Best Western Movies of All Time

Welcome to Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the 100 best-reviewed Western movies of all time, sorted by Adjusted Tomatometer with at least 20 reviews for each selection. Additionally, we picked only classical period films, so you get outta here with that Best Picture-winning neo-Western nonsense! Now, it’s time to put on your best pa-avenging chaps, slide a bad hombre down the saloon bar top, and ride on to see how the West was Fresh! Alex Vo

#100
Adjusted Score: 72562%
Critics Consensus: A visually stunning film that may be too predictable and politically correct for adults, but should serve children well.
Synopsis: Follows the adventures of a wild and rambunctious mustang stallion as he journeys through the untamed American frontier. Encountering man... [More]
Directed By: Kelly Asbury, Lorna Cook

#99

The Salvation (2014)
72%62%

#99
Adjusted Score: 74152%
Critics Consensus: It's all but impossible to add anything new or fresh to the traditional Western, but -- thanks in no small part to Mads Mikkelson's performance -- The Salvation comes close.
Synopsis: After shooting the man who murdered his wife, a Danish settler (Mads Mikkelsen) incurs the wrath of the man's brother... [More]
Directed By: Kristian Levring

#98

Blackthorn (2011)
75%61%

#98
Adjusted Score: 77031%
Critics Consensus: Blackthorn invites comparisons to a classic Western -- and survives, thanks largely to a charismatic performance by a well-chosen Sam Shepard.
Synopsis: Leaving Bolivia and heading back to the U.S., the outlaw formerly known as Butch Cassidy (Sam Shepard) has a final... [More]
Directed By: Mateo Gil

#97

The Magnificent Seven (2016)
64%71%

#97
Adjusted Score: 82339%
Critics Consensus: The Magnificent Seven never really lives up to the superlative in its title -- or the classics from which it draws inspiration -- but remains a moderately diverting action thriller on its own merits.
Synopsis: Looking to mine for gold, greedy industrialist Bartholomew Bogue seizes control of the Old West town of Rose Creek. With... [More]
Directed By: Antoine Fuqua

#96

Dead Man (1995)
70%88%

#96
Adjusted Score: 72338%
Critics Consensus: While decidedly not for all tastes, Dead Man marks an alluring change of pace for writer-director Jim Jarmusch that demonstrates an assured command of challenging material.
Synopsis: Circumstances transform a mild-mannered accountant (Johnny Depp) into a notorious Old West gunslinger.... [More]
Directed By: Jim Jarmusch

#95
#95
Adjusted Score: 76849%
Critics Consensus: With a vibrant pastel color scheme and stylized action sequences, Tears of the Black Tiger is a bizarre, yet thoroughly entertaining Thai western.
Synopsis: A handsome bandit (Chartchai Ngamsan) falls in love with a wealthy woman (Stella Malucchi) while a policeman pursues the man's... [More]
Directed By: Wisit Sasanatieng

#94

The Horse Whisperer (1998)
74%72%

#94
Adjusted Score: 76127%
Critics Consensus: It might be a bit too eager to tug the heartstrings, but The Horse Whisperer is typically graceful, well-crafted Redford -- on both sides of the camera.
Synopsis: When teenage Grace (Scarlett Johansson) is traumatized by a riding accident that badly injures her horse, her mother Annie (Kristin... [More]
Directed By: Robert Redford

#93

The Keeping Room (2014)
75%52%

#93
Adjusted Score: 79290%
Critics Consensus: Aided by its spare setting and committed performances, The Keeping Room is just fascinatingly off-kilter enough to overcome its frustrating stumbles.
Synopsis: During the waning days of the Civil War, two Southern sisters (Brit Marling, Hailee Steinfeld) and a slave (Muna Otaru)... [More]
Directed By: Daniel Barber

#92
#92
Adjusted Score: 80317%
Critics Consensus: In a Valley of Violence offers a smartly conceived homage to classic Westerns that transcends pastiche with absurdist humor and a terrific cast.
Synopsis: A mysterious drifter (Ethan Hawke) and his dog journey toward Mexico through the barren desert of the Old West. Hoping... [More]
Directed By: Ti West

#91

Silverado (1985)
77%80%

#91
Adjusted Score: 78811%
Critics Consensus: Boasting rich detail and well-told story, Silverado is a rare example of an '80s Hollywood Western done right.
Synopsis: Rambling man Emmett (Scott Glenn) assembles a group of misfit cowboys (Kevin Costner), (Kevin Kline, Danny Glover). After helping a... [More]
Directed By: Lawrence Kasdan

#90
#90
Adjusted Score: 81171%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A merciless cowboy sets out on a dangerous journey across the frontier, determined to do whatever it takes to avenge... [More]
Directed By: Jared Moshé

