The Place Beyond the Pines: A Review

I realize that I’ve been doing a lot of reviews lately. I’ve just run out of funny stories and annoying opinions for the time being so you’ll just have to bear with me. Well, I guess reviews can be filed under the annoying opinions category so technically everything is the same. I don’t know what I’m saying anymore. I’m half typing this, half watching Deadliest Catch, and half trying to digest tacos. Three halves make a whole, right?

*There will be spoilers in this review*

The Place Beyond the Pines was pretty good. (Reviews are obviously my forte.) I was entertained through most of the film but I did find it a bit too long–it was 2 hours and 20 minutes! The opening credits made me think that I signed up for Drive Part 2. What is with Ryan Gosling playing the solemn tough guy roles? Like, okay we get it. But it turned out being okay because he died half way into it. Byeeeee.The-Place-Beyond-the-Pines-Wallpaper-01

I started typing out a synopsis, but the story is actually pretty long and complex so I’m not going to do that. I’m just going to review it as best as I can without confusing everyone.

Gosling played a character named Luke who was torn between being a good father and making good life choices. He thought the only way he could be a good father was if he provided for his son in a way that the child’s mother, Romina (Eva Mendes) and her new boyfriend could not. Luke started robbing banks with his new friend who fixed up cars. They were pretty successful and obtained a lot of money. Everyone was happy and life was good. It was basically like The Town except no Boston accents and no scary nun masks.

Okay so that still ended up being a synopsis. WHATEVER. I thought the first half was pretty entertaining but not totally realistic. It’s fun to watch bank robberies, but how often do people try to rob banks these days? Eva Mendes did a good job of acting poor and sad. I thought it was good casting for her.



Eventually Luke gets greedy and wants to pull off two bank robberies in one day. His friend warns him not to, things go awry, and Luke ends up dead. A young officer named Avery (Bradley Cooper) ends up shooting Luke and earning some kind of police metal of honor.

This part of the movie was slightly boring. They depicted a lot of corruption within the police world–Ray Liotta portrayed one of the dishonest police men who was in the movie for like, 10 minutes. What happened to him? He was so perfect in Goodfellas and now he gets minor, stupid roles that should have been cut out of the film all together? Lame.

As the movie progresses, they show Luke’s son fifteen years later in school with Avery’s son. It’s interesting because one assumes that Avery’s son, AJ, should have turned out as a good, solid kid. And one would’ve assumed that Jason, Luke’s son, would’ve turned out for the worst-addicted to drugs, brought up on the wrong side of the tracks kind of stuff. But their characters are totally different to what you expect. Which is one thing that I really appreciated. Even though Jason’s family didn’t have as much as AJ’s family did, they managed to provide him with morals and love, where it seems that AJ got nothing. Also, I’m pretty sure AJ is should be cast on the next season of Jersey Shore.

Jason and AJ.

Jason and AJ.

The best part about this half of the film was how old they made Eva Mendes look. She looked roughhhh. But in a good, believable way. They didn’t age Bradley Cooper as much as they made him look young in the first half. I actually thought this was a pretty boring role for him compared to his part in Silver Linings Playbook. But what do I know? Everything.

Overall, I thought the movie was entertaining and an interesting story. I wasn’t expecting much, so I was pleasantly surprised with most of it. I thought they could have trimmed a lot of extra scenes because I found it to drag on in some areas.

What did you think of this movie? If you haven’t seen it, does it sound like something you would like to watch (now that I’ve ruined the entire film)?


30 thoughts on “The Place Beyond the Pines: A Review

  1. “If you haven’t seen it, does it sound like something you would like to watch (now that I’ve ruined the entire film)?”

    LOL. I wasn’t really planning on seeing it anyway, so no worries.

  2. erinorange says:

    I watched the trailer to this movie when I was watching Trance like a month ago (oh dear God, that messed up my mind!), and assumed I needn’t see this movie ‘cos I already knew what happened – my film synopsis goes like this: Brad and Ryan are both trying to bring up their kids, Ryan gets into a bit of trouble, Brad has to arrest him but realises he can’t ‘cos he knows what a great job being a Dad is, so he lets him go, but in doing so puts his job in jeopardy…and that was the premise so I thought I didn’t need to see it. Well, I was wrong, I’m not going to see it anyway ‘cos it annoys me how much everyone fancies Ryan – like he’s REALLY average, Bradley Cooper – hello! Still not that hot though. Anyway this is a bit long…great review!

    • Ooo I wanted to see Trance. Looked freaky! I TOTALLY agree with you about Ryan and Bradley! So glad someone feels the same way!
      I couldn’t really tell from the preview what the plot of the movie was going to be. I like your idea better! Haha

      • erinorange says:

        You should see it! Indeed it was! I’m going to do a remix of this film with my plot – they should have asked me in the first place tbh, but whatevs.

