196 voters

The Best Sam Shepard Movies

Updated September 23, 2019 1.9k votes 196 voters 14.4k views64 items

List RulesVote for your favorite movies, regardless of critic reviews or how big the role was.

List of the best Sam Shepard movies, ranked best to worst with movie trailers when available. Sam Shepard's highest grossing movies have received a lot of accolades over the years, earning millions upon millions around the world. The order of these top Sam Shepard movies is decided by how many votes they receive, so only highly rated Sam Shepard movies will be at the top of the list. Sam Shepard has been in a lot of films, so people often debate each other over what the greatest Sam Shepard movie of all time is. If you and a friend are arguing about this then use this list of the most entertaining Sam Shepard films to end the squabble once and for all.

On July 27, 2017, Sam Shepard died from ALS complications at his Kentucky home. 

If you think the best Sam Shepard role isn't at the top, then upvote it so it has the chance to become number one. The greatest Sam Shepard performances didn't necessarily come from the best movies, but in most cases they go hand in hand.

List features films like The Right Stuff, Black Hawk Down, and more!

"This list answers the questions, "What are the best Sam Shepard movies?" and "What are the greatest Sam Shepard roles of all time?"


  • 1

    Steel Magnolias

    Sally Field, Dolly Parton
    Steel Magnolias is a 1989 American comedy-drama film directed by Herbert Ross, based on the...  more

    More Steel Magnolias 

    #38 of 782 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made#115 of 304 The Funniest '80s Movies

  • 2

    Black Hawk Down

    Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy
    Black Hawk Down is a 2001 American-British war film directed by Ridley Scott. It is an...  more

    More Black Hawk Down 

    #2 of 376 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked#18 of 99 The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time

  • 3

    Days of Heaven

    Richard Gere, Sam Shepard
    Days of Heaven is a 1978 American drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick and...  more

    More Days of Heaven 

    #121 of 552 The Best '70s Movies#508 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

  • 4
    This film is a 2007 American western drama film written and directed by Andrew Dominik....  more

    More The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford 

    #81 of 301 The Best Movies Based On True Stories#104 of 400 The Best Western Movies Ever Made

  • 5

    The Pelican Brief

    Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington
    The Pelican Brief is a 1993 legal thriller based on the novel of the same name by John...  more

    More The Pelican Brief 

    #20 of 38 The Best Movies Coming to Netflix in May 2021#201 of 333 The Best Political Films Ever Made

  • 6


    Val Kilmer, David Crosby
    Thunderheart is a 1992 contemporary western mystery film directed by Michael Apted from an...  more

    More Thunderheart 

    #53 of 111 The Best Native American Movies#9 of 71 The Best Val Kilmer Movies

  • 7

    Charlotte's Web

    Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey
    Charlotte's Web is a 2006 American live-action/computer-animated feature film based on the...  more

    More Charlotte's Web 

    Every Song in Charlotte's Web, Ranked by Singability#6 of 29 Movies Based On Books You Should Have Read In 4th Grade

  • 8


    Kevin Costner, Jessica Lange
    Frances is a 1982 American biographical film starring Jessica Lange as actress Frances Farmer....  more

    More Frances 

    #426 of 512 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked#29 of 80 The Best Movies About Depression

  • 9

    The Pledge

    Jack Nicholson, Mickey Rourke
    The Pledge is a 2001 American mystery film directed by Sean Penn. The film features an...  more

    More The Pledge 

    #244 of 277 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry#14 of 40 The Best Jack Nicholson Movies

  • 10


    Jessica Lange, Sam Shepard
    Country is a 1984 American film which follows the trials and tribulations of a rural family as...  more
  • 11

    Snow Falling on Cedars

    Ethan Hawke, Max von Sydow
    Snow Falling on Cedars is a film directed by Scott Hicks. It is based on David Guterson's...  more

    More Snow Falling on Cedars 

    #57 of 81 The Best Period Romance Movies#89 of 105 The Best Valentine's Day Movies

  • 12

    Crimes of the Heart

    Jessica Lange, Diane Keaton
    Crimes of the Heart is a 1986 American black comedy, southern gothic film directed by Bruce...  more

    More Crimes of the Heart 

    #5 of 45 The Best Movies Set In The Great State Of Mississippi#19 of 50 The Best Diane Keaton Movies

  • 13

    Safe House

    Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds
    Safe House is a 2012 American action thriller film directed by Daniel Espinosa, starring...  more

    More Safe House 

    #17 of 90 The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives#73 of 170 The Best Spy Movies

  • 14

    Don't Come Knocking

    Jessica Lange, Tim Roth
    Don't Come Knocking is a 2005 film, a comedy-drama road movie directed by German director Wim...  more

    More Don't Come Knocking 

    #116 of 138 The Best R-Rated Western Movies#25 of 61 The Best Movies Based In Montana

  • 15


    Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal
    Brothers is a 2009 American psychological drama war film directed by Jim Sheridan, and a...  more

    More Brothers 

    #21 of 38 Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs#6 of 9 Every Movie & TV Show Written By David Benioff, Ranked

  • 16

    The Accidental Husband

    Uma Thurman, Colin Firth
    The Accidental Husband is a 2008 American romantic comedy film directed by Griffin Dunne, and...  more
  • 17


    Bill Murray, Liev Schreiber
    Hamlet is a 2000 American film written and directed by Michael Almereyda, set in contemporary...  more

    More Hamlet 

    #98 of 135 The Best Movies Based On Plays#16 of 37 The Best Shakespeare Film Adaptations

  • 18

    The Right Stuff

    Jeff Goldblum, Ed Harris
    The Right Stuff is a 1983 American drama film that was adapted from Tom Wolfe's best-selling...  more

    More The Right Stuff 

    #104 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#1081 of 1,506 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • 19


    Halle Berry, John Travolta
    Swordfish is a 2001 American action thriller film directed by Dominic Sena and starring John...  more

    More Swordfish 

    #42 of 49 The Very Best Movies About Hackers#44 of 54 The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins

  • 20

    Raggedy Man

    Sissy Spacek, Eric Roberts
    Raggedy Man is a 1981 film starring Eric Roberts and Sissy Spacek. It was filmed in Lockhart,...  more
  • 21

    All the Pretty Horses

    Penélope Cruz, Matt Damon
    All the Pretty Horses is a 2000 American romance western film, directed by Billy Bob Thornton...  more

    More All the Pretty Horses 

    #41 of 59 The Best Western Movies of the 21st Century#52 of 132 The Best Films Directed by Famous Actors

  • 22


    Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey
    Mud is a 2012 American drama film directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Matthew McConaughey,...  more
  • 23


    Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Sam Shepard
    Blackthorn is a 2011 western drama film wriiten by Miguel Barros and directed by Mateo...  more
  • 24

    Safe Passage

    Susan Sarandon, Sean Astin
    Safe Passage is a 1994 English language drama film starring Susan Sarandon, and featuring Nick...  more
  • 25

    Paris, Texas

    Nastassja Kinski, Sam Shepard
    Paris, Texas is a 1984 drama film directed by Wim Wenders and starring Harry Dean Stanton,...  more

    More Paris, Texas 

    #299 of 306 The Greatest Movie Themes#21 of 102 The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel