Culture

The Best Modern Western Movies of All Time

27.03.2019

If you were or are still a fan of old gunslinger western movies with loads of Stetson hats, bandanas, cowboy boots, outlaws, bounty hunters and gamblers growing up, then you will be a bigger fan of modern western movies that we have up until today.

Then again, if you thought all westerns were the same, think again. Modern western movies are revamped versions of amazing classic and spaghetti western films. With the modern versions, you are sure to watch western-themed movies about revenge, outlaw gang plots, lawmen, bounty hunters and ranchers set in a more modern world.

Read on as we fill you with nostalgic moments while pleasing and entertaining your visual senses as we present our compilation of the best modern western of all time.

The Revenant

Year: 2015
Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Writers: Mark L. Smith, Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter

The Revenant is one of the best new western movies, and it is an adaptation of Michael Punke’s 2002 novel with the same title.

This epic western film follows a settler who was left for dead by his hunting team after being mangled by a bear and his survival.
Follow the award-winning movie to see how full of vengeance, the settler tracks down the man who betrayed him

The Homesman

Year: 2014
Director: Tommy Lee Jones
Writers: Tommy Lee Jones, Kieran Fitzgerald
Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank, Meryl Streep

The Homesman is about a devout woman who hires a drifter to help her take three women who went mad due to the harsh frontier life to Iowa.

For one thing, it is no surprise that this historical era western drama is one of the best western movies to watch today, and with Tommy Lee Jones as director, expect a great film.

Wyatt Earp

Year: 1994
Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Writers: Dan Gordon, Lawrence Kasdan
Cast: Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman, Dennis Quaid, Isabella Rossellini, Tom Sizemore, JoBeth Williams

Wyatt Earp is one of the new western movies that is also an epic biography.

With this in mind, watch as after being raised from an early age that nothing matters more than family and the law, the sheriff of Dodge City and Tombstone teams up with his brothers to battle against other famous gangs of the Wild West.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Year: 2007
Director: Andrew Dominik
Writers: Andrew Dominik, Ron Hansen
Cast: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard, Jeremy Renner, Zooey Deschanel, Sam Rockwell

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is an adaptation of Ron Hansen’s novel of the same name written in 1983. The modern western movie is centred on Robert Ford, who always looked up to Jesse James since childhood, and focuses on the circumstances that led to him killing Jesse.

The Hateful Eight

Year: 2015
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth

The Hateful Eight is one of the best new western movies we have today. It was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino in 2015, the same director who is also famous for other good films like ‘Kill Bill’, ‘Inglorious Basterds’ and ‘Pulp Fiction’.

The movie, initially announced be a sequel to Tarantino’s other western flick ‘Django Unchained’ was cancelled and turned into a standalone film.

Django Unchained

Year: 2012
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writers: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio

Who wouldn’t want to watch a movie with both Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio in it especially when it is a modern western movie?

Directed by one of the greatest filmmakers of his generation, Django Unchained tells the tale of Dr. King Schultz, a German bounty hunter who is accompanied by a freed slave named Django as they travel across America to hunt down outlaws and free Django’s wife, who is still a slave, from a sadistic plantation owner.

No Country for Old Men

Year: 2007
Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Writers: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem

‘No Country for Old Men’ is set on Cormac McCarthy’s novel of the same title from 2005.

The award-winning film is considered one of the best western movies of all time and visualises the violence and mayhem that ensued after a hunter stumbled upon a drug deal gone wrong and over two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.

3:10 to Yuma

Year: 2007
Director: James Mangold
Writer: Halsted Welles, Michael Brandt
Cast: Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Ben Foster

Concerning new western movies, 3:10 to Yuma is a remake of the original version released in 1957, and it features a small-time rancher who agrees to transport a captured outlaw on a train to Yuma.

Things don’t go as planned as a battle follows along the way when the outlaw tries to discompose the rancher.

Dances with Wolves

Year: 1990
Director: Kevin Costner
Writer: Michael Blake
Cast: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene

As a matter of fact, Dances with Wolves is an epic modern western movie based on a 1998 novel by Michael Blake with the same title as the film. It follows Lt. John Dunbar, played by Kevin Costner, who wants to see the American frontier after being rewarded for his heroism in the Civil War and assigned to a remote western Civil War outpost.

