This movie is about a humble, down-on-his-luck rancher who crosses paths with a bad-guy–a likable stagecoach robber.
Christian Bale plays Dan Evans, a rancher who lost his foot in the Civil War. He lives with his wife and two sons on a dying ranch, and he’s on the brink of losing his land due to a series of unfortunate events. His 14-year-old son William is angrily disappointed in his dad, and even his wife doesn’t seem too confident in him.
As Dan and his sons head out to round up their cattle and make a last-ditch effort to save their ranch, they come across a bloody stagecoach robbery being led by the notorious Ben Wade (Russell Crowe). Ben is eventually caught, and Dan agrees (for $200) to help transport him to the town of Contention to catch the 3:10 train to Yuma, where Ben will be hanged. The only thing standing between Dan and his money is Ben’s gang of loyal, sharp-shooting cohorts. They won’t hesitate to kill or be killed to rescue Ben and get back to robberies and murder.
Along the way, the two very different men form a strange bond. I wouldn’t call it a friendship so much as a sort of mutual … fondness. They have nothing in common, yet Ben comes to care for Dan and his family in a way he’d rather not acknowledge to himself or anyone else. After all, he’s a bad guy.
I liked this movie. It wasn’t as deep as I might’ve expected from these two excellent actors, and some of the “heartwarming” (for lack of a better word) moments were a bit contrived. But it was good, and I’d recommend it.
I give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.