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)?