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25 Best Westerns Streaming

For as long as people have been making movies, they've been making movies about the American West. Some of the first moving pictures ever recorded were of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in the 1890s (shot by Thomas Edison's own studio), followed shortly thereafter by 1903's "The Great Train Robbery" with its infamous fourth wall-breaking gunfire toward the audience.

In the century-plus that followed, the genre's popularity has peaked and plateaued. Westerns were part of Hollywood's Golden Age, then came spaghetti Westerns, and in recent years, the Revisionist Western has gained a foothold. No matter their tone or their take on the mythology of the time and place, Westerns are readymade crowd pleasers with their stunning vistas, heroes and villains on horseback, and high stakes. And if you're in the mood to watch a thrilling gunfight, a grueling cattle drive, or an examination of America's past, here are the best Westerns currently available to stream.

Updated on July 6, 2022: Just like that mysterious horseman who rode into town, Westerns come and go from streaming services all the time. So be sure to check back here each month to make sure you'll always know where to find the best Westerns available.

3:10 to Yuma - HBO Max

A remake released in 2007, "3:10 to Yuma" comes close to the 1957 original in terms of quality and historical relevance, but it will be more accessible and enjoyable to most audiences thanks to its pace, action, and A-list stars. Dan Evans owes money to a powerful man who's terrorizing his family and livestock. When he inadvertently involves himself in the arrest of a notorious criminal, Ben Wade, he sees an opportunity to dig himself out of debt. Evans and three other men are charged with transporting the suspect to Contention, Arizona, where he'll board the titular train then face trial. But Dan's gamble that he can deliver the slippery and ruthless Wade may cost him his life. 

  • Starring: Christian Bale, Russell Crowe, Ben Foster
  • Director: James Mangold
  • Year: 2007
  • Runtime: 122 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs - Netflix

"The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" is an anthology film made of up of six separate stories, all of which make use of Western tropes, though they vary in the extent to which they're comedic or dramatic. In the title segment, a chipper singing cowboy wonders if he's overplayed his hand in cards and in life. Other vignettes tell of a convicted bandit trying to escape his death sentence, a traveling performer looking to improve his act, a prospector in search of fortune, an unbetrothed woman traversing the Oregon Trail, and five passengers on a stagecoach that may be headed for certain doom. Viewers will recognize the second chapter from a certain meme.

  • Starring: Tim Blake Nelson, Liam Neeson, Tom Waits
  • Directors: Joel and Ethan Coen
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 133 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Brokeback Mountain - Peacock

An adaptation of Annie Proulx's tale about queer cowboys, "Brokeback Mountain" is a Western epic that was a massive hit with critics and audiences alike. While it famously lost the best picture Oscar to "Crash" in one of the most egregious upsets ever, the film's legacy lives on to this day. Directed by Ang Lee, "Brokeback Mountain" focuses on the relationship between Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar, cowboys who fall in love in the summer of 1963. But thanks to outdated views and Ennis' fears, the couple struggles to make things work. Because Proulx's story about compromise and loss is so universal, and because the movie version is so expertly made, the tale of Jack and Ennis isn't just a triumph of LGBTQ+ cinema — with its sweeping vistas and hardened hearts, it's a triumph of the modern Western.

  • Starring: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams
  • Director: Ang Lee
  • Year: 2005
  • Runtime: 134 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Dances with Wolves - HBO Max

This Civil War-era epic was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won seven, including best picture. "Dances with Wolves" recounts the experiences of Lieutenant Dunbar, a frontier-loving Union war hero who requests a post as far west as the military will give him. As other men who manned the forts have been killed by the natives, Dunbar knows he's a target. As a result, he approaches the Lakota Sioux peacefully, and after some effort on the part of both parties (and after meeting and falling in love with the white adopted daughter of the tribe's healer), he learns to live among them. "Dances with Wolves" drew some mild criticism for being a white savior narrative that was imperfect in its use of Lakota language, but on the whole, it was a rapturously received watershed moment for Indigenous representation in the Western

  • Starring: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene
  • Director: Kevin Costner
  • Year: 1990
  • Runtime: 181 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Deadwood: The Movie - HBO Max

If you haven't tuned in already, you may want to watch the three seasons of "Deadwood" that came before the movie version first. The effort would be worth your time, as "Deadwood: The Movie" was roundly praised by critics and fans of the show. It is a continuation of that 36 episode storyline, but it has its own, new gripping story to tell. 

