3:10 to Yuma is a western about a downtrodden rancher who seizes his opportunity to turn in a notoriously dangerous bandit and save his family’s livelihood. It’s a remake of the 1978 film of the same name, making it the second adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s 1953 short story. Let’s consider the pros and cons of 3:10 to Yuma…
Pros: Firstly, all of the performances in this movie are top notch! Christian Bale and Russel Crowe take turns chewing up scenery, but the real standout is Ben Foster, who plays the captured bandit’s right hand man. Secondly, the cinematography is beautiful. The New Mexico backdrop does half the work, but Mangold also does a great job capturing the vast landscape as well as the intimate interactions. Lastly, is the plot which is compelling and expertly paced. You will be glued to the screen throughout and not even notice the 2 hour runtime!
Cons: The only issue I have with this movie is a few of the characters and their motivations. The railroad men’s immorality and uncooperativeness at the beginning essentially pushes Bale’s character into accepting a suicide mission. And Ben Wade, played by Russel Crowe, spends over half the movie intent on escaping, but has a sudden change of heart in the last 20 minutes. Although Wade shows subtle signs of humanity throughout and ultimately sympathizes with the poor rancher, I’m not sure his redemption is earned by the end.
I give 3:10 to Yuma an A+. It’s thrilling, dramatic, and paced perfectly! This is my favorite western and a Top 10 movie for me. I highly recommend it to everyone and hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Happy Watching!
“Even bad men love their mommas.”