Best Western Movies of All Time

The Western film gets its inspiration from the American West, despite it sometime relying on stereotypes or historical inaccuracies and legends. This genre of movie usually tells the tale of a protagonist who lives in a society with a strict moral code and is usually about revenge or pursuit to get the story going. Here, in this article, TechTrends put together a list of the best Western movies of all time. Keep reading to see what they are.

Since the ‘30s, the Western genre has been part of the cinema, providing audiences with a range of heroic cowboys to root for because of their bravery in the Western America. However, as years went by, the genre has changed, molded by the time it was created, representing the current society more instead of the actual period the genre is showing. Although most of the western movies are from the ‘50s and ‘60s, the genre has stayed for many decades with a lot of incredible directors creating their own versions of it. Here are the best Western movies of all time without further ado.

Best Western Movies of All Time

America might only be able to claim few art forms as its own, including Jazz, comic books and of course the Western genre. However, it has been adopted in many other lands and has roots from around the world. The end of Old West is actually the beginning of the history of Western movies. The genre rose in a silent era and continued to thrive, despite the occasional fades from view in the 80s. We have narrowed down a list of the best Western movies of all time for you to choose from for your next movie night. Stay with us and keep reading.

12. The Magnificent Seven 2016

  • Genre: Western/Action
  • Director: Antoine Fuqua
  • Stars: Chris Pratt, Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Peter Sarsgaard
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 63%, IMDb 6.8

The Magnificent seven is one of the best Western movies of all time, where Chris Pratt plays alongside Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. He is a member of a band of cowboys who are tasked to protect a small town from an evil baron. The talented cast of actors really helped the movie and made it entertaining. The movie is based on a 1960 film of the same name. Pratt plays the role of John Faraday with his charisma and star power. Do not miss this incredible film.

Read more: Best Denzel Washington Movies of All Time

11. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

  • Genre: Western/Drama
  • Director: Andrew Dominik
  • Stars: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Rockwell, Nick Cave, Brooklynn Proulx
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 76%, IMDb 7.5

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is yet another one of the best Western movies of all time. It depicts the nature of celebrity culture and fixation. In many aspects, Jesse James is like a contemporary movie star as there are many stories, rumors and legends told about him. Therefore, it is difficult to know what he is truly like. The movie shows the life of Robert Ford, played by Casey Affleck. He is a spineless young outlaw who is seeking fame and fortune. James, played by Brad Pitt, is Robert’s idol and he finally gets to meet him.

Although he agrees to bring Robert on his team, he rarely talks to him. His frustration is portrayed in the movie as he tries to convince James he is worthy. However, he fails to get his approval. Then, he starts to question the decisions of James. This is indeed one of the best Western movies ever.

Read more: Best Brad Pitt Movies of All Time

10. The Revenant 2015

  • Genre: Western/Adventure
  • Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
  • Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 78%, IMDb 8

The Revenant is one of the best Western movies ever and Leonardo DiCaprio won his first Academy Award after this role. He also won this third Golden Globe Award and his first Screen Actors Guild Award for playing Hugh Glass in Alejandro G. Iñárritu‘s film. He is left to die by a group of trappers following being mauled by a grizzly bear. Almost like a miracle, Hugh survives and wants to take vengeance on the person who abandoned him. DiCaprio had an enormously physical role and gave Hugh a powerful character with his impressive talent. The movie did deserve to win. We highly recommend this wonderful movie.

Read more: Best Leonardo DiCaprio Movies of All Time

9. Django Unchained 2012

  • Genre: Western/Drama
  • Director: Quentin Tarantino
  • Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Quentin Tarantino, Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 86%, IMDb 8.4

The next one of the best Western movies of all time is Django Unchained. Leonardo DiCaprio had the chance to let the famed Tarantino dialogue just ooze out of his mouth. For his impressive performance as Monsieur Calvin J. Candie, he got his ninth Golden Globe Award nomination. A few years before the Civil War, Jamie Foxx, Django, who is a slave, accompanies an unorthodox German bounty hunter named Dr. King Schultz, trying to capture the Brittle brothers. They accomplish their mission and Schultz sets Django free. Then, the two start hunting the South’s most-wanted criminals. They then meet the infamous shady Calvin Candie and find out Django’s long-lost wife is yet a slave.

