Friday, September 07, 2007

3:10 to Yuma review

By Roger Ebert

James Mangold's "3:10 to Yuma" restores the wounded heart of the Western and rescues it from the morass of pointless violence. The Western in its glory days was often a morality play, a story about humanist values penetrating the lawless anarchy of the frontier. It still follows that tradition in films like Eastwood's "The Unforgiven," but the audience's appetite for morality plays and Westerns seems to be fading. Here the quality of the acting, and the thought behind the film, make it seem like a vanguard of something new, even though it's a remake of a good movie 50 years old.

Mangold's version is better still than the 1957 original, because it has better actors with more thought behind their dialogue. Christian Bale plays not simply a noble hero, but a man who has avoided such risks as he now takes and is almost at a loss to explain why he is bringing a killer to justice, except that having been mistreated and feeling unable to provide for his family, he is fed up and here he takes his stand. Crowe, however, plays not merely a merciless killer, although he is that, too, but a man also capable of surprising himself. He is too intelligent to have only one standard behavior which must fit all situations, and is perhaps bored of having that expected of him.

Cast & Credits

Ben Wade: Russell Crowe
Dan Evans: Christian Bale
Byron McElroy: Peter Fonda
Alice Evans: Gretchen Mol
Charlie Prince: Ben Foster
Doc Potter: Alan Tudyk


  1. Gene Shalit gave it a great review and he's like Mikey - he hates everything. So you know it must be good.

  2. Roger Ebert's review was good too so I'll be going soon.