Let’s face it, despite any rating, awards or artistic merit someone you don’t know gave this movie, the reason you watched it was a) Ryan Gosling b) Bradley Cooper or c) both.
Ryan Gosling is a motorbike stunt devil named Luke Glanton who works at the circus. When he comes through Schenectady, New York, he sees an ex-lover of his named Romina (played by Eva Mendes). When he learns that he had fathered a son, he quits the circus and attempts to provide for his son. When a random job doesn’t provide enough income, he resorts to robbing banks. This creates a downward spiral and a series of connections that play out through the rest of the film.
Ryan Gosling is a handsome man, and a good actor, but he gets cast in these odd rolls where he plays a very silent moody person. This could also describe much of the film. It is very slow for the majority of the film, and even when it picks up it still seems to drag on. There are bank robberies, a shootout, drugs, and corruption, but it still manages to coast on. The plot and the way the stories connect is probably the only interesting thing about this film.
I do not recommend that you see this movie. If you are watching it for Ryan Gossling, you can stop after the first minute of the film where they show you the shirtless goods and move on.