#89

Duel in the Sun (1946)
78%55%

#89
Adjusted Score: 79556%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Tragedy seems to follow Pearl Chavez (Jennifer Jones) everywhere she goes. After a domestic dispute results in the death of... [More]
Directed By: King Vidor

#88

Red Hill (2010)
79%57%

#88
Adjusted Score: 80748%
Critics Consensus: Though its attempts to rework genre conventions may fall flat with some, Red Hill is a beautifully shot, tightly paced thriller that marks a strong debut for director Patrick Hughes.
Synopsis: A rookie cop (Ryan Kwanten) must contend with an escaped murderer (Tom E. Lewis) who has come to town seeking... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Hughes

#87

Hostiles (2017)
70%75%

#87
Adjusted Score: 80519%
Critics Consensus: Hostiles benefits from stunning visuals and a solid central performance from Christian Bale, both of which help elevate its uneven story.
Synopsis: In 1892, legendary Army Capt. Joseph Blocker reluctantly agrees to escort a dying Cheyenne war chief and his family back... [More]
Directed By: Scott Cooper

#86

Appaloosa (2008)
76%55%

#86
Adjusted Score: 81956%
Critics Consensus: A traditional genre western, Appaloosa sets itself apart with smart psychology, an intriguing love triangle, and good chemistry between the leads.
Synopsis: Virgil Cole (Ed Harris) and his longtime friend and partner Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen) travel the 1880s Southwest, bringing justice... [More]
Directed By: Ed Harris

#85
Adjusted Score: 83550%
Critics Consensus: On the strength of its two lead performances Assassination is an expertly crafted period piece, and an insightful look at one of the enduring figures of American lore.
Synopsis: Infamous and unpredictable, Jesse James (Brad Pitt), nicknamed the fastest gun in the west, plans his next big heist while... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Dominik

#84
#84
Adjusted Score: 82067%
Critics Consensus: Back to the Future Part III draws the trilogy to a satisfying close with a simpler, sweeter round of time-travel antics.
Synopsis: In this final chapter, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) obtains a 70-year-old message from the time-traveling Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher... [More]
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

#83

Tombstone (1993)
72%94%

#83
Adjusted Score: 74335%
Critics Consensus: If you're seeking a stylish modern western with a solid story and a well-chosen ensemble cast, Tombstone is your huckleberry.
Synopsis: Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) and his brothers, Morgan (Bill Paxton) and Virgil (Sam Elliott), have left their gunslinger ways behind... [More]
Directed By: George P. Cosmatos

#82

The Wind (2018)
81%49%

#82
Adjusted Score: 83922%
Critics Consensus: Imperfect yet intriguing, The Wind offers horror fans an admirably ambitious story further distinguished by its fresh perspective and effective scares.
Synopsis: Lizzy is a tough, resourceful frontierswoman settling a remote stretch of land on the 19th-century American frontier. Isolated from civilization... [More]
Directed By: Emma Tammi

#81
#81
Adjusted Score: 81717%
Critics Consensus: Whilst never taking itself too seriously, this riotous and rollicking Sergio Leone-inspired Korean Western is serious fun.
Synopsis: In 1930s Manchuria, an encounter on a train triggers an epic crusade for a treasure map, prompting a marathon chase... [More]
Directed By: Kim Jee-woon

#80

Shanghai Noon (2000)
80%65%

#80
Adjusted Score: 84183%
Critics Consensus: Although the plot is really nothing to brag about, Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson work well together. The cinematography looks great, and Jackie delivers a hilarious performance. This is an old-fashioned crowd-pleaser.
Synopsis: Bumbling Chon Wang (Jackie Chan) works as an Imperial guard in the Forbidden City of China. When Princess Pei Pei... [More]
Directed By: Tom Dey

#79

Open Range (2003)
79%84%

#79
Adjusted Score: 85070%
Critics Consensus: Greatly benefiting from the tremendous chemistry between Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall, Open Range is a sturdy modern Western with classic roots.
Synopsis: Boss Spearman (Robert Duvall) and his cowhands Charley (Kevin Costner) and Mose (Abraham Benrubi) are driving cattle across a large... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Costner

#78

El topo (1971)
80%84%

#78
Adjusted Score: 83521%
Critics Consensus: By turns intoxicating and confounding, El Topo contains the creative multitudes that made writer-director Alejandro Jodorowsky such a singular talent.
Synopsis: A black-clad gunfighter (Alejandro Jodorowsky) embarks on a symbolic quest in an Old West version of Sodom and Gomorrah.... [More]
Directed By: Alejandro Jodorowsky

