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3.7 out of 5 stars
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3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 21 August 2013
A Place Beyond The Pines is a slow burning drama about love, fatherhood and consequences. The story is in three distinct parts starting with Ryan Gosling finding out he has a child. He travels with a fair, performing motorbike tricks. A year ago he had a fling with a local resident which resulted in his son being born. He doesn't know this until he returns with the fair and bumps into her again.

And so begins the catalyst of the story. The first part is purely setting up the scenario for the consequences of each characters actions to follow. Arguably the first hour is the most gripping and entertaining. Ryan Gosling is a force to be reckoned with and holds the screen with a dominance rarely seen these days. His dogged and cack-handed pursuit to be the best father possible leads him down the wrong road and he ends up robbing banks. He is someone you are willing to do the right thing but also someone you know is just never going to get off this road.

Ultimately his fate sets in motion the events of the rest of the film. We next follow Bradley Cooper's cop, Avery. This is where the film loses momentum and takes a distinctly different turn. This part shows a man broken by recent events and struggling to come to terms with his actions. When he realises that there are members of the force who like to dabble in some extra-curricular activities he decides to take this to his chief who promptly tells him to bury it. His faith in justice is waning and he decides to look out for himself and uses his knowledge and position to get himself promoted.

Bradley Cooper does well to present a man teetering on the edge but the story isn't as engaging. It drags a little and only picks up when Avery decides he has had enough and wants look out for number one.

The third part is a jump into the future. 15 Years to be exact. This is where the film really begins to lose its momentum. We now follow the exploits of both characters children and what happens when their worlds collide. It doesn't add anything and is extremely predictable. In fact the film could have done with 20 minutes being cut off the run time as it feels a little too long.

Overall it is a good solid drama and has some interesting moments. The first half is gripping and engaging and unfortunately the rest can't live up to that. Everyone involved gives it their best and the quality of the acting and style of the film couldn't be questioned. It just feels a little long winded and drawn out which is the reason it loses its punch.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 9 September 2013
I've read some reviews of `The Place Beyond the Pines' where people have either loved it, or wanted to turn it off after ten minutes. I have to say that I kind of agree with both sides. I wanted to turn it off after ten minutes, but decided to stick with it and I'm glad I did.

It's no big secret that the film is - loosely - split into three acts, each focusing on one person out of an overall story which covers all three. How much you like it will depend on which character you find the most interesting. Personally, I found Bradley Cooper's story the most engaging, therefore I enjoyed the film because of the middle segment, but everyone will have their own favourite.

Oddly enough, most people like Ryan Gosling's character/segment the best, but I found it a bit of a chore. I definitely think there's a good movie here, but most people will probably prefer one or two of the segments more interesting than the remaining one.

It's not a short film, so be prepared for a bit of a sit-in to fully appreciate it. Plus there are a few bits that slow the pace down a little. However, I felt - when the tension finally builds - that it's a pretty impressive (and even bold?) piece of film-making which deserve to be enjoyed (but possibly not by everyone).
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on 11 December 2015
This is a really good, independent, dark and brooding American movie that deserves to be seen by the right people. I think other reviewers have covered the plot so I won't go there but this movie covers a lot of ground covering loyalty, sense of belonging, trust, anger, and honesty amongst others. What amazes me here is the amount of 1 star reviews. A 1 star film to me is a an awfully written, derivative, and shallow movie. This is well written, very original and has a lot of themes. I can only assume that those who reviewed this as a one star movie don't look for the same attributes or have a different view of what makes a good script. Still...the critics reviews for this were good, especially from the broadsheets and I will continue to rate their reviews (taken with a pinch of salt) against those who randomly watch and review films on Amazon.
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on 15 February 2014
4 stars is maybe too much, but I acknowledge its ambition. A story of blood and fate that unfold over 3 generations across different family and situations, an invisible tie that bounds 3 lives whose common ground is a land where people are alone and individualism kills the spirit of individual himself.
Some great scenes, a great cast, maybe it's all too mechanic and cold, but it's definitely an uncommon movie.
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VINE VOICEon 26 October 2013
"The Place Beyond the Pines" is a drama in three distinct parts that I thought didn't quite work. The film starts with the viewer following the tale of stunt motorcycle rider Ryan Gosling who,after discovering he has a son to a former lover , starts making bank robberies in an attempt to pay for his upkeep.However his ex girlfriend now lives with a more mainstream ,respectable man who wants to be the baby's father. After a dramatic event , the film then follows the story of Bradley Cooper's ambitious cop who reacts badly to getting embroiled in police corruption. This part of the story sees the film lose it's way a little. The final part of the movie moves the action forward by fifteen years and ends dramatically following an ill fated friendship between the teenage son of Gosling and the wayward teenage son of Cooper's cop (who is now incidentally running for District Attorney). I didn't really empathise with any of the main protagonists in this movie and the three parts of the film didn't quite gel together in my opinion. The film was also overlong ,running in at over two hours. I had hoped that it would end after an hour and a half after the second phase of the film ended. There is some decent acting to be seen , but "The Place Beyond the Pines" didnt quite hit the mark for me and it wont live long in my memory.
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on 3 September 2015
Gosling has a short appearance in the film, nonetheless his part is excellent. You really want to screech at the screen - don't do it!!! Don't do what?

