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!

#100
Adjusted Score: 73343%
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%

#99
Adjusted Score: 73627%
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%

#98
Adjusted Score: 76231%
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
#97
Adjusted Score: 82944%
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)
71%

#96
Adjusted Score: 74304%
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: 76014%
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
#94
Adjusted Score: 75673%
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)
74%

#93
Adjusted Score: 78744%
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: 79588%
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)
76%

#91
Adjusted Score: 78314%
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: 81356%
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%

#89
Adjusted Score: 80315%
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%

#88
Adjusted Score: 80929%
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)
71%

#87
Adjusted Score: 83456%
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%

#86
Adjusted Score: 82361%
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: 83528%
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
Adjusted Score: 82912%
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)
74%

#83
Adjusted Score: 76980%
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%

#82
Adjusted Score: 84592%
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
Adjusted Score: 82910%
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)
79%

#80
Adjusted Score: 84757%
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%

#79
Adjusted Score: 85228%
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%

#78
Adjusted Score: 83458%
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%

#77
Adjusted Score: 82889%
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
Adjusted Score: 91243%
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)
83%

#75
Adjusted Score: 85548%
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%

#74
Adjusted Score: 85991%
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
Adjusted Score: 86328%
Critics Consensus: Sam Peckinpah tips his hat in mournful salute to the bygone West in this somber showdown, pitting a James Coburn against Kris Kristofferson in a meditative game of cat and mouse.
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
#72
Adjusted Score: 88013%
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
#71
Adjusted Score: 87424%
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
#70
Adjusted Score: 87872%
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%

#69
Adjusted Score: 90600%
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: 89659%
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%

#67
Adjusted Score: 90658%
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)
91%

#66
Adjusted Score: 93194%
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%

#65
Adjusted Score: 90378%
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%

#64
Adjusted Score: 88544%
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)
87%

#63
Adjusted Score: 87576%
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)
81%

#62
Adjusted Score: 85526%
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
#61
Adjusted Score: 89021%
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%

#60
Adjusted Score: 91701%
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
#59
Adjusted Score: 92563%
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%

#58
Adjusted Score: 102664%
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]
Directed By:

#57
#57
Adjusted Score: 92986%
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%

#56
Adjusted Score: 93392%
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: 93706%
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
#54
Adjusted Score: 92708%
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%

#53
Adjusted Score: 93674%
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%

#52
Adjusted Score: 96908%
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%

#51
Adjusted Score: 96786%
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)
89%

#50
Adjusted Score: 92400%
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%

#49
Adjusted Score: 95689%
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: 94562%
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)
88%

#47
Adjusted Score: 94068%
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
#46
Adjusted Score: 98428%
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)
94%

#45
Adjusted Score: 95422%
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: 95780%
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%

#43
Adjusted Score: 97718%
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%

#42
Adjusted Score: 96053%
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%

#41
Adjusted Score: 95855%
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%

#40
Adjusted Score: 96488%
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

Nighthawk (2019)
93%

#39
Adjusted Score: 103382%
Critics Consensus: Formally thrilling and narratively daring, Bacurau draws on modern Brazilian sociopolitical concerns to deliver a hard-hitting, genre-blurring drama.
Synopsis: ... [More]

#38
Adjusted Score: 97302%
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)
86%

#37
Adjusted Score: 99465%
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: 94516%
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%

#35
Adjusted Score: 97724%
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
#34
Adjusted Score: 95203%
Critics Consensus: Clint Eastwood's sophomore outing as director sees him back in the saddle as a mysterious stranger, as 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)
87%

#33
Adjusted Score: 105864%
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%

#32
Adjusted Score: 97717%
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
#31
Adjusted Score: 97856%
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%

#30
Adjusted Score: 98225%
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%

#29
Adjusted Score: 99972%
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)
96%

#28
Adjusted Score: 99058%
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%

#27
Adjusted Score: 98553%
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)
90%

#26
Adjusted Score: 98963%
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
Adjusted Score: 103024%
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
#24
Adjusted Score: 98943%
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)
91%

#23
Adjusted Score: 95453%
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%

#22
Adjusted Score: 101925%
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%

