3:10 to Yuma (2007)

Director:  James Mangold
Cast:  Russell CroweChristian BaleBen Foster, Peter Fonda, Logan Lerman
Plot:  A small-time rancher agrees to hold a captured outlaw who's awaiting a train to go to court in Yuma. A battle of wills ensues as the outlaw tries to psych out the rancher.

Genre:  Western / Crime / Adventure
Awards:  Nom. for 2 Oscars - Best Original Score, Best Sound.
Runtime:  122min
Rating:  PG for violence and some language.

A Western is a rare commodity in modern cinema.  So when something like 3:10 to Yuma (even though it's a remake) gallops by in cowboy fashion, there's no reason to miss it, especially for ardent fans of the genre. 

With new film technologies being used today, the allure and nostalgia that come along naturally with classic Westerns are all but diminished.  Will we get The Searchers, High Noon, and those spaghetti westerns made popular by Sergio Leone ever again?

James Mangold's 3:10 to Yuma is solid entertainment.  He builds the story (no matter how absurd it is) confidently, directing the A-list cast to fulfill their well-written roles to the best of their ability. 

Christian Bale and Russell Crowe are the two major stars whom are somewhat upstaged by two stand-out displays by Ben Foster and Alan Tudyk . Their roles are very much underrated but they form an integral core to the film's linear storytelling technique.

The action sequences are well-executed, and aptly-paced.  While most of it is direct and straightforward, Mangold ensures that the suspense is kept at a reasonably high level.  The occasional corny humor in the dialogue results in a more engaging viewing experience, especially during slower parts. 

While the original score is nothing like that of Ennio Morricone, Marco Beltrami’s music is noteworthy and is a possible Oscar contender.  3:10 to Yuma is one of the better remakes around.  But whether it will revive the flagging Western genre is another thing altogether. 

Kevin Costner's epic Dances With Wolves and Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven did it in the early 1990s.  3:10 to Yuma may not dominate the box-office as successfully as it should be, nevertheless, it's worth a trip to the theater.


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