3:10 to Yuma I give it 4 stars

Don’t let the title fail to fool you; this movie has Christian Bale and Russell Crowe in it, but it’s also about the railroad (in the same way that Waiting for Godot both is and isn’t about Godot). Ben Wade steals from the railroad; Dan Evans is in danger of losing his farmstead because of it, until a Southern Pacific representative offers Evans $200 to help put Wade on that eponymous train to prison. Along the way, they’ll meet (and sometimes exchange gunfire with) a whole cross-section of railroad employees, from Chinese laborers to a terrified station agent. The whole movie is a subtle meditation on what the coming of the railroad means for the West and how it reshapes people’s lives.

My favorite line of the movie comes right after Evans has volunteered for the escort job, claiming he was the best shot in his regiment. The railroad man asks whether he fought for the North or the South. The North, says Evans. The railroad man waits a beat, then nods. “We’re Southern in name, but Chicago owned.”