#21
Adjusted Score: 101230%
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%

#20
Adjusted Score: 100735%
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
Adjusted Score: 103432%
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%

#18
Adjusted Score: 101529%
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%

#17
Adjusted Score: 101989%
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%

#16
Adjusted Score: 102014%
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%

#15
Adjusted Score: 108134%
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
#14
Adjusted Score: 102497%
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: 105780%
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%

#12
Adjusted Score: 102122%
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%

#11
Adjusted Score: 103306%
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)
96%

#10
Adjusted Score: 100770%
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
#9
Adjusted Score: 103550%
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%

#8
Adjusted Score: 105273%
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%

#7
Adjusted Score: 105673%
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
#6
Adjusted Score: 114020%
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%

#5
Adjusted Score: 100665%
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%

#4
Adjusted Score: 104114%
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)
95%

#3
Adjusted Score: 104142%
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: 106921%
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: 105459%
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

Hollywood kicks off the fourth quarter with a stampede of new releases that will test the elasticity of the marketplace. Ambulances are already on standby to rush the high number of casualties off to local video stores. Seven films open or expand into 800 or more theaters each while an eighth picture debuts in more than 500 locations still hoping to reach moviegoers from coast to coast. Leading the way and likely to post solid results are Disney’s family comedy Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Sony’s teen saga Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. The rest of the menu will struggle to pick up the remaining scraps during a time when overall box office is not too busy to begin with.

The canine comedy Beverly Hills Chihuahua looks to dominate the multiplexes this weekend with Disney generating plenty of interest with kids and parents. The PG-rated tale of a pampered dog lost on the mean streets of Mexico features voices from Drew Barrymore, Andy Garcia, George Lopez, and Cheech Marin. Piper Perabo and Jamie Lee Curtis take up the human roles. A classic fish-out-of-water story coupled with the always bankable talking-animal formula means plenty of dough will be rolling in for this one. Competition is minimal with Igor in its third session being the only other choice for families right now. In fact there hasn’t been a hit comedy for children since June’s WALL•E so demand is intense. The top kidpic openings during the September-October corridor over the last three years have been $19.1M for Corpse Bride in 2005, $23.6M for Open Season in 2006, and $23M for The Game Plan in 2007. Opening in 3,215 theaters, Beverly Hills Chihuahua should exceed those films. A debut of about $26M could result this weekend.


Piper Perabo, Jamie Lee Curtis and friend in Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Set to attract a fair share of teens this weekend is the romantic comedy Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist starring Michael Cera and Kat Dennings. Cera’s stock price skyrocketed last year with Superbad and Juno which grossed a combined $265M. Here he safely is back in his zone which should register well with teens and young adults. Shia LaBeouf‘s got the only other major film for the under-25 set so direct competition will be light. That puts Nick in a position to make it into the top three this weekend and post a solid average. Sony’s marketing push has been commendable and the trailer is exciting the target audience. Plus the PG-13 rating opens the door to younger teens. As the frame’s second widest opener, Nick and Norah bows in about 2,300 locations and might gross around $13M this weekend.


Michael Cera and Kat Dennings in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

Backed by lukewarm reviews, Miramax’s Blindness hits theaters with some buzz but will still face an uphill battle. The R-rated film about an epidemic that takes away a victim’s sight stars Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, and Danny Glover with Brazil’s Fernando Meirelles directing. The opening night selection at this year’s Cannes now enters the North American commercial market in search of serious adults looking for arthouse thrills. The lack of enthusiasm from critics will hurt the prospects for Blindness as will the abundance of options for the 30-plus crowd. An intriguing concept and the presence of indie film heavyweights will help, but pulling in business will still not be easy. Opening in 1,690 theaters, Blindness might debut with roughly $6M.


Julianne Moore and Alice Braga in Blindness

A British celebrity journalist enters the world of high society at a New York magazine in the new comedy How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. Simon Pegg, Kirsten Dunst, Megan Fox, and Jeff Bridges star in the R-rated MGM release. Pegg has built up a small cult following on this side of the pond with films like Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, but his starpower has not reached the heights where tons of ticket buyers come running to his next role. Fox’s return to the big screen after last year’s smash Transformers could score some points with young men though. Reviews have been mixed and a wide assortment of competing comedies will split the audience. Landing in 1,750 sites, a debut of about $5M could result.


