Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Apr 4, 2013
    70
    The risk of telling three distinct-but-related stories is that all may not be of equal quality. That’s the case here, as the movie starts strong but gets progressively weaker, particularly in the third act.
  2. Reviewed by: Leah Churner
    Apr 10, 2013
    89
    The film is so velvety textured and dreamy, I would’ve stuck around for more. That is Cianfrance’s special talent.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Apr 4, 2013
    63
    It’s very much a film about men, their yearnings and discontents, and about the way sins tumble down from one generation to the next. It’s a bank-robber movie, too, as well as a drama about the pressures teenagers face from parents and peers. You can feel Cianfrance biting off more and more until his mouth is too full to chew.
  4. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Mar 27, 2013
    100
    The music, the cinematography, the acting choices, the daring plot leaps — not a single element is timid or safe...The Place Beyond the Pines earns every second of its 140-minute running time.
  5. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Apr 4, 2013
    88
    It is a better, more fully felt and moving picture than "Blue Valentine."
  6. Reviewed by: Olly Richards
    Apr 8, 2013
    80
    In trying to tell an enormous amount of story it can spread itself too thin and leave some strands feeling unfinished, but when it’s at its best, this is beautiful and bold filmmaking.
  7. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Mar 27, 2013
    50
    It's a slow-burner that burns so slowly its wick completely fizzles out.
  8. Reviewed by: Laremy Legel
    Mar 3, 2013
    75
    There is true beauty in the despair that pervades The Place Beyond the Pines, a film plotted out in triptych, a treatise on the moral compromises we all make to protect and provide for our loved ones.
  9. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Mar 3, 2013
    91
    That the movie succeeds both as a high-stakes crime thriller as well as a far quieter and empathetic study of angry, solitary men proves that Cianfrance has a penchant for bold storytelling and an eye for performances to carry it through.
  10. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Mar 28, 2013
    70
    The movie is intimate in its telling, sweeping in its issues and stumbles only occasionally.
  11. 50
    Unwieldy, overlong and overly reliant on melodramatic coincidences, A Place in the Pines is still better than it has any right to be, thanks to its cast.
  12. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Apr 12, 2013
    50
    While the scope of the movie is bigger, its impact is smaller. "Blue Valentine" was a precise, heartrending portrait of a marriage coming apart at the seams. The theme of his new movie is a lot harder to discern.
  13. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Apr 12, 2013
    80
    It's not a perfect film. There's still room for Cianfrance to grow as a storyteller. But it is entirely rewarding -- and I, for one, can't wait to see where he takes us next.
  14. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Mar 28, 2013
    60
    The poetry in The Place Beyond the Pines can be elusive, but also easy to get lost in.
  15. 50
    The segments are essentially monodramas, so sketchily written that the big moments feel less like recognizable human behavior than recognizable screenwriter overreaching.
  16. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Mar 26, 2013
    100
    I think you’ll find it as fresh, original and breathlessly exciting as I did.
  17. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Mar 28, 2013
    88
    Don't let the quiet, indie stylings of The Place Beyond the Pines fool you. This is a big movie with a lot on its mind. Slowly, it unfolds into a kind of epic.
  18. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Mar 28, 2013
    50
    Too much of this seething drama is devoted not to characterization but to posturing.
  19. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Apr 11, 2013
    88
    This is a story about legacy, the sins of the father, the restlessness in our souls. It's powerful, it's bold, it hits you hard.
  20. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Apr 4, 2013
    83
    Cianfrance is the real deal, and anyone who can persuade talented Hollywood stars to enact nonironic, intelligent, ambitious drama should be encouraged, especially when the result is something like this.
  21. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Mar 28, 2013
    75
    The characters are interesting and capture our sympathy and, although there are things to criticize about the final forty-five minutes, it brings the saga to a conclusion. There's a lot to like about The Place Beyond the Pines even if it isn't the feel-good movie of the spring.
  22. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Mar 28, 2013
    75
    It's a beast of a movie, an emotional roller coaster that threatens to go off the rails, and does. But Cianfrance, working from a scrappy script he wrote with Ben Coccio and Darius Marder, takes you on a hell of a ride.
  23. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Mar 27, 2013
    60
    I never stopped being interested in The Place Beyond the Pines, and never stopped rooting for Cianfrance to make the hubristic ambition of his immense tripartite scheme pay off, even as it evidently falls apart.
  24. Mar 15, 2013
    50
    The film never reaches a climax because it's always in one, distilling the lives of its characters to their tensest moments.
  25. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Mar 28, 2013
    70
    The movie’s soulful self-seriousness, like that of its liquid-eyed hero, can occasionally slip into self-parody. But this movie confirms my "Blue Valentine"-based suspicion that the 38-year-old Cianfrance is one to watch. He’s capable of coaxing tremendous moments from actors, he knows how to move a camera, and as this over-laden but never boring movie shows, he’s willing to operate from a place of risk.
  26. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Apr 12, 2013
    75
    The acting is first-rate. Gosling masterfully fills in Luke’s motivational blanks, and Cooper nicely handles Avery’s evolution from idealist to manipulator.
