlong, boring, and with little emotion.

But let’s review this by story, of which there were 3.

Story 1 introduced us to Luke (Ryan Gosling), and gave purpose and intent to his character in seemingly no time at all. From the very first shot, one of the best shots all year, you’re thinking you’re in for a treat. The shot of the riders in the ball/cage makes for incredible viewing, and even in the leadup with the continuous shot of Luke walking through the crowd, you can spot gorgeous cinematography from your seat. The cinematography is extremely good in the film – I can’t stress that enough. It’s a beautiful film to watch, and that’s largely due to our cinematographer Sean Bobbitt, but our director Derek Cianfrance has a lot to do with it too. His personal, expansive direction style was perfect for this film, and considering he made it with such a small budget ($15 Million), he did a great job. Story 1 was by far the best story, giving us emotional insight into the characters, and giving a brilliant story. Everybody was great in the acting department; Gosling, Mendes, and Mendelsohn being the standouts with their fantastic performances. The viewing was investing, and brought you into a world other than your own – a trait all great films have in common.

Sublime shot.

Sublime shot.

Though not as good as Story 1, Story 2 was still pretty good. Not as good, but still good. Rookie cop Avery (Bradley Cooper), who intercepts an on-the-run Luke with tragic consequences, deals with the loss of life he brought upon Luke’s family. Funnily enough, it’s about one person being unable to cope with the loss of another person he only saw for a few seconds. It  enhances Story 1 while creating it’s own universe – Avery’s universe. Story 2 is interesting, and more of a character study, than a fast-paced storyline. We see the characters a little more in depth than we expected, and it was good to see that. The narrative was still there, though, and moved along alright – the film as a whole had excellent narrative, and was pretty subtle. The whole corruption aspect of Story 2 was really original, and it really worked, adding intrigue to the film. Rose Byrne was just okay. All in all, Story 2 is good. It’s not great like Story 1, but it’s good.



Story 3, on the other hand, is not very good.

It tells the story of the sons of both Avery, and Luke, 15 years after the events of the previous stories. It’s a much weaker story than the others. The acting is okay, but the characters are particularly weak. Emory Cohen is annoying as AJ, and his character is the most hateable thing about the film. His counterpart, Dane DeHaan, is better, but still nothing to go on about. The story is a little uninteresting, and the whole thing is just bogged down by the two characters it’s focusing on. Actually, bogged down doesn’t do it justice. The ending is probably 20 minutes too long, and it makes the film seem like it’s going on for an eternity. I just couldn’t connect with anything going on in the last story, and the whole “drugs and smoking” thing just felt clichéd. It’s odd, too, because it’s one of the only things that is clichéd in the film; it’s one of the most original films all year. And although everything tied together PERFECTLY without a single loose strand, it was just too slow and boring for me to ever like.

The cinematography. Wow.

The cinematography. Wow.

The Place Beyond The Pines is still a good film. It tackles the ideas of consequences, legacy, and esteemable acts very well. Cianfrance’s direction is superb, and Gosling is arguably Oscar-worthy. That reminds me – I should probably see Drive…

The music is poor, and the pacing for the ending is bad, but that doesn’t take anything away from a largely-enveloping narrative, a visual feast, and an acting masterclass. It’s one of the most original films all year, and I’d highly recommend it; I know others will enjoy it more than I did. After all, there’s a lot to enjoy.

MY RATING: 7.5 out of 10.

Like this review? Follow the page! Share it with your friends.

Follow me on Twitter (@ElroyRosenberg), on Instagram (gooserosenberg), and on Facebook (/TheSilverScreener)


2 responses to “Movie Review – The Place Beyond The Pines

  1. I could kiss you on the mouth. I don’t know if you’ve read my review but I pretty much agree completely. Gosling and Mendes were fantastic, and the first segment of story is insanely rich, and indulgent, with cinematography, characters. Even Ben Mendlesohn (Is that how it’s spelt) was pretty good. And essentially from that point the film road down a gradual slope until it had divulged from this incredibly textured personal piece, into this mediocre babble about teenagers that the audience has no emotional attachment to. I understand the overall purpose, the ‘Sins of the Father’ metanarrative, and the ‘clever’ narrative mirroring and such. And the dramatic irony, but by the end of the film it had truly lost most of it’s vigor, and the entirety of my interest. Good Review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s