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Christian Bale as a magician, or a family man in the Old West? Both were well made films, but I'm going with "The Prestige."
Now this is an interesting match-up. I liked Christian Bale during his adolescent/early adult career, in movies like Henry V and Little Women, but I've not been a great fan of his performances from the last ten years. There's a sort of withdrawn, passionless quality to his persona now that I just can't warm to. However, these are the two recent-ish films in which he most impressed me. In both he had to share top billing with more charismatic, immediate, forthright actors -- Hugh Jackman in The Prestige and Russell Crowe in 3:10 to Yuma. They balanced out the more enigmatic Bale nicely. He was perhaps at his most relatable in The Prestige, whereas 3:10 to Yuma really capitalized on his withdrawn quality; the scene where he bids farewell to his wife is really quite tragic. As for the movies themselves ... I probably ought to watch The Prestige again, because I was very tired when I watched it and probably didn't catch everything. So, for now, 3:10 to Yuma.
Yuma was awesome. One of my favorite westerns.