The Place Beyond the Pines is Derek Cianfrance’s new movie and in it we see the director of Blue Valentine reunite with Ryan Gosling.

The film is essentially a 3 part movie telling a story of fathers, sons and the legacy of family life which spans 15 years. I won’t got any further into the story as it would be far too easy to offer spoilers.



The first section focuses on Gosling’s Drive-esque character, Luke, a motorbike stunt rider who attempts to to change his life for all the right reasons in all the wrong ways.

This was by far some of the best 30  minutes of a film i’ve seen in a long time. The way Cianfrance captures the carnival chaos and expertly flows in and out of some very quiet and emotional scenes to some joyous and then gripping actions scenes is nothing short of true brilliance, and in fact the first section of this film keeps you gripped.


The film however dips into a slow middle section playing out a series of all to familiar cop scenes which lack any real pace. Whilst Bradley Cooper is his usual excellent self the film falters to a point that you really wonder if it can pull itself back. The scenes seem rushed and while a few are filled with tension and Ray Liotta makes a great appearance something just didn’t sit right.

Thankfully the 3rd section and an exceptional and stand out performance as the remarkably unlikeable AJ from Emory Cohen sets the screen ablaze again and the film comes back to life with a show of consequence and bitterness.


Entwined amongst all of this is some truly beautiful cinematography, from the sprawling shots of the great outdoors to the intimate scenes of everything from joy to despair the film is in itself beautiful.

While the characters are well rounded, developed and believable each section could have been a movie in in itself and there are a few moments things felt sacrificed to accommodate the sprawling story.

Leaving the cinema I felt a little cheated. The trailer had given the impression of a different film but as the days went by I reflected on what was otherwise a great movie. Though it’s not without its faults, mainly the slow middle section, this is worth checking out, but just don’t expect an extended version of the trailer or you will be disappointed.



The Place Beyond the Pines is released in UK cinemas on Friday