  27. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Apr 10, 2013
    91
    It's a story languorously told in three chapters, the first two in the late 1980s and the third 15 years later. Each could be a movie unto themselves. Together they prove Cianfrance to be an effectively unobtrusive storyteller, crafting without artifice what book critics would call a page turner.
  28. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Mar 27, 2013
    75
    Few actors are as riveting doing absolutely nothing, and The Place Beyond The Pines perfectly typecasts Gosling as a noir staple: the decent but rudderless drifter driven to violent and desperate action.
  29. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Apr 11, 2013
    63
    Once again, Cianfrance handles the individual scenes with menacing aplomb but, once again, the whole is much less than the sum of its parts.
  30. Reviewed by: Henry Barnes
    Mar 3, 2013
    60
    The Place Beyond the Pines is ambitious and epic, perhaps to a fault.
  31. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Mar 3, 2013
    70
    Cianfrance generally shows again that he knows how to build immersive characterizations with his actors. And while this sorrowful triptych is uneven and perhaps overly ambitious, the director displays a cool mastery of atmospherics and tone.
  32. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Mar 28, 2013
    70
    The three-part story, spread over nearly two and a half hours, represents a triumph of sympathetic imagination and a failure of narrative economy. But if, in the end, the film can’t quite sustain its epic vision, it does, along the way, achieve the density and momentum of a good novel.
  33. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Mar 25, 2013
    50
    Cool, violent, a cigarette dangling from his mouth, Gosling reprises his inexorable-loner routine from “Drive.” Cianfrance and the screenwriters Ben Coccio and Darius Marder wrote thirty-seven drafts of the script, but gave him almost nothing to say. He rides, he smokes, he knocks over banks, he loves his baby, and that’s it.
  34. Reviewed by: Kevin Jagernauth
    Mar 3, 2013
    100
    A brilliant, towering picture, The Place Beyond The Pines is a cinematic accomplishment of extraordinary grace and insight.
  35. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Apr 1, 2013
    70
    The Place Beyond the Pines can’t be said to be anyone’s movie but Cianfrance’s. Structured as a triptych, the movie is novelistic, earnest and somewhat exhausting — an ambitious effort that tries to be many things. And it is definitely something: a sprawling, engaging study in fathers, sons and sins.
  36. Reviewed by: Tom Huddleston
    Apr 29, 2013
    80
    An enormously satisfying film: carefully observed and consistently compelling, it feels like an instant American classic, if a minor one.
  37. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Mar 26, 2013
    60
    Yet after the actorcentric fireworks of Cianfrance’s "Blue Valentine" (2010), it’s impressive to see him going after a wider sociopolitical scope, one that would have been better served by a less repetitive structure.
  38. Reviewed by: Jamie Graham
    Mar 30, 2013
    80
    Gosling and Cooper use their star currency to power a slow-burn, heartsick drama. "Blue Valentine" director Cianfrance is a serious talent.
  39. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Mar 28, 2013
    88
    A riveting crime thriller, it's also a multi-generational familial saga that approaches Greek tragedy.
  40. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Mar 22, 2013
    50
    Two half-stories about fathers and sons on opposite sides of the law do not a full movie make in The Place Beyond the Pines, the overlong and under-conceived reunion between “Blue Valentine” director Derek Cianfrance and lookalike star Ryan Gosling.
  41. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Mar 26, 2013
    60
    The Place Beyond the Pines is a much bigger canvas, and scene by scene it can be riveting...But the disparate pieces never quite jell; the movie is all trees and no forest.
  42. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Mar 28, 2013
    70
    One-third wonderful, The Place Beyond the Pines weakens as it unfolds for lack of what makes the early part so good.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 278 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 74 out of 90
  2. Negative: 9 out of 90
  1. Apr 12, 2013
    10
    Easily the best of 2013 so far. This movie had so much emotion with the soundtrack, characters, and symbolism. Where Django Unchained had me at the edge of my seat with excitment and laughter, PBP hit me right in the heart and soul. Full Review »
  2. May 20, 2013
    5
    The Place Beyond the Pines rushes out to a fast beginning giving the audience so much but by half way through, becomes a slow and drawn out film that loses its intensity it once had. Full Review »
  3. Apr 16, 2013
    8
    This hard-to-remember title is actually the native tribe's name for Schenectady, which is where the movie takes place…in 3 parts. First, motorcycle stunt rider (Ryan Gosling) decides to stay in the town where he's fathered a child (with Eva Mendes). His turn to crime segues into part 2, when a good cop (Bradley Cooper) faces corruption on the force. Part 3 takes place 15 years later. Director Derek Cianfrance LOVES Gosling (they did the self-indulgent "Blue Valentine" together). He lingers on his face in extreme closeups, while Gosling broods and emotes. The rest of the cast is also strong, but it's the complex, compelling script that involves (except the contrived clincher near the end). This is a relentless downer, but a completely absorbing experience. Full Review »