Simon Pegg in How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

The year has been light on biopics but Greg Kinnear plans to change that with Flash of Genius, the true story of the inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper and his long battle with the automotive industry for recognition of his work. The PG-13 film will target adults looking for an underdog story, however starpower is lacking and the subject matter is a tough sell. Reviews have been good but not glowing. Universal is not going very wide so the film’s potential will be curtailed but its average may be respectable. Debuting in roughly 1,000 playdates, Flash of Genius could collect about $3M this weekend.


Greg Kinnear in Flash of Genius

Warner Bros. expands its acclaimed Western Appaloosa from 14 to 800 houses nationwide on Friday. The Ed Harris film averaged $10,469 last weekend in limited release and will now test the waters across the country targeting older adults. A $3M take could result.


Viggo Mortensen and Ed Harris in Appaloosa

The right pokes fun at liberals in the new comedy An American Carol which features a heavy-set Michael Moore-type filmmaker being visited by three spirits who show him how great Uncle Sam really is. Directed by spoof king David Zucker, the PG-13 film should find better business in the McCain states than in the Obama ones. The release date is aimed at making the film relevant at a time when so much attention is on politics, but overall interest does not seem to be all that strong. Some more controversy, even if artificially manufactured in true Moore style, could have helped this one stand out in the crowded marketplace. Vivendi will attack 1,639 venues on Friday with An American Carol and it could end up with about $3M.


Kevin Farley in An American Carol

Those on the left should not feel abandoned. Comedian Bill Maher offers up his skewering of the world’s God squads in the documentary Religulous which opens in 502 theaters nationwide this weekend. Borat director Larry Charles is behind the camera of this R-rated pic which has been working extra hard to attract controversy only to find limited success in that department. This is a film that desperately needs news coverage in order to sell but with most media outlets only having the bandwidth to cover the elections and the financial crisis, Religulous is not getting its message heard by enough of its target audience. Sponsoring Joe Biden’s podium during Thursday night’s vice presidential debate may be the only true way for the film to reach its base. An opening of around $2M could result.


Bill Maher in Religulous

Last weekend, Shia LaBeouf scored another number one hit with Eagle Eye which generated the fourth best September bow ever. Word-of-mouth has been good and most of the new titles will not have much of a direct impact on the thriller’s teen and young adult audience. A 40% drop could result giving Paramount around $17.5M for the weekend and $54M in ten days.

Nights in Rodanthe‘s audience of older women typically do not rush out on opening weekend so a good hold could result. The Richard GereDiane Lane hit Unfaithful actually dipped a mere 29% in its sophomore frame in 2002 so their new collaboration should see more takers buying tickets this weekend. The Warner Bros. release may fall 35% to about $8.5M pushing the ten-day total to $25M.

The Kirk Cameron marital drama Fireproof shocked Hollywood with its fourth place opening last weekend despite playing in fewer theaters than any other film in the top ten. It also showed the industry the value of films that appeal to audiences not properly served by mainstream studio fare – something Tyler Perry has been proving year after year although with bigger grosses. With intense upfront demand, Fireproof may see a more sizable 45% slide to roughly $3.5M giving the faith-based pic a solid $12M after ten days.

LAST YEAR: For a second straight weekend The Rock and Disney joined forces to rule the top spot with the family hit The Game Plan which dipped only 28% in its second frame to $16.6M. Ben Stiller‘s R-rated comedy The Heartbreak Kid opened in second with a disappointing $14M on its way to $36.8M for Paramount. Universal’s military thriller The Kingdom ranked third with $9.7M and was followed by Sony’s threequel Resident Evil: Extinction with $4.5M. Debuting poorly in fifth was Fox’s The Seeker: The Dark is Rising with $3.7M leading to a weak $8.8M finish. The dance drama Feel the Noise landed in eighth with a $3.2M bow from just over 1,000 screens and ended with $5.9M for Sony.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Moviegoers were in the mood for suspense as the Samuel L. Jackson cop thriller Lakeview Terrace easily topped the North American box office beating out three new comedy openers. Dane Cook’s latest My Best Friend’s Girl disappointed, the animated pic Igor bowed respectably, while the Ricky Gervais starrer Ghost Town played to empty auditoriums. The debuting films joined forces for just $37M in ticket sales falling short of the $63M pumped in last weekend by that frame’s four-pack of new titles. Still, the top ten managed to match year-ago levels.

