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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? Written by
For Leo's and Willie's fight, the actors agreed to actually fight each other. Although they wore knee and elbow pads, everything on screen is actually Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg beating each other up. There are no stunts and the entire thing was taken in two takes from three different angles. The next day, the actors were black and blue. See more »
The cars in the "subway yard" are not actually subway cars; they are circa-1963 suburban commuter coaches for the Metro-North & Long Island Railroads. See more »
Written by Jerry Murray (as J. Murray) and S. Kaplan
Performed by Les McCann (as Les Mccann)
Courtesy of the Verve Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprise See more »
The cast and acting in this crime/drama is great, but the actors are let down by a melodramatic script that is too busy. "The Yards" is a character-driven story, but the problem is that the script has too many subplots going on which doesn't give us the time we need to know and care about the characters. By the end I really didn't care what happened, because I didn't know the characters and didn't care how the plot was resolved.
Basically "The Yards" tells the story of Leo, a working class young man who returns home from a stint in prison to his ailing mother. His best friend, Willie, takes him on at Leo's step-uncle's subway train outfitting business, where things aren't exactly above-the-board. Leo gets more involved in the business and things go awry. And along the way, there's a hundred and one subplots.
This movie had some nice moments, and great acting, but it can't rise above a script that tries to pack too much plot into too little time.
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