The '3:10 to Yuma' is a ride worth taking

Russell Crowe and Christian Bale square off in an updated Western full of familiar tropes, now on DVD.

3:10 to Yuma (R)

This epic dusts off the western genre in impressive style, following a Union soldier-turned-family man rancher (Christian Bale) as he grows to fill the impossible role into which he has fallen: custodian of an unrepentant, Bible-quoting killer (Russell Crowe) on the way to the prison train in the title. The authentic interplay elevates a film that's also shot through with the old standards: cold-eyed stares, pioneer women who look as if they're straight out of J. Jill catalogs (Gretchen Mol), and the kind of gunplay that stops incidental figures cold while delivering drawn-out demises to the central baddies. Peter Fonda is a welcome addition as a craggy bounty hunter who's bigger than his wounds. Extras are better than average: A documentary piece about the surge of outlaw gangs after the Civil War is particularly compelling. Grade: B+ Clayton Collins

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