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The Place Beyond the Pines

The Place Beyond the Pines
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Derek Cianfrance
Produced by Lynette Howell
Sidney Kimmel
Alex Orlovsky
Jamie Patricof
Written by Derek Cianfrance
Ben Coccio
Darius Marder
Story by Derek Cianfrance
Ben Coccio
Starring Ryan Gosling
Bradley Cooper
Eva Mendes
Ray Liotta
Ben Mendelsohn
Rose Byrne
Mahershala Ali
Bruce Greenwood
Harris Yulin
Music by Mike Patton
Cinematography Sean Bobbitt
Edited by Jim Helton
Ron Patane
Hunting Lane Films
Pines Productions
Sidney Kimmel Entertainment
Silverwood Films
Distributed by Focus Features
Release dates
  • September 7, 2012 (2012-09-07) (TIFF)
  • March 29, 2013 (2013-03-29) (United States, limited)
Running time 141 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $15 million[2][3]
Box office $35.5 million[2]

The Place Beyond the Pines is a 2012 American crime drama film directed by Derek Cianfrance and written by Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, and Darius Marder. It stars Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, and Ray Liotta, with Ben Mendelsohn, Rose Byrne, Mahershala Ali, Bruce Greenwood, Harris Yulin, and Dane DeHaan in supporting roles. The film reunites Cianfrance and Gosling, who worked together on 2010's Blue Valentine. The film was scored by Mike Patton.

The title is the English meaning of the city of Schenectady, New York, which is derived loosely from a Mohawk word for "place beyond the pine plains."[4][5]

The film featured previously written music by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Reception 3
    • Box Office 3.1
    • Critical reception 3.2
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6


Luke Glanton is a locally famous motorcycle stuntman working in a traveling act for state fairs. During the fair in Altamont, New York, Luke is visited by his ex-lover, Romina, and learns he is the father of her infant son. Luke quits his job as a stuntman to stay in town and provide for the child, but Romina does not want him in the child's life, as she has become involved in a relationship with another man named Kofi. Luke turns to Robin, an auto repair shop owner, for part-time employment as he continuously attempts to insert himself into his son's life. Making only minimum wage, Luke asks Robin for more money to care for his son. Robin reveals he was once a bank robber, and offers to partner with Luke to hit several banks in the area. The duo perform several successful heists, in which Luke does the robbery, then uses his motorbike as a getaway vehicle and drives it into an unmarked truck driven by Robin. Luke uses the new money to win back Romina's trust and visits her and his son more often. Kofi objects to his presence and the two get into a fight at Kofi's house, resulting in Luke's arrest after he hits Kofi in the head with a pipe wrench.

After Robin has bailed him out of jail, Luke wants to resume their bank robberies. Robin objects, not wanting to press their luck, and the two have a falling-out that results in Robin dismantling the motorbike and Luke taking back at gunpoint the bail money he owed Robin. Luke attempts to rob a bank alone and is pursued by police. He falls off his bike during the chase and seeks refuge in a resident's home, where he is pursued by Schenectady Police Officer Avery Cross. Luke corners himself upstairs and calls Romina. Just before Avery confronts him, Luke asks Romina not to tell their child about who he was. Avery enters the room and fires the first shot; Luke falls out of the second-story window after shooting Avery in the leg. Avery looks out the window to find Luke dying on the pavement.

Avery gains hero status after his takedown of Luke. Avery feels remorse about shooting Luke, especially as Avery's fellow officers Scotty and Deluca illegally seize the stolen money from Romina's home and give him the lion's share in honor of his newfound hero status. He later attempts to return the money to Romina, but she rejects his offer. Avery eventually tries to turn the money in to the chief of police, who dismisses him, wishing not to get involved. Following the advice of his father, a retired judge, Avery records a fellow officer asking him to remove cocaine from the evidence locker Avery is supervising for use in a separate case. Avery uses the recording to expose the illegal practices in the police department and pressures the district attorney to hire him as assistant district attorney.

Fifteen years later, Avery is running for public office and has to deal with his now-teenage son A.J., who has gotten into trouble with drugs. Avery has separated from his wife Jennifer and agrees to take A.J. into his home. A.J. transfers into the high school in Schenectady. There A.J. befriends a boy named Jason; neither A.J. nor Jason know that Jason is Luke's son. The two are arrested for felony drug possession, and when Avery is called in to pick up his son, he recognizes Jason's name. He uses his influence to get Jason's charge dropped to a misdemeanor and orders A.J. to stay away from Jason, but the boys continue to talk.

