The Place Beyond The Pines (2013)

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Date Created: 09/05/2013
Date Modified: 26/01/2018
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The Place Beyond the Pines is a 2012 American crime drama film directed by Derek Cianfrance and written by Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, and Darius Marder. 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 2010s 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.
In 1997, Luke Glanton (Gosling) is a motorcycle stuntman. In Schenectady, New York, Luke reunites with his ex-lover Romina Gutierrez (Mendes), who is dating another man named Kofi Kancam (Ali). 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. Luke asks Robin for more work, and Robin offers to partner with Luke in robbing banks. Luke and Robin successfully rob a few banks, with Luke performing the robbery and using his motorcycle as a getaway vehicle, hiding it in a box truck driven by Robin.

Luke gives his share of the money to Romina, and visits her and his son more often. Luke takes Romina and Jason out for ice cream, and the three ask a passerby to take a photo to capture the moment. Luke and Kofi, who objects to Luke’s presence, get into a fight, and Luke is arrested after hitting Kofi in the head with a wrench. After Robin bails him out of jail, Luke gives his savings to Romina to give to Jason when he's older. Luke insists on resuming their bank robberies, but Robin objects, and the two have a falling-out that results in Robin dismantling Luke’s motorcycle. Luke robs Robin at gunpoint, and uses the money to buy a new bike.

Luke attempts to rob a bank alone, but is pursued by police. Luke is cornered in a house by rookie police officer Avery Cross (Cooper) 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 out the window to his death.

Avery gains hero status after taking down Glanton, 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 the money to Romina, who rejects it. Avery then tries to turn the money in to the chief of police, who rebuffs him. Discouraged, Avery tape records other illegal practices in the police department, and uses the recording to get a position as the 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 Jason (DeHaan), 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 in a manner similar to his father's robberies.

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.

Sometime 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.


Ryan Gosling as Luke Glanton
Bradley Cooper as Avery Cross
Eva Mendes as Romina Gutierrez
Dane DeHaan as Jason Glanton/Kancam
Emory Cohen as A. J. Cross
Ben Mendelsohn as Robin Van Der Hook
Rose Byrne as Jennifer Cross
Mahershala Ali as Kofi Kancam
Bruce Greenwood as Bill Killcullen
Ray Liotta as Peter Deluca
Harris Yulin as Albert Cross
Robert Clohessy as Chief Weirzbowski
Olga Merediz as Malena Gutierrez
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 (TIFF)
  • March 29, 2013 (United States)
Running time
140 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$15 million[2][3]
Box office$47 million