While the Western genre isn't as well represented in either film or television as it was back in the mid-20th century, there are certainly plenty of recent western shows and movies that are worth watching. In fact, some of the new western movies are incredible films, regardless of their genre. Most people familiar with westerns remember fondly the years when movies like Pale Rider and The Outlaw Josey Wales were released, but there are some recent additions to the genre dating back only a few years.
If you're a fan of westerns and enjoy watching them on television, you probably already know all about HBO's Westworld, which is more of a sci-fi/action/thriller that just so happens to reside in a western setting. Other series like Deadwood tell the story of a small western town as the inhabitants work to establish themselves legitimately within the country... while also doing just about every cliched nuance of western life. Of course, we can't forget the newer westerns in film, such as instant hits like The Revenant and The Hateful Eight, among others. Whatever your interest in the genre, there are hundreds of amazing examples of modern westerns in movies and TV shows to enjoy. This list compiles the best of them all.
Which western movies and shows deserve the top spots on this list? Help decide by giving your favorites a thumbs up and adding any good movies or shows missing from the list.
Longmire, a contemporary thriller set in Big Sky country, is based on the Walt Longmire Mystery novels by best-selling author Craig Johnson. The series stars Australian actor Robert Taylor (The Matrix) as Walt Longmire, the charismatic, dedicated and unflappable sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming, along with Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Gallactica), Lou Diamond Phillips (Numb3rs), Bailey Chase (Damages), Cassidy Freeman (Smallville) and newcomer Adam Bartley. Widowed only a year, Longmire is a man in psychic repair that buries his pain behind a brave face and dry wit. ...more on Wikipedia
Open Range is a 2003 American western film directed and co-produced by Kevin Costner, starring Robert Duvall and Costner, with Annette Bening and Michael Gambon appearing in supporting roles. The film was the final on-screen appearance of Michael Jeter and the film was dedicated to Jeter's memory, and to that of Costner's parents, Bill and Sharon. The film was a box office success, and was critically favored. ...more on Wikipedia
Deadwood is an American western television series created, produced, and largely written by David Milch and aired on the premium cable network HBO from March 21, 2004, to August 27, 2006, spanning three 12-episode seasons. The show is set in the 1870s in Deadwood, South Dakota, before and after the area's annexation by the Dakota Territory. The series charts Deadwood's growth from camp to town, incorporating themes ranging from the formation of communities to western capitalism. ...more on Wikipedia
True Grit is a 2010 American Revisionist Western film directed by the Coen brothers, based on the 1968 novel by Charles Portis. A stubborn teenager (Hailee Steinfeld) enlists the help of a tough U.S. Marshal (Jeff Bridges) to track down the man who took her father's life. ...more on Wikipedia