3:10 to Yuma (2007)

3:10 to Yuma (2007) — My half-assed James Mangold film festival wraps up with the best film of his I’ve yet seen: 3:10 to Yuma. The film tries to find a sort of balance between John Ford and Sergio Leone.  The nobility of characters in the Old West of Ford’s films is there but so is the wanton brutality of Leone’s. Rancher  Dan Evans (Christian Bale) and outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) are different in almost every way except that they both live by a code. Wade’s code just involves a lot more lawlessness. One of the more interesting developments of the film is the grudging respect that forms between the two men. Crowe does well at playing a terrifying ferocity masked by layers of charm. Other standouts include Peter Fonda as a Pinkerton detective with just as much blood on his hands as Wade and Ben Foster as the psychotic Charlie Prince. The film is loaded with action and has a good story (with a moral, if you’re into that kind of thing).

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