Director James Mangold has fashioned a fantastic remake of the classic western 3:10 TO YUMA.

Russell Crowe as Ben Wade in 3:10 to Yuma

Russell Crowe as Ben Wade has finally been caught

I know that Clint Eastwood really does have the ownership of classic cowboy spectacles but 3:10 TO YUMA was remade with great vision and execution in 2007 by James Mangold. Following on from his success with the Oscar-winning Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line, he created a really stylish and visceral western. Seeing it again recently on DVD, I was reminded of how incredibly striking it is with scene after scene of understated power.

You have a string of brilliant lead performances, from the Oscar-winning Russell Crowe as the killer with a possible conscience Ben Wade, to Christian Bale as the honest, troubled rancher Dan Evans. There’s also have a great collection of supporting performances including the legendary Peter Fonda, Alan Tudyk, Dallas Roberts, Gretchen Mol as Dan’s wife and the talented young Logan Lerman as Dan’s son William, whose determination to grow up and be a man results in a painful rite of passage.

And last but by no means least, the amazing Ben Foster who I’ve admired since his extraordinary performance as the sociopath Mars Krupcheck in the 2005 film Hostage and here, totally chilling as Wade’s devoted but psychopathic sidekick Charlie Prince.

There’s a ‘true grit’ to the proceedings here and a heart-stopping finale at the train station that really doesn’t turn out how you think it will. I do think that makes this version of 3:10 TO YUMA one for the history books.

Check it out.