the yards (2000)

James Gray's The Yards is what you'd call a perfect crime drama. What starts out as effective soap opera soon turns to a potboiler with plenty of commentary on family, the values of the streets and the way organized bureaucracy and municipalities can start to look and behave more like organized crime. Business, Gray muses, is a game of favor. Those in favor receive the best deals and have tribute paid to them rather than paying out, those out of favor must leverage what they've got in order to win their way back to the top of the food chain in their circle. When there's prosperous times, all are rewarded and share in the bounty. When there's blood in the water, the sharks start circling. When Wahlberg's character is released from prison he's informed by James Caan's businessman that it's tough behind bars but the business world is much the same "you've got to have eyes in the back of your head".