Best-Reviewed Westerns 2018

We are happy to report the western is alive and well, as shown with this inaugural Golden Tomato Awards category for the genre. The films here find new ways to dress up an old horse, like documentary Bisbee ’17, contemporary drama The Rider, and the Australian film, Sweet Country. And fittingly we have a Western from the Coen Brothers, who resurrected the genre years prior with True Grit.

The order of the rank below reflects the Adjusted Score as of December 31, 2018. Scores might change over time.


The Rider (2017)

Adjusted Score: 108280%
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

Adjusted Score: 103271%
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


Sweet Country (2017)

Adjusted Score: 100043%
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


Bisbee '17 (2018)

Adjusted Score: 95899%
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]
Directed By: Robert Greene

Adjusted Score: 98646%
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

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