Critic Reviews



Based on 42 critic reviews provided by
A brilliant, towering picture, The Place Beyond The Pines is a cinematic accomplishment of extraordinary grace and insight.
That the movie succeeds both as a high-stakes crime thriller as well as a far quieter and empathetic study of angry, solitary men proves that Cianfrance has a penchant for bold storytelling and an eye for performances to carry it through.
There is true beauty in the despair that pervades The Place Beyond the Pines, a film plotted out in triptych, a treatise on the moral compromises we all make to protect and provide for our loved ones.
Cianfrance generally shows again that he knows how to build immersive characterizations with his actors. And while this sorrowful triptych is uneven and perhaps overly ambitious, the director displays a cool mastery of atmospherics and tone.
The Place Beyond the Pines is ambitious and epic, perhaps to a fault.
Slant Magazine
The film never reaches a climax because it's always in one, distilling the lives of its characters to their tensest moments.
Two half-stories about fathers and sons on opposite sides of the law do not a full movie make in The Place Beyond the Pines, the overlong and under-conceived reunion between “Blue Valentine” director Derek Cianfrance and lookalike star Ryan Gosling.
The segments are essentially monodramas, so sketchily written that the big moments feel less like recognizable human behavior than recognizable screenwriter overreaching.
Cool, violent, a cigarette dangling from his mouth, Gosling reprises his inexorable-loner routine from “Drive.” Cianfrance and the screenwriters Ben Coccio and Darius Marder wrote thirty-seven drafts of the script, but gave him almost nothing to say. He rides, he smokes, he knocks over banks, he loves his baby, and that’s it.
Unwieldy, overlong and overly reliant on melodramatic coincidences, A Place in the Pines is still better than it has any right to be, thanks to its cast.

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