Genre Grandeur – The Yards (2000) – Ten Stars or Less

For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – New York Films That Take Place Prior to 9/11, here’s a review of The Yards (2000) by Ryan of Ten Stars or Less

Thanks again to Darren Lucas of Movie Reviews 101 for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s genre has been chosen by Ryan of Ten Stars or Less and we will be reviewing our favorite Movies Directed by the Main Actor/Actress.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Oct by sending them to

Try to think out of the box!

Let’s see what Ryan thought of this movie:


While sitting at home during the pandemic, I decided to watch all of Mark Wahlberg’s films. I didn’t know what to expect with The Yards. It boasts a stellar cast, which includes Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Charlize Theron, and James Caan. Even with stars in the lead roles, they can only work with the material provided, whether good or bad. At times, performances go above and beyond the material, but The Yards was a good blend. Although this story never garnered any Oscar buzz, it was pretty fantastic on its own, thanks to brilliant performances highlighting widespread corruption in New York City. My favorite Wahlberg movies have been Ted, Lone Survivor, and Patriots Day. Of course, there are many more, with The Yards now ranking in my top ten. I am afraid to watch this film again because I enjoyed it so much that maybe it won’t be as good upon a second viewing. There is nothing spectacular about the story or characters, but the corruption and cover-up were engaging. The shoe drops early in the story when Wahlberg witnesses a murder while on probation. He’s taking the fall for the incident to cover for someone else who is rising among the families of the NYC subway construction companies. Caan is the head of one of those companies and is almost untouchable. Wahlberg’s character spends most of the film on the run, but he knows the truth, which causes a domino effect among the families. As mentioned earlier, I couldn’t wait to see how the story unfolded. I needed to know if the forbidden lovers would get a chance at love. How would the story end for Wahlberg, who was on the run? How many loose ends would Phoenix’s character be able to tie to save his reputation? Caan’s character is like the Godfather of the subway car construction industry, but is this problem too big for him to overcome? Even if you feel the story lacked the punch you were expecting, there are so many burning questions that you have to wait out the story to see how it ends. Amazingly, The Yards is loosely based on a true story about corruption within the New York City subway companies in the early 1980s. The director’s (James Gray) father was involved in the scandal, which allowed for first-hand knowledge of how things went down back in the day. While reading the IMDb trivia for the movie, I learned that the fist fight that occurred between Wahlberg and Phoenix was real, and neither used a double. The punches and tackles were real, which made me appreciate this film even more. Of course, The Yards won’t be for everyone. Someone may read this recommendation and watch it, then hate me for recommending it. I just want to say that I loved this movie because I was deeply invested in the drama. Although most of the cast are superstars in the film industry, watching them play these characters, whose every move had endless repercussions, was fun. 9/10


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