"Deadwood" picks back up in 1889 as South Dakota is celebrating its statehood, and former resident turned U.S. senator George Hearst is back in town. He's angry to see that the sex worker he ordered saloonkeeper Al Swearengen to take out of commission is, in fact, still alive. He also needs to convince a local man, Charlie Utter, to sell him some property for the installation of telephone lines ... through any means necessary. Fortunately, U.S. Marshal Seth Bullock is around to advise others how to deal with the strong-arming Hearst. "Deadwood: the Movie" follows in the show's tradition of breathing life into captivating recreations and compilations of historical characters. And it boasts one of the best last lines in film history.

  • Starring: Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, Molly Parker
  • Director: Daniel Minahan
  • Year: 2019
  • Rating: R
  • Runtime: 110 minutes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Django Unchained - Netflix

This bloody entertaining film is the very definition of a Revisionist Western. "Django Unchained" is a hard-edged genre piece that openly references the movies that came before it (most specifically 1966's "Django"), but it switches the point of view in a way that upends the entire exercise of the Western. 

Django is a Black man in 1858, separated from his wife via the slave trade. A German dentist/bounty hunter named Schultz buys him and grants him his freedom, so long as he'll help apprehend a few outlaws with his inside knowledge of the plantations. Django learns the bounty hunter's trade from Schultz who, in turn, agrees to help Django find his wife. Their search leads to the estate of a demented slave owner, and these unlikely partners will need both their wits and their pistols to make it out alive. 

  • Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Director: Quentin Tarantino
  • Year: 2012
  • Runtime: 165 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

A Fistful of Dollars - YouTube, Tubi, and Pluto TV

"A Fistful of Dollars" introduced the moviegoing world to the spaghetti Western and to Clint Eastwood in his first leading role. It's also the first film in what's known as the "Man with No Name" trilogy. Eastwood plays an enterprising drifter and excellent shot who arrives in a border town. After learning that the town is run by two warring factions, the stranger decides to see if he can't con both sides into thinking he's their man. But as his scheming gets more involved, the stakes get raised and people's lives are at risk ... including his own. "A Fistful of Dollars" was initially panned as it challenged the conventions of the time, especially in its depiction of callous violence. In retrospect, its legacy is that it practically reinvented the Western genre.

  • Starring: Clint Eastwood, Marianne Koch, Joseph Egger
  • Director: Sergio Leone
  • Year: 1964
  • Rating: R
  • Runtime: 96 minutes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

The Harder They Fall - Netflix

"The Harder They Fall" remixes real historical characters with fictionalized situations, as well as homages to classic Westerns with modern filmmaking techniques and music. As a child, Nat Love witnesses the outlaw Rufus Buck shoot down his mother and father. 20 years later, Love's an outlaw in his own right and out for revenge, but first, he'll have to assemble a crew — including his old flame, Stagecoach Mary. But Buck's gang — including ultra-fast gunfighter Cherokee Bill — is back in the saddle too, hell-bent on protecting him. Meanwhile famed U.S. marshal Bass Reeves tries to keep the violence to a minimum ... but ultimately, things come to a head in a highly stylized epic showdown. 

Hell or High Water - Netflix

This contemporary neo-Western, written by "Yellowstone" creator Taylor Sheridan, is smart, subversive, timely, and well-acted. Toby and Tanner Howard just lost their mom, and they're about to lose their ranch too, as she took out a reverse mortgage and the bank wants to foreclose. When oil is found on the land, the brothers decide to commit a series of robberies so that the property stays in the family. Tanner, who's an ex-con, should be cut out for the job, except he's careless and hot-headed. Toby just wants to put this behind him and make things right with his estranged kids. All the while, they're being pursued by a savvy Texas Ranger working his last case before retirement. 

