The 20 Best Westerns of the Last 20 Years

by filmantrop | created - 02 Oct 2010 | updated - 18 Aug 2011 | Public
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1. Unforgiven (1992)

R | 130 min | Drama, Western

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
85 Metascore

Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris

Votes: 310,587 | Gross: $101.16M

2. Dances with Wolves (1990)

PG-13 | 181 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
72 Metascore

Lieutenant John Dunbar, assigned to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.

Director: Kevin Costner | Stars: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant

Votes: 204,797 | Gross: $184.21M

3. Lone Star (1996)

R | 135 min | Drama, Mystery

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
78 Metascore

When the skeleton of his murdered predecessor is found, Sheriff Sam Deeds unearths many other long-buried secrets in his Texas border town.

Director: John Sayles | Stars: Chris Cooper, Elizabeth Peña, Stephen Mendillo, Stephen J. Lang

Votes: 24,822 | Gross: $13.27M

4. Dead Man (1995)

R | 121 min | Drama, Fantasy, Western

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
62 Metascore

On the run after murdering a man, accountant William Blake encounters a strange North American man named Nobody who prepares him for his journey into the spiritual world.

Director: Jim Jarmusch | Stars: Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, Crispin Glover, Lance Henriksen

Votes: 78,693 | Gross: $1.04M

5. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

R | 134 min | Drama, Romance

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
87 Metascore

The story of a forbidden and secretive relationship between two cowboys, and their lives over the years.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams, Randy Quaid

Votes: 280,969 | Gross: $83.04M

6. Open Range (2003)

R | 139 min | Action, Drama, Romance

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
67 Metascore

A former gunslinger is forced to take up arms again when he and his cattle crew are threatened by a corrupt lawman.

Director: Kevin Costner | Stars: Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall, Diego Luna, Abraham Benrubi

Votes: 58,243 | Gross: $58.33M

7. The Jack Bull (1999 TV Movie)

R | 116 min | Drama, Western

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

After being wrongfully denied justice, a horse trader seeks his own justice on a treacherous rancher.

Director: John Badham | Stars: John Cusack, John Goodman, L.Q. Jones, Miranda Otto

Votes: 3,912

8. Tombstone (1993)

R | 130 min | Action, Biography, Drama

7.8
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A successful lawman's plans to retire anonymously in Tombstone, Arizona, are disrupted by the kind of outlaws he was famous for eliminating.

Directors: George P. Cosmatos, Kevin Jarre | Stars: Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton

Votes: 105,441 | Gross: $56.51M

9. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)

R | 121 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

7.4
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77 Metascore

Ranch hand Pete Perkins looks to fulfill the promise to his recently deceased best friend by burying him in his hometown in Mexico.

Director: Tommy Lee Jones | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Barry Pepper, Dwight Yoakam, January Jones

Votes: 35,767 | Gross: $5.02M

10. The Proposition (2005)

R | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Western

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
73 Metascore

A lawman apprehends a notorious outlaw and gives him nine days to kill his older brother, or else they'll execute his younger brother.

Director: John Hillcoat | Stars: Ray Winstone, Guy Pearce, Emily Watson, Richard Wilson

Votes: 45,369 | Gross: $1.90M

11. 3:10 to Yuma (2007)

R | 122 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

7.7
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76 Metascore

A small-time rancher agrees to hold a captured outlaw who's awaiting a train to go to court in Yuma. A battle of wills ensues as the outlaw tries to psych out the rancher.

Director: James Mangold | Stars: Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Ben Foster, Logan Lerman

Votes: 255,647 | Gross: $53.61M

12. City Slickers (1991)

PG-13 | 113 min | Comedy

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
70 Metascore

On the verge of turning 40, an unhappy Manhattan yuppie is roped into joining his two friends on a cattle drive in the southwest.

Director: Ron Underwood | Stars: Billy Crystal, Jack Palance, Daniel Stern, Bruno Kirby

Votes: 41,897 | Gross: $124.03M

13. True Grit (2010)

PG-13 | 110 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
80 Metascore

A stubborn teenager enlists the help of a tough U.S. Marshal to track down her father's murderer.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld, Josh Brolin

Votes: 263,875 | Gross: $171.24M

14. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

R | 160 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

7.5
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68 Metascore

Robert Ford, who's idolized Jesse James since childhood, tries hard to join the reforming gang of the Missouri outlaw, but gradually becomes resentful of the bandit leader.

Director: Andrew Dominik | Stars: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard, Mary-Louise Parker

Votes: 148,687 | Gross: $3.90M

15. Back to the Future Part III (1990)

PG | 118 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

7.4
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55 Metascore

Enjoying a peaceable existence in 1885, Doctor Emmet Brown is about to be killed by Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen. Marty McFly travels back in time to save his friend.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Mary Steenburgen, Thomas F. Wilson

Votes: 324,208 | Gross: $87.73M

16. The Quick and the Dead (1995)

R | 107 min | Action, Romance, Thriller

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
49 Metascore

A female gunfighter returns to a frontier town where a dueling tournament is being held, which she enters in an effort to avenge her father's death.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio

Votes: 74,118 | Gross: $18.64M

17. Ravenous (1999)

R | 101 min | Horror

7.0
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46 Metascore

In a remote military outpost in the 19th Century, Captain John Boyd and his regiment embark on a rescue mission which takes a dark turn when they are ambushed by a sadistic cannibal.

Director: Antonia Bird | Stars: Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, David Arquette, Jeremy Davies

Votes: 32,460 | Gross: $2.06M

18. Wyatt Earp (1994)

PG-13 | 191 min | Adventure, Biography, Crime

6.7
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47 Metascore

The story of Wyatt Earp as he interacts and battles other famous figures of the Wild West era.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan | Stars: Kevin Costner, Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman, David Andrews

Votes: 38,728 | Gross: $25.05M

19. Wild Bill (1995)

R | 98 min | Action, Biography, Western

5.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The early career of legendary lawman Wild Bill Hickock is telescoped and culminates in his relocation in Deadwood and a reunion with Calamity Jane.

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Ellen Barkin, John Hurt, Diane Lane

Votes: 5,420 | Gross: $2.17M

20. Appaloosa (2008)

R | 115 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
64 Metascore

Two friends hired to police a small town that is suffering under the rule of a rancher find their job complicated by the arrival of a young widow.

Director: Ed Harris | Stars: Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Renée Zellweger, Jeremy Irons

Votes: 53,376 | Gross: $20.21M