Best Western Movies of All Time

Welcome to Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the 75 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!


The Claim (2000)

Adjusted Score: 64.56%
Critics Consensus: Though it sometimes feels cold and detached, The Claim is evocative, beautifully shot, and full of understated performances.
Synopsis: An epic love story set against the wintry backdrop of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the early days of California.... [More]
Directed By: Michael Winterbottom


Maverick (1994)

Adjusted Score: 69.081%
Critics Consensus: It isn't terribly deep, but it's witty and undeniably charming, and the cast is obviously having fun.
Synopsis: This witty western follows the exploits of card sharp Brett Maverick. Needing to raise enough cash to enter a major... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

Adjusted Score: 73.254%
Critics Consensus: A visually stunning film that may be too predictable and politically correct for adults, but should serve children well.
Synopsis: Screenwriter John Fusco returns to the Western themes of his previous films Young Guns and Thunderheart with this animated children's... [More]
Directed By: Lorna Cook, Kelly Asbury


Rio Lobo (1971)

Adjusted Score: 69.802%
Critics Consensus: Howard Hawks and John Wayne reunite to riff on their own Rio Bravo, and while the results are less memorable the movie does offer a curiously cynical perspective.
Synopsis: John Wayne, in the last of his Civil War characterizations, portrays Cord McNally, a Union Army colonel who loses a... [More]
Directed By: Howard Hawks


Dead Man (1995)

Adjusted Score: 74.035%
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: Jim Jarmusch takes his quirky, uniquely modern sensibilities back in time, with this western black comedy about a city slicker... [More]
Directed By: Jim Jarmusch


The Salvation (2015)

Adjusted Score: 74.322%
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: The mighty Mads Mikkelsen unleashes a maelstrom of bloodshed in the Wild West in this white-knuckle tale of revenge. When... [More]
Directed By: Kristian Levring

Adjusted Score: 76.016%
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: Director Antoine Fuqua brings his modern vision to a classic story in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures' and Columbia Pictures' The Magnificent Seven.... [More]

Adjusted Score: 76.374%
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: One of the most elaborate productions ever mounted in Thailand, Tears of the Black Tiger is a candy-colored Western made... [More]


Tombstone (1993)

Adjusted Score: 76.164%
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: A high-energy action adventure based on legend rather than historical fact finds Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) desiring to retire from... [More]
Directed By: George P. Cosmatos


The Keeping Room (2015)

Adjusted Score: 76.533%
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: In this radically reimagined American Western set towards the end of the Civil War, Southerner Augusta encounters two renegade, drunken... [More]
Directed By: Daniel Barber


Blackthorn (2011)

Adjusted Score: 75.576%
Critics Consensus: Blackthorn invites comparisons to a classic Western -- and survives, thanks largely to a charismatic performance by a well-chosen Sam Shepard.
Synopsis: It's been said (but unsubstantiated) that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were killed in a standoff with the Bolivian... [More]
Directed By: Mateo Gil

Adjusted Score: 77.902%
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 named Paul (Ethan Hawke) and his dog Abbie (Jumpy) make their way towards Mexico through the barren... [More]
Directed By: Ti West


Silverado (1985)

Adjusted Score: 77.997%
Critics Consensus: Boasting rich detail and well-told story, Silverado is a rare example of an '80s Hollywood Western done right.
Synopsis: Lawrence Kasdan's Silverado is a fond hark back to the all-star, big-budget westerns of the 1950s and 1960s. The various... [More]
Directed By: Lawrence Kasdan

Adjusted Score: 82.596%
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: In 1881 a younger member of the notorious James gang becomes so inextricably drawn to and frightened of his mentor... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Dominik


Hostiles (2018)

Adjusted Score: 79.872%
Critics Consensus: Hostiles benefits from stunning visuals and a solid central performance from Christian Bale, both of which help elevate its uneven story.
Synopsis: Set in 1892, Hostiles tells the story of a legendary Army Captain (Christian Bale), who after stern resistance, reluctantly agrees... [More]
Directed By: Scott Cooper


Duel in the Sun (1946)

Adjusted Score: 78.51%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this film, Jennifer Jones stars as half-breed Pearl Chavez, whom everyone has tagged as a "bad girl." She is... [More]
Directed By: King Vidor


Appaloosa (2008)

Adjusted Score: 81.847%
Critics Consensus: A traditional genre western, Appaloosa sets itself apart with smart psychology, an intriguing love triangle, and good chemistry between the leads.
Synopsis: Upon drifting into a troubled Western outpost and discovering that the helpless locals are being terrorized by a ruthless rancher... [More]
Directed By: Ed Harris


El Topo (1970)

Adjusted Score: 84.307%
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 bizarre, ultra-violent, allegorical Western, "El Topo" is set in two halves that have widely been compared to the Old... [More]
Directed By: Alejandro Jodorowsky


Shanghai Noon (2000)

Adjusted Score: 83.612%
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: The Wild West meets the Far East in a battle for honor, royalty and a trunk full of gold when... [More]
Directed By: Tom Dey


The Long Riders (1980)

Adjusted Score: 84.466%
Critics Consensus: With its pared down storytelling, The Long Riders delivers with an evocative atmosphere and artful brutality.
Synopsis: The hook in Walter Hill's mythic retelling of the James-Younger outlaw legend is in the casting; the James, Younger, Miller,... [More]
Directed By: Walter Hill

Adjusted Score: 83.225%
Critics Consensus: Whilst never taking itself too seriously, this riotous and rollicking Sergio Leone-inspired Korean Western is serious fun.
Synopsis: As the Korean peninsula falls into the hands of Japanese imperialists and countless Koreans seek refuge in the vast wilderness... [More]
Directed By: Kim Jee-woon

Adjusted Score: 85.603%
Critics Consensus: Banderas returns as an aging Zorro in this surprisingly nimble, entertaining swashbuckler.
Synopsis: Director Martin Campbell, well-known to the action arena after 1995's GoldenEye, teams up with executive producer Steven Spielberg to bring... [More]
Directed By: Martin Campbell


Open Range (2003)

Adjusted Score: 84.167%
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, Charley Waite, Mose Harrison and Button freegraze their cattle across the vast prairies of the West, sharing a... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Costner

Adjusted Score: 87.795%
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: Set six or eight or twelve years after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino


Hud (1963)

Adjusted Score: 84.767%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: On a Texas ranch an unruly man is bitter enemies with his elderly father, assaults and abuses the woman housekeeper,... [More]
Directed By: Martin Ritt

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