  • Starring: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges
  • Director: David Mackenzie
  • Year: 2016
  • Runtime: 102 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

High Noon - Pluto TV

"High Noon" is a tense, real-time Western crime drama that's so archetypal, it's been officially remade four times over and has been an inspiration for Westerns and beyond ever since it hit theaters. Will Kane is a marshal who's just about to retire. He plans to settle down in another town and open a store with his newlywed wife, Amy, who happens to be a Quaker and a pacifist. But when Frank Miller — a dangerous criminal Kane had previously put behind bars — is set free and intends to meet up with his former gang of outlaws and take revenge, Kane has to decide whether to live according to his own code or his wife's. He can either defend his former small town himself and possibly die in the process, or he can escape with his wife on the next train since she refuses to stick around for a shootout.

  • Starring: Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Lloyd Bridges
  • Director: Fred Zinneman
  • Year: 1952
  • Rating: PG
  • Runtime: 85 minutes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

News of the World - HBO Max

In "News of the World," a former Confederate soldier named Captain Kidd is barely making a living traveling from town to town and reading the news to the locals. On the road, he stumbles upon a young white girl who only speaks Kiowa. He deduces that she's actually Joanna, a child who was kidnapped by the Kiowa some years back. Though at first he doesn't want the responsibility of returning her to her family, the absence of a representative from the Bureau of Indian Affairs means he has no choice. It's a thankless job, as Joanna doesn't really want to go home, and bad actors — from perverts to racists — are lurking everywhere. This subdued Western still features plenty of action, but it meditates on the role of media in times of crisis. 

No Country for Old Men - HBO Max

The Coen brothers won their best director Oscars for the best picture-winning "No Country for Old Men." As you might expect coming from the Coens, this Western crime thriller contains multitudes. Based on the novel of the same name by Cormac McCarthy, "No Country for Old Men" is gorgeous to look at, as terrifying as any slasher, darkly but genuinely funny, deeply existential, yet still incredibly easy to digest. 

Llewelyn Moss is out hunting when he happens upon a drug deal gone very wrong. Rather than report the incident to police, he grabs a briefcase containing $2 million and arranges a rendezvous with his wife, Carla Jean. Unfortunately, both the local sheriff in charge of solving the crime and the unrelenting hitman hired to recover the money are smarter than Llewelyn, which means the odds aren't good that his plan (he doesn't have much of one) will come to fruition. 

  • Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin
  • Directors: Joel and Ethan Coen
  • Year: 2007
  • Runtime: 122 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Once Upon a Time in the West - Pluto TV

"Once Upon a Time in the West" is here representing the spaghetti Western in all its epic glory, complete with an acclaimed score by Ennio Morricone. The story revolves around an outlaw named Frank — a cold-blooded murderer played, shockingly, by nice guy Henry Fonda — who carries out dirty deeds for a railroad tycoon. When the businessman wants the highly prized Sweetwater Ranch, Frank kills property owner Brett McBain and pins the blame on the infamous outlaw Cheyenne. But things take a turn when a sex worker named Jill, who'd married McBain in secret, arrives as the rightful property owner. As these three titans swirl around each other, a mysterious man with a harmonica haunts them all ... and yes, he knows how to play and shoot.

  • Starring: Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Jason Robards
  • Director: Sergio Leone
  • Year: 1968
  • Runtime: 165 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

The Outlaw Josey Wales - HBO Max

15 years before "Unforgiven," Clint Eastwood directed and starred in this Civil War era Western that's still well regarded (although it does have problematic origins, as it's based on a novel written by a white supremacist). When the Union's Captain Terrill and his militants murder Josey's wife and children, the farmer joins the Confederacy, motivated solely by the need for revenge. The South surrenders, but Josey hasn't fulfilled his quest for vengeance, and — after a deadly scuffle in which he kills a swath of Union fighters with a Gatling gun — he finds himself on the run with a $5,000 bounty on his head. He seeks refuge in an abandoned ranch and makes alliances with the Comanche to try and stay alive long enough to address his unfinished business with Captain Terrill. 

