Reviewer's grade: A
Russell Crowe as murderer/thief Ben Wade fights an intense battle of wills with Christian Bale as rancher/decent-but-failing family man Dan Evans in one of the best movies of 2007. Dan must transport Wade to the town of Contention and put him on the 3:10 train to the prison at Yuma before his gang "? temporarily led by sociopathic killer Charlie Prince, a living icicle played chillingly by Ben Foster "? can rescue him.
Director James Mangold has updated Elmore Leonard's 1953 short story and the 1957 movie adapted from it into a picture that is both faithful to the conventions of the Western and a contemporary variation on them. There isn't a bad performance in the movie and the tension builds throughout to an explosive finale.
My theory has always been that nine-tenths of the people in Hollywood would like to make a Western. Now, you can change that to ten-tenths. R