Plot Summary: A small-time rancher agrees to hold a captured outlaw who’s awaiting a train to go to court in Yuma. A battle of wills ensues as the outlaw tries to psych out the rancher.
Director: James Mangold
Writers: Halsted Welles (screenplay), Michael Brandt (screenplay), Derek Haas (screenplay), and Elmore Leonard (short story)
Stars: Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Ben Foster
Serious Jest: (Worth Watching) This is a very solid film, with a compelling plot and solid cast, featuring two of the most notoriously ill-tempered actors in the business. Who will be the bigger jerk? Watch it and find out!
Also, Foster brings the same leashed intensity that inspired Mark Wahlberg to give up some of his own pay in order to recruit Foster for Lone Survivor. Foster is one of my favorite supporting actors.
You can enjoy this movie as a straightforward classic action Western, or you can delve deeper into the psychological underpinnings, which are spread throughout the movie and which culminate in an ending that can either anger you or inspire a subsequent deep discussion with others who have seen the film.
For Western aficionados, this flick is an instant classic and Must See. For the rest of us, you could live with missing this one, but once you start watching it, you’ll be hooked.