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The Place Beyond the Pines


Mar 29, 2013 Issue #45 - Winter 2013 - Phoenix
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Derek Cianfrance’s (Blue Valentine) second feature is a sweeping, far-fetched drama set in the seedy underbelly of Schenectady, NY: a place surprisingly packed with dirty cops, dirty politicians, and dirty carnies.

The Place Beyond the Pines isn’t a bad movie; it’s three bad movies strung together by implausible logic. The firstand only semiworthwhile-part focuses on Ryan Gosling as a good-for-nothing who does motorcycle tricks in a traveling carnival. He quits the circus to start robbing banks on his bike in order to provide for a son he never knew he had.

Enter Bradley Cooper, who plays the city’s one good cop and takes down the notorious robber. This second section tracks his battle against corruption in the city’s police force, up until it no longer serves a purpose and he suddenly becomes a crooked politician. Jump forward 15 yearsthank goodness for title cardsand we’re now following the sons of our cop and moto-bandit, who’ve become an unlikely pair of star-crossed drug buddies. That is, until one discoversgasp!the shocking truth. (It takes them way, way longer that it took us.)

At nearly 2.5 hours, the film is an endurance test. Don’t fall for any of the misleading marketingCooper and Gosling only share a few seconds of screen time. They may as well not even be in the same movie. (

Author rating: 2/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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