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REVIEW: The Place Beyond the Pines

REVIEW: The Place Beyond the Pines

By Derek Sante - Review Nation
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This country is made of people with choices to make. The rich get more options in this process, while the poor like Luke (Ryan Gosling) see few options and little choice. Fate and history take a roll in this process when Luke, working for a traveling carnival, visits Schenectady in New York and catches a glimpse of a girl from his past. Romina (Eva Mendes) has a secret that Luke wasn't supposed to know, a child was born and he is the father.

Quitting the carnival and his job as a stunt motorcycle driver, he drifts through town. Through a stroke of luck, which could be defined as good or bad, he meets a mechanic named Robin (Ben Mendelsohn). Living together with no money and little hope; they devise a plan. They will rob Banks as a team and take control of their present situation.

This seems to be a perfect plan until Luke shows the rage underneath. What he believes is right and what the world give him are at ends. On edge and out of control he makes mistakes that land him in the crosshairs of the law, specifically officer Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper).

From there the story transfers to the character of Cross as he traverses his wish to serve as an honorable police officer and others wishes that include quitting the force, politics and less moral options. Choices are made from acting and not acting which sends his world into a downward spiral that leads to pain.

This movie is made to be gritty and almost too real. The characters and events are less stylized and serve the story well. Gosling portrays a human made by his mistakes superbly, while Cooper takes on the role of man who is slowly destroyed by the path that lay ahead. Past, present and future play out as this film defines people to be created by their environment and their choices.

Grade: B

MPAA Rating: R

Running Time: 2hr 20min

Movie Trailer - The Place Beyond the Pines

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