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3:10 to Yuma: Best Western

How does one make a Western film, one of them dusty, twangy pictures of old that don't seem to have a place in today's cinemas, appealing to modern audiences? Director James Mangold took on incredible challenges with making 3:10 to Yuma, a remake of a 1957 Western which starred Glen Ford and Van Heflin. How to keep viewers interested? How to make them care?

The answer is this: A Western is made appealing to modern audiences by creating a character-driven film, utilizing quick edits and a few dazzling explosions, finding some sexy cowboys, and sticking to the clean, basic plotline of good versus evil. Plain and simple, 3:10 to Yuma is good storytelling made even more captivating by solid performances by the lead actors. In many ways, it's as close to flawless as I've seen in a long time. To find out more about why,

The story follows rancher Dan Evans (Christian Bale), struggling financially and physically, having lost part of one leg in the Civil War, who finds himself in the presence of famed outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe). With the promise of a sizable reward, Dan agrees to help deliver Ben to the 3:10 PM train that will take him to the Yuma prison. Yet Ben's men — especially the insanely evil Charlie Prince (Ben Foster) — are hot on the trail of Ben and his captors. Joining Dan on the journey to bring Ben to the train is Dan's son William who is hateful of Ben while also slightly starstruck by the notorious outlaw. Throughout the film Dan and Ben grapple with a back-and-forth power struggle, calling into question what it means to be a man... and a father.

I wasn't the biggest fan of Westerns, and as a genre I'm surprised that it's enjoying a comeback. 3:10 to Yuma, however, has changed all that, mixing together the perfect proportions of ingredients — palpably tense scenes, intriguing dialogue, fleshed-out characters, exceptional performances — to make a perfectly updated, and I daresay award-worthy, modern-made Western.

Photos courtesy of Lionsgate

Join The Conversation
tylerbrad99 tylerbrad99 5 years
Such a nice post to share. Love to read it.
rothchild rothchild 9 years
the acting was phenomenal especially russell crowe and of course my man, christian bale. interestingly enough, i enjoyed it more than my husband..
boosh-bitch boosh-bitch 9 years
Such a great movie! Ben Foster is amazingly hot in this film, and it made me love Russell Crowe once again.
raptinrainbows raptinrainbows 9 years
i love westerns and am excited to think that this move marks "the return" of the western. i thought that about unforgiven, too, though, and we know how that turned out. still, i remain optimistic. :) anyway, with russell crowe and christian bale, how could this go wrong??
kedawen kedawen 9 years
Ever since I first saw the preview I've been interested in this movie. I'm really glad it turned out well, and I'd like to see it.
WildHeavenFarm WildHeavenFarm 9 years
Fie on Bale and Crow. Two words - Alan Tudyk.
Hootie Hootie 9 years
Rats! I almost went to see it today! I went to Olive Garden & Costco instead! I'll catch it next weekend.
purselova418 purselova418 9 years
This movie was amazing! I loved it!
popdiva popdiva 9 years
Christian Bale is one of the best actors of his generation if not the best. Saying that I'm waiting to watch this film with bated breath is quite an understatement. Even though I'm not a big fan of Westerns, this one really excites me.
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 9 years
Thanks for the review, my BF and I were thinking of going to see this together.
koolbr33z3 koolbr33z3 9 years
I saw it earlier and it was terrific! My husband said it was a bit slow for him, but I don't know what the heck he's talking about. I guess he's not really into too much character development. Typical guy. Anyway, I for one thoroughly enjoyed the movie and the sexy cowboys. :) Seriously though, it was a great movie. Russell and Christian did a tremendous job in portraying their respective characters.
SweetPeasMom SweetPeasMom 9 years
I went and saw this movie tonight and it was AWESOME. Best movie I've seen in a really long time!
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
i'm glad you liked this! it'll be nice to have something to watch with my dad this christmas!
posey posey 9 years
i am dying to see this only based on the fact that it stars christian bale! i am also dying over modemlooper's comment that "Creepy Crushes are hot right now"!!!!!!!
demeter demeter 9 years
I can't wait to see this. I live and breathe for Ben Foster! ♥
Scarlet Scarlet 9 years
I'm excited, even though westerns and Russell Crowe are usually not my cup of tea.
magita magita 9 years
I love Westerns! I'm really excited to see them in back theatres, I can see where they might not translate well to the big screen anymore without a lot of gunfights, but they still need to be more plot-driven. The original 3:10 to Yuma was really good so I have high hopes for this....
koolbr33z3 koolbr33z3 9 years
I'm going to see this in about 2 hours. It looks awesome!
modemlooper modemlooper 9 years
Creepy Crushes are hot right now so don't be ashamed! I love old westerns and loved Walk The Line. It's the same director.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 9 years
I really want to see this; I've never been a western fan however this might change my mind. Plus, the one that plays Christian Bale's teen son (as pictured), I would see the film just for him. (I'm a teen so this crush isn't creepy,lol.)
nanillest nanillest 9 years
sure hope this movie isn't like Brokeback Mountain
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