Sony scored its fifth number one opener of the year with Lakeview Terrace which debuted with a solid $15.6M, according to estimates. The PG-13 film about a veteran cop that terrorizes an interracial couple that moves in next door to him played in 2,464 theaters and averaged an impressive $6,331 per site. Produced for about $20M, Terrace connected with adult audiences despite stiff competition in the marketplace for mature moviegoers. According to studio research, 69% of the crowd was over 25 while 56% was female. For Jackson, it was a chance to flex some solo muscle at the box office as the film had no other stars in it. An effective marketing campaign by the studio’s Screen Gems unit also helped to deliver results. Reviews were not too positive, but ticket buyers instead responded to starpower and a good promotional push.




Last weekend’s number one film Burn After Reading held up well in its second frame. The caper comedy from the Coen brothers grossed an estimated $11.3M falling a reasonable 41% and lifted its ten-day cume to a solid $36.4M. The George Clooney-Brad Pitt pic enjoyed a smaller decline than those seen by other wide releases from the Oscar-winning filmmakers. 2003’s Intolerable Cruelty, which also starred the former Batman, dropped 48% in its second weekend while 2004’s Tom Hanks starrer The Ladykillers fell by 44%. Focus looks to ride Burn to the vicinity of $65M.

Dane Cook’s newest comedy failed to live up to the numbers posted by his previous efforts. The romantic comedy My Best Friend’s Girl, which also stars Kate Hudson and Jason Biggs, bowed to an estimated $8.3M from 2,604 theaters for a weak $3,187 average. That was a hefty 39% below the $13.7M of Cook’s Good Luck Chuck from this same weekend last year, and 27% behind the $11.4M debut of Employee of the Month from October 2006. All three were released by Lionsgate in roughly 2,600 locations. Girl carried an R rating and earned the same negative reviews the comedian routinely sees from critics.

Debuting to respectable results in fourth place was the new animated comedy Igor with an estimated $8M from 2,339 playdates. The PG-rated film averaged $3,425 and faced no competition in its quest for family audiences. Pre-release expectations were low since it is not based on any popular brand name property. The MGM release has no other kidpics to face next weekend so it may avoid the large drops seen by most other films.




Three sophomore titles followed. The Robert De Niro-Al Pacino cop flick Righteous Kill tumbled 53% in its second weekend to an estimated $7.7M ranking fifth. With $28.8M taken in across ten days, the Overture Films release should eventually reach $40-45M. Kill has already become the top-grossing film for the new distribution company which made a name for itself this summer with the indie smash The Visitor.




Tyler Perry’s latest hit The Family That Preys took a tumble in its second weekend falling 57% to an estimated $7.5M. The drop was nearly identical to the sophomore slides of 58% and 57% for past films Madea’s Family Reunion and Daddy’s Little Girls, respectively. Lionsgate has banked $28.4M in ten days with Family and should find its way to around $40M by the end of the run. Picturehouse witnessed a sharp decline for its chick flick The Women which fell 48% in its second outing to an estimated $5.3M. With $19.2M collected in ten days, the ensemble film could reach the neighborhood of $30M.

Good reviews meant nothing to the new Ricky Gervais comedy Ghost Town which opened poorly in eighth place with an estimated $5.2M. Averaging a mild $3,436 from a subdued wide release in 1,505 locations, the PG-13 film about a dentist that can see and speak to spirits also stars Greg Kinnear and Tea Leoni. The target audience of mature adults had many other options to choose from so competition was tough, plus Gervais has yet to prove himself as a box office draw who can sell tickets. The DreamWorks production was released by Paramount.




