Ben and I just watched 3:10 to Yuma this past weekend and I really liked it. It was a gritty western that really seemed to harken back to old school westerns. I'm glad they've been bringing back some excellent westerns in the past few years - they could make more!
3:10 to Yuma is the story of a poor Southwestern rancher (Dan Evans) that is on his last leg literally. He has been denied the water rights to his ranch by a guy who owns the place just upstream and Dan owes money to him. The guy is basically trying to get Dan and his family off the ranch in order to sell the property to the railroad for a fat profit. Dan has two sons and a nice wife. He was in the civil war and lost part of his leg. Dan's oldest son, William, has hit the point during his teenage years where he has no respect for his father. I'm not looking forward to those years! Dan is played by Christian Bale, one of my favorite actors.
One day, Dan and his boys witness the robbery of an armed stage coach by Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) and his gang. Ben realizes that Dan and the boys are no threat and steals their horese for a short time so they can't report him. Dan rides into town to figure out his financial problems and reports that Ben and the gang were last seen heading to town. He helps to keep Ben's attention in order to capture him and then volunteers to help lead Ben to Contention to put him on the 3:10 train to Yuma for $200. This money will make it so he can keep his ranch.
The journey is exciting to say the least with Ben's gang and other foes trailing the group. Dan's son William follows and saves the bunch. William has a coming of age story where he learns that the outlaws glorified in the dime novels he reads are not the heroes they are made out to be. Ben and Dan learn more about each other. I just wish they would have had more time to talk!
I don't really want to reveal more of the plot as it will ruin the movie. I really liked the ending. It was surprising to me and made me sad, but also was a good end to William's tale. If you are looking for good story telling or a good western, I highly recommend this movie!