If you’re in the mood for spurs rattling, ranches in distress, or as many horses as the screen can hold, you can try watching the best western movies on Netflix.
Since the Western is one of Hollywood’s oldest genres, many excellent examples exist, and new ones are constantly being created and rediscovered.
Since there are many movies on Netflix, and it might be difficult to know what movies have a western theme, this list of the best western movies on Netflix will guide you.
1. The Power of the Dog (2021)
- Director: Jane Campion
- Star cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Geneviève Lemon, and Kenneth Radley
- IMDB rating: 6.8/10
This movie is one of the best western movies on Netflix. Based on Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel of the same name, The Power of the Dog was written and directed by Jane Campion.
It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil Burbank, a charismatic and emotionally damaged rancher in 1925 Montana.
Phil’s authority is threatened when his brother George introduces him to Rose and her son Peter. Phil, who has shut off emotionally, must face his previous relationships, explore his masculinity, and come to grips with his loss in this psychological western.
The movie’s four leads have been nominated for 12 Academy Awards, including best movie, director, and actor.
2. Hell or High Water (2016)
- Director: David Mackenzie
- Star cast: Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Gil Birmingham, Dale Dickey, William Sterchi, and Buck Taylor
- IMDB rating: 7.6/10
In this movie, a careful and reckless brother faces off against the Texas Rangers and a bank chain whose severe practices threaten to imprison them in a terrible cycle of poverty.
They have the beginnings of folk heroes, but their activities spiral wildly out of control despite their admirable objectives. “Hell or High Water” is a modern take on the timeless stories of lawmen and outlaws in the Wild West.
Chris Pine and Jeff Bridges have riveting primary performances, making it difficult for spectators to choose a side.
3. Montford: The Chickasaw Rancher (2021)
- Director: Nathan Frankowski
- Star cast: Martin Sensmeier, Dermot Mulroney, Tommy Flanagan, James Landry Hébert, Denim Richards, Tatanka Means, and Mackenzie Astin
- IMDB rating: 6.6/10
This is a thrilling western adventure about a guy in the American West who developed a ranching empire. Montford is a touching story of overcoming misfortune, and the movie has a strong cast, including Dermot Mulroney and Tommy Flanagan.
The director, Nathan Frankowski, brings Lucy Tennessee Cole’s screenplay to life, illuminating a little-known period in American history with magnificent scenes. There is no doubt that Montford is among the best western movies on Netflix.
4. Concrete Cowboy (2020)
- Director: Ricky Staub
- Star cast: Caleb McLaughlin, Idris Elba, Jharrel Jerome, Lorraine Toussaint, Ivannah-Mercedes, Method Man, and Byron Bowers
- IMDB rating: 6.3/10
Concrete cowboy takes a refreshingly different approach to the modern Western genre. When Cole’s mother leaves him to live with his father in Philadelphia, the young teenager from Detroit discovers a new direction in life.
Harp, Cole’s dad, shows his son how to ride and how rewarding it can be to take care of horses. Although the horses bring inspiration and their dedicated riders a feeling of belonging, the tense and distant connection between the father and son must be worked on.
More urgently, drug dealing and the potential for violence continue to loom like a cloud over the situation, threatening to break everything. Concrete cowboy is among the best western movies on Netflix.
5. Silverado (1985)
- Director: Lawrence Kasdan
- Star cast: Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner, Danny Glover, Marvin J. McIntyre, Brad Leland, and Sheb Wooley
- IMDB rating: 7.2/10
The classic Western genre was revitalized in the 1980s thanks to this movie, directed and co-written by Lawrence Kasdan, who was nominated for four Academy Awards.
This movie follows a bunch of decent guys entering a lawless town searching for gold and payback.
All the action takes place in saloons, where the cowboys drink, smoke, bet, and fight without spilling much blood. A young Kevin Costner and Jeff Goldblum are among the group, which also stars Scott Glenn and Danny Glover.
6. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
- Director: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
- Star cast: Tim Blake Nelson, James Franco, Willie Watson, Clancy Brown, Danny McCarthy, David Krumholtz, Thomas Wingate, and Tim DeZarn
- IMDB rating: 7.3/10
Most of the six Western stories in “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” are black comedies with cruel but well-written punchlines.
There is a singing cowboy who is also a supernaturally good shot and a condemned man who can’t seem to meet or escape the hangman’s noose.
This is a grim traveling show rivaled by a mathematically gifted chicken and a tense stagecoach ride where philosophical musings may drift into the supernatural. The stories never get old, and the humorous and nasty turns put a new spin on old ingredients.
7. Let the Bullets Fly (2010)
- Director: Wen Jiang
- Star cast: Chow Yun-Fat, Wen Jiang, You Ge, Carina Lau, Jun Hu, Wu Jiang, and Fan Liao
- IMDB rating: 7.2/10
This movie is a great illustration of how westerns have influenced cinema outside of the United States. There is a cult following for this violent, fast-paced Chinese Western because it is designed with superb acting, dashing camerawork, and dark humor.
Critics have called it a full-fledged entertainment and a phenomenon that may merit homages in the future. Even now, the movie, written and directed by Jiang Wen, is among the best western movies.
8. The Hateful Eight (2015)
- Director: Quentin Tarantino
- Star cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern
- IMDB rating: 7.8/10
When it comes to locked-room mysteries, “The Hateful Eight” removes all of the warmth. As the snow begins to fall, Quentin Tarantino’s ensemble of vile, amoral characters is left high and dry.
After the Civil War, tensions reached unbelievable heights, and now people are dying under strange circumstances.
