Cinema: The Yards

Directed by James Gray

The ex-con played by Mark Wahlberg would not seem to be short on glamour: his mother is Ellen Burstyn; his aunt is Faye Dunaway; the girl he left behind is Charlize Theron. But he and the movie do lack drama. This all-star study in blue-collar venality (remember Cop Land?) is both speech- and sight-impaired: the dialogue is all mumbles and whispers; the palette dabbles in blacks and dark browns. The film is so muted it disappears from your view even before it recedes from your memory.

--By Richard Corliss


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