Jason seeks the truth about his biological father, whom Romina refuses to discuss with him. His stepfather, Kofi, finally tells the boy his father's name. He discovers Luke's past on the Internet. He visits Robin's auto shop, and Robin tells Jason more about Luke, including his superior motorbiking skills. Back in school, A.J. invites Jason over to his house for a party and guilt-trips him into stealing Oxycontin for the party. Jason eventually gives in to A.J., and arrives with the drugs after stealing them from a pharmacy. At the house, Jason sees a framed photograph of Avery and realizes that A.J.'s father is the man who killed his own father. After a fight with A.J., which leaves Jason hospitalized with mild facial injuries, Jason breaks into the Cross family home and beats A.J. at gunpoint. When Avery arrives, Jason takes him hostage and orders him to drive into the woods. Although Jason had intended to kill Avery, he reconsiders after Avery tearfully apologizes for killing Jason's father. Jason takes Avery's wallet and jacket. In the wallet, Jason finds a photo of himself as a baby with his parents, which Avery had stolen from the evidence locker. Jason then leaves in Avery's car.

Avery wins his bid for New York Attorney General, with A.J. at his side. Romina receives an envelope addressed to "Mom" with the old photograph of Jason with his parents. Jason leaves home and buys a motorbike, reminiscent of his father's, and heads west, presumably intending to start anew.



Box Office

The Place Beyond The Pines premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2012; it received a limited release in the United States on March 29, 2013 and was widely released on April 12, 2013.[6] The film grossed $279,457 from 4 theaters with an average of $69,864 per theater. The film ended up earning $21,403,519 in North America and $14,082,089 internationally for a total of $35,485,608, above its $15 million production budget.[2]

Critical reception

The Place Beyond The Pines received positive reviews from critics and has a "certified fresh" score of 80% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 197 reviews, with an average score of 7.3 out of 10. The critical consensus states: "Ambitious to a fault, The Place Beyond the Pines finds writer/director Derek Cianfrance reaching for—and often grasping—thorny themes of family, fatherhood, and fate."[7] The film also has a score of 68 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 42 critics indicating "generally favorable reviews".[8]

Writing for the Indiewire "Playlist" blog, Kevin Jagernauth praised the film as an "ambitious epic that is cut from some of the same thematic tissue as Cianfrance's previous film, but expands the scope into a wondrously widescreen tale of fathers, sons and the legacy of sins that are passed down through the generations".[9] David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter praised the acting, cinematography, atmosphere, and score, but criticized the film's narrative flow.[10] In The Daily Telegraph, Robbie Collin drew attention to the film's "lower-key and largely unstarry third act" that was criticized in early reviews. "In fact, it’s the key to deciphering the entire film," he wrote. Collin drew parallels between Gosling's character and James Dean's Jim Stark in Rebel Without a Cause, and said Cianfrance's film was "great American cinema of the type we keep worrying we’ve already lost."[11]

Henry Barnes of The Guardian gave a mixed review, writing: "The Place Beyond the Pines is ambitious and epic, perhaps to a fault. It's a long, slow watch in the final act, a detour into the next generation that sees the sons of Luke and Avery pick away at their daddy issues together. Cianfrance signposts the ripple effects of crime with giant motorway billboards, then pootles along, following a storyline that drops off Mendes and Byrne before winding on to its obvious conclusion."[12] A negative review came from Slant Magazine '​s Ed Gonzalez, who criticized the film's plot, themes, "self-importance", shallow characters, and melodramatic nature.[13]


  1. ^ (15)"The Place Beyond the Pines".  
  2. ^ a b c (2013)"The Place Beyond the Pines". Box Office Mojo. 
  3. ^ Fleming, Jr., Mike (January 10, 2012). "Indie Film Producers Lynette Howell And Jamie Patricof Launch Electric City Banner". Deadline. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  4. ^ Pearson, Jonathan. "A History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times". July 30, 2009. Retrieved September 28, 2009.
  5. ^  
  6. ^ Chitwood, Adam (October 16, 2012). , Starring Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper, Set for Limited Release on March 29, 2013"The Place Beyond the Pines". Collider. Retrieved October 17, 2012. 
  7. ^ "The Place Beyond the Pines".  
  8. ^ "The Place Beyond The Pines Reviews".  
  9. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (2012-09-07). "TIFF Review: 'The Place Beyond The Pines' A Searing Tale Of Fathers, Sons & The Legacy Of Sins". The Playlist. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  10. ^ Rooney, David. "The Place Beyond the Pines: Toronto Review".  
  11. ^ Collin, Robbie (2013-04-11). "The Place Beyond the Pines, review". 
  12. ^ Barnes, Henry (2012-09-08). "The Place Beyond the Pines – review".  
  13. ^ Gonzalez, Ed (2013-03-15). "The Place Beyond The Pines".  

Further reading

  • LaSalle, Mick. "'Place Beyond the Pines' addresses moral conflicts". Houston Chronicle. April 4, 2013.

External links

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