Discover how he builds a relationship with a Sioux tribe, overcomes the language barrier, and finds love.

Hell or High Water

Year: 2016
Director: David Mackenzie
Writer: Taylor Sheridan
Cast: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges

A divorced man and his older brother, who is an ex-con, carry out a desperate strategy to save their family’s ranch in West Texas. The problem is that their plan is not easy peasy as a showdown with a Texas Ranger is inevitable.

‘Hell or High Water’ is one of those modern western movies that will leave you at the edge of your seat.

Slow West

Year: 2015
Director: John Maclean
Writer: John Maclean
Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Aorere Paki, Caren Pistorius

Slow West tells the story of a young Scottish man travelling across America in pursuit of the love of his life. He attracts the attention of a bounty hunter who offers to serve as a guide and bodyguard but has his ulterior motives.

Likewise, categorised as one of the best new western movies we have today, Slow West is a must watch for any western genre fan.

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Year: 2005
Director: Tommy Lee Jones
Writer: Guillermo Arriaga
Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Barry Pepper, Dwight Yoakam

Also known as Three Burials, this is one of the newer western movies you cannot afford to miss.

Watch as a Ranch hand, played by Tommy Lee Jones, goes about fulfilling a promise he made to his recently deceased best friend, who was killed by a Texas border officer, to bury him in his hometown in Mexico.

The Sisters Brothers

Year: 2018
Director: Jacques Audiard
Writers: Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain
Cast: John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal

Another good one in the newer modern western movies’ genre is The Sisters Brothers. Watch the story of Charlie and Eli Sisters, two brothers who are ruthless assassins, as they set on a journey full of adventure. The film is set in the 1850s and spans through Oregon, Mayfield, and then California, the home of the gold rush.

Watch as a Ranch hand, played by Tommy Lee Jones, goes about fulfilling a promise he made to his recently deceased best friend, who was killed by a Texas border officer, to bury him in his hometown in Mexico.

The Dark Tower

Year: 2017
Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Writers: Stephen King, Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner
Cast: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor

The Dark Tower is a fantasy modern western movie based on Stephen King’s book series of the same title and is a must watch! It is about an 11-year-old boy who saw visions of a world that was about to be destroyed by a Man in Black and a gunslinger, played by Idris Elba, who was in a battle with him. The little boy goes on the adventure of his life when he is transported to that world and is part of his visions.

Sweet Country

Year: 2017
Director: Warwick Thornton
Writers: Steven McGregor, David Tranter
Cast: Bryan Brown, Luka Magdeline Cole, Shanika Cole

Sweet Country is one of the best new western movies today. The film is an Australian western that centres on an Aboriginal man who kills a white man he works for in self-defence. Hatch what happens after a manhunt is placed on his head and he goes on the run. This award-winning western movie will leave you at the edge of your seat.

Never Grow Old

Year: 2019
Director: Ivan Kavanagh
Writer: Ivan Kavanagh
Cast: Emile Hirsch, John Cusack, Antonia Campbell-Hughes

One of the new western movies that are a must watch is Ivan Kavanagh’s Never Grow Old. The 2019 film is about an Irish undertaker trying to make amends after out of greed, he contributes to a gang of outlaws taking over their once tranquil town and causing bloodshed while his family is also targeted.

Woman Walks Ahead

Year: 2017
Director: Susanna White
Writer: Steven Knight
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Louisa Krause, Boots Southerland

Woman Walks Ahead is a biographical modern western drama film about Catherine Weldon, a portrait painter, who painted Sitting Bull’s portrait. Set in 1890 the film documents her journey from Brooklyn to Dakota, her stance over the Lakota people’s struggle over the rights to their land and her relationship with Sitting Bull.

Little Woods

Year: 2018
Director: Nia DaCosta
Writer: Nia DaCosta
Cast: Tessa Thompson, Lily James, James Badge Dale

The movie, Little Woods, is one of the newer western movies starring Tessa Thompson and Lily James as two sisters with very different lives. They live in a small, poor North Dakotan town and are on the verge of losing their mother’s home if they cannot pay back the bank.