Warner Bros. spent its tenth weekend in the top ten with The Dark Knight which grossed an estimated $3M, off just 29%, for a towering $521.9M domestic total. Overseas, the gargantuan smash raised its cume to $455.7M giving the superhero blockbuster a stunning $977.6M worldwide. That puts Knight at number four on the all-time global blockbusters list after Titanic, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest which all topped the $1 billion mark. Bruce Wayne should become a box office billionaire in early October. Sony’s leggy hit The House Bunny rounded out the top ten dipping 33% to an estimated $2.8M pushing the cume to $45.7M.

September is when top distributors start rolling out their awards contenders and this weekend saw two of them generate sensational launches. Paramount Vantage unveiled the Keira Knightley costume drama The Duchess in seven theaters in New York and Los Angeles and grossed an estimated $203,000 for a sizzling $28,932 average. Attracting mostly good reviews, the PG-13 film will expand into the Top 20 markets this Friday. Warner Bros. rode into twice as many theaters with its Ed Harris-directed Western Appaloosa which collected an estimated $258,000. Averaging a sturdy $18,429 from 14 sites, the R-rated pic stars Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Renee Zellweger, and Jeremy Irons and will expand nationally on October 3.




The top ten films grossed an estimated $74.6M which was off only 1% from last year when Resident Evil: Extinction opened in the top spot with $23.7M; and down 3% from 2006 when Jackass: Number Two debuted at number one with $29M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya,
www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

This week at the movies, we’ve got an angry cop (Lakeview Terrace, starring Samuel L. Jackson); a disgruntled hunchback (the CGI Igor, with voice work by John Cusack and Molly Shannon); a haunted dentist (Ghost Town, starring Ricky Gervais and Greg Kinnear); and a date from hell (My Best Friend’s Girl, starring Dane Cook and Kate Hudson). What do the critics have to say?

Say what you will about the films of Neil LaBute, but give him this: while he rarely delivers a fun time at the movies, he’s no slave to convention. Unfortunately, critics say Lakeview Terrace offers an intriguing setup before devolving into a routine thriller finale. Samuel L. Jackson stars as a strict, emotionally damaged LAPD who objects to his new neighbors’ interracial marriage; after extensive harassment, the young couple (played by Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington) fights back. Pundits say the problem with Lakeview Terrace is that it presents a realistic, charged scenario before jumping the rails in the final act, substituting smart characterization with generic vigilante tropes. At 36 percent on the Tomatometer, you may not want to visit Lakeview Terrace.

“Ugh, Sam’s at it again…. chewing the scenery at three in the morning…”

It’s one thing to make a macabre children’s film; it’s another to make one that doesn’t deliver much entertainment. Critics say the film is something of a Frankenstein’s monster, stitching together recycled parts from Shrek and The Nightmare Before Christmas. The titular hunchback (voiced by John Cusack) is tired of being a lowly lab assistant; he wants to be an evil scientist in his own right. But when one of his creations, a monster named Eva (Molly Shannon) turns out to be really sweet at heart, Igor begins to rethink his priorities. While the pundits say Igor has moments of Tim Burton-esque visual invention, it’s a pretty mediocre affair, filled with shopworn pop-culture references and manic action but few laughs; plus, it’s probably a bit too dark for the wee ones. At 20 percent on the Tomatometer, Igor could use more brains.

“You too can have your very own Contour Chair.”

Ricky Gervais is a very funny man, but thus far, his movie career has consisted of supporting roles. However, with Ghost Town, the man who brought so much cringe-worthy wit to The Office and Extras takes center stage — and the pundits say the result is delightful. Gervais stars as Bertram Pincus, who has a near-death experience and discovers he can see ghosts — and they’re pretty annoying, especially the caddish Frank (Greg Kinnear). But those specters are of some help, as Bertram learns to be a better person — and find love in the process. The pundits say Ghost Town is a perfect fit for Gervais’s talents, and the film emits awkward laughs and warmth without devolving into schmaltz. At 84 percent on the Tomatometer, Ghost Town has plenty of blithe spirit. (Check out this week’s Total Recall for a ghoulish compendium of some of our favorite cinematic apparitions.)

“For the last time, I am not pug-nosed!”