#77

The Long Riders (1980)
81%73%

#77
Adjusted Score: 81122%
Critics Consensus: With its pared down storytelling, The Long Riders delivers with an evocative atmosphere and artful brutality.
Synopsis: During a bank robbery by the legendary James-Younger Gang, Ed Miller (Dennis Quaid) impulsively kills a man, much to the... [More]
Directed By: Walter Hill

#76
#76
Adjusted Score: 89975%
Critics Consensus: Its unusual approach won't be for all viewers, but True History of the Kelly Gang takes a distinctively postmodern look at Australia's past.
Synopsis: An exploration of Australian bushranger Ned Kelly and his gang as they attempt to evade authorities during the 1870s.... [More]
Directed By: Justin Kurzel

#75

Hud (1963)
84%89%

#75
Adjusted Score: 86081%
Critics Consensus: A Western that swaps out the Hollywood glamor for shades of moral gray, Hud is a sobering showcase for a sterling ensemble of actors at the top of their respective games.
Synopsis: Hard-drinking, arrogant, womanizing Hud Bannon (Paul Newman) lives a self-centered, indolent life supported by his hard-working and morally upstanding father,... [More]
Directed By: Martin Ritt

#74

The Homesman (2014)
80%53%

#74
Adjusted Score: 84996%
Critics Consensus: A squarely traditional yet somewhat progressive Western, The Homesman adds another absorbing entry to Tommy Lee Jones' directorial résumé.
Synopsis: A frontier farm woman (Hilary Swank) saves the life of a claim-jumper (Tommy Lee Jones) and persuades him to help... [More]
Directed By: Tommy Lee Jones

#73
#73
Adjusted Score: 60931%
Critics Consensus: Sam Peckinpah's mournful salute to the bygone West achieves moments of ruthless poetry, but clear signs of studio-dictated cuts and oft-unintelligible dialogue will make this dirge a slog for some.
Synopsis: Sheriff Pat Garrett (James Coburn) is ordered by Governor Wallace (Jason Robards) to go after the outlaw Billy the Kid... [More]
Directed By: Sam Peckinpah

#72

The Hateful Eight (2015)
74%77%

#72
Adjusted Score: 85952%
Critics Consensus: The Hateful Eight offers another well-aimed round from Quentin Tarantino's signature blend of action, humor, and over-the-top violence -- all while demonstrating an even stronger grip on his filmmaking craft.
Synopsis: While racing toward the town of Red Rock in post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunter John "The Hangman" Ruth (Kurt Russell)... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#71

How the West Was Won (1962)
86%74%

#71
Adjusted Score: 87132%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Setting off on a journey to the west in the 1830s, the Prescott family run into a man named Linus... [More]

#70

Dances With Wolves (1990)
87%87%

#70
Adjusted Score: 94663%
Critics Consensus: Dances with Wolves suffers from a simplistic view of the culture it attempts to honor, but the end result remains a stirring western whose noble intentions are often matched by its epic grandeur.
Synopsis: A Civil War soldier develops a relationship with a band of Lakota Indians. Attracted by the simplicity of their lifestyle,... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Costner

#69

Meek's Cutoff (2010)
86%53%

#69
Adjusted Score: 90375%
Critics Consensus: Moving at a contemplative speed unseen in most westerns, Meek's Cutoff is an effective, intense journey of terror and survival in the untamed frontier.
Synopsis: During the 1840s, six settlers and their guide are caught in a dangerous situation: They are lost, food and water... [More]
Directed By: Kelly Reichardt

#68
Adjusted Score: 90509%
Critics Consensus: Tommy Lee Jones' directorial debut is both a potent western and a powerful morality tale.
Synopsis: When brash Texas border officer Mike Norton (Barry Pepper) wrongfully kills and buries the friend and ranch hand of Pete... [More]
Directed By: Tommy Lee Jones

#67

The Proposition (2005)
85%85%

#67
Adjusted Score: 89622%
Critics Consensus: Brutal, unflinching, and violent, but thought-provoking and with excellent performances, this Australian western is the one of the best examples of the genre to come along in recent times.
Synopsis: In 1880s Australia, a lawman (Ray Winstone) offers renegade Charlie Burns (Guy Pearce) a difficult choice. In order to save... [More]
Directed By: John Hillcoat

#66

City Slickers (1991)
90%64%

#66
Adjusted Score: 91944%
Critics Consensus: With a supremely talented cast and just enough midlife drama to add weight to its wildly silly overtones, City Slickers uses universal themes to earn big laughs.
Synopsis: Every year, three friends take a vacation away from their wives. This year, henpecked Phil (Daniel Stern), newly married Ed... [More]
Directed By: Ron Underwood

