The Place Beyond the Pines Review | Ryan Gosling

The Place Beyond the Pines Review | Ryan Gosling

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3 Min Read
Posted: September 4, 2023

Derek Cianfrance, A lesser-known director, is known for his intimate and emotionally charged storytelling style. His collaboration with actors Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper in “The Place Beyond the Pines” resulted in a powerful and captivating exploration of complex characters. The use of lighting and composition by the cinematographer, Sean Bobbitt, produces a compelling visual mood that strengthens the story and draws the viewer into the characters’ travels.


Ryan Gosling (literally me) and Bradley Cooper (also me but in another dimension) are two of the greatest actors in my opinion. They both have a solid reputation for portraying a variety of roles with distinct characteristics. Even in this film, they have yet to seize to impress us with their skills.


Now let us get to the SPOILER-FREE review of “The Place Beyond the Pines”.


The Place Beyond the Pines Review

Act I

In “The Place Beyond the Pines”,  Luke Glenton (Ryan Gosling) is a stuntman who works in a circus as a globe of death motorcyclist—achieving minimal wage. Luke is divorced from his wife Romina, played by Eva Mendes. However, when he discovers that he has a son with her, he wants to reconcile with his family. As a result, he decides to quit his job as a stuntman and tries to find a new means to support his family. Unfortunately, he fails to find a job and eventually resorts to robbing banks to make money.


This act has a lot of gloomy, dark colors. It is almost an exact representation of Luke’s life. Each scene’s color grading is as monochrome as possible, as opposed to the other acts’ far more vibrant color grading.


Luke encounters Robin, a guy with a history of robbing banks. Together, they pull off a number of heists, but in the end, Luke attempts one alone and ends up being cornered, which brings Act I to a close. There is a great chase scene before he is captured, which is fun to watch, probably the most fun thing in “The Place Beyond the Pines”. Let’s stop there because if I say anything further, you’ll be spoilt.

The Place Beyond the Pines - Ryan Gosling

The Place Beyond the Pines – Ryan Gosling


Act II

Act II of “The Place Beyond the Pines” is about Emory Cross (Bradley Cooper), a police officer who takes regrettable decisions that destroy his life. He is a good officer in a corrupt police department. getting access to stolen money and learning the true intentions of the dishonest police officers as they plot worse crimes. The cinematography of “The Place Beyond the Pines”, which additionally includes incredibly vivid and colorful sceneries, effectively conveys all of the emotions and anxieties he experiences during the whole act.


Emory regrets that he lied to become a cop, even though he lacked excellence. The characters in “The Place Beyond the Pines” have rich, almost human characteristics that make it a very understandable film. Act II was in my opinion, the best act out of all 3 acts as it had the most character development and moral dilemmas in it.

The Place Beyond the Pines - Bradley Cooper

The Place Beyond the Pines – Bradley Cooper



Act III, for some, may be the most pleasing act as it deals with revenge and acceptance. Emory Cross’s decisions in his life all sum up to this final showdown. 15 years after the events of Act II, Emory finds his son, alongside his son’s friend, caught in a drug problem by the police. He strictly warns him not to interfere and ruin that kid’s life. But boy, do kids listen.


This Act deals with one of the craziest interventions of two lives. When the kids finally realize the truth behind each other’s story, it’s all but a classic showdown of revenge. The ending of “The Place Beyond the Pines” is very satisfying as you see a person break the cycle and move on with life and it makes you contemplate the movie for a solid 10 minutes before going to bed and thinking you’re literally Ryan Gosling.


The fall short


To be honest, I thoroughly appreciated “The Place Beyond the Pines”. However, there is a problem with uneven spacing that compels you to repeatedly press the forward 10-second button. The film’s rhythm tends to be fairly uneven and might, at times, drag a bit.

In addition, I had hoped that “The Place Beyond the Pines” would have a stronger action vibe, but there aren’t nearly enough action sequences. Most of the action sequence occurs at the beginning half an hour of the film, which sets up almost every conversation moment in the two following acts. So yeah, it gets kind of boring at points.


Too Long, Didn’t Read

Some viewers might enjoy the film more than others, but in my opinion, the film could have been made a lot better, and more open stories could have been adopted into it. I’m not saying that the film was terrible; it is way better than films such as “Morbius” (haha, I’m just kidding). It’s a good film to watch, especially if you’re a Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper fan. just be sure to sit tight for a whopping 2 hours and 20 minutes






  • Good Plot
  • Compelling Cinematography


  • Slow and rather unevenly distributed plot
  • Action scenes are not evenly distributed

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