  3. I didn’t actually care about the movie as I don’t know it, but the way you review stuff makes me want to read it anyway. And I wasn’t disappointed :).
    I don’t know, if it crosses my way perhaps, but I won’t be looking for it myself.
    Which means I do know what to answer.

    • Haha thanks NBI! Yeah it’s a good watch if you happen to come across it, you should watch it because you might like it. But yeah, it’s pretty long..hah.

  4. I didn’t read your post because I haven’t seen it and I don’t want it to be spoiled. But I would like to point out that I went to film school with the director (Derek Cianfrance) and he used to walk me home after our Friday night French New Wave screenings AND I had a cameo in one of his early films. Aren’t I famous?!?

  5. LOLOL!! “Eva Mendes did a good job of acting poor and sad.”
    You should give a spoiler alert because you gave a way some stuff… just sayin’.
    I like me some Bradley Cooper. He was pretty darn cute in Silver Linings.

    • Lolzz.
      Dude I did put a spoiler alert! With asterisks and everything! Ya crazy…
      Bradley is a little cutie pie for sure. I liked him a lot in Silver Linings too. And also in that movie that you suggested, Limitless. Very good!

  6. LOL!! I loved this movie critique. And I especially am impressed that you did it while watching Deadliest Catch AND digesting tacos. I’m beginning to think there is nothing you wouldn’t be good at Lily! I would go to see this movie just for the poor and sad acting! πŸ˜€

    • Haha thanks Linda! I’m glad you can see the hardships that I endure while trying to blog for the good of the people. So many sacrifices.
      Hah it seems like it would be a challenge to play someone poor and sad…! lol hahah! Thanks Linda, you’re the best.

  7. This movie seems like it doesn’t follow the Syd Field screenwriting format aka usual crap. How does a guy who never really wrote a movie have a whole career on writing screenwriting books? I don’t know. It’s like how Alan Schwartz told me there’s a stand-up comedy teacher he knows who has never done stand-up comedy.

    Ray Liotta has an interesting career. Goodfellas is probably the only movie he’s the main star in and he’s not even credited as the main star, DeNiro usually is. Quinn from Dexter should play Ray Liotta in a movie. I didn’t make that observation, a friend of mine did. I also don’t think they should make a movie about Ray Liotta’s life.

    • Lol Quinn could totally play Ray Liotta. I actually thought Ray Liotta was really cute in Goodfellas and now I think he’s the grossest. However, I think Quinn is unattractive because he’s so skinny. Well, he wasn’t that bad in the first season he was in, but now he looks coked out.

      I wonder if Alan Schwartz was taught by the teacher who’s never actually done stand up before.

  8. I had high hopes and they fell flat to my feet amongst the crumbs from the cake we gobbled during the first half. I dislike intensely when movies are fragmented and only linked by unbelievable plot lines. I did not believe in any way the motivation for the poor little rich kid to hate the poor kid so much? Or at all? I mean, what did he have against him? And I disliked that Ryan’s ex still flirted with him, knowing he was messed up and that she lived with another guy. Then when he tried to fix up a cot, she screams at him to leave? I didn’t get, believe it or enjoy it. The whole thing was overly long, weak and well, boring. But Ryan did at least make my mouth water for the first third of it – hubba! πŸ˜›

    • Your comment review was wayyy better than my entire post. So congrats on that! Haha
      I didn’t like how Ryan’ ex flirted with him and then got angry with him either. She can’t have it both ways. But I guess it’s kind of realistic? I could see some women doing that. I wasn’t really bored besides during most of the police parts. It did seem pretty far fetched, especially the robberies, and very convenient that the boys became friends. But eh, I wasn’t too disappointed. Maybe because I wasn’t expecting much?
      Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  9. I think I’ll pass. I like the actors, but don’t love them enough to want to see a movie because they’re in it. Also, who the heck wants to rob two banks in one day? Is that really the time in someone’s life where they feel they should act all ambitious and stuff? Your review is good and I also liked that Eva part πŸ™‚ lol

    • Aww thanks so much. I think my review stinks because I ruined the whole movie! Haha but yeah it was definitely unrealistic and slightly dumb but kind of entertaining I guess?

  10. cassie says:

    This movie.absolutely sucked. It was just like drive (which also sucked). The first half is ryan driving his bike robbing banks, that’s it! Then you get to see his brain splatter on the sidewalk and the whole point of seeing it was for Ryan. Thn the second half is bradley taking down the corrupt police force and then the next thing you know its 15 years later and Jason and a.j are grown up. It drug on and on just like drive. No real plot and a waste of $10.50.

    • Hah you gave a better, more compact review than I did! Yeah I didn’t like Drive either. I thought it was pretty dumb. I didn’t mind this one as much. Even thought I found it totally unrelateable but whatever. Haha Why are movies so expensive now a days?!

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