Wind River

Year: 2017
Director: Taylor Sheridan
Writer: Taylor Sheridan
Cast: Kelsey Asbille, Jeremy Renner, Julia Jones

After an 18-year-old woman is raped and murdered in Wind River, an Indian reservation in Wyoming, a wildlife officer helps an FBI agent with the investigation and soon enough, realise that their lives are in danger. This mind-blowing award-winning film is one of best new western movies to have on your to watch list.

Justice

Year: 2017
Director: Richard Gabai
Writers: John Lewis, Shawn Justice
Cast: Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Stephen Lang, Nathan Parsons

Justice is one of the new western movies that is full of cliché but still a good watch. The film revolves around a U.S. Marshal whose brother was murdered and his quest in seeking justice as he defends a small town from its corrupt Mayor and his henchmen who have plans to revive the civil war.

Damsel

Year: 2018
Directors: David Zellner, Nathan Zellner
Writers: David Zellner, Nathan Zellner
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, David Zellner

Damsel is a 2018 American western comedy written and directed by David Zellner and Nathan Zellner. Starring Mia Wasikowska and Robert Pattinson in lead roles, the movie is one of the best western films when it comes to comedy.
The modern western movie premiered on January 23, 2018, at the Sundance Film Festival and was released on June 22, 2018.

The Kid

Year: 2019
Director: Vincent D’Onofrio
Writer: Andrew Lanham
Cast: Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio, Leila George

The Kid is a semi-biographical modern Western movie that tells the story of a young lad called Rio who was witness to Billy the Kid’s encounter with Sheriff Pat Garrett. Watch how he and his sister escape from their violent uncle and how he gets thrown into the lives of the sheriff and the outlaw. This is one western movie that will leave you biting your nails.

The Scent of Rain and Lightning

Year: 2017
Director: Blake Robbins
Writers: Nancy Pickard, Jeff Robison
Cast: Maika Monroe, Maggie Grace, Justin Chatwin

The Scent of Rain and Lightning is a new modern western film that is based on Nancy Pickard’s novel with the same name. It revolves around a young lady who finds out that her parents’ killer has been released from jail and she is forced to relive old memories and discover the negative power of hate and what happens when family secrets are revealed.

Hostiles

Year: 2017
Director: Scott Cooper
Writers: Scott Cooper, Donald E. Stewart
Cast: Scott Shepherd, Rosamund Pike, Ava Cooper

The film ‘Hostiles’ is set in 1892, and it is a new modern western about a heroic Army Captain who grudgingly agrees to accompany a Cheyenne chief and his family through dangerous territory from Fort Berringer, N.M., to the grasslands of Montana. The western film is thought-provoking and captures the minds of people who hate and the others who are hated.

Big Kill

Year: 2018
Director: Scott Martin
Writer: Scott Martin
Cast: Jason Patric, Lou Diamond Phillips, Christoph Sanders

Big Kill is a decent example of the modern western movies’ genre and with many scenes that will leave you in stitches. Enjoy as a newbie from Philadelphia, two compulsive gamblers on the run and a dangerous evangelist have a date with destiny in a downtown gone bust in the Old West.

The Wind

Year: 2018
Director: Emma Tammi
Writer: Teresa Sutherland
Cast: Miles Anderson, Caitlin Gerard, Julia Goldani Telles

The Wind is a 2018 American supernatural modern western horror film set in the Western frontier of the late 1800s. The scary movie is about a young female settler on a plain who is driven mad by the harshness and solitude of the wild land.
This new western movie is well-shot, with a storyline that keeps you guessing for a while.

The Rider

Year: 2017
Director: Chloé Zhao
Writer: Chloé Zhao
Cast: Brady Jandreau, Mooney, Tim Jandreau

This 2017 award-winning movie, The Rider, is critically given credit for its story, stellar performances and respect to its sources. It tells the story of a young cowboy who is unable to compete on the rodeo circuit after a riding accident and his search for what it means to be a man in the back-country of America