Turning to bank robbery in an effort to support his newborn son, Luke catches the attention of a rookie cop triggering a violent confrontation. As the two come to terms with one another they must also come to terms with their past.
Ryan Gosling (Luke), Bradley Cooper (Avery), Ray Liotta (Deluca), Luca Pierucci (Doc), Bruce Greenwood (Bill), Craig Van Hook (Jack), Eva Mendes (Romina), Olga Merediz (Malena), Mahershala Ali (Kofi).
The Place Beyond the Pines begins with some fairly extensive background for Luke before moving to character development and plot setup. By this time we are well into the movie and things finally begin to pick up pace a bit as Luke and Avery finally cross paths. Add Deluca and his gang and the tension mounts as Luke deals with fatherhood, his criminal lifestyle, and his unsettling past. Toward the end of the film things finally find a good pace though it still ends with something of a whimper.
Acting was mild from most with Gosling working the silent and mysterious angle. Cooper was somewhat better delivering a few sparks of good emotion. Liotta was in character as the bad cop while Greenwood, Mendes, and Ali brought enough energy to round things out pretty well.
Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were solid with a realistic feel. Physical effects were good and fit the film. Dialogue was okay but could have had a bit more spark and made things more interesting. Sound and soundtrack were both good.
Overall The Place Beyond the Pines is a moody crime drama that with a little effort could have been completely depressing. As it was, the film is a plodding story of crime, morality, and how twisted fate can really be. Those who enjoy darker drama will like this one the most.
With plenty of foul language, violence, teen drug and alcohol use, and some sexuality this should be fine for older teens and above.
Star rating: 2 out of 5
Genre: Drama, Crime Dramas, Indie Dramas
copyright ©2014 Dave Riedel
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