There are several ways to advertise for Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines, from showcasing the high-powered leads to possibly stringing together action shots of Ryan Gosling robbing banks on his motorcycle or Bradley Cooper staring down a trio of crooked cops. Instead, Focus Features went with the most bland, generic approach I’ve seen on a movie poster in about as long as I can remember. Storm clouds? Giant names? No hint of what to expect? Check, check and check.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Place Beyond the Pines poster, courtesy of ScreenCrush:

It’s even difficult to read the second-most important factor about Pines -- namely, that Cianfrance last directed the phenomenal Blue Valentine, so this marks his reunion with Gosling. Granted, I managed to see Pines at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, and it’s nowhere near as interesting or compelling as that broken-marriage drama. But different strokes for different folks.

As you can see, the movie stars Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes and Ray Liotta. And some fake looking arrow trees. What you can’t tell from this poster is that there are three storylines at play in Pines, from the down-on-his-luck drama of Gosling’s bank-robbing criminal (who happens to have a baby) to the crime-stopping heroics of Cooper’s up-and-coming New York officer. The film takes a number of surprising turns. Whether you find any of the narrative twists to be believable will go a long way to defining the movie’s successes. Focus teased a trailer a few weeks back. Now this poster. Are you excited for the movie’s March opening? Let us know below.

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