2012, Movies

The Place Beyond the Pines (2012, Derek Cianfrance)

This is the kind of idea that really used to intrigue me when I was younger. It’s the kind of thing that might have blown me away in my mid twenties.


This film is basically two films, the story of a down-on-his-luck, motorcycle racer and the story of the man who killed him.

The concept of combining two films is, as I have said, something that has intrigued me for years, but I’m not sure it’s handled as well as it might have been, in part due to the nature of the second “film,” which deals with the children of the two men.

All three pieces might have worked as individual films, but they feel like three separate movies, particularly the final part, where it’s hard to see the connection between the lead characters in it and the lead characters in the earlier parts – particularly Bradley Cooper’s character’s son, which feels like he walked in from another movie.

And while I feel like it’s a noble experiment, and while I appreciate the ambition, and while I don’t really fault any of the actors, as everyone’s believable, it’s kind of hard to understand why somebody decided that this story was suitable for a two hour film. And given what happens with the ending, it feels rather contrived.

But, at the end of the day, I’d still rather watch a noble failure like this.


  • Directed by Derek Cianfrance
  • Produced by Sidney Kimmel, Jamie Patricof, Lynette Howell, Alex Orlovsky
  • Screenplay by Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, Darius Marder
  • Story by Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio
  • Starring
    • Ryan Gosling as Luke Glanton
    • Bradley Cooper as Avery Cross
    • Eva Mendes as Romina Gutierrez
    • Dane DeHaan as Jason Glanton
    • Emory Cohen as A. J. Cross
    • Ben Mendelsohn as Robin Van Der Hook
    • Rose Byrne as Jennifer Cross
    • Mahershala Ali as Kofi Kancam
    • Bruce Greenwood as Bill Killcullen
    • Ray Liotta as Peter Deluca
    • Harris Yulin as Albert Cross
    • Robert Clohessy as Chief Weirzbowski
    • Olga Merediz as Malena Gutierrez
  • Music by Mike Patton
  • Cinematography: Sean Bobbitt
  • Edited by Jim Helton,
  • Ron Patane
  • Production companies: Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Electric City Entertainment, Verisimilitude
  • Distributed by Focus Features
  • Release date: September 7, 2012
  • Running time: 140 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • Budget: $15 million
  • Box office: $47 million

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