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9 Best Westerns On Netflix
Well, partner, if what yer lookin’ for in these here parts of ol’ town Netflix is some horse operas, you’ve sure got some slim pickins. Ok, we’re not going to do that to you the whole way through, but the western genre contains a whole library of films that transport you to a different time. While Netflix doesn’t have a wide offering of films from that cowboy-adjacent genre, what it does have available is a look into how expansive the genre can be.
A lot of viewers turn a blind eye to the western canon thinking it’s nothing but an antiquated look into cowboys, old justice, and a bunch of white guys with guns. In reality, the genre (especially its recent renaissance) is a peek into the pastoral. Sometimes a thoughtful juxtaposition of how old school rural thought is clashing with big city progress is as interesting as any movie on the market. And if you’re in it for a gunslinging, good-vibe spaghetti western? Well, no one is going to fault you for that.
The Hateful Eight
This Quentin Tarantino-directed thriller follows the meeting of eight strangers taking shelter in a stagecoach stopover in post-Civil War Wyoming. Well, strangers sans the bounty hunter and his captive that are stuck among them. Featuring performances from Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern.
Hell or High Water
Chris Pine and Ben Foster star as two brothers planning a series of heists on the bank threatening to foreclose on their Texas family ranch. One is a divorcee seeking a new start; the other an ex-convict. Their final showdown will be with the nearly-retired Texas Ranger whose radar they’ve landed upon.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
In this true Sergio Leone spaghetti western, Clint Eastwood stars as “the Good,” facing off against Lee Van Cleef as “the Bad,” and Eli Wallach as “the Ugly,” in a quest for recovering stolen gold. The epic’s gripping conflict takes unexpected turns, exposing the question of true morality in the Wild West.
Once Upon a Time in the West
Another classic Sergio Leone spaghetti western, Once Upon A Time in the West follows two simultaneous conflicts as they unfold in the fictional town of Flagstone. One is a battle over the only land in town with a water source, while the other is over a vengeance of a murder.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
This one is a six-part anthology film about the American West from Joel and Ethan Coen. Each short film features the lives of a singing cowboy, a bank robber, an impresario, a prospector, the passengers of a wagon train, and a duo of bounty hunters.
Liam Hemsworth stars as a Texas Ranger investigating a series of small town murders. Tensions run high when he must face what lies underneath this town, run by Woody Harrelson as a former Confederate officer.
An Indonesian-Singaporean martial arts western film (this is a very niche field), Buffalo Boys follows two transcontinental railroad workers on their voyage back to Indonesia, only to find a Javanese village has been overrun by cruel Dutch conquerors. The battle holds a larger significance, as the two fight to defeat this colonialism.
The Ballad of Lefty Brown
Bill Pullman stars as Lefty Brown, a cowboy out for the vengeance of his murdered partner Edward Johnson, played by Peter Fonda. Lefty’s fate, however, takes a sudden twist when he returns home to find he has been framed for Edward’s murder—which he witnessed himself.
Christian Bale stars as an Army captain who must escort a Cheyenne chief, played by Wes Studi, back to his tribal lands. Along the way, they meet a widow, played by Rosamund Pike, as the three forge their way through the unbridled wilderness.