Movie Review: The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)

We all have to live with what we’ve done. Good, bad, doesn’t matter.

Ladies and gents… “The Place Beyond the Pines”.

A motorcycle stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) has to take drastic measures to be able to financially support his family. We also have a police officer (Bradley Cooper) who wants to move up in his field. And these men will find their stories crossing paths in some manner. Trying to stay vague while not misrepresenting this story is hard. But what I can say is that this is a slowly burning drama with a few action-thriller elements. Don’t expect an exciting cat-and-mouse game between the two leads, because that’s not what it fucking is. It’s a layered story about family, legacy, and fate. It has a structure that might throw a lot of people off. Not because it’s hard to follow, because it’s not, it’s very straight-forward. But it’s not your typical one thread narrative. It’s one thread that connects to another that connects to another, creating a bit of a web that I find quite intriguing.

The characters in this are layered, flawed, realistic, and just overall interesting. And that’s as deep as I’ll go on them, thinking that this is one of those movies where it’s better to know less about the characters when you want to get into it. But I can say that the cast is fantastic, including people like Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta, Ben Mendelsohn, Mahershala Ali, Dane DeHaan, Bruce Greenwood, Rose Byrne, and Emory Cohen (among many others). Not a weak link in this cast, everyone’s fantastic.

The score for this movie was composed by Mike Patton. That’s right, Faith No More frontman and voice of The Darkness composed a film score. And I think he actually did a good job. It has a unique, almost ethereal style that I don’t think I’ve really heard in any other movie. It’s so odd, but it works so well for the movie. There are also a few licensed tracks used throughout that work well in their respective scenes.

This movie was directed by Derek Cianfrance, and I think he did a great job with it. His directing is tight, never letting including any unnecessary fluff. All the shots in this have a purpose. What I also appreciate about his direction is that he uses a couple different styles. For most of the movie, the camera is steady. But when the action scenes happen, it goes to a more handheld style á la Paul Greengrass. But these changes in camerawork doesn’t hurt the movie in any way, as they’re both handled expertly.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10.

“The Place Beyond the Pines” isn’t for everybody, but I certainly think it’s a great movie. I think it has a really good plot, really good characters, fantastic performances, really good music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Place Beyond the Pines” is a 9,55/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Place Beyond the Pines” is now completed.

To those who think Ryan Gosling doesn’t emote enough, look at his eyes.

One thought on “Movie Review: The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)

  1. I’m pleased that you enjoyed it so much. However, I am still struggling with Gosling as an actor. He seems to have one stance, one ‘look’ and one style of acting, whoever he is supposed to be, and whatever his character is actually doing. Still, I know he is very popular, and much-lauded.
    But I remain unconvinced. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

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