Directed by: James Mangold
Written by:

Halsted Welles, Michael Brandt, Derek Haas


Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Logan Lerman, Dallas Roberts, Ben Foster, Peter Fonda, Vinessa Shaw, Alan Tudyk, Gretchen Mol

Released: January 31, 2008
Grade: A-

3:10 To Yuma is the first new release “western” I’ve seen in a long time and it’s a damn good one.  Fans of the genre won’t want to miss it.  When you realise that a film of this quality, it makes you wonder why we don’t see more westerns in today’s cinemas.

Ben Wade (Crowe) is a notorious outlaw who is wanted by the authorities.  He and his large posse have robbed many establishments over the years.  He’s been caught before but he always finds a way to escape.

After robbing a stage coach just outside of the town of Bisbee, Wade and his crew slip quietly into town.  They split the money between them and celebrate with a few drinks.  Just as he is about to leave, Wade is spotted and arrested by the sheriff.  Wade doesn’t seem too concerned – it’s as if he’s looking forward the challenge of escaping once again.

It’s decided by the sheriff that Wade will be transported to the jail in Yuma where he will be tried and hopefully hanged.  There’s a train (with a special prisoner section) that leaves every day from the town of Contention at 3:10pm.  It’s a long horse ride to Contention however.  The sheriff is worried that Wade’s posse will intercept them en route and rescue their leader.

Dan Evans (Bale) is a farmer struggling to make ends meet.  He’s overdue on his land repayments and is about to be kicked off the property.  Desperate for money, he accepts an offer to help escort Wade to Contention.  He knows it will be dangerous but the $200 fee is too tempting.  Around six people start out as part of the escort but not all will make it…

3:10 To Yuma is the complete package.  It’s got action, drama, comedy and suspense.  It’s a great way to spend two hours.  The tension keeps building and you know there’s going to be a big climax to finish the movie off.  The setting is terrific too – director James Mangold (Walk The Line) takes up back to a very interesting time in American history.  It’s fun watching them all try to shoot each other with bullets with their ancient pistols.  I don’t know how any of them could shoot straight back then.

Russell Crowe and Christian Bale are two of the best actors going around today and they’re great in this movie.  They can play any role and they prove that here.  The other standout in the cast is Ben Foster (X-Men: The Last Stand) who plays a man in Wade’s crew.  His crazy look and creepy voice make him an intimidating individual.

Load your guns, saddle up and prepare for an adventure.