: : : The Yards

Story

Fulfilling the promise of his debut film, Little Odessa, 31-year-old writer-director James Gray proves himself a mature storyteller who attracts good actors and elicits their best work. Inspired by the experiences of his own father, Gray sets The Yards inside the corrupt workings of the New York City railway system, in which men such as Frank Olchin (James Caan) maintain their dominance by sabotaging the work of their competitors. Mark Wahlberg is well cast as Leo Handler, who serves jail time for a crime he didn't commit and returns home to a warm welcome from his ailing mother (Ellen Burstyn), his aunt Kitty (and Frank's wife, played by Faye Dunaway), and cousin Erica (Charlize Theron).

He's also welcomed by his friend Willie (Joaquin Phoenix), who does most of Uncle Frank's dirty work and brings the needy Leo into his lucrative fold. Things go from bad to worse, and Leo's suspected in the killing of a railway official and the beating of a city patrolman. On the run, he uncovers the political machinations that keep Uncle Frank in power, and The Yards unfolds as a compelling tale of family, twisted loyalties, and the quest for truth. There's stellar work from everyone involved, but if The Yards has one major flaw, it's that Gray directs with a solemnity that's almost off-putting, as if a moment of levity would violate his story's integrity. Visually The Yards invites comparison to The Godfather, and it boasts much of that film's moral complexity and depth of character, but it's too self-consciously heavy, and that compromises its overall impact. Still, this is good work from a talented director whose future films will be watched with interest. --Jeff Shannon

DVD Features

  • Available Subtitles: Spanish
  • Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Commentary by: Director James Gray (Unknown Format)
  • Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
  • Original Concept Art

Cast

Mark WahlbergLeo Handler
Joaquin PhoenixWillie Gutierrez
Charlize TheronErica Soltz
James CaanFrank Olchin
Ellen BurstynVal Handler
Faye DunawayKitty Olchin
Steve LawrenceArthur Mydanick
Andy DavoliRaymond Price (as Andrew Davoli)
Tony MusanteSeymour Korman
Victor ArgoPaul Lazarides
Tomas MilianManuel Sequiera
Robert MontanoHector Gallardo
Victor ArnoldAlbert Granada
Chard AaronBernard Soltz
Louis GussNathan Grodner
Domenick LombardozziTodd
Joe LisiElliot Gorwitz
David ZayasOfficer Jerry Rifkin
Joseph RaganoParole Officer
Teresa YenqueMaid
Jose SotoOrderly
John TormeyContract Officer
Teddy ColucaTerry
Jack O'ConnellSal Disipio
Dan GrimaldiExecutive One
Garry PastoreDetective Tommasino
Ron BriceDetective Bulette
Gene CanfieldQueensborough Policeman
Keith HernandezBaseball Celebrity
Allan HoustonBasketball Celebrity
Andi ShremBelva
Joe DimareDante
Barry WetcherYoung Doctor
Oscar A. ColonWell Dressed Man (as Oscar Colon)
Jace KentYoung Italian Man
Brandon DanzigerNeil
Doug BarronDoctor
Floyd ResnickHospital Cop
Chris EdwardsPolice Officer
Ray SeidenPolice Officer (as Raymond Seiden
Annika PergamentReporter
Maximiliano HernándezBartender (as Maximiliano Hernandez)
Kip EvansGuy
John ElsenOfficer
Douglas CrosbyOfficer #2
Scott NicholsonPoliceman #1
Kim MerrittTodd's Girlfriend
Erin WallsDante's Grilfriend
Tyree Michael SimpsonDoorman (as Tyree Simpson)
Peter ValloneCouncilman
Irwin GrayLawyer
Denise TraficantiSecretary
Roma TorreNews Anchor 1
Lewis DodleyNews Anchor 2 (as Louis Dodley)
Ernie AnastosNews Anchor 3
Harriet GrodnerHarriet
Lisa ChangYoung Woman (uncredited)
Anthony GaudiosoYoung Party Supporter (uncredited)
Jeffrey HoffmanLobbyist (uncredited)
Steve NukeFriend at Funeral (uncredited)
Lisa Pickell(uncredited)
Bernie RachelleTransi Authority Officer (uncredited)
RoccoStreet Walker (uncredited)
Mark RomeoTommy (uncredited)
Amy RussAssistant D.A. (uncredited)
Doug SakmannClub Dancer (uncredited)
Andy SignoreClub Dancer (uncredited)

  • Genre: Drama Movies
  • Theme(s): Mob/Organized Crime
  • Director: James Gray
  • Producer: Buena Vista
  • Length: 115 min
  • Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaOct 20, 2000
    EuropeNov 10, 2000
    JapanNov 23, 2001
  • Ratings
    North AmericaR
    Europe15
    AustraliaM
  • Blu-ray Release
    North AmericaMay 3, 2011
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaApr 17, 2001
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