Given that it wasn’t screened prior to release, it’s unlikely critics will be BFFs with My Best Friend’s Girl. Dane Cook, Kate Hudson, and Jason Biggs star in this romantic comedy about a guy who’s so obnoxious he convinces potentially straying women to stand by their men — before falling for his main homey’s boo. Kids, call up you best friend’s girl and ask her for insight in guessing the Tomatometer! (And don’t forget to check out Dane Cook’s five favorite movies here.)

“The woman you’re replacing is very special. She won the GE Followship. Now send Tracey in.”

Also opening this week in limited release:

Finally, quasi-props to fullmetal_medji for coming the closest to guessing Tyler Perry’s the Family That Preys‘ 52 percent Tomatometer.

Recent Samuel L. Jackson Movies:

Photo by Mark Schieron

The upcoming Eastern Promises marks the second collaboration between David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen since A History of Violence in 2006. A crime drama with an interest in principles of family, Eastern Promises revolves around the underground slave trade in London run by the family-controlled Vory V Zakone (literally ‘thieves in honor’.)

It’s easy to see how Cronenberg might find interest in this story of “the other London.” In the earlier part of his career, Cronenberg was known for developing a specific brand of horror that bridged sex, death and existentialism. Now, his films are courting a more mainstream audience, and the involvement of Mortensen is clearly continuing for more than just commercial reasons.

Reserved yet kindly, Cronenberg and Mortensen had an easy rapport and at times seemed almost brotherly in the way they jabbed each other. However, without too much demonstration one can sense a mutual respect within their unique collaborative process.

In this interview with RT, Mortensen and Cronenberg discuss the importance of audience approval, recommend a book about Russian prison Tattoos and dispel rumors about upcoming projects.

Before I begin, I wanted to ask how you two feel about discussing one film versus discussing films. Some artists really don’t like discussing their bodies of work and others are consciously creating a body of work.

Viggo Mortensen: We have no fears of our bodies or our body of work.

David Cronenberg: But we are here to promote this movie. The problem with talking about body of work is that you can mush out generalities. If you wanna try, I’m willing to.

Okay, how do you feel this film fits in with your body of work?

DC: I don’t think about that. That’s for you to think about. I’m not being flippant; literally I don’t have any perspective on my body of work. That’s a critic’s thing or a filmgoer’s thing. I’m the last person to actually assess my own work. Plus, I’m very dependent upon the reception of the film to determine how well it works or doesn’t work and the movie hasn’t come out yet so I really don’t have a perspective on this movie.

Do you feel the same?

VM: I would be lying if I said I didn’t care about what people thought of my work, of our movie, especially when I think it’s a good movie, which I do. And I was pleased that with A History of Violence, not only did critics like it, if you look at all the reviews and top 10 lists it was probably the best reviewed film of the year and obviously it did well in the box office and I was happy about that. I was less happy that as the season wore on it was kind of forgotten and I thought it was shocking that David Cronenberg wasn’t on any best director list — he should have won several of those awards, in my opinion — but those things are sort of a crap shoot. In this movie, like he says, it hasn’t come out yet so, we’ll see how people react. I do feel it’s every bit as good as History of Violence. It’s a completely different kind of story, made by the same director. I’m also in it, but other than that it’s a completely different approach to story telling.

Photo by Mark Schieron

When I make a movie, I don’t break it down and analyze it. I could but it would get in the way of doing a job — on instinct based on all the research we did going in. you want to trust yourself and your director and your acting partners in the circumstances you’re shooting. I don’t like to have any kind of overview. I just feel we did a good job and at the end of watching the cut I saw of Eastern Promises , I felt as I did after I saw A History of Violence, I felt, “What’s going to happen to these people? I don’t have all the answers and I want to see it again.” That tells me it’s a good story, well told and I can only hope others feel about it as I do.

