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The sins of the fathers get passed down to their sons with heartbreaking inevitability in this long, ambitious but hugely impressive crime drama starring Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper.

Gosling plays swaggering motorbike stunt rider Luke, who turns bank robber to make money after learning that he has fathered a child with old flame Romina (Eva Mendes). And Cooper is the rookie cop, Avery, whose path fatefully collides with Luke’s.

Audaciously, the story then jumps 15 years to show how the consequences of Luke and Avery’s decisions play out in the lives of their troubled 17-year-old sons (Dane DeHaan and Emory Cohen).

Reuniting with Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance, a bleach-blond, heavily tattooed Gosling radiates imperishable charisma, and Cooper is equally good in his far less showy role as the callow but stubbornly ambitious Avery.

The Place Beyond the Pines isn’t perfect, but it is terrifically captivating, whether delivering breathless action, knuckle-whitening suspense or moments of quiet intimacy.

Released on Blu-ray, DVD, Doubleplay Steelbook and EST by StudioCanal on Monday 12th August.