By all measures, we should hate Ryan Gosling. He's a tremendously successful, good-looking guy who got famous off an awful, cloying movie, "The Notebook," and is currently sleeping with one of the hottest women in the world, Eva Mendes. He has it all, and you're just supposed to irrationally hate guys like this who have it all. That's code.
But dammit, I can't bring myself to do it. Bow to the Gosling. Because for every paycheck performance ("Crazy Stupid Love") he's done to please his female fanbase, he's made some really weird and great movies. "Drive" was the best-looking and most surprisingly violent film of 2011, and "Half Nelson" and "Lars and the Real Girl," featured his fearless performances as a heroin addict and sexual deviant, respectively. (Watch "Fracture," a well-plotted legal drama sometime, too.)
"The Place Beyond the Pines" veers dangerously close to mimicking the plot of "Drive"—again, he plays a stunt driver turned getaway driver—but the trailer looks sleek, and who can turn down a chance to see Ray Liotta play a "menacingly corrupt detective?" The rest of the synopsis:
Luke (Academy Award nominee Ryan Gosling) is in constant motion, a high-wire motorcycle stunt performer who travels from town to town with the carnival. Passing through Schenectady in upstate New York, he tries to reconnect with a former lover, Romina (Eva Mendes), only to learn that she has in his absence given birth to their son Jason. Luke resolves to forsake life on the road and to provide for his newfound family, taking a job as car mechanic with Robin (Ben Mendelsohn). Robin soon discovers Luke’s special talents, and proposes to partner with him in a string of spectacular bank robberies. But it is only a matter of time before Luke will run up against the law – which comes in the form of Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper).
Avery is an ambitious rookie cop navigating a local police department ruled by the menacingly corrupt detective Deluca (Ray Liotta). When Avery, just beginning to balance his profession and his family life with wife Jennifer (Rose Byrne) and their infant son AJ, confronts Luke, the full consequences will reverberate into the next generation. It is then that the two sons, Jason (Dane DeHaan) and AJ (Emory Cohen), must face their fateful, shared legacy.