The Yards (2000)

R   |    |  Crime, Drama, Romance


The Yards (2000) Poster

Leo is released from prison after serving time for car theft. His plan to go straight falls apart when he meets his corrupt uncle for a job and later an old friend working there. It culminates at the (railroad) yards.

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6.4/10
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  • Charlize Theron and Joaquin Phoenix in The Yards (2000)
  • Leo & Willie
  • Charlize Theron and Joaquin Phoenix in The Yards (2000)
  • Ellen Burstyn at an event for The Yards (2000)
  • Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix in The Yards (2000)
  • Ellen Burstyn at an event for The Yards (2000)

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8 February 2003 | DuChamp-3
when opinions are this polarized. . .
. . . you know you've got a movie that tried something different. Not NEW, necessarily, as The Yards is paced, structured and shot like it was made before 1976. But you don't see that often these days. The Yards is an entertaining and noble attempt at a tribute to crime films of that era. I have friends who don't have the attention span to sit through The Godfather(on some days neither do I) - I wouldn't recommend this film to them. Reared as our younger generation was on Spielbergian and MTV-cut films, the pacing of both that film and The Yards are slow and deliberate - sometimes hard to take. The Yards could have used a bit of tightening up in editing, just seconds off of a scene here, a scene there to move things along, but still, it's a strong film. The first thing that caught my eye was the sparse dialogue. There's a lot of acting going on here, and not of the scenery-chewing variety (recent Pacino). The actors are given a lot of room to act with their eyes and bodies. You're not hit over the head with 2-D stock characters, although it may appear so at first. The story is genre: ex-con, returning to his New York borough neighborhood falls right into the same circles that got him in trouble in the first place. What follows is a story of corruption, redemption and family; structured almost as a Greek Tragedy. But quietly. There are no "good guys" or "bad guys", as almost everyone is on the make. The overall impression projected is that everyone is protecting their own and trying to succeed in a system that they live in - not one they created or control.

Mark Wahlberg isn't a great actor, but he delivers what the character requires. Charlize Theron isn't in her element playing a Queens-chick, but aside from a faltering accent, she does pretty well. Excellent acting is delivered by Joachin Phoenix, as well as veterans Caan, Dunaway, and Ellen Burstyn. The Yards is a good movie, although admittedly, not for the "average" movie-going audience. It likely won't meet their expectations of what a "good" movie is.

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