#65

Never Grow Old (2019)
90%63%

#65
Adjusted Score: 90177%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A once-peaceful frontier town becomes a den of vice after vicious outlaw Dutch Albert and his gang arrive and begin... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Kavanagh

#64

Westworld (1973)
85%70%

#64
Adjusted Score: 87486%
Critics Consensus: Yul Brynner gives a memorable performance as a robotic cowboy in this amusing sci-fi/western hybrid.
Synopsis: Westworld is a futuristic theme park where paying guests can pretend to be gunslingers in an artificial Wild West populated... [More]
Directed By: Michael Crichton

#63

The Shootist (1976)
83%88%

#63
Adjusted Score: 84202%
Critics Consensus: Simple in story while sophisticated in texture, The Shootist is a fittingly elegiac swan song for one of Hollywood's most iconic stars.
Synopsis: J.B. Books (John Wayne, in his final film role) is an aging gunfighter diagnosed with cancer who comes to Nevada... [More]
Directed By: Don Siegel

#62

Near Dark (1987)
83%74%

#62
Adjusted Score: 87725%
Critics Consensus: Near Dark is at once a creepy vampire film, a thrilling western, and a poignant family tale, with humor and scares in abundance.
Synopsis: Cowboy Caleb Colton (Adrian Pasdar) meets gorgeous Mae (Jenny Wright) at a bar, and the two have an immediate attraction.... [More]
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow

#61

McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
84%86%

#61
Adjusted Score: 88716%
Critics Consensus: McCabe & Mrs. Miller offers revisionist Western fans a landmark early addition to the genre while marking an early apogee for director Robert Altman.
Synopsis: Charismatic gambler John McCabe (Warren Beatty) arrives in a mining community and decides to open a brothel. The local residents... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#60

Mystery Road (2013)
92%64%

#60
Adjusted Score: 92473%
Critics Consensus: Mystery Road evokes classic Westerns while using its Australian outback setting to delve into a surprisingly layered -- and powerfully impactful -- array of social issues.
Synopsis: An aboriginal detective returns to the Outback to investigate the murder of a teenage girl.... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Sen

#59

The Magnificent Seven (1960)
89%88%

#59
Adjusted Score: 92549%
Critics Consensus: The Magnificent Seven transplants Seven Samurai into the Old West with a terrific cast of Hollywood stars -- and without losing any of the story's thematic richness.
Synopsis: A Mexican village is at the mercy of Calvera, the leader of a band of outlaws. The townspeople, too afraid... [More]
Directed By: John Sturges

#58

The Revenant (2015)
78%84%

#58
Adjusted Score: 101565%
Critics Consensus: As starkly beautiful as it is harshly uncompromising, The Revenant uses Leonardo DiCaprio's committed performance as fuel for an absorbing drama that offers punishing challenges -- and rich rewards.
Synopsis: While exploring the uncharted wilderness in 1823, frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) sustains life-threatening injuries from a brutal bear attack.... [More]

#57

A Fistful of Dynamite (1971)
92%83%

#57
Adjusted Score: 92085%
Critics Consensus: Duck, You Sucker is a saucy helping of spaghetti western, with James Coburn and Rod Steiger's chemistry igniting the screen and Sergio Leone's bravura style on full display.
Synopsis: At the beginning of the Mexican Revolution in 1913, greedy bandit Juan Miranda (Rod Steiger) and idealist John H. Mallory... [More]
Directed By: Sergio Leone

#56

Bone Tomahawk (2015)
91%74%

#56
Adjusted Score: 93844%
Critics Consensus: Bone Tomahawk's peculiar genre blend won't be for everyone, but its gripping performances and a slow-burning story should satisfy those in search of something different.
Synopsis: In the Old West, a sheriff (Kurt Russell), his deputy (Richard Jenkins), a gunslinger (Matthew Fox),and a cowboy (Patrick Wilson)... [More]
Directed By: S. Craig Zahler

#55
#55
Adjusted Score: 93946%
Critics Consensus: Recreating the essence of his iconic Man With No Name in a post-Civil War Western, director Clint Eastwood delivered the first of his great revisionist works of the genre.
Synopsis: Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood) watches helplessly as his wife and child are murdered, by Union men led by Capt. Terrill... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#54

The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)
91%92%

#54
Adjusted Score: 93600%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this classic Western, wanderers Gil Carter (Henry Fonda) and Art Croft (Henry Morgan) ride into a small Nevada town... [More]
Directed By: William Wellman

#53

Pale Rider (1985)
93%83%

#53
Adjusted Score: 94329%
Critics Consensus: Nearly a decade after The Outlaw Josey Wales, Clint Eastwood returns as a director to the genre that made his name with this elegant, spiritual Western that riffs on the classic Shane.
Synopsis: When property owner Coy LaHood (Richard Dysart) starts using a band of hooligans to terrorize a group of small-town gold... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#52

