In this drama, a young man joins the family business without knowing that he's entering a world of danger and deceit. Hot-headed Leo Handler (Mark Wahlberg) has had some scrapes with the law and served time for a crime he didn't commit. Hoping to get his life back on track, he takes a job in the New York subway yards, secured by his Uncle Frank (James Caan), who has a high-ranking position in the New York Transit Authority. The longer Leo works in the yards, the more he realizes that his uncle controls a corrupt underworld where graft, violent reprisals, and even death are just part of the job. Will Leo turn against his family in the name of justice, or will he keep quiet and ignore the danger and lawlessness that surround him? The Yards also features Charlize Theron, Joaquin Phoenix, Ellen Burstyn, and Faye Dunaway. It was director James Gray's first film after his acclaimed debut with Little Odessa.
by Mark Deming synopsis