  • Starring: Clint Eastwood, Chief Dan George, Bill McKinney
  • Director: Clint Eastwood
  • Year: 1976
  • Runtime: 135 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

The Power of the Dog - Netflix

Based on Thomas Savage's semi-autobiographical 1967 novel, "The Power of the Dog" is a slow-burn psychological thriller about the space between our public-facing identities and our true selves. Phil and George are the wealthy grown sons of socialites who bought land in Montana at the turn of the century. Though he's Princeton educated, Phil took to ranching and has maintained the property for 25 years with his brother, George, who keeps the books and has to constantly deal with Phil's brutal put-downs. But when George impulsively marries a local widow with an oddball teenage son, the brittle peace between them breaks for good. "The Power of the Dog" features an all-time Benedict Cumberbatch performance and was nominated for 12 Academy Awards, with Jane Campion winning an Oscar for best director.

  • Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kirsten Dunst
  • Director: Jane Campion
  • Year: 2021
  • Runtime: 126 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

The Proposition - Peacock

"The Proposition" is an Australian Western that comes loaded with just as much natural beauty, ugly violence, and edge-of-your-seat drama as the best of its American counterparts. Charlie Burns is one of three outlaw brothers and the de facto leader of his gang, as his older brother, Arthur, is a wanted man and has fled for the hills some time ago, and his younger brother, Mikey, isn't much more than a boy. When a sadistic police captain captures them, he holds Mikey prisoner but makes Charlie an ultimatum — track down and kill Arthur, and he'll grant them both their freedom. Charlie accepts but faces constant threats in the form of bounty hunters, Indigenous tribes, and his own deranged kin. 

  • Starring: Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston
  • Director: John Hillcoat
  • Year: 2005
  • Runtime: 104 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Rango - HBO Max

"Rango" is the type of animated film that's probably more tailored to adult sensibilities than to kids, with its clever callbacks to Western tropes and its better-than-they-have-to-be voice cast and visuals. Rango is a pet chameleon ... well, he was until his terrarium fell out of his owner's car. Now he's stranded in the dessert with of all its wild flora and fauna, where he must find water and convince everyone of his toughness in order to survive. But the town where the water is supposed to be is actually suffering from a drought and frequent red-tailed hawk attacks, and they're in need of just the kind of macho leader that Rango has been advertising himself to be. 

The Revenant - Amazon Prime

"The Revenant" is a beautifully shot but difficult to watch trek through the American frontier. Director Alejandro Iñárritu tells the tale of Hugh Glass, a mountain man part of a fur trading expedition making its way through the Dakota territories during a harsh winter in 1823. Tensions are already running high after the camp is attacked by Native Americans looking to recover a captive woman, and Glass is especially tense as he's brought his half-Pawnee son along for the dangerous journey. But when a bear nearly kills Glass in the film's standout scene, he's left behind for dead ... which turns out to be a huge mistake, as Glass will do everything it takes to survive, get back to his son, and take his revenge. Leonardo DiCaprio won an Academy Award for his raw and punishing performance as Glass, and when it comes to cinematography, few other films compare.

  • Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter
  • Director: Alejandro Iñárritu
  • Year: 2015
  • Rating: R
  • Runtime: 156 minutes
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

The Sisters Brothers - Pluto TV, Tubi

"The Sisters Brothers" is just as off-beat as its title suggests. In the age of the Gold Rush, Charlie and Eli are brothers with the last name Sisters who work as the Commodore's strongmen. Charlie's a violent drunk who checks to see if his exploits have made him famous in every town they visit. Eli's a kind (by comparison) oaf who's concerned and a little jealous that he's not the one calling the shots. The Commodore has arranged for them and a private investigator named John Morris to apprehend a traveling scientist who claims he's invented a "divining solution" that will detect gold ore in water. But when they arrive at the meeting place, Morris and the scientist have already departed, intent on using any gold they find to start a utopian, anti-capitalist society.

  • Starring: John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Riz Ahmed
  • Director: Jacques Audiard
  • Year: 2018
  • Runtime: 121 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Stagecoach - HBO Max

This Golden Age Western set the standard not just for future Westerns but, in many respects, for future action movies. "Stagecoach" — based on the short story "The Stage to Lordsburg" — tells of a group of strangers making the arduous and dangerous journey from Arizona Territory to a town in New Mexico. The passengers are quite a cast of characters, including a sex worker, an alcoholic doctor, a pregnant woman, and a dangerous gambler. And out there somewhere is the Ringo Kid, a recently escaped — yet surprisingly good-hearted — prisoner out for revenge and who's headed for the same destination.