True Grit (1969)
89%84%

#52
Adjusted Score: 94362%
Critics Consensus: True Grit rides along on the strength of a lived-in late-period John Wayne performance, adding its own entertaining spin to the oft-adapted source material.
Synopsis: After hired hand Tom Chaney (Jeff Corey) murders the father of 14-year-old Mattie Ross (Kim Darby), she seeks vengeance and... [More]
Directed By: Henry Hathaway

#51

El Mariachi (1992)
91%76%

#51
Adjusted Score: 95373%
Critics Consensus: Made on a shoestring budget, El Mariachi's story is not new. However, the movie has so much energy that it's thoroughly enjoyable.
Synopsis: El Mariachi (Carlos Gallardo) is a traveling guitar player with the modest desire to play music for a living. Looking... [More]
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez

#50

Cat Ballou (1965)
90%74%

#50
Adjusted Score: 93094%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When hired gun Tim Strawn (Lee Marvin) kills her rancher father, Cat Ballou (Jane Fonda) becomes an outlaw set on... [More]
Directed By: Elliot Silverstein

#49

Rango (2011)
88%70%

#49
Adjusted Score: 96093%
Critics Consensus: Rango is a smart, giddily creative burst of beautifully animated entertainment, and Johnny Depp gives a colorful vocal performance as a household pet in an unfamiliar world.
Synopsis: A chameleon (Johnny Depp) who has lived as a sheltered family pet finds himself in the grip of an identity... [More]
Directed By: Gore Verbinski

#48
#48
Adjusted Score: 94428%
Critics Consensus: With Clint Eastwood in the lead, Ennio Morricone on the score, and Sergio Leone's stylish direction, For a Few Dollars More earns its recognition as a genre classic.
Synopsis: In the Wild West, a murderous outlaw known as El Indio (Gian Maria Volonte) and his gang are terrorizing and... [More]
Directed By: Sergio Leone

#47

Blazing Saddles (1974)
89%91%

#47
Adjusted Score: 93582%
Critics Consensus: Daring, provocative, and laugh-out-loud funny, Blazing Saddles is a gleefully vulgar spoof of Westerns that marks a high point in Mel Brooks' storied career.
Synopsis: In this satirical take on Westerns, crafty railroad worker Bart (Cleavon Little) becomes the first black sheriff of Rock Ridge,... [More]
Directed By: Mel Brooks

#46

The Sisters Brothers (2018)
87%68%

#46
Adjusted Score: 96705%
Critics Consensus: The Sisters Brothers rides familiar genre trails in occasionally unexpected ways - a satisfying journey further elevated by its well-matched leading men.
Synopsis: It's 1851, and Charlie and Eli Sisters are both brothers and assassins, boys grown to men in a savage and... [More]
Directed By: Jacques Audiard

#45

Lone Star (1996)
92%83%

#45
Adjusted Score: 94141%
Critics Consensus: Smart and absorbing, Lone Star represents a career high point for writer-director John Sayles -- and '90s independent cinema in general.
Synopsis: In the Texas border town of Frontera, Sheriff Sam Deeds (Chris Cooper) digs up the past when he finds an... [More]
Directed By: John Sayles

#44
Adjusted Score: 94475%
Critics Consensus: With its iconic pairing of Paul Newman and Robert Redford, jaunty screenplay and Burt Bacharach score, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid has gone down as among the defining moments in late-'60s American cinema.
Synopsis: The true story of fast-draws and wild rides, battles with posses, train and bank robberies, a torrid love affair and... [More]
Directed By: George Roy Hill

#43

3:10 to Yuma (2007)
89%86%

#43
Adjusted Score: 98219%
Critics Consensus: This remake of a classic Western improves on the original, thanks to fiery performances from Russell Crowe and Christian Bale as well as sharp direction from James Mangold.
Synopsis: Outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) terrorizes 1800s Arizona, especially the Southern Railroad, until he is finally captured. Wade must be... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

#42

Slow West (2015)
92%74%

#42
Adjusted Score: 96265%
Critics Consensus: Slow West serves as an impressive calling card for first-time writer-director John M. Maclean -- and offers an inventive treat for fans of the Western.
Synopsis: A bounty hunter (Michael Fassbender) keeps his true motive a secret from the naive Scottish teenager (Kodi Smit-McPhee) he's offered... [More]
Directed By: John Maclean