DC: We’re like old hippies: We only live in the moment. It’s a “be here now” thing. Each time you make a movie for me, it’s the movie. You’re not thinking, “This will remind people of that movie. ” I think you paralyze yourself if you do that. I think of the movie trying to be what it wants. Each movie has its own ecosystem. It’s quite unique. It’s like a little planet on its own. And maybe it’s in a solar system with my other movies — if you think of my other movies as a kind of solar system with me as a sun, of course. I haven’t done this before so see, it was provocative, and now you know they’re all revolving around but they’re all at some distance. It’s a decent metaphor. I’m on the Eastern Promises planet now and still dealing with that. I literally just finished it a week ago. It’s really hard to assess. In retrospect one might say “I shouldn’t have made that movie it was a terrible decision.” But it really is a critics’ game and that’s up to you. Maybe. I’m not being evasive. I’m telling you the truth. It’s very hard to assess your own work, in particular beginning with a film that you just finished.

When I read interviews about History of Violence, the interviews really emphasized the degree to which you two collaborate. Tell me, how do you two work together?

DC: It’s a total lie. I do everything, Viggo does nothing. I do all the work. But he pays me to say that he does a lot of stuff.

VM: Also to say that I’m thoughtful and considerate.

DC: No, it’s a real collaboration, and it has very much to do with the kind of person Viggo is. I have been saying recently that with Viggo you don’t just get a violin, you get a whole symphony orchestra. To give you an example, the tattoos, which are a crucial part of this movie, were alluded to in the script originally but just alluded to. Viggo found, while he was digging around and trying to get into this character, he found a book called Russian Criminal Tattoo, which is a fantastic book. Really recommend it. He also found a documentary by a friend of his named Alix Lambert which is called The Mark of Cain, which is also about tattooing in Russian prisons. He sent it to me. I sent it to (screenwriter) Steve Knight. I said, “When you read it, it’s going to blow your mind, and when we do our next rewrite, you will, as I will, want to incorporate this as a central metaphor for the movie.” So, that all came from Viggo. I don’t know that we would have come across that otherwise. That’s just one practical example.

VM: Or we could have found it too late to change anything. I knew that even before we started A History of Violence, there wasn’t any distance, we just didn’t’ know each other as well. We weren’t speaking as much before the film started —

DC: He phoned me every g——ed day! And I hadn’t had that before. It’s quite unusual.

VM: It’s kind of your fault. You made me feel, unlike a lot of directors, that it was okay [under his breath] which may have been a big lie. And you also seemed to understand that I accepted if something wasn’t useful. If I gave you 20 bits of information I had found, some directly useful and others peripheral to the story — (referring to History of Violence) to do with the Midwest, to do with Philadelphia, to do with a kind of hand-to-hand combat. What was useful would be used or molded to fit our purposes for telling the story and what wasn’t useful would be discarded and there was nothing personal in that rejection or acceptance.

DC: That’s his fault. A lot of directors are protective. They don’t want the actors to get involved in those kinds of things, like rewriting the script or making notes on the scripts or not just talking about their character but talking about the shape of the movie, because they fear that the actors will all be warping it for their characters and possibly for their ego. And certainly for some actors that would be true. So a director needs to worry about all the characters not just your character and if you don’t have that directorial overview you’re warping the movie with your obsession with your character. But Viggo’s not like that. If I were to say, “That idea of yours is f—ing awful” — and I wouldn’t say it that way — but we would just laugh and it wouldn’t be like I rejected him personally and therefore now he’s hurt and it becomes a big melodrama. (It’s) nothing like that. It’s like two artists having a discussion

VM: About the story —

DC: Right, not about the specific character about the story. And we know that about each other then it’s fantastic. When we started Eastern Promises we’ve done that, we know it’s real not just a façade. And then it’s great but then collaboration at that point is fantastic. I have that with my crew, most of whom I’ve worked with before and then Viggo becomes part of my crew. And that’s really unusual.

What’s next on the roster?

DC: I don’t know what I’m doing next. We actually got Maps of the Stars taken off IMDB because there are all these projects that I’ve been playing with and thinking about but none of them is going so at the moment I don’t know what I’ll be doing — whereas he has already done another movie — the slut!

VM: He hates it when I work with other directors. I did Good and I’ll also work with Ed Harris in a movie called Appaloosa — but don’t tell David.

Right — it’ll be our secret.

Portrait photos by Mark Schieron

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