The legendary outlaw, Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) and his gang have just robbed an armed stage coach carrying the Southern Pacific Railroads payroll. They kill everyone onboard except the Pinkerton security guard, Byron McElroy (Peter Fonda) whom Wade shoots in the belly. Poor rancher Dan Evans (Christian Bale) and his two sons find McElroy and take him to Bisbee, Arizona to find a doctor. Wade, in town without his gang, is captured. Railroad representative Grayson Butterfield (Dallas Roberts) asks for paid volunteers to join the posse to take Wade to the train station in the town of Contention three days away. The train is due at 3:10, and they must put Wade on the train\'s prison car bound for Yuma, where he will receive a quick trial in Federal Court and be hanged. Evans, desperately needing money to save his farm, signs on for $200.
 

3.5
Mostly an intelligent, sharply crafted and entertainingly straight-forward adventure.

If you think your struggle to get to the train each morning is tough, spare a thought for Dan Evans in 3:10 To Yuma.

After losing a leg in the Civil War, Dan brought his wife and tubercular young son to the dry climes of New Mexico. But their cattle are dying in a prolonged drought and greedy developers want to push them off their land. To his oldest boy, Dan is a loser and his only hope of saving the farm and his dignity is to earn $200 by assisting in the transportation of ruthless outlaw Ben Wade. They have to get him to the prison train, leaving for Yuma at 10 past three.

Their journey is fraught with peril - Wade is one dangerous prisoner, all the more so for his laid-back charm, and his gang is hellbent on getting their boss back.

3:10 to Yuma is a remake of the 1957 film of the same name, which was based on a short story by Elmore Leonard. While westerns like The Assassination Of Jesse James or The Proposition come with a dark and brooding vibe, this marks its own territory by being a straight action-adventure.

Dan is a downtrodden hero, determined to prove himself, and Christian Bale excels in making this white hat stereotype feel like a real man.

Russell Crowe, proving again he’s an actor who can do no wrong, brings a likeable comic touch to his nasty anti-hero. Wade is rotten, all right, but he’s also the kinda bastard you want on your side in a fight. The to and fro between these fine actors sustains 3:10 To Yuma.

There are also good supporting performances from Alan Tudyk as a nervy veterinarian, Peter Fonda as a grizzled bounty hunter and rising star Ben Foster as stone-cold nutjob Charlie.

James Mangold, who directed Walk The Line, comes up with exciting shoot-outs and chases.

While the ending doesn’t work as well as it should, with the final showdown strays into the overblown, this is mostly an intelligent, sharply crafted and entertainingly straight-forward adventure.

As one of the best 'dad movies" in years, 3:10 To Yuma rates three and a half stars.