The Yards


The Yards

Critics Consensus

Featuring strong performances and direction, The Yards is a richly textured crime thriller with an authentic feel.



Total Count: 96


Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,969
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Movie Info

An ex-con struggles to make a clean life for himself, but his job in a Queens, New York subway rail repair yard embroils him in corruption and murder.


Mark Wahlberg
as Leo Handler
Joaquin Phoenix
as Willie Gutierrez
Charlize Theron
as Erica Stoltz
James Caan
as Frank Olchin
Ellen Burstyn
as Val Handler
Faye Dunaway
as Kitty Olchin
Victor Argo
as Paul Lazarides
Tony Musante
as Seymour Korman
Steve Lawrence
as Arthur Mydanick
Andrew Davoli
as Raymond Price
Chad Aaron
as Bernard Stoltz
Tomás Milian
as Manuel Sequiera
Robert Montano
as Hector Gallardo
Victor Arnold
as Albert Granada
Louis Guss
as Nathan Grodner
Joe Lisi
as Elliot
David Zayas
as Officer Jerry Rifkin
Joseph Ragno
as Parole Officer
Jose Soto
as Orderly
John Tormey
as Contract Officer
Jack A. O'Connell
as Sal Disipio
Dan Grimaldi
as Executive One
Garry Patore
as Detective Tommasino
Ron Brice
as Detective Boulett
Gene Canfield
as Queensborough Policeman
Keith Hernandez
as Baseball Celebrity
Allan Houston
as Basketball Celebrity
Barry Wetcher
as Young Doctor
Oscar Colon
as Well Dressed Man
Jace Kent
as Young Italian Man
Floyd Resnick
as Hospital Cop
Chris Edwards
as Police Officer
Raymond Seiden
as Police Officer
John Elsen
as Officer No. 1
Douglas Crosby
as Officer No. 2
Scott Nicholson
as Policeman No. 1
Kim Merritt
as Todd's Girlfriend
Erin Walls
as Dante's Girlfriend
Peter Vallone
as Councilman
Irwin Gray
as Laywer
Roma Torre
as News Anchor No. 1
Louis Dodley
as News Anchor No. 2
Ernie Anastos
as News Anchor No. 3
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Critic Reviews for The Yards

All Critics (96) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (61) | Rotten (35)

  • An On the Waterfront wannabe, directed with a heavy portentousness that smothers the drama in a thick sauce of self-importance.

    Aug 5, 2008

    Todd McCarthy

    Top Critic
  • I can't remember when a film so well-acted and so well-rendered visually was also so oppressive to sit through.

    Apr 27, 2007 | Full Review…

    Andrew Sarris

    Top Critic
  • A sensitive, intelligent and ambitious variation on the traditional going-straight story.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Gray avoids the more obvious gangster clichés, and the film brings some genuinely original flourishes to the genre.

    Apr 16, 2001 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Matt Ford
    Top Critic
  • The Yards may not have enough story to sustain its narrative momentum, but Gray just might be our best shot at a new Coppola.

    Jan 1, 2000
  • A rare and often quite good try at making a thriller with real people and believable contemporary backgrounds.

    Jan 1, 2000

Audience Reviews for The Yards

  • Apr 15, 2012
    Very long with a lot of interesting characters, the film as a whole isn't anything new
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Jun 02, 2010
    Mark Wahlberg makes this movie rise to the top. After getting out of prison, he tries to stay clean but gets caught up in trouble cause by his cousin. All takes place in NYC subway abd train yards. Excellent story, little action but lots of suspense. 5 Stars is not enough,
    Bruce B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 09, 2010
    There's nothing more dangerous than an innocent man. Great Film! "The Yards" invites you to taste corruption and to witness an imposed morality and then slyly allows you to resolve its escalating entanglements. The acting by the ensemble cast is outstanding. All the players capture the essence of the New York middle class gestalt beautifully. Mark Wahlberg delivers a somber but resolute character trapped in a vortex of graft and corruption. His performance is understated yet powerful. James Caan is one of the best at playing the small-time racketeer and he nails it again with his portrayal of the dirty dealing supplier. Joaquin Phoenix also shines as Willie, giving him a macho personality and the ability to rationalize any act according to his own code of morality. The cast includes Faye Dunaway, Ellen Burstyn and Charlize Theron in strong supporting roles. Nothing else to say, simply watch it whenever you have the chance. You won't be disappointed. In the rail yards of Queens, contractors repair and rebuild the city's subway cars. These contracts are lucrative, so graft and corruption are rife. When Leo Handler gets out of prison, he finds his aunt married to Frank Olchin, one of the big contractors; he's battling with a minority-owned firm for contracts. Willie Gutierrez, Leo's best friend, is Frank's bag man and heads a crew of midnight saboteurs who ruin the work of the Puerto Rican-owned firm. Leo needs a job, so Willie pays him to be his back-up. Then things go badly wrong one night, a cop IDs Leo, and everyone now wants him out of the picture. Besides his ailing mom and his cousin Erica, to whom can Leo turn?
    Manu G Super Reviewer
  • Sep 09, 2009
    Well I can't be odjectively, because I'm biased (Joaquin Pheonix My favorit actor) but Yards it's a powerful movie an experience that won't startle or surprise you but will satisfy your need to see good actors at work.
    Arianeta L Super Reviewer

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