Hot young stars Mark Wahlberg (THE PERFECT STORM, PLANET OF THE APES), Joaquin Phoenix (GLADIATOR, SIGNS), and Charlize Theron (WAKING UP IN RENO, THE CIDER HOUSE RULES) power this riveting crime thriller! Released from pr... more »ison after taking the fall for a group of his friends, Leo Handler (Wahlberg) just wants to get his life back on track. But when he takes a job with his powerfully influential Uncle Frank (James Caan -- THE GODFATHER TRILOGY, MICKEY BLUE EYES) and reconnects with his old friend Willie (Phoenix), Leo finds himself unwittingly drawn into a world of sabotage, high-stakes payoffs, and even murder! Then, he discovers a secret that makes him the target of the city's most ruthless family -- his own! With memorable performances from Faye Dunaway (THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR) and Ellen Burstyn (REQUIEM FOR A DREAM), the excitement builds as Leo does everything in his power to take them down in the name of justice!« less
"After spending time in prison for auto theft, Leo (Mark Wahlberg), decides it's time to go the straight and narrow. Returning home from prison, Leo, takes a job at his uncle Frank's (James Caan) company working on contracts with the New York City subway system.Once on the job, Leo, meets his uncle's top guy (Joaquin Phoenix), and before long, he realizes his uncle is involved with corruption, and payoffs."The Yards" is a gritty drama that sports an excellent cast;Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Charlize Theron, James Caan, Ellen Burstyn, and Faye Dunaway. Although, slowly paced, the film puts a smart, and interesting spin on big city corruption. Very much a character driven film, "The Yards" will disappoint those looking for fast action. But anyone looking for an intelligent, well acted movie will be pleased with this one. Nick Gonnella"
TRAIN OF THOUGHT
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 02/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Director James Gray has elicited some marvelous performances from a really eclectic cast: Oscar winners Ellen Burstyn and Faye Dunaway play domestic characters with the professional verve they always bring; Oscar nominees Charlize Theron, James Caan and Joaquin Phoenix are superb in their roles as Wahlberg's cousin, best friend and uncle-in-law; and then we have Mark Wahlberg, Steve Lawrence and Tony Musante rounding out the cast. This is Wahlberg's shining moment; he has none of the macho bravado usually associated with him, and his performance is complex, multi-faceted and courageous. Caan is also brilliant, and someday he'll get the Oscar he deserves. Phoenix also shows great emotional depth in his role as a borderline sociopath. Theron proves that she is not just a pretty face, but a capable and engaging actress. The film's slow pace is in line with the psychological nuances of the film. I'd never heard of it until I saw a trailer on another video. An outstanding film. Highly recommended."
FORGET "GLADIATOR" , TRY "THE YARDS"
wdanthemanw | Geneva, Switzerland | 04/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After LITTLE ODESSA in 1994, THE YARDS is quite an impressive second movie of american writer/director James Gray who plays in the same league than Martin Scorsese, Francis Coppola or Sidney Lumet. Furthermore, James Gray has given two important roles to James Caan and Ellen Burstyn and a choice like this can only be made by a clever and talented person. If you are not so fond of Ridley Scott's bodybuilt gladiators, try for a change a movie with more brains than muscles. In the long run, it gives more satisfaction. THE YARDS is a movie about ambiguity, a mood created firstly by the images of the movie, cold and almost metallic for the exterior scenes but warm and always red, brown or yellow for the interior scenes. This antagonism is also underlined by the recurrent theme of the electric lights which suddenly plunge the characters in a black no-man's land several times during the course of the movie. James - Frank Olchin - Caan is the most ambiguous character of the movie. He may appear as a rotten businessman ready to corrupt anything that has power at times but can also develop a "Don Corleone" à la Brando attitude when trying to protect his family. Superb job from James Caan. Mark - Leo Handler - Wahlberg is also not a straight character and one important scene of the movie confirms this point. After having been abandoned by his pairs, he's ready to join the enemy and crucify his former friends. THE YARDS is smart, beautifully filmed and has a superb cast. Why not try this Miramax DVD ? It offers a - for once - interesting behind the screen featurette, seven or eight extra-trailers, a commentary by James Gray, a french dubbed version and a gallery of paintings that has influenced James Gray for the special lightning of the movie. A DVD zone your library."
