The Place Beyond the Pines

The Place Beyond the Pines
The Place Beyond the Pines Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDerek Cianfrance
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Derek Cianfrance
  • Ben Coccio
Music byMike Patton
CinematographySean Bobbitt
Edited by
  • Jim Helton
  • Ron Patane
Distributed byFocus Features
Release date
  • September 7, 2012 (2012-09-07) (TIFF)
  • March 29, 2013 (2013-03-29) (United States)
Running time
140 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$15 million[2][3]
Box office$47 million[4]

The Place Beyond the Pines is a 2012 American crime tragedy drama film directed by Derek Cianfrance with a screenplay by Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, and Darius Marder from a story by Cianfrance and Coccio. It stars Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Emory Cohen and Dane DeHaan, with Ben Mendelsohn, Rose Byrne, Mahershala Ali, Bruce Greenwood, Harris Yulin, and Ray Liotta in supporting roles. The film reunites Cianfrance and Gosling, who worked together on the 2010 film Blue Valentine. The film was scored by Mike Patton and also featured previously written music by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. 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."[5][6]


In 1997, Luke Glanton is a motorcycle stuntman. In Schenectady, New York, Luke reunites with his ex-lover Romina Gutierrez, who is dating another man named Kofi Kancam. Luke discovers that Romina has a baby son named Jason that he fathered which she never revealed to him, so Luke quits his job to stay with Romina and their son.

Luke begins working part-time for auto mechanic Robin Van Der Hook. He asks Robin for more work and Robin, who can’t offer it legitimately, reveals his past as a successful bank robber and offers to partner up for a few robberies. Skeptical at first, Luke decides to take Robin up on his offer after planning and setting up their first job. They successfully pull off a few heists by having Luke rob the bank at gunpoint, use his bike as a getaway vehicle and ride it into a box truck driven by Robin.

Luke uses his share of the money to get closer to Romina, and visits her and Jason more often. As he takes them out for ice cream, the three ask a passerby to take a photo to capture the moment. However, Luke is arrested after striking Kofi with a wrench during a fight. When Robin bails him out of jail, Luke states that he wants to give his money to Romina for Jason when he's older. Luke insists on resuming their robberies, but Robin objects, and the two have a falling out that results in Robin dismantling Luke’s motorcycle. Luke robs Robin and uses the money to buy a new bike.

Luke attempts to rob a bank alone but fails to properly plan for the job and is pursued by police. He is cornered in the top floor of a house by rookie police officer Avery Cross and calls Romina, asking her not to tell Jason who he was. Avery enters the room and shoots Luke in the stomach. Luke fires back, hitting Avery in the leg, but falls three stories out of the window to his death.

Avery is hailed as a hero after taking down Luke, but feels remorse about the shooting. Avery and his fellow officers illegally seize the stolen money from Romina's home, but Avery tries to return it to Romina, who rejects it. Avery then tries to turn the money in to the chief of police, who rebuffs him. Discouraged, Avery records other illegal practices in the police department, and uses the recording to get a position as an assistant district attorney.

Fifteen years later, Avery is running for Attorney General of New York. He has his troubled teenage son A.J., who had been living with Avery's ex-wife, move in with him and transfer to Schenectady High School. There, A.J. befriends the (now teenaged) Jason, but neither know the history between their fathers. The two are later arrested for felony drug possession, but when Avery is called in to pick up his son, he recognizes Jason's name. He gets Jason's charge dropped to a misdemeanor and orders A.J. to stay away from him.

Kofi finally tells Jason his father's name, allowing Jason to discover Luke's past on the Internet. Jason visits Robin, who tells him more about Luke and their robberies. Back in school, A.J. pressures Jason to steal Oxycontin, which Jason does, narrowly escaping the owner after failing to sneak back out undiscovered.

Jason eventually realizes that A.J.'s father is the man who killed his own father. After a fight with A.J., which leaves Jason hospitalized, Jason buys a gun, breaks into the Cross family home, beats A.J., and takes Avery hostage. Jason forces Avery to drive into the woods, where Avery breaks down and tearfully apologizes for killing Jason's father. Instead of killing him, Jason steals Avery's wallet and leaves him unharmed. In the wallet, Jason finds the photo of him and his parents eating ice cream, which Avery had stolen from the evidence locker.

Some time later, 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 inside. Jason purchases a motorcycle, starts the bike, and rides away from his old life.



Box office[edit]

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.[7] 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[edit]

The Place Beyond the Pines received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a rating of 80%, based on 216 reviews, with an average score of 7.25/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "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."[8] On Metacritic has a score of 68 out of 100, based on 42 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[9]

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".[10] David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter praised the acting, cinematography, atmosphere, and score, but criticized the film's narrative flow.[11] 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."[12]

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."[13] A negative review came from Slant Magazine's Ed Gonzalez, who criticized the film's plot, themes, "self-importance", shallow characters, and melodramatic nature.[14]

Top ten lists[edit]


  1. ^ "The Place Beyond the Pines". Australian Classification. Department of Communications and the Arts. March 14, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2017. Duration: 140 minutes
  2. ^ a b "The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)". 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. ^ "The Place Beyond the Pines (2013) - Financial Information". Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  5. ^ Pearson, Jonathan. "A History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times". July 30, 2009. Retrieved September 28, 2009.
  6. ^ Scott, A. O. (March 28, 2013). "Good Intentions, Paving the Usual". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Chitwood, Adam (October 16, 2012). "The Place Beyond the Pines, Starring Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper, Set for Limited Release on March 29, 2013". Collider. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
  8. ^ "The Place Beyond the Pines". Rotten Tomatoes (Flixster). Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  9. ^ "The Place Beyond The Pines Reviews". Metacritic (CBS Interactive). Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  10. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (September 7, 2012). "TIFF Review: 'The Place Beyond The Pines' A Searing Tale Of Fathers, Sons & The Legacy Of Sins". The Playlist. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  11. ^ Rooney, David. "The Place Beyond the Pines: Toronto Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  12. ^ Collin, Robbie (April 11, 2013). "The Place Beyond the Pines, review". The Daily Telegraph.
  13. ^ Barnes, Henry (September 8, 2012). "The Place Beyond the Pines – review". The Guardian. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  14. ^ Gonzalez, Ed (March 15, 2013). "The Place Beyond The Pines". Slant Magazine. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "2013 Film Critic Top Ten Lists| Film". Metacritic. December 8, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2015.

Further reading[edit]

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