3 Backyards (2011)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The story of four inhabitants of the same suburban town over the course of one curious autumn day.

Rating: R (for a scene of sexual content)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Eric Mendelsohn
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 28, 2011
Screen Media Ventures - Official Site


as Actress

as Christina

as John's Wife

as Woman in Blue Dress

as Heavyset Matron

as Waitress

as Emily

as Debbie

as Christina's Father

as Ticket Agent

as Janitor #2

as Frazzled Housewife

as Bellhop #1

as Bellhop #2

as Hotel Concierge

as Desk Clerk

as Nathalie

as Man on Street

as Mother #1

as Mother #2

as Young Woman

as Young Guy

as Peggy's Son

as Peggy's Daughter

as Peggy's Husband
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News & Interviews for 3 Backyards

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Critic Reviews for 3 Backyards

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (6)

Mendelsohn's dialogue is, for the most part, as spare as poetry, and the three stories are woven together masterfully and acquire a gleaming aura that's almost pastoral.

Full Review… | March 14, 2011
New Yorker
Top Critic

Little is left to chance, and every detail contributes to a tightly schematic, microcosmic poetic concept.

Full Review… | March 11, 2011
New York Times
Top Critic

Well-acted and acutely observed, the sort of cerebral fare you can more typically find on HBO than in theaters these days.

Full Review… | March 11, 2011
New York Post
Top Critic

My mind kept wandering.

Full Review… | March 9, 2011
New York Observer
Top Critic

A story in which poor real folks are granted perspective only by brushing up against starlets, accidents, and villains of the tabloid press.

Full Review… | March 8, 2011
Village Voice
Top Critic

The movie has none of the smugness of American Beauty: You could dream of living in a world like this.

Full Review… | March 7, 2011
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for 3 Backyards


"3 Backyards" starts with John(Elias Koteas) having a staring contest with his wife(Kathryn Erbe) at 3:30 am before he leaves to catch a flight that turns out to be canceled. He's not the only one leaving town as an actress(Embeth Davidtz) asks her neighbor Peggy(Edie Falco) for a ride to the Port Jefferson Ferry. And because she is just a kid, Christina(Rachel Resheff) has to go to school, even though she just missed the school bus.

The thing I like most about "3 Backyards" are its moments of silence that not only allow the actors to take control but also say more than any of the dialogue does. What the movie comes tantalizingly close to depicting is the emptiness of suburban lives, as the distance between people only allows them to watch each other, not connect.(There is one moment of dislocation that is probably more accidental than anything else.) However, none of that is as interesting as it sounds here, as the movie lacks anything in the way of well-defined characters.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Lovely, elliptical and filled with quiet dread, this lovely film is as clear an argument for the vivid independent film world as any I have seen this year. Though it doesn't yet have a distributor, it is as good as any small-scale film I've seen this year. Depicting one tiny day in three suburban Long Island households, director Eric Mendolsohn sees every nook and cranny in the lives he puts under the microscope here, and if what he finds isn't new news, it's still perfectly observed and put together. Great performances all around and gorgeous cinematography help contribute to make this a film the deserves a much bigger audience than a couple of Manhattan screenings in a film festival. Beautiful.

Jeff Talbott
Jeff Talbott

Super Reviewer

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