An On the Waterfront wannabe, directed with a heavy portentousness that smothers the drama in a thick sauce of self-importance.
I can't remember when a film so well-acted and so well-rendered visually was also so oppressive to sit through.
A sensitive, intelligent and ambitious variation on the traditional going-straight story.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
| Original Score: 2/5
The only thing the movie lacks is a pulse.
There's an old-fashioned steadiness that reminds me a bit of the old James Cagney pictures. And that sort of thing still works pretty well.
Good enough to make you eager for Mr. Gray's next film.
Gray balances the hugeness of the canvas and the occasional broadness of his strokes with spare, scrupulous detail in the individual characterizations.
By the end, we're left with a feeling of depletion rather than resolution.
A serious film that strives for a moral complexity and a textural density rarely found in contemporary dramas.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
It's another rehash.
| Original Score: 3/4
Collapses into a weary catalog of crime-movie cliches and political impossibilities.
A slice of NYC made with imitation cheese.
| Original Score: C
Remarkable for the way in which every character has more than one side.
A haunting experience.
Things in The Yards become so hard to swallow that even the most easygoing movie-goers will find it hard to suspend disbelief.
| Original Score: 2/4
A rare and often quite good try at making a thriller with real people and believable contemporary backgrounds.
The film's intense realism has a transcendent quality that makes it feel -- dare I say it? -- almost Shakespearean in the depth and scope of its commentary on the human condition.
The temptations of corruption, its insidiousness and how it is covered up by a code of silence not only form a compelling subject but have the ring of truth.
| Original Score: B
A great director's losing battle against a goofy script.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
After a point, The Yards crosses the line from portentously atmospheric to merely dolorous.
More preoccupied with themes and moods than providing anything intriguing plot-wise or character-wise for the viewer to truly care about.
It is so choked with its own solemnity that it barely musters the energy to tell a story.
One of The Yards' impressive elements is the way that, while it sometimes strains credibility, it conjures up an entire world -- and an entire world view -- without ever leaving Queens.
Beautifully cast and subtly shaded story.
It's that [moral] ambiguity that makes the film interesting.
| Original Score: 3/4
The Yards may not have enough story to sustain its narrative momentum, but Gray just might be our best shot at a new Coppola.
A well-acted and socially earnest, if rather routine, ride. The Yards makes no unexpected stops.
The ingredients are here for a classy crime drama. They just don't blend that easily.
Production designer Kevin Thompson's crucial contribution to the film's authenticity is as accurate as it is subtle.
| Original Score: 4/5
One of the best dramatic films to come out of Hollywood this year.