To paraphrase Mark Twain: "The reports of the western’s death have been greatly exaggerated."

Sure, unlike the first sixty years of Hollywood – from the 1900s to the 1960s – the Western genre might not define cinema in quite the same way anymore. But the repeated declarations that the genre is dead are way off. Ever since 1992’s Unforgiven, movie enthusiasts have written off the western as a has-been. But over the last 24 years there have been a number of films that prove it’s still excelling.

The latest example, Jane Got A Gun, starring Natalie Portman and Joel Edgerton, is being released this week. And to celebrate, here are 10 of the best Westerns of the last 20 years, which prove there’s still plenty of life left in the old horse yet.

True Grit
While John Wayne won his only Oscar for his performance in the 1969 version of True Grit, the Coen Brothers’ version pretty much exceeds it in every fashion. Jeff Bridges even outshines Wayne’s take on Rooster Cogburn, while Matt Damon and Hailee Steinfeld are just as revelatory in their supporting roles. As you’d expect, Roger Deakins brings the Western back to life through his exemplary cinematography, while Carter Burwell’s score is still underrated to this day. As is Joel and Ethan Coen’s subtle script and direction, which results in a more faithful adaptation of Charles Portis’ 1968 novel, which means that it's bleak yet touching. Its $252.2 million box office return also scoffed at suggestions the western had perished.

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