Director Derek Cianfrance follows up his 2010 widely praised movie "Blue Valentine" with a Shakespearean anti-hero drama that's both aggravating and intensely emotional.
"The Place Beyond the Pines" is purposely slow at times, which adds to the mysterious atmosphere. The movie's opening shot caused the original cinematographer to drop out of the film. Even though Cianfrance's third feature film is a drama that pits a bank robber against law enforcement, don't expect thrilling action scenes.
In "Pines," Ryan Gosling plays Luke, a motorcycle stunt driver-turned-bank robber, with desperation and not much dialogue, as per his usual roles. The bank robberies he pulls off are sloppy and at times humorous -- not polished, like a typical Hollywood bank heist, which adds to the believability. His walk, his stare, his tattoos all tell a different story.
Eva Mendes plays Romina, Luke's ex-girlfriend, and Bradley Cooper plays the ambitious police officer in what could be his best performance yet.
Cianfrance took risks in this film, they all worked and were all tied together in a very personal, calculated, compelling, and some might say "exhilarating" way.
"The Place Beyond The Pines" Rated R 140 minutes Director: Derek Cianfrance Starring: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes Rating: 4 of 5 stars