Owen and I saw 3:10 to Yuma last week.
Russell Crowe plays a great bad guy. A friend pointed out that you can't go wrong with Crowe in a period piece. After Yuma, I have to add to that: you also can't go wrong with Crowe as a nasty "rotten as hell" thief.
Bale is heart-breaking as the crippled, down-on-his-luck rancher with a family that doesn't respect him. He is also the most likeable character in the film.
I am a fan of westerns, but some can't help but have parts that seem to drag a little. This film is devoid of those parts. Every second holds interest and progresses character development. The characters are unpredictable and yet entirely believable.
This movie is a remake, but I have not yet seen the original. Reviews I read, however, claim the recent version blows the original out of the water.
Edit: Also this movie has the most fantastic poster I've seen all year.