The lengthy film is split into three separate chapters, while relatively simple on their own, unite as a powerful, compelling tale.

Ladies man Ryan Gosling plays arguably his most solid performance yet as Luke, a stunt motorcycle driver turned bank robber.

When he bumps into Romina (real-life girlfriend Eva Mendes), the woman he had an affair with last time he was in town, he discovers that she has since given birth to their son. In a noble attempt to do good, he decides to stay in town and provide for her and his child.

But working a minimum wage job at a local car yard proves inadequate, leading Luke to pursue a career in bank robbery.

Bradley Cooper is also astonishing, playing Avery Cross, an over-educated cop struggling with a corrupt department and a wife and father who expect more from him. Avery also has a one-year-old son and is deeply haunted by the actions of his past.

Flash-forward several years and the story depicts the lives of the two sons who endure vastly different upbringings, played by a pair of fantastic young and upcoming actors (Dane DeHann and Emory Cohen).

The Place Beyond the Pines is a harrowing symphony of love, crime, heartbreak and violence. It reveals a fascinating bridge between the intertwining lives of some wayward, yet endearing characters.

Not only is it fantastic to see such remarkable actors come together, this gripping story is one that will leave its mark long after you’ve left the cinema.
Good for: A long sit down that will leave you solidly moved

Verdict: 5 stars