#41

Bisbee '17 (2018)
93%60%

#41
Adjusted Score: 95045%
Critics Consensus: Bisbee '17 offers one town's reckoning with its own history as a compelling argument that the mistakes of the past are truly corrected only when they're faced head on.
Synopsis: Locals stage re-creations of the town's controversial past.... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Robert Greene

#40

Jeremiah Johnson (1972)
95%89%

#40
Adjusted Score: 96080%
Critics Consensus: Jeremiah Johnson's deliberate pace demands an investment from the viewer, but it's rewarded with a thoughtful drama anchored by a starring performance from Robert Redford.
Synopsis: A Mexican-American War veteran, Jeremiah Johnson (Robert Redford), heads to the mountains to live in isolation. Woefully unequipped for the... [More]
Directed By: Sydney Pollack

#39

Bacurau (2019)
93%84%

#39
Adjusted Score: 103179%
Critics Consensus: Formally thrilling and narratively daring, Bacurau draws on modern Brazilian sociopolitical concerns to deliver a hard-hitting, genre-blurring drama.
Synopsis: A few years from now... Bacurau, a small village in the Brazilian sertão, mourns the loss of its matriarch, Carmelita,... [More]

#38
Adjusted Score: 98133%
Critics Consensus: Featuring a trio of classic leading men and a rich story captured by a director at the peak of his craft, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is one of the finest Westerns ever filmed.
Synopsis: Questions arise when Senator Stoddard (James Stewart) attends the funeral of a local man named Tom Doniphon (John Wayne) in... [More]
Directed By: John Ford

#37

Django Unchained (2012)
87%92%

#37
Adjusted Score: 98488%
Critics Consensus: Bold, bloody, and stylistically daring, Django Unchained is another incendiary masterpiece from Quentin Tarantino.
Synopsis: Two years before the Civil War, Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave, finds himself accompanying an unorthodox German bounty hunter named... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#36
#36
Adjusted Score: 94957%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The last job of Calvary Captain Nathan Brittles (John Wayne) before retirement is to soothe relations with the Cheyenne and... [More]
Directed By: John Ford

#35

Johnny Guitar (1954)
94%85%

#35
Adjusted Score: 97977%
Critics Consensus: Johnny Guitar confidently strides through genre conventions, emerging with a brilliant statement that transcends its period setting -- and left an indelible mark.
Synopsis: On the outskirts of town, the hard-nosed Vienna (Joan Crawford) owns a saloon frequented by the undesirables of the region,... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Ray

#34

High Plains Drifter (1973)
93%86%

#34
Adjusted Score: 94555%
Critics Consensus: Clint Eastwood's sophomore outing as director sees him back in the saddle as a mysterious stranger, and the result is one of his most memorable Westerns.
Synopsis: In this Western, a drifter with no name (Clint Eastwood) wanders into a small town, where his gun-slinging abilities are... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#33

Wind River (2017)
88%90%

#33
Adjusted Score: 105527%
Critics Consensus: Wind River lures viewers into a character-driven mystery with smart writing, a strong cast, and a skillfully rendered setting that delivers the bitter chill promised by its title.
Synopsis: Cory Lambert is a wildlife officer who finds the body of an 18-year-old woman on an American Indian reservation in... [More]
Directed By: Taylor Sheridan

#32

Sweetgrass (2009)
97%65%

#32
Adjusted Score: 98635%
Critics Consensus: At once tender and unsentimental, Sweetgrass gracefully captures the beauty and hardships of a dying way of life.
Synopsis: This spare documentary follows a group of shepherds as they guide hundreds of sheep through endless miles of Montana wilderness.... [More]
Starring:

#31

Destry Rides Again (1939)
96%82%

#31
Adjusted Score: 97413%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The small town of Bottleneck is under the control of Kent (Brian Donlevy), a power-hungry boss who gets control over... [More]
Directed By: George Marshall

#30

Little Big Man (1970)
96%87%

#30
Adjusted Score: 97718%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a curious oral historian (William Hickey) turns up to hear the life story of 121-year-old Jack Crabb (Dustin Hoffman),... [More]
Directed By: Arthur Penn

#29

Sweet Country (2017)
96%71%

#29
Adjusted Score: 99718%
Critics Consensus: Sweet Country makes brilliant use of the Australian outback as the setting for a hard-hitting story that satisfies as a character study as well as a sociopolitical statement.
Synopsis: An Aboriginal man goes on the run after he kills a white man in self-defense.... [More]
Directed By: Warwick Thornton

#28

3:10 to Yuma (1957)
97%79%

#28
Adjusted Score: 99448%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Dan Evans (Van Heflin), a drought-plagued Arizona rancher, volunteers to take captured stagecoach robber and murderer Ben Wade (Glenn Ford)... [More]
Directed By: Delmer Daves