Buy the film, you will not be disappointed
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on 31 July 2016
Hot on the heels of "Blue Valentine", writer/director Derek Cianfrance returns with this ambitious crime thriller, again starring Ryan Gosling as well as Bradley Cooper, Dane Dehaan, Ben Mendelssohn and Ray Liotta. It begins with stunt rider Luke (Gosling) discovering that he has a son and begins to rob banks in order to support him and his mother. After a certain pivotal moment a third of the way through the film, the narrative shifts to rookie cop Avery (Cooper) as he grapples with his conscience and uncovers mass corruption within the police force. The final act concerns Jason (Dehaan) as he goes through his own turmoil, trying to find out about the father that he never knew and discovering exactly what happened to him many years ago.

OK, so this film starts off quite conventionally; seemingly a cross between "Blue Valentine" and "Drive", it’s basically about Gosling’s character finding out that he has a son and then turning to a life of crime in order to provide for him. Although Gosling is very good, this section of the film was pretty average and a tad uninspired. Granted, the motorbike chase scenes are thrilling and exciting but beyond that, it’s all pretty basic and predictable.

But then, after a certain event, the narrative shifts and Bradley Cooper’s character becomes the story’s main focus. Straight away, I thought the film suddenly became interesting and predicted that it would get much better from here on in. Indeed, this section of the story that concerns Cooper’s character adjusting to so many people calling him a hero while battling with his conscience was the most interesting part of the film. We are then taken into a plot line about police corruption, led primarily by bent cop Ray Liotta who is suitably nasty and dangerous. Although there is a certain air of “this has been done before”, these scenes are thrilling, tense, exciting and they form the main interest of the story. Liotta’s performance is brief but effective.

Then in the third act, the narrative shifts again, focusing on Dane Dehaan’s character as he essentially puts all of the film’s pieces together, rounding it all up and giving the film its closure. While initially interesting, the film runs out of steam here and by this point, I was willing the film to end as soon as possible. By this point, it is clear that the film is exploring the theme of crime though several generations; it’s ambitious but sprawling.

"The Place Beyond the Pines" is an interesting one; I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a narrative mutate so much. At one point, I began to ask myself “Is this the same film that I started watching?!” It seems to be two or three films in one, from the story of a father turning to crime, to a policeman taking on police corruption and then to a young man uncovering the truth about his father. “Ambitious” is the key word here; Cianfrance tries to do a big, multi-layered film and while there are a few interesting scenes, ultimately it’s overlong, rambling and it loses its way towards the end.

Mike Patton’s score is great; it definitely adds a sense of danger and tension to the scenes. There is also a certain theme that is heard at various points in the movie, when Gosling, Cooper and Dehaan all appear on screen at different times; this cleverly establishes a link between all of the characters and reinforces the idea that all of these characters’ fates are interwoven.

In summary, a valiant effort at a cross-generational crime thriller, "The Place Beyond the Pines" is certainly ambitious, though overlong and overblown. Cooper’s the star of the show, although Gosling’s shadow is present throughout.
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on 23 January 2014
With two of my favourite boys acting in this it it was a must. It's out there alright. Totally didn't expect what I got but I really enjoyed the movie. Superb acting from all three leading actors. I do recommend it but make sure you read the movie synopsis first so you have some idea of what you are about to watch.
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on 6 June 2013
Luke (Ryan Gosling) is a bad boy motorcycle rider who travels with a circus and has one night stands. Eva Mendes was one of those conquests. A year or so later they meet again. She has his child and a boyfriend (Mahershala Ali). Luke doesn't want to be an absentee father and forces his way into their life through gifts which he pays for with his newly acquired bank robbing addiction.

About 50 minutes into the film, we are introduced another main character, policeman Avery (Bradley Cooper). Then act three start about 40 minutes later (16years or so) with all the children grown and only Eva Mendes among the adults looking any older.

The ending is supposed to be heart warming, but doesn't make it. The film is long, but it is not deep. The action moves like a man running with one shoe nailed in place. I never felt for any of the characters. The scene with Bradley Cooper crying was just horrible. That was grade B acting topping off a stiff performance. Gosling on the other hand gave us a strong performance and Mendes was never developed. What was her problem? She wants him, she doesn't want him, she wants him, she doesn't want him.

It wants to cycle back, but then sputters, it doesn't take off. It might make do for a Redbox rental.

Parental Guide: F-bomb, after sex scene, no nudity.
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on 5 May 2015
Split into three parts The Place Beyond the Pines follows Luke (Ryan Gosling) as he turns to bank robbery in order to provide for his child, Avery (Bradley Cooper) a street cop torn between doing the best thing and the right thing and the aftermath of their intertwined lives 15 years later, seen through the eyes of their teenage sons (Emory Cohen and Dane DeHaan).

This film is not what I thought it would be - whilst it was good, with stellar performances from Gosling, Cooper and Eva Mendes, it didn't really deliver for me in the end.

The first hour is definitely the most gripping and entertaining with Coopers storyline and the storyline about both men's sons meeting 15 years later falling a little flat.

It became a little drawn out and predictable and there is really no specific conclusion. By the end it's hard to sympathise with any of the characters, regardless of the heavy backstory that has been set up for each of them.

It's worth a watch, but if there's a long list of films you're waiting to see, don't bump this to the top.
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