A mysterious and mythical motorcycle racer, Luke, (Ryan Gosling) drives out of a traveling carnival globe of death and whizzes through the backstreets of Schenectady, New York, desperately trying to connect with a former lover, Romina, (Eva Mendes) who recently and secretly gave birth to the stunt rider's son. In an attempt to provide for his new family, Luke quits the carnival life and commits a series of bank robberies aided by his superior riding ability. The stakes rise as Luke is put on a collision course with an ambitious police officer, Avery Cross, (Bradley Cooper) looking to quickly move up the ranks in a police department riddled with corruption. The sweeping drama unfolds over fifteen years as the sins of the past haunt the present days lives of two high school boys wrestling with the legacy they've inherited. The only refuge is found in the place beyond the pines.
|nudity||Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling lie in bed together after sex and are viewed from an angle at extreme close up. Ryan's hand gropes and caresses Eva's right boob all throughout the scene. A young man passionately kisses and grinds with a young woman, almost leading to sex, but the young man walks away before further sexuality can occur.|
|violence||Somebody is shot and falls out of a window. Just before falling from the window, he also fires in retribution. After falling from the window, he appears to have been killed instantly as a large pool of blood emerges from his head. A young man brutally beats up another young man, resulting in many cuts and bruises on his face in subsequent scenes. Contains numerous threats of gun violence (to intimidate others and in the context of multiple bank robberies), including a scene in which a gun is placed inside another character's mouth as a threat. He is unharmed, however.|
|profanity||Contains frequent use of strong coarse language such as "fuck" and "motherfucker". About 150 uses of fuck. One shocking use of "f***ing christ" Also contains occasional milder terms such as "shit".|
|alcohol||Contains brief drug use and occasional verbal references to illicit drugs. Two young men purchase ecstasy and, consequently, get caught and arrested moments later.|
|frightening||The film deals with themes such as bereavement, injustice, police corruption, delinquency, robberies, threats of gun violence and retribution in a manner that requires a mature perspective. These themes may cause confusion or distress to younger viewers.|