What Are the Best Western Movies Currently on Netflix?

by Jonathan Howard

The days are getting shorter, the temperature is getting colder, and the leaves are changing. Perfect time to watch the best Westerns on Netflix. Let’s get into the best films of the genre over on the streaming platform giant.

When it comes to Western films, some are better than others, but there isn’t a rigid rubric for what makes them great. Each one should be judged on its own. It seems that the genre is experiencing somewhat of a revival. Whether you like old classics or newer releases, Netflix has a list of solid movies to sit down and watch.

To get things started, The Outlaw Josey Wales starring Clint Eastwood. This 1976 film is just pure Eastwood and a great example of a 70s Western. Taking place after the Civil War, the title character played by Eastwood seeks revenge for the death of his family. Getting on the wrong side of this gunslinger is not a great idea.

As we get more current, check out The Long Riders. Jesse James, bank robberies, what else do you want? With Jesse, his brother Frank, and the rest of the gang, this movie brings lots of action. The film features four sets of real brothers. James and Stacy Keach play Jesse and Frank. Dennis and Randy Quaid make appearances as Ed and Clell Miller. A classic story is done well.

To round out the classics in this Netflix list, Dances With Wolves. This film needs no introduction really. Seven Academy Awards, Kevin Costner, and a Western story that reflects the best of the genre through and through. There is cowboy versus Native conflict, alliances, and it actually used native actors as well as real native languages. If you don’t watch any other movie on the list, make sure you watch this one.

Modern Westerns on Netflix

So, which modern Westerns are on Netflix right now? Glad you asked because they are good ones. To start things off, Django Unchained. What needs to be said? Quentin Tarantino’s vision with a cast featuring Jamie Foxx as lead led to a universally loved film. While this was released in 2012 it still feels modern and relevant.

Of course, that isn’t the only Tarantino film on Netflix. Viewers should also catch The Hateful Eight. Instead of a spaghetti Western-like Django, this is more of a tribute to shows like Bonanza. So, viewers will pick up on the themes and aspects. With Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson and more stars, this group of eight have a tough task ahead of them.

To finish things off we have Ethan Hawke starring in In A Valley of Violence and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. These two films are very different. The Hawke film is more of a Josey Wales-type tale. One man versus everyone else. Along with his dog, he has to fight for his life. Meanwhile in the 2018 film starring Tim Blake Nelson, James Franco, Liam Neeson, and more is directed by the Coen brothers. This features various stories for Netflix fans to enjoy.