While the premise of this western is fairly straightforward, it is anything but simple thanks to two actors who give us their absolute best.
Russell Crowe, playing a role he was born for, is Ben Wade, a charming, debonair, magnetic thief and murderer. Christian Bale plays Dan Evans, a dismembered Civil War veteran and small-time rancher on the verge of losing everything. When the two men’s worlds collide, Bale has a chance at making some money if he can only get the captured Crowe on the 3:10 train to Yuma.
Though Crowe is technically the villain, you can’t help but root for him when he clashes with everyone but Bale, whose desperation to provide for his family and capture some self-respect in the process is heart breaking. The audience can’t help but hope against hope that Bale becomes the man he so acutely wants to be. At times it seems even Crowe’s character is rooting for Bale, thus making his role as “villain” all the more ambiguous.
The sheer acting of these two men and the charisma they emit makes the movie speed along. It has moments of terrible violence, light-hearted comedy, pure drama, and suspense that will make you feel as though someone is sitting on your heart.
I completely recommend you watch this movie. If you are a fan of westerns, Crowe, or Bale, you will not go disappointed, because 3:10 to Yuma is an example of the best of each. If you’re a fan of none of those things, I dare you to check it out anyway, because I bet you’ll be won over by the time you’re finished.