#27

The Misfits (1961)
97%78%

#27
Adjusted Score: 99120%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: While filing for a divorce, beautiful ex-stripper Roslyn Taber (Marilyn Monroe) ends up meeting aging cowboy-turned-gambler Gay Langland (Clark Gable)... [More]
Directed By: John Huston

#26

The Wild Bunch (1969)
91%90%

#26
Adjusted Score: 97516%
Critics Consensus: The Wild Bunch is Sam Peckinpah's shocking, violent ballad to an old world and a dying genre.
Synopsis: In this gritty Western classic, aging outlaw Pike Bishop (William Holden) prepares to retire after one final robbery. Joined by... [More]
Directed By: Sam Peckinpah

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 100026%
Critics Consensus: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs avoids anthology pitfalls with a consistent collection tied together by the Coen brothers' signature blend of dark drama and black humor.
Synopsis: An anthology of six short films that take place in 19th-century post-Civil War era during the settling of the Old... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#24

Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
97%87%

#24
Adjusted Score: 99633%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When John J. Macreedy (Spencer Tracy), a one-armed war veteran, arrives in the small desert town of Black Rock, he's... [More]
Directed By: John Sturges

#23

Giant (1956)
88%87%

#23
Adjusted Score: 92003%
Critics Consensus: Giant earns its imposing name with a towering narrative supported by striking cinematography, big ideas, and powerful work from a trio of legendary Hollywood leads.
Synopsis: Wealthy Texas rancher Bick Benedict (Rock Hudson) shakes things up at home when he returns from a trip to the... [More]
Directed By: George Stevens

#22

Major Dundee (1965)
97%67%

#22
Adjusted Score: 101074%
Critics Consensus: Major Dundee is a Western-type with big war scenes, shot with bombast typical of Sam Peckinpah.
Synopsis: During the end of the Civil War, Major Dundee guards Confederate prisoners, Union deserters and ordinary hard-bitten criminals in a... [More]
Directed By: Sam Peckinpah

#21

The Shooting (1967)
100%64%

#21
Adjusted Score: 84773%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In the American West, Willet Gashade (Warren Oates), a former bounty hunter, and Coley Boyard (Will Hutchins), his dimwitted partner,... [More]
Directed By: Monte Hellman

#20

Shane (1953)
97%81%

#20
Adjusted Score: 99765%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Enigmatic gunslinger Shane (Alan Ladd) rides into a small Wyoming town with hopes of quietly settling down as a farmhand.... [More]
Directed By: George Stevens

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 101635%
Critics Consensus: A landmark Sergio Leone spaghetti western masterpiece featuring a classic Morricone score.
Synopsis: There's a single piece of land around Flagstone with water on it, and rail baron Morton (Gabriele Ferzetti) aims to... [More]
Directed By: Sergio Leone

#18

El Dorado (1967)
100%87%

#18
Adjusted Score: 101165%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Heartless tycoon Bart Jason (Edward Asner) hires a group of thugs to force the MacDonald family out of El Dorado... [More]
Directed By: Howard Hawks

#17

Old Yeller (1957)
100%79%

#17
Adjusted Score: 101616%
Critics Consensus: Old Yeller is an exemplary coming of age tale, packing an emotional wallop through smart pacing and a keen understanding of the elemental bonding between humanity and their furry best friends.
Synopsis: While Jim Coates (Fess Parker) is off on a cattle drive, his wife, Katie (Dorothy McGuire), and sons, Travis (Tommy... [More]
Directed By: Robert Stevenson

#16

Fort Apache (1948)
100%82%

#16
Adjusted Score: 101514%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When arrogant and stubborn Civil War hero Lieutenant Colonel Owen Thursday (Henry Fonda) arrives in Arizona with his daughter, Philadelphia... [More]
Directed By: John Ford

#15

The Rider (2017)
97%82%

#15
Adjusted Score: 105692%
Critics Consensus: The Rider's hard-hitting drama is only made more effective through writer-director Chloé Zhao's use of untrained actors to tell the movie's fact-based tale.
Synopsis: After a riding accident leaves him unable to compete on the rodeo circuit, a young cowboy searches for a new... [More]
Directed By: Chloé Zhao

#14

A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
96%91%

#14
Adjusted Score: 100051%
Critics Consensus: With Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo as his template, Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars helped define a new era for the Western and usher in its most iconic star, Clint Eastwood.
Synopsis: The Man With No Name (Clint Eastwood) enters the Mexican village of San Miguel in the midst of a power... [More]
Directed By: Sergio Leone