Heavy Drama about Moral and Relationship That Went Wrong
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 12/03/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone who wants to see the complex characters with superb acting should watch this film. If you are just interested in suspense, you just get bored and we won't blame you for that."The Yards" is certainly gloomy and dismal. Its story is very slow, and in essence is never friendly to audience. It deals with corruption in politics, business, and even human relationships in a relentless way. Still, to me, what the film is trying to do should be considered admirable, and what it tells is worth our attention -- "How far are we allowed do to survive?""The Yard" is about our moral as human, and inevitably the film is too serious for us to simply enjoy watching it, as I said. It's like "City Hall" without its detective story element. I also thought of "The Godfather" while watching it (James Caan in both films), and this feeling is not surprising, considering the serious subject matter about your fatal decision that changes your life forever. However, I must say several negative things about "The Yard." Though it is filled with first-rate cast from veterans (it's always a welcome thing for me to watch the veteran Victor Argo) and newcomers like Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix, and their performance is all perfect, the development of the story is sometimes contrived (for example, the double assaults on the Sunnyside Yard, the railroad yard) and the ending is a little predictable. The good location helps, but the photograghy capturing its dark atomosphere, though I thought it fabulous, may cause some people to fall asleep. And perhaps, the way the female characters are depicted may be off-putting, because all three key females in film suffer not a little from various reasons. Fans of Charlize Theron should especially be warned as she plays a role whose relationship with Joaquin Phoenix becomes kind of torture."The Yards" is overall a superb work, but too dark and heavy for fans in general."
The Yards -- Popkorn Junkie's (and my ) review
patsydoc | Wayne, PA United States | 05/02/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've wanted to see this movie for such a long time. I'm pretty sure that this film was limited in release because even when it was out I couldn't find any theater within 50 miles that was playing it...it must have been one of those LA/NY movies. So, when "The Yards" finally became rentable at Blockbuster I made it my mission to get a copy. I had to see this film (Joaquin is in it!). Anyway, to the review: I liked this movie. I wasn't really sure what decade it was supposed to take place in and that kinda distracted me-- the cars seemed pretty modern but the music, houses, furniture, and even some of the clothes were hard to judge. I'll just assume that it takes place "in the now" but I don't think it really matters...it just bugged me. The acting was good but nothing phenomenal, I guess I just expect good stuff from these actors. The casting was pretty typical-- Mark Wahlberg (baby faced tough guy ...), Charlize Theron (weepy girlfriend, except she has ... greasy black hair and wears lots of black eyeliner in this...it's an interesting change of look for her), and Joaquin Phoenix (bad guy with good intentions). The story is based around the character Leo, played by Marky-Mark (oops, I mean Mark Wahlberg...so sorry). Leo just got out of prison; he wants to start a new life as a "productive member of society" so he looks for a job at his Uncle Frank's (James Caan) rail repair yard where his best friend Willie (Joaquin Phoenix) works. Willie takes Leo under his wing and shows him the ropes of the rail repair industry. Everything is looking good for Leo until he learns more about what Willie's job entails-- blackmail, "favors", vandalism, sabotage, and ultimately murder. Almost exactly the same moment when Leo realizes that what Willies does is illegal, things start to fall apart in a major way-- after an unfortunate turn of events, Leo ends up being the prime suspect for a murder he did not commit and is forced to be "on the run". Poor Leo doesn't know what to do or who to turn to...the police want him for murder and his Uncle wants him because he knows too much about the illegal dealing of his rail repair company. Leo must decide between doing what's right and betraying his family or taking the fall for a murder and going back to prison for life. That's the main plot and that's all I'm saying....if I told you anymore you wouldn't need to see the film.Recommendation: "The Yards" has a good plot line and is well acted. If you're going to buy it or rent it make sure you snag the DVD, it's got lots of extra stuff on it like director's commentary and behind-the-scenes/makings of footage. It's basically an organized crime family type of movie but not quite...I guess if you like "The Godfather" and other mafia related films you'll like this. If you like Mark Wahlberg you'll like this film. If you like Joaquin Phoenix you'll definitely like this film...you'll probably even buy it like I did! :)"