The Place Beyond the PinesMay 11, 2013
A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
Release Year: 2012
Rating: 7.8/10 (13,288 voted)
Director: Derek Cianfrance
A mysterious and mythical motorcycle racer, Luke, (Ryan Gosling) drives out of a traveling carnival globe of death and whizzes through the backstreets of Schenectady, New York, desperately trying to connect with a former lover, Romina, (Eva Mendes) who recently and secretly gave birth to the stunt rider's son. In an attempt to provide for his new family, Luke quits the carnival life and commits a series of bank robberies aided by his superior riding ability. The stakes rise as Luke is put on a collision course with an ambitious police officer, Avery Cross, (Bradley Cooper) looking to quickly move up the ranks in a police department riddled with corruption. The sweeping drama unfolds over fifteen years as the sins of the past haunt the present days lives of two high school boys wrestling with the legacy they've inherited. The only refuge is found in the place beyond the pines.
Filming Locations: Glenville, New York, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $279,457
(29 March 2013)
(23 April 2013)
Did You Know?
Derek Cianfrance shot 22 takes of Ryan Gosling performing the stunt of speeding the motorcycle past the intersection before 36 cars crashed into one another. Cianfrance originally wanted a stunt double to do it but could not hide the stuntman. He also noted that for each take until Gosling finally got it right, he chewed his shirt in nervousness until there was a hole in it by the time the stunt was over. See more »
The beginning of the film takes place in the 1990s. The General Electric sign is shown with red and green lights. During this time, however, these colors were used only for Christmas time. It is clearly summer time when the film takes place, therefore the lights should have been white. However, in recent years, the lights remain red and green all year round. See more »
A Quiet Journey
Derek Cianfrance's The Place Beyond The Pines is a visual odyssey, if
nothing else. It is also an intense character study of three people.
And it's a good film.
The story is of Luke, a motorcycle stuntman, who quits his job after he
finds out that Romina, played by Eva Mendes, his ex-girlfriend was
pregnant and had his child. The trouble is, she married another man.
Luke is torn between his new found love for his son, and his inability
to hold a steady job. So, to take care of his 'family' Luke begins to
rob banks, along with his friend, excellently portrayed by Ben
Mendelsohn. Of course, this puts him on a collision course with Bradley
Cooper's idealistic cop.
Not wishing to ruin the plot, I won't say anymore. When I first heard
the plot, I was immediately struck by the similarities to another
excellent Ryan Gosling movie, Drive. In that film, Gosling plays a
stunt driver, who takes on a job to help his neighbor. However similar
the plot may be, the two films are complete opposites. The Place Beyond
The Pines is a character driven study of morality and legacy, while
Drive is closer to the genre of an action film. However, the two films
do have one more thing in common, they both showcase excellent Ryan
In this film, Gosling's would be father, doing what he thinks is best,
is at times aggravating and intensely emotional. It's a great
performance, and a tricky one to master. But Gosling gets it, and turns
in one of his best performances. That's not to say the other
performances aren't spectacular as well. Eva Mendes turns in some of
her best work in years, playing a woman torn between her desire to be
with Gosling, and to have a normal family life with her husband.
Bradley Cooper turns in his best work yet, playing a cop torn between
his want for justice and his powerful ambition. As mentioned above, Ben
Mendelsohn turns in some great work as does Ray Liotta. Mention must go
to newcomer Dane Dehaan, performing in some of the film's most
Then of course there is the director. Derek Cianfrance's style is
completely unique, and incredibly effective. He is one director to keep
an eye on. The cinematography is excellent, especially during the
opening shot, when the camera follows Gosling from his trailer, across
a fairground, onto a motorcycle and into a giant ball where Gosling
That's not to say the film doesn't have it's bad points. The version I
saw sagged in the end, even though it was necessary to the ending, I
still feel they could have trimmed it down. I felt myself and a couple
other audience members getting a little restless near the end.
Despite the overlong ending, the film itself was still a great
experience. A quiet moving character drama, expansive in it's scope yet
intensely personal at its core. At a Q and A at the end of the film,
Cianfrance admitted that what he really felt the film was about, was
legacy, and passing the torch from generation to generation. And I
think he is right.