  • Starring: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, John Carradine
  • Director: John Ford
  • Year: 1939
  • Runtime: 96 minutes
  • Rating: N/A
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada - Amazon Prime

"The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" is modern, surrealist tale about immigration, inspired by a true story and William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying." Melquiades is an undocumented immigrant and neighbor to Pete Perkins. When Melquiades shoots a coyote who's menacing his goats, a border patrol agent named Mike Norton kills him in what he believes to be self-defense. In a panic, he buries the body, and when the corpse is found, the town sheriff buries it again ... as well as the story of the man's death, not wanting any trouble. However, Pete catches wind of what's happened and insists upon giving his friend a proper burial in his hometown across the border, and he insists — upon threat of violence — that Norton come along to pay penance. 

  • Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Barry Pepper, January Jones
  • Director: Tommy Lee Jones
  • Year: 2005
  • Runtime: 121 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Tombstone - Amazon Prime

In the early 1990s, dueling movies about the legendary shoot-out at the O.K. Corral — "Tombstone" and "Wyatt Earp" — were in development. Critics and audiences agreed that "Tombstone" was the victor. Wyatt Earp, his brothers, and his sickly friend Doc Holliday choose the town of Tombstone to settle down and open a saloon. It's not long before a gang who wears red sashes and calls themselves the Cowboys starts upsetting the peace. Earp had intended to put his gunslinging days behind him, but the townsfolk need him to defend Tombstone from the Cowboys, and in an atmosphere as lawless as Arizona in 1879, the tense situation won't be resolved by tactics like weapons bans or civilized trials. 

Toy Story 2 - Disney+

"Toy Story 2" isn't commonly thought of as a Western, but the boot fits. Not only does this animated classic (which is arguably the best in the "Toy Story" franchise) feature a cowboy, a cowgirl, a trusty steed, and a grizzly old prospector, it also contains a story within a story in "Woody's Roundup," and the plot itself is full of Western tropes. When Woody is kidnapped by the nefarious toy dealer, Al, his ragtag group of friends have to journey across dangerous, unfamiliar terrain to rescue him. But when Woody makes the acquaintance of the other toys in his set, he's surprised to learn he's actually a valuable piece of memorabilia, and he has to decide for himself if he can trust his newfound compatriots. 

  • Starring: Tom Hanks, Joan Cusack, Tim Allen
  • Director: John Lasseter
  • Year: 1999
  • Runtime: 92 minutes
  • Rating: G
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - HBO Max

"The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" is a hallmark of American cinema that directly inspired movies like Paul Thomas Anderson's "There Will Be Blood" and Spike Lee's "Da 5 Bloods." In fact, this more than 70-year-old classic still holds up as well (if not better) than many modern-day Westerns. Two drifters — Fred C. Dobbs and Bob Curtin — learn about gold mining from an old prospector at a flophouse. With nothing to lose, they strike out for the wilderness of Mexico with him, where they discover not only gold but danger in the form of bandits, Federales, and the depths of their own distrust and greed. 

  • Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt
  • Director: John Huston
  • Year: 1948
  • Runtime: 126 minutes
  • Rating: N/A
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Unforgiven - HBO Max

A best picture winner and an unflinching tale of man's capacity for violence, "Unforgiven" distinguishes itself by being in conversation with the genre's history (there's a writer character documenting and debunking Wild West stories as they happen) and by avoiding many of its clichés. 

As for the plot, Will Munny is a widower living a quiet life on his struggling pig farm when a young gun approaches him about collecting a bounty. A girl at a brothel had her face slashed by two cowboys, and there's a $1,000 reward for anyone who can kill them. It turns out, in his pre-hog farming days, Will was a formidable gunslinger himself. He recruits another retired outlaw, and the trio sets off to bring the cruel cowboys to justice. But they're not the only ones after the money, and a sadistically brutal sheriff stands in everybody's way.