3 Backyards (2011)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The story of four inhabitants of the same suburban town over the course of one curious autumn day.
R (for a scene of sexual content)
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:

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Embeth Davidtz
as Actress
Edie Falco
as Peggy
Rachel Resheff
as Christina
Wesley Broulik
as Big Man
Kathryn Erbe
as John's Wife
Danai Gurira
as Woman in Blue Dress
Anna Arvia
as Heavyset Matron
Pam La Testa
as Waitress
Dana Eskelson
as Debbie
Ron Phillips
as Christina's Father
Kathy Searle
as Ticket Agent
Joe Cipoletti
as Janitor
John Monteleone
as Janitor #2
Louise Millman
as Teacher
Nicole Brending
as Frazzled Housewife
Mahadeo Shivraj
as Bellhop #1
Edward A. Hajj
as Bellhop #2
Frank Zanghini
as Hotel Concierge
Jeremy Rishe
as Desk Clerk
Judy Ross
as Nathalie
Jamel Rodriguez
as Mechanic
Victor Pagan
as Man on Street
Tasha Guevara
as Mother #1
Catrina Ganey
as Mother #2
Jessica Fernandez
as Young Woman
Nick Diamantis
as Young Guy
Cory Nichols
as Peggy's Son
Alicia Masten
as Peggy's Daughter
Paul Urcioli
as Peggy's Husband
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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 13, 2011
New Yorker
Top Critic

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

March 10, 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 10, 2011
New York Post
Top Critic

My mind kept wandering.

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 6, 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.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer


Unlike those indie directors whose feel-good, P.C. claptrap predictably gets praised by the very people it flatters, Mendelsohn makes suburban poetry that opposes the way middle-class film culture likes to fantasize itself.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

it's sort of judy berlin. perfected. and that's a very good thing. so beautiful. and the best performances of everyone's career.

Michael Novick
Michael Novick

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