Daryl’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Place Beyond the Pines is a trilogy cut into one movie.
Quite a long movie.
And like all trilogies it suffers from rather serious lulls and dips.
There is the stunning first part, where Gosling does his usual, and it nips along rather briskly. The story is set up well, and the characters are set up sturdily. There is also some beautiful one-shot film making on show. Thankfully this continues into the 2nd part of the "trilogy", but this is where the lulls begin to appear. It sags in the middle, slows the pace, and almost made me lose interest completely. We do however get the welcome appearance of Liotta, but not even he can make up for the lack of Gosling action. Nor can Cooper. He just lacks the electricity of Gosling.
Thankfully the 3rd part doesn't outstay it's welcome. Well just about anyway. It caps the story of nicely, and DeHaan and Cohen are both pretty special.
I can see what Cianfrance was trying to achieve here, and it probably just about worked. Mainly due to the 3 stupendous constants that run throughout the movie. Namely Eva Mendez, the stunning filmmaking and the rather wonderful score from Mike Patton.
I did enjoy this movie. It's ambitious but flawed, and you simply have to admire ambition.