The Best Westerns To Watch On Netflix

Benedict Cumberbatch on horseback in The Power of the Dog
(Image credit: Netflix)

There was a time, decades ago, when the Western was the dominant film genre, but a really good, old fashioned story of good vs. evil set in the early days of civilization only blows through every once in a blue moon these days. However, when you look at some of the best movies on Netflix, you will find a plentiful amount of beloved classics and modern favorites alike with epic shootouts, foreboding acoustic guitar chords, and a fair share of 10-gallon hats. Take a look at all the best Western movies that a Netflix subscription can offer right here below.

Sharon Stone in The Quick And The Dead

(Image credit: TriStar Pictures)

The Quick And The Dead (1995)

A mysterious, sharpshooting woman (played by Sharon Stone) enrolls into a small village’s annual gun-slinging tournament, but her real target is the town’s ruthless leader (played by Gene Hackman).

Why it is one of the best Western movies on Netflix: Essentially a series of spine-tingling gun duels wrapped in an old fashioned revenge tale, The Quick of the Dead is not just one of director Sam Raimi’s best movies, but one of the best Westerns of the ‘90s.

Stream The Quick and the Dead on Netflix.

Martin Sensmeier in Montford: The Chickasaw Rancher

(Image credit: Chickasaw Nation Productions)

Montford: The Chickasaw Rancher (2021)

A Native American cattleman (played by Martin Sensmeier) contends with great struggles while attempting to establish his own ranching empire along the Chisholm Trail.

Why it is one of the best Western movies on Netflix: Following his roles in 2016’s The Magnificent Seven and HBO’s Westworld, Sensmeier leads his own Western movie as the real-life Montford T. Johnson in Montford: The Chickasaw Rancher – an inspiring biopic from director Nathan Frankowski.

Stream Montford: The Chickasaw Rancher on Netflix.

Diogo Morgado in The Killer

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Killer (2017)

A lone, vengeful drifter (played by Diogo Morgado) becomes a hired gun to a tyrannical Frenchman in 1940s Brazil.

Why it is one of the best Western movies on Netflix: Not to be confused with another Netflix original movie from David Fincher, writer and director Marcelo Galvão’s The Killer is the platform’s first Brazilian film and really packs a punch with its brutal gunfighting sequences.

Stream The Killer on Netflix.

Vinnie Jones in The Big Ugly

(Image credit: Vertical Entertainment)

The Big Ugly (2020)

After discovering his girlfriend murdered, a London mobster (played by Vinnie Jones) sets his sights on the son of his boss’ new business partner: a West Virginia oilman.

Why it is one of the best Western movies on Netflix: From co-writer and director Scott Wiper, The Big Ugly is part British crime drama, part Neo-Western, and all badass revenge tale.

Stream The Big Ugly on Netflix.

Seth MacFarlane and Charlize Theron in A Million Ways to Die in the West

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

A Million Ways To Die In The West (2014)

A cowardly farmer (played by Seth MacFarlane) is forced to become the hero he couldn’t be after he falls for a mysterious visitor (played by Charlize Theron) in the late 1800s.

Why it is one of the best Western movies on Netflix: MacFarlane leads his second feature-length effort as a director, A Million Ways to Die in the West, which sends up the Western genre in the Family Guy creator’s signature style.

Stream A Million Ways to Die in the West on Netflix.

Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal in Strange Way of Life

(Image credit: Sony Pictures Classics)

Strange Way Of Life (2023)

A cowboy (played by Pedro Pascal) reunites with his former lover, a sheriff (played by Ethan Hawke), in an attempt to liberate his son, who has been accused of murder.

Why it is one of the best Western movies on Netflix: Writer and director Pedro Almodóvar's 31-minute short film, Strange Way of Life, is far more suspenseful and action-packed Western with LGBTQ+ themes than Brokeback Mountain.

Stream Strange Way of Life on Netflix.

Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst in The Power of the Dog

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Power Of The Dog (2021)

A charismatic, but belligerent, ranch worker (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) becomes unexpectedly close to a young man (played by Kodi Smit-McPhee), who is also the son of his brother’s (played by Jesse Plemons) new wife (played by Kirsten Dunst).

Why it is one of the best Western movies on Netflix: Jane Campion became the third woman to earn the Best Director Oscar for helming Netflix’s stirring adaptation of Thomas Savage’s novel, The Power of the Dog.

Stream The Power of the Dog on Netflix.

Idris Elba in The Harder They Fall

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Harder They Fall (2021)

When a slick outlaw (played by Jonathan Majors) learns that an enemy from his past (played by Idris Elbra) is being released from prison, he takes the opportunity to satisfy his long-gestating need for revenge.

Why it is one of the best Western movies on Netflix: Co-writer and director Jeymes Samuel’s Netflix original The Harder They Fall may bear a familiar plot description, but – with its stunning aesthetic and predominantly Black cast – it’s one of the most refreshingly unique Westerns in a long time.

Stream The Harder They Fall on Netflix.

David Wenham and Ahmed Malek in The Furnace

(Image credit: Umbrella Entertainment)

The Furnace (2017)

A young Afghan man (played by Ahmed Malek) joins forces with a bushman (played by David Wenham) on the run with stolen gold in 1890s Australia.

Why it is one of the best Western movies on Netflix: Not all of the best Westerns are set in the American West, as writer and director Roderick MacKay’s The Furnace can vouch for.

Stream The Furnace on Netflix.

Tim Blake Nelson in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs (2018)

Joel and Ethan Coen returned to the Western genre with this collection of six tales set in the Old West – including one of a traveling entertainment promoter, another about a pair of bull-headed bounty hunters, and one of a gunman who likes to sing.

Why it is one of the best Western movies on Netflix: Even those who would not claim classic cowboy tales as their primary cup of tea can be whisked into the Coen Brothers’ underrated Netflix original, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – an anthology that incorporates a unique mix of traditional Western themes with startling violence, offbeat comedy, and even an Oscar-nominated musical number.

Stream The Ballad of Buster Scruggs on Netflix.

We reckon that, for anyone who calls themselves a fan of Western movies, it would be in their best interest to check out these film on Netflix.

Jason Wiese
Content Writer

Jason Wiese writes feature stories for CinemaBlend. His occupation results from years dreaming of a filmmaking career, settling on a "professional film fan" career, studying journalism at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO (where he served as Culture Editor for its student-run print and online publications), and a brief stint of reviewing movies for fun. He would later continue that side-hustle of film criticism on TikTok (@wiesewisdom), where he posts videos on a semi-weekly basis. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.