The Backyard


Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 12
  2. Negative: 2 out of 12
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Charles Martin
    In short, this is an x-treme documentary, as riveting as a road accident and a lot more bloody. That this film might give other young people ideas is something that keeps me (and probably director Hough) awake at night.
  2. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    This underground scene makes other "extreme sports" look as harmless as tiddlywinks.
  3. The movie is not for the squeamish, but for those who are unafraid to look at what is, perhaps, their own metaphorical "backyard," for those willing to stare into the long, dark night of the contemporary American soul, its bone-crunching message is worth hearing.
  4. 70
    Remarkable for the intensity of the interviewees, who show a new kind of all-American gumption in the way they filter the mannerisms of low-rung celebrities through their own geeked-out, violent imaginations.
  5. 70
    This stuff is much too strange and much too disturbing to be invented.
  6. 63
    The Backyard will affect you. If you were depressed about the future of America before, you'll be doubly depressed after seeing this film. Pass the Prozac.
  7. 63
    The most disturbing thing about this grass-roots-inspired extreme-wrestling documentary by Paul Hough is how much worse you expect the violence to be.
  8. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Chances are you'll watch most of this documentary with both hands over your eyes, but as a window into a particular kind of insanity seizing kids in heartland America it's enthralling.
  9. 60
    Though engaging from beginning to end, be warned that this is also harrowing, utterly depressing stuff.
  10. What is going on here? Most would say a lot of incredibly dangerous and stupid activity, and most of the people in this documentary not surprisingly seem none too bright.
  11. Reviewed by: Ed Halter
    Though filled with violent smackdowns, slackjawed interviews, and bizarre characters, Hough's doc never rises above the level of first-year student project, hobbled by scattershot editing, badly written intertitles, and useless directorial voice-over.
  12. Eventually you realize the whole movie has been about young showoffs who think it's uproarious to gross out neighborhood grownups.
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 2 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Aug 30, 2010
    I felt like I was watching an extended scene from Gummo sans the superior editing. But because I couldn't tell myself it was fiction it wasI felt like I was watching an extended scene from Gummo sans the superior editing. But because I couldn't tell myself it was fiction it was hard to finish. Full Review »