Derek Cianfrance’s ‘The Place beyond the Pines’ stretches across a long timeline, and three discernible, distinct time frames could very easily be identified. It starts off with a motorbike stuntman by the name of Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling) who discovers that he is the father of a toddler one fine morning and develops aspirations of starting a family. In a bid to make some quick money, he starts robbing banks and is eventually caught and shot.
A police officer named Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper) gets shot in the process as well, and the film moves ahead focusing on Cross and his fight with remorse as he realizes that Glanton had a son who was as old as his own. Fifteen years later, we get to see him running for Attorney General of New York, while his son AJ Cross (Emory Cohen) who has newly moved into Schenectady High School befriends Jason Glanton (Dane DeHaan) with disastrous consequences.
Cianfrance does manage to retain your interest throughout the running time of 140 minutes, but its steady progression downhill, with Luke Glanton’s part turning out to be the very best. There are some exceptionally good performances in store as well, which makes ‘The Place beyond the Pines’ a decent weekend watch.