The Western is a fictional genre set in the Western side of the United States in the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries. It’s also known as the “Old West” or the “Wild West.” The portrayal of these films in Western culture as a dangerous, sparsely inhabited frontier with, almost, anarchy patrolled by outlaws, sheriffs, and a slew of another standard “gunslinger” characters. Regarding this genre, we will discuss the best Western Movies that depict this genre.
Without further ado, let’s jump right into the list.
The film follows William Munny, an aged bandit, and murderer who takes on one last assignment after years of farming. Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, and Richard Harris all appear in the movie alongside Clint Eastwood. The plot then unfolds in typical Western fashion, with the corrupt sheriff pitted against the virtuous outlaw. Unforgiven is largely concerned with deconstructing the morally black-and-white view of the American West built by previous works in the genre, making it a novel idea at the time.
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (1966)
Blondie and Tuco create an uneasy partnership while seeking riches during the Civil War. They must also outsmart Angel Eyes, a criminal intent on stealing the treasure for himself. This film is basically about three separate individuals with three different personalities. They have different interests but similar reasons as they engage in a lengthy and exciting struggle to locate gold. Despite the intriguing plot, it was not very popular at the time, but it is today regarded as a masterpiece in Western movies.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-western criminal thriller film, based on Cormac McCarthy’s 2005 novel which is where the name is taken. The plot revolves around three major characters: Llewelyn Moss, a Vietnam War veteran and welder who discovers a big quantity of money in the desert; Anton Chigurh, a hitman hired to reclaim the money; and Ed Tom Bell, a local sheriff investigating the murder. To watch how it all connects, you may need to watch the movie yourself.
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
The tale revolves around two plot lines that take place in the Old West town of “Flagstone.” First, a guy known as “Harmonica” wants vengeance on the criminal, Frank. Second, Frank works as a hired gunman for railway tycoon Morton, who is attempting to purchase certain Brett McBain family land. The plot begins when a widow enlists the aid of an outlaw and a mysterious guy to preserve her farm from a brutal cattleman. Keep it on your list since it’s an interesting perspective on villains.
The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
Well. another one with Clint Eastwood. This genre seems to be his forte. The Outcast Josey Wales is a 1976 American revisionist western film about the Civil War. Josie Wales, a Missouri farmer whose family was slain by Union insurgents during the Civil War, is the subject of the film. Wales, driven by vengeance, joins a gang and establishes himself as a deadly gunslinger. Except for him, all of the warriors in the Welsh group surrendered to Union officers after the war, but all were murdered. Wales became an outlaw and was pursued by many in order to rebuild his life. This story is different from usual ones as it focuses on the aftermath.
The Magnificent Seven (1960)
Calvera, the head of an outlaw band, has a Mexican community at his mercy. The locals, too terrified to fight back, hire seven American gunslingers to protect them from bandit incursions. The people are taught how to protect themselves by trained gunmen. This is essentially a battle between good and evil violence. If you want to watch an old-school battle, here is the place to go.
Django Unchained (2012)
When Django, a slave, is set free, he teams up with a bounty hunter to free his wife, who has been captured and enslaved by Calvin, a cruel plantation owner. This is one of the best modern Western movies, as it gave us one of the best and most well-tied plots to be ever written with remarkable acting as the cherry on top. And yes, this is the movie that gave us the famous meme of Leo holding the glass. Do you need any other reason to watch it? Although the movie doesn’t have any deep quotes, it does have many comedic one-liners.
The Hateful Eight (2015)
The film stars Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jennifer Jason Leigh as bounty hunters in post-Civil War Wyoming. They encounter a group of strangers at a stagecoach stopover located on a mountain pass. The eight travelers later learn that they might not make it to their destination after all. The ending, for many would be gruesome and bad that people who don’t like gore, should stay away from it. But if you do, this would be a treat.
A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)
If you want a comedy in Western Movies that has the humor of today’s times but is set in the past, A Million Ways to Die in the West may be a good choice for you. The plot centers around Albert, who after arriving in town, encounters a strange new woman, Anna, who captures his interest. Albert puts his bravery to the test in order to be with her against her infamous gunslinger spouse.
This movie is about the Legendary Army Captain Joseph Blocker unwillingly volunteers to accompany a dying Cheyenne war chief and his family back to their native country in 1892. They embark on a risky journey and soon meet a young widow whose family was slaughtered on the plains. This gives the man wake-up call and now they have to survive the attacks and dangers on this journey. A rather interesting take on the usual fighting genre but is a must-watch.
The Power of the Dog (2021)
Phil Burbank, a charismatic rancher, creates terror and awe in people around him. When his brother returns home with a new wife and her son, Phil tortures them until he is introduced to an unexpected emotion he never managed to feel before. This award-winning movie is as good as critics claimed it to be. The story is unique but brutal. Give it a shot if you want to go on a journey.
3:10 to Yuma (2007)
Outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) terrorises 18th-century Arizona, particularly the Southern Railroad, until he is apprehended. Dan Evans (Christian Bale), the owner of a drought-stricken ranch, volunteers to accompany Wade to the train station. Along the way, the guys develop a grudging respect for one another, but danger lurks around every corner, and the criminal’s men are hot on their tail. Do watch it if you want a nice taste of western genre.
This is it for the Western Movies list. There may be many other hidden gems and we have only been able to uncover a few. But, keep in mind, these are highly rated for a reason. Have fun snacking through these!
If you are in the mood for more real-life incidents, here are 10 Documentaries of Serial Killers that are a must-watch. For more best-of lists, news, and reviews about the movies, keep following Retrology.