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The Best Westerns On Netflix Right Now


Miramax

Last Updated: April 24th

From the moment the bandit turned his gun toward the camera in 1903’s The Great Train Robbery, no genre of film has been more readily identified with quintessential American cinema than the Western. Though the popularity of classic Western movies waned in the late 1960s, today’s filmmakers still approach the genre with enthusiasm, breathing new life into these cinematic archetypes. Here’s a look at some of the best westerns on Netflix streaming right now.

Related: The 30 Best Movies On Netflix Right Now, Ranked

The Hateful Eight (2015)

The Hateful Eight was originally conceived as a sequel to Quentin Tarantino’s 2012 film Django Unchained, but Tarantino almost gave up the idea of making the movie after the script leaked in early 2014. After he oversaw a live script reading in Los Angeles later that year, Tarantino changed his mind and decided to put his latest vision on the big screen. No longer a Django sequel, The Hateful Eight became a standalone story about eight strangers who take shelter at a stopover during a blizzard, all with very different reasons as to why they don’t trust one another. For the film’s score, Tarantino brought in legendary composer Ennio Morricone to do the film’s score, which won him an Academy Award.

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Wind River (2017)

A modern-day Western set against the backdrop of a brutal winter, Wind River stars Jeremy Renner as a US Fish & Wildlife Service agent who’s recruited into helping the FBI after he discovers the body of a young girl on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. He’s joined by a rookie FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) to try and bring the killer to justice. Writer/director Taylor Sheridan was nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for his work on another modern-day Western, 2016’s Hell Or High Water.

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Casa de mi Padre (2012)

A delightful nod to embellished, Telenova-style dramas, this Spanish-language modern-day Western/comedy landed on Netflix in 2012 after an extremely limited theatrical run. It stars Will Ferrell as Armando, a man who’d spent his life working on his father’s ranch, and soon finds himself caught up in an ordeal with a local drug lord. Filmed over the course of just 21 days, this off-beat experiment received mixed reviews, while Ferrell commits himself to the role of the straight man akin to Leslie Nielsen’s performances in The Naked Gun film series.

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The Homesman (2014)

Tommy Lee Jones co-writes, directs, and stars as claim-jumper George Briggs in this Western based on Wesley Oliver’s 1988 novel. The story focuses on Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank), a teacher who’d left New York in search of more opportunity in the Nebraska Territory. After a particularly harsh winter, three women begin to show signs of mental illness, and the local Reverend (John Lithgow) suggests they be taken to a church in Iowa that can provide the proper care for them. The responsibility falls on Cuddy, who enlists the help of Briggs with the promise of money she has waiting for her there.

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The Salvation (2014)

A Danish Western that brings a slightly different perspective to the tried-and-true American genre, The Salvation follows the story of two brothers, Jon and Peter (Mads Mikkelson and Mikeal Persbrandt, respectively). After emigrating to an unsettled region of the U.S. in the 1860s, Jon’s wife and son are brutally murdered by two convicts. After Jon enacts his vengeance, he finds himself at the mercy of a merciless gang leader and land baron, Henry Delarue (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).

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Meek’s Cutoff (2011)

A movie that proves the Oregon Trail doesn’t need dysentery to be fatal, Meek’s Cutoff may be dressed up as a Western, but quickly turns into an edge-of-your-seat survival horror. When a group of trailblazers start to suspect that their guide may not be the expert he claimed to be, their two-week journey more than doubles. As rations start to become scarce, tensions run high as everyone in the wagon train starts to wonder exactly who they’re able to trust. The film takes its name from a real-life historical event, when a guide named Stephen Meek led a group of pioneers down a now-infamous ill-fated path through the wilds of the Oregon desert.

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