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3:10 to Yuma (2007)

Three Ten to Yuma

Time waits for one man

Rating: 10/10

Running Time: 117 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15

It’s not that the Western has gone totally out of fashion of late,”Open Range” and “The Alamo” have hitching the Western wagon. “Brokeback Mountain” even flew the Western flag, but they have lacked the gritty, dirty and desperate realism of the best Westerns, the likes of which we have not seen since Clint Eastwood’s wonderful “Unforgiven”, but with “3:10 To Yuma”, the western as returned in full glory, I hope this heralds a resurgence in quality westerns.

“3:10 to Yuma”, is a western in the “Unforgiven” mould, it pulls no punches. Dan Evans (Christian Bale) is a one-legged Arizona rancher, struggling to survive, drought threatens his herd, illness threatens his youngest son and the railroad is threatening to force him off his land if he can’t pay his mortgage. Enter Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) who is just threatening. A vicious, merciless killer, Ben Wade leads a gang of similarly vicious killers who like to rob the railroad money coaches. Evans is unwittingly dragged into the gang’s latest armed robbery, when Wade uses his cows as a distraction. Evans gets the chance to even the score later in town when he keeps Wade talking, so that the sheriff and his men can capture him. A plan is put together to trick Wades gang into believing he has been sent to the local fort, when in fact to avoid reprisals on the town, the decision is made to send him to Yuma for trial, on the 3:10 train. Evans, in desperation, offers to help get Wade onto the train, in return for $200 which will see his family though until the rains come. Unfortunately Wades gang, now under the command of Charlie Prince (Ben Foster), figure out the rouse and head back to town, laying siege to the hotel where Evans and the law men are keeping Wade. An uncomfortable alliance begins to forms between Evans and Wade. Evans reveals his flaws and Wade reveals his heart (slightly black though it might be). Evans now finds himself stuck with a difficult task against almost insurmountable odds, with his family’s survival hanging in the balance.

Both Bale and Crowe show total control of their craft, actors at the top of their game immersed in their characters, both are magnificent. Bale conveys the quiet dignity in a man who believes he has been beaten but will not give up and Crowe is a sympathetic bad guy, pointing out after one brutal murder that “even bad men love their mothers”. Foster gives a powerful supporting performance as the obsessively loyal Prince and Logan Lerman is very good as Evans young son. Wonderful performances all round, a gripping plot, good script and beautifully shot movie.

It's Got: Wonderful performances, a gripping plot and lots of cows.

It Needs: More Westerns that are this good.


A great movie, with a great cast, gripping plot and some interesting twists. This is a Western as they are meant to be.