Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

The Place Beyond the Pines Review Critics


Dave White Profile

It's dark out there. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Richard Roeper

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    It's a slow-burner that burns so slowly its wick completely fizzles out.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter David Rooney

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    One-third wonderful, The Place Beyond the Pines weakens as it unfolds for lack of what makes the early part so good.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    A riveting crime thriller, it's also a multi-generational familial saga that approaches Greek tragedy.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Place Beyond the Pines reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

Melancholy, mature drama explores father-son themes.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Place Beyond the Pines is a powerful but bleak drama about what happens when a man discovers that he has fathered a child with a fling he can't forget and tries to make it right, thereby unleashing a series of wrongs. It's violent (for example, a character is shot dead, the camera lingering on his bloody, broken body; other scenes also involve guns, a beating, and more), fairly bleak, and quite difficult to watch at times. Expect very strong, frequent swearing ("s--t," "f--k," and more); drinking, pill-popping, and pot smoking among teens (plus adults drinking and smoking), and moments of heightened menace that will be too intense for younger viewers.

  • Families can talk about how teens are portrayed in The Place Beyond the Pines. Are the drug and weapon use realistic? What would the real-life consequences be?
  • What do you think of the movie's violence? Is all of it necessary for the story that it's trying to tell?
  • Why do you think Luke does what he does? Does it come from a place of good intentions? What about Avery and both Luke's and Avery's kids?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The movie is pretty bleak, but it does put forth the idea that what goes around comes around. And that sometimes, even the most troubled souls will want to do right -- they just might not know how.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Romina is a mother who's just trying to do right by her son, though it doesn't always work well for her. Luke is the same, though he goes about it in a damaging way. Avery is caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place, and he tries mightily to do the right thing -- but at a high cost.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Violent scenes include characters drawing guns and shooting at one another. In one instance, a man puts a gun into another character's mouth. A man is shot and falls through a window, the camera lingering on his broken body, blood seeping underneath his head. A teen shoots another and points his gun at someone else. He also gets beaten to a bloody pulp. In many scenes, a menacing vibe lingers.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Flirty gazes and some kissing. The movie begins with the camera gazing at a man's naked, chiseled torso and back. A sexual reference.

  • language false3

    Language: Very frequent, strong language includes "f--k" (and the related "motherf--ker"), "s--t," "bitch," "p---y," "d--k," "a--hole," "ass," "hell," "oh my God," and more, sometimes said by teens.

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Logos for Honda and Chevrolet are prominently displayed; specific mention of the drug Oxycontin.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Teens are shown partying/drinking, popping pills (Oxycontin), and smoking pot at a party. Adults are also seen drinking and smoking cigarettes.