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 105067%
Critics Consensus: Bolstered by powerful lead performances from Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, and Tommy Lee Jones, No Country for Old Men finds the Coen brothers spinning cinematic gold out of Cormac McCarthy's grim, darkly funny novel.
Synopsis: While out hunting, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) finds the grisly aftermath of a drug deal. Though he knows better, he... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#12

Winchester '73 (1950)
100%85%

#12
Adjusted Score: 101893%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Lin McAdam (James Stewart) pursues notorious outlaw Henry "Dutch" Brown (Millard Mitchell) into Dodge City, Kansas. There, in an effort... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Mann

#11

Red River (1948)
100%87%

#11
Adjusted Score: 102830%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Headstrong Thomas Dunson (John Wayne) starts a thriving Texas cattle ranch with the help of his faithful trail hand, Groot... [More]
Directed By: Howard Hawks

#10

The Searchers (1956)
94%88%

#10
Adjusted Score: 98403%
Critics Consensus: The Searchers is an epic John Wayne Western that introduces dark ambivalence to the genre that remains fashionable today.
Synopsis: In this revered Western, Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) returns home to Texas after the Civil War. When members of his... [More]
Directed By: John Ford

#9

My Darling Clementine (1946)
100%86%

#9
Adjusted Score: 102556%
Critics Consensus: Canny and coolly confident, My Darling Clementine is a definitive dramatization of the Wyatt Earp legend that shoots from the hip and hits its target in breezy style.
Synopsis: In the middle of a long cattle drive, Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda) and his brothers stop off for a night... [More]
Directed By: John Ford

#8

Unforgiven (1992)
96%93%

#8
Adjusted Score: 102734%
Critics Consensus: As both director and star, Clint Eastwood strips away decades of Hollywood varnish applied to the Wild West, and emerges with a series of harshly eloquent statements about the nature of violence.
Synopsis: When prostitute Delilah Fitzgerald (Anna Thomson) is disfigured by a pair of cowboys in Big Whiskey, Wyoming, her fellow brothel... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#7

True Grit (2010)
95%85%

#7
Adjusted Score: 105405%
Critics Consensus: Girded by strong performances from Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, and lifted by some of the Coens' most finely tuned, unaffected work, True Grit is a worthy companion to the Charles Portis book.
Synopsis: After an outlaw named Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin) murders her father, feisty 14-year-old farm girl Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) hires... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#6

Hell or High Water (2016)
97%88%

#6
Adjusted Score: 113512%
Critics Consensus: Hell or High Water offers a solidly crafted, well-acted Western heist thriller that eschews mindless gunplay in favor of confident pacing and full-bodied characters.
Synopsis: Toby is a divorced father who's trying to make a better life for his son. His brother Tanner is an... [More]
Directed By: David Mackenzie

#5

Rio Bravo (1959)
98%90%

#5
Adjusted Score: 101390%
Critics Consensus: Rio Bravo finds director Howard Hawks -- and his stellar ensemble cast -- working at peak performance, and the end result is a towering classic of the Western genre.
Synopsis: When gunslinger Joe Burdette (Claude Akins) kills a man in a saloon, Sheriff John T. Chance (John Wayne) arrests him... [More]
Directed By: Howard Hawks

#4

Stagecoach (1939)
100%86%

#4
Adjusted Score: 103439%
Critics Consensus: Typifying the best that the Western genre has to offer, Stagecoach is a rip-roaring adventure given dramatic heft by John Ford's dynamic direction and John Wayne's mesmerizing star turn.
Synopsis: John Ford's landmark Western revolves around an assorted group of colorful passengers aboard the Overland stagecoach bound for Lordsburg, New... [More]
Directed By: John Ford

#3

High Noon (1952)
94%89%

#3
Adjusted Score: 105652%
Critics Consensus: A classic of the Western genre that broke with many of the traditions at the time, High Noon endures -- in no small part thanks to Gary Cooper's defiant, Oscar-winning performance.
Synopsis: Former marshal Will Kane (Gary Cooper) is preparing to leave the small town of Hadleyville, New Mexico, with his new... [More]
Directed By: Fred Zinnemann

#2
Adjusted Score: 105344%
Critics Consensus: Remade but never duplicated, this darkly humorous morality tale represents John Huston at his finest.
Synopsis: In this classic adventure film, two rough-and-tumble wanderers, Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart) and Curtin (Tim Holt), meet up with a veteran... [More]
Directed By: John Huston

#1
Adjusted Score: 102766%
Critics Consensus: Arguably the greatest of the spaghetti westerns, this epic features a compelling story, memorable performances, breathtaking landscapes, and a haunting score.
Synopsis: In the Southwest during the Civil War, a mysterious stranger, Joe (Clint Eastwood), and a Mexican outlaw, Tuco (Eli Wallach),... [More]
Directed By: Sergio Leone