3:10 to Yuma
This remake of the 1957 western starring Glenn Ford stars Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, and they are both outstanding. Crowe plays bad man Ben Wade, killer and robber of stagecoaches. When he is apprehended after a particularly heinous crime, a down-on-his-luck rancher (Bale) volunteers to escort him to prison, with Wade’s psycho gang on his tale. Crowe nails the part, giving Wade a devilish, gentlemanly demeanor that makes him a very confusing man. Bale manages to create a flawed hero that garners sympathy. Director James Mangold, who also made the excellent Walk the Line, does very well within the genre, putting together a great-looking movie that never lacks excitement or tension. It’s a genuine thrill to see this much talent up on the screen. You don’t have to like Westerns to like this film.