In this remote outpost, they’ve come to save outlaw Daisy Domergue from the hangman’s noose, regardless of the collateral damage they may cause.
This is one of the best western movies on Netflix that shows frontier America’s instability and surprising alliances. The Hateful Eight is full of suspenseful standoffs and brutal bloodshed.
9. The Homesman (2014)
- Director: Tommy Lee Jones
- Star cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank, Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, Sonja Richter, and Jo Harvey Allen
- IMDB rating: 6.6
Due to its frightening storyline and feminist themes, this Western historical drama set in the decade before the civil war is essential to this list and the genre’s history.
This movie stars Hilary Swank and Meryl Streep playing crucial parts, and it takes a risk by flipping the gender stereotypes of the ‘damsel in distress and the woman who rescues her. This reverses the male character of the benevolent outlaw.
Beautiful cinematography by Rodrigo Prieto helps director Tommy Lee Jones convey the rough landscape of the Midwest and the hardships endured by early settlers in the 1850s.
10. In a Valley of Violence (2016)
- Director: Ti West
- Star cast: Ethan Hawke, John Travolta, Taissa Farmiga, James Ransone, Karen Gillan, Toby Huss, and Tommy Nohilly
- IMDB rating: 6.1/10
Paul, the charming nomad, and Abbie, his gorgeous, energetic dog, find themselves in a classic predicament in “In the Valley of Violence.”
He’s on the wrong side of a group of teenage criminals, and the ringleader happens to be the son of the town marshal.
Given that Gilly refuses to let their fight go and intensifies it horrifyingly, this sets Paul against the community. Fortunately, Paul has at least one supporter: a lovely young widow with big dreams.
11. The Nightingale (2018)
- Director: Jennifer Kent
- Star cast: Aisling Franciosi, Sam Claflin, Baykali Ganambarr, Maya Christie, Addison Christie, Damon Herriman, Harry Greenwood, and Claire Jones
- IMDB rating: 7.3
Nightingale is one of the best western movies on Netflix. The protagonist of this movie is Clare Carroll.
She is an Irish woman who was sent to Australia as a prisoner and compelled to labor for the British troops who had occupied the country.
Clare is brutally attacked and left for dead, yet she manages to pull through. She vows revenge on the men who treated her cruelly and recruits an Aboriginal tracker, Mangana, to help her.
Together, they navigate Australia’s bloody history and the devastation colonialism brought to the land.
12. Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
- Director: Robert Rodriguez
- Star cast: Antonio Banderas, Selma Hayek, Johnny Depp, Willem Dafoe, Mickey Rourke, Eva Mendes, Danny Trejo, and Enrique Iglesias
- IMDB rating: 6.3
The last installment of Robert Rodriguez’s “Mexico Trilogy” is the series’ high point, a nonstop thrill trip that combines modern western elements with a full-on action movie.
In this case, a CIA agent searches for El Mariachi, a notorious assassin the agency wants to eliminate since he is about to destroy the Mexican government.
Rodriguez uses this premise to build a complex and dramatic story full of bloodshed, catharsis, conspiracies, and pleas for forgiveness and vengeance.
The graphics are important, so if you like unique styles and vibrant imagery, you should check this out. Though it’s better if you’ve seen the previous two movies, you may enjoy this one on its own merits.
13. No Country For Old Men (2007)
- Director: Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
- Star cast: Tommy Lee, Jones Javier, Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, Kelly Macdonald, Garret Dillahunt, and Tess Harper
- IMDB rating: 8.2
The Coen brothers finally won Oscars for the best director for their work in this movie, which also won the best picture at the 80th Academy Awards.
According to reviewers, the movie is best understood as a neo-Western, a genre that can both contain and express the directors’ cynical worldview.
Javier Bardem’s depiction of Anton Chigurh, which psychiatrists have hailed as the most accurate representation of a psychopath ever shown in the movie. Also, the movie’s magnificent cinematography and the courtesy of Roger Deakins stand out.
14. Geronimo: An American Legend (1993)
- Director: Walter Hill
- Star cast: Wes Studi, Jason Patric, Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman, Matt Damon, Kevin Tighe, and Rodney A. Grant
- IMDB rating: 6.5/10
Geronimo decides to take the Apaches to a reserve only after much persuasion, and the Apaches’ displeasure with the move is swift and broad.
Although he has a few white male allies, such as Lieutenant Gatewood and General Crook, he rarely sees them in action.
Instead, he is forced to deal with frustration and control in his day-to-day interactions. Geronimo openly defies the U.S. Army and leads a rebellion, but he and his men are severely outnumbered.
The U.S. Army had cracked down on Apache spirituality and any teaching of resistance. Beautifully depicting Geronimo and some of the U.S. officers with whom he interacted, “Geronimo: An American Legend” is a heartbreaking and complex tragedy.
Even though the movie received negative reviews upon its release, it is still one of the best western movies on Netflix.
15. The Harder They Fall (2021)
- Director: Jeymes Samuel
- Star cast: Jonathan Majors, Zazie Beetz, Idris Elba, RJ Cyler, Edi Gathegi, Chase Dillon, and DeWanda Wise
- IMDB rating: 6.5
The fascinating narrative of “The Harder They Fall” features several historically significant Black people from the American West. I
t includes cowboy criminal Nat Love, U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves, pioneering postal courier Stagecoach Mary Fields, and outlaw leader Rufus Buck.
Nat Love has a grudge against Rufus Buck and plans to get even. Each man attracts his group of captivating followers, who ultimately meet in a battle.
The Harder They Fall is a clever recreation of Western tropes that benefits greatly from its outstanding cast.