The Best Western Films of All Time
From lone gunslingers to brawls in desert saloons, Western films are a unique American staple. Though there are a few outliers in the genre (and on this list), Westerns are almost entirely defined by a specific place and time in history, namely the “American Old West.”
Whether you're watching a classic cowboy shoot em’ up or a nuanced old-time drama, the Western genre serves as a unique, cultural time capsule of the early days of the United States.
That being said, if the films on this list aren’t overflowing with tumbleweeds, single-action revolver shootouts and the like, they’re exploring themes about the harshness of the wilderness and life at the edge of civilization. Over the course of the Western's history, actors like Clint Eastwood, John Wayne and Gary Cooper have become synonymous with our collective image of the Wild West cowboy. But newer films like “The Revenant” and the upcoming "The Magnificent Seven" continue to capitalize on the success of this classic genre while bending and altering quintessential Western themes.
Due to the large number of Western films made over the last century, PrettyFamous, an entertainment research site powered by Graphiq, wanted to make it easy to decide which cowboy film to watch next. So, they assembled a comprehensive list of the greatest Western films of all time. The movies are ranked by their Smart Rating: a composite of each film’s Rotten Tomatoes score, IMDb rating, Metacritic Metascore, Gracenote rating and box-office gross, adjusted for inflation. When ties occur, the list is ordered according to IMDb rating and then by inflation-adjusted box office earnings.
From old-school classics like “High Noon,” to new-school mashups like “Django Unchained,” see where your favorite Western ranks on our list.