Read more: Best Drama Movies of All Time

8. Rango 2011

  • Genre: Western/Family
  • Director: Gore Verbinski
  • Stars: Johnny Depp, Gore Verbinski, Abigail Breslin, Bill Nighy
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 88%, IMDb 7.2

Another one of the best Western movies of all time is Rango, which is animated film. The story revolves around a chameleon, voiced by Johnny Depp, who has been living with a family as a pet, but he then finds himself accidentally dropped out of the car and in an identity crisis. While his nature is to blend in, he repeatedly stands out. He then goes to a town named Dirt, starting a transformation journey as the sheriff of the town. Despite acting to be a hero at first, he soon has to really become one.

Read more: Best Johnny Depp Movies of All Time

7. 3:10 to Yuma 2007

  • Genre: Drama/Western
  • Director: James Mangold
  • Stars: Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Ben Foster, Logan Lerman, Dallas Roberts
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 89%, IMDb 7.7

James Mangold remade the 1957 3:10 to Yuma, with Russell Crowe having a six-gun once again. This is among the rare remakes that was better than the original, according to movie critics. Crowe portrays the role of outlaw Ben Wade. He is captured and guilty of murdering someone during a stagecoach robbery. Rancher Dan Evans agrees to get Wade to a town nearby to send him to Yuma Territorial Prison by the 3:10 train. The film is quite entertaining and made it to the list of the best Western movies of all time.

Read more: Best Russell Crowe Movies of All Time

6. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 1969

  • Genre: Drama/Western
  • Director: George Roy Hill
  • Stars: Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Katharine Ross, Ted Cassidy
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 89%, IMDb 8

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is known as one of the greatest Western movies of all time. It is based on Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid’s lives. Paul Newman and Robert Redford play those characters, respectively. The former is the gang’s leader in the Wild West and when the two come back from a trip, they realize that a new leader has been picked for the gang. The story of violence, heists and fleeing one life for the other starts. This is indeed among the best ones on the list, so don’t miss it.

5. The Power of the Dog 2021

  • Genre: Western/Romance
  • Director: Jane Campion
  • Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Thomasin McKenzie
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 94%, IMDb 6.8

The Power of the Dog presents one of the best Western movies of all time. The story revolves around a stubborn character that does not want to change with the times. It is not a heroic cowboy movie but rather a psychological one that showcases an insightful look into Phil Burbank, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. This might be a very different role from his others, but he performs as great as always. His characters are mostly very gentlemanly; in this movie, however, he belittles other people without considering their feelings. Cumberbatch embraces a different character and does his magic to mesmerize the audience and get them to sympathize with him.

Read more: Best Benedict Cumberbatch Movies of All Time

4. The Searchers 1956

  • Genre: Drama/Western
  • Director: John Ford
  • Stars: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Natalie Wood, Patrick Wayne
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 94%, IMDb 7.9

One of the most epic Western movies directed by John Ford is The Searchers and it does live up to the hype. The movie came out in 1956 and John Wayne is the star, playing the role of a Civil War veteran looking for his abducted niece, portrayed by Natalie Wood and her sister. Despite the movie having a sinister undertone for the way it justifies murder and how they treat Indigenous Americans, it is known as one of the best Wester movies of all time.

3. True Grit 2010

  • Genre: Western/Drama
  • Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
  • Star: Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Josh Brolin, Barry Pepper
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 95%, IMDb 7.6

The Coen Brothers have been making a diverse slate of movies in their career, but their decision to remake the classic western “True Grit” was surprising to many. However, their ability to remake, given their successful attempt in 2004 at The Ladykillers, made them quite ready. Their movie was a success as it made $250 million at the box office.

The movie follows the story of 14-year-old Hattie Ross, played by Hailee Steinfeld, who is struggling with the murder of his father. She decides to hire a U.S. Marshall, Rooster Cogburn, played by Jeff Bridges, who is a man known for his savage reputation, to help her find the people behind her father’s murder. Matt Damon plays the role of Laboeuf, who they meet on their way. He is also after the same outlaw, but his reason is different. Both Bridges and Damon play amazingly in the movie, making it one of the best Western films ever.

Read more: Best Matt Damon Movies of All Time

2. Unforgiven 1992

  • Genre: Western/Drama
  • Director: Clint Eastwood
  • Stars: Morgan Freeman, Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Anna Thomson, Richard Harris
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 96%, IMDb 8.2

In the movie Unforgiven, Morgan Freeman portrays the role of Ned Logan, who is a longtime friend of Will Munny (Clint Eastwood). The two join up to assist a young woman named “The Schofield Kid” find a gang of vial cowboys, who were accused of torturing a prostitute. Moreover, Freeman displayed a brilliant performance. Despite the movie getting four Oscars including Best Picture, Director, and Supporting Actor (Gene Hackman), Freeman was not nominated for any awards. However, he is as mesmerizing as always. This is yet another one of the best Western movies of all time that you should not miss.

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