Shepherd with a Colt: 20 Cowboy Movies

Prairie chases, Colt gunfights, saloon brawls, duels on the main street, romantic adventures – all this can be found in the cinema, where tanned riders in wide-brimmed hats, leather caps and plaid shirts gallop. Free up a couple of hours for nostalgic western watching, and we will tell you about the best films of the last decades about cowboys from the Wild West.

Sisters Brothers (2018)

A lyrical western that departs from the archaic traditions of the genre, based on the bestseller of the same name by Patrick DeWitt. Experienced mercenary brothers Eli and Charlie are sent to look for fugitive scientist Herman Warm on the instructions of a local crime boss. Everyone needs Warm. After all, a man invented a formula that speeds up the search for gold, but only it is not as simple as it seems at first glance. The adventures of bounty hunters will change not only their lives, but also the worldview in general.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Les frères Sisters

Genre:
Drama, crime, western

Actors:
John C Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal …

Country:
France, Spain, Romania, Belgium, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 6.9

Age restrictions:
18+


Baby Kid (2018)

The events of this film about the Wild West and cowboys are presented on behalf of the young man Rio. The boy’s father is killed by an insidious uncle, and his sister is in danger through the fault of a cruel relative. By coincidence, the paths of an orphan seeking revenge will intersect with the fate of a famous killer named Kid Kid and the sheriff pursuing him. It is Rio that will become the key link in the twisted story with shooting and horse racing.

Original title:
The Kid

Genre:
Biography, drama, western

Actors:
Jake Schur, Layla George, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.7, IMDb – 5.9

Age restrictions:
18+


Maiden (2018)

Romantic cowboy Samuel Alabaster proposes to beautiful Penelope. He composes for his favorite song, dreams of giving her a pony and a heart-shaped engagement ring for her wedding . To conduct the marriage ceremony, the man hires the preacher Henry, who is in fact no minister of the church, but an ordinary drunkard. But here’s the bad luck – the villain Anton Karnell kidnaps the bride , and Samuel goes to save the chosen one. And if a girl who can charge a double-barreled shotgun with one hand needs help, you will find out by watching this foreign comedy film.

Original Title :
Damsel

Genre:
Drama, Comedy, Western

Actors:
Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, David Zellner…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.9, IMDb – 5.5

Age Limits :
16+


Forgotten by God (mini-series, 2017)

The plot of the serial film in the Western genre about cowboys develops in 1884. Independent Alice lives on the outskirts, keeps a household, raises a mestizo son, which causes hatred in the local community, consisting of only women. One night, a wounded stranger knocks on the door of Alice – the adopted son of the gangster Frank, who dreams of finding his stepson and cracking down on him. Soon, bloody showdowns and shooting at live targets will begin in a quiet town, which will not prevent romantic stories from happening among bullets flying from everywhere.

Original title:
Godless

Genre:
Western, drama

Actors:
Jack O’Connell, Michelle Dockery, Scoot McNairy…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 8.3

Age Limits :
12+


Rider (2017)

An elegiac cowboy drama about a guy from an Indian reservation whose plans for the future are ruined by an accident. Brady suffered a head injury during a rodeo. And then – a coma, a hospital bed and a plate in the skull. Now the way to the arena is closed to him forever. A man has to find a place in this world and decide what to do next – to become a farmer or a groom. Or maybe risk your life and take part in the next rodeo?

Original title:
The Rider

Genre:
Drama, western

Actors:
Brady Jandreau, Mooney, Tim Jandro…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 7.5

Age limit:
16+


The Magnificent Seven (2016)

The events of the feature film about cowboys, included in the list of the best adventure action films of recent years, will take the viewer to the times of the gold rush in America. A cruel local oligarch arranges real terror for the common people living near his mine. Seven free shooters undertake to fight back the cutthroat. Let the case seem too difficult, and the reward too small, but these people do not throw words into the wind.

Original title:
The Magnificent Seven

Genre:
Action, adventure, western

Actors:
Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke…

Country:
USA, Australia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.9

Age restrictions:
16+


In the Valley of Violence (2016)

Once upon a time, Paul had a cozy home and true friends. Now his house is a street. Paul lost his only close person – a true friend was killed in a brawl by bandits. After a while, a man arrives in a small town to take revenge on the villains for the death of a friend. Two sisters, the owners of a local hotel, decide to help the man. The criminals have no idea what a terrible punishment awaits them.

Original title:
In a Valley of Violence

Genre:
Drama, crime, western

Actors:
Ethan Hawke, John Travolta, Taissa Farmiga…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.7, IMDb – 6.0

Age restrictions:
16+


American West (mini-series 2016)

The historical serial film about Indians and cowboys is based on the events of 1865-1890 in the USA and was included in the list of the best films of this genre. In those days, there were many skirmishes between the natives, cowboys and outlaws. The heroes of the series are bandits who are eager to take away foreign lands and get rich on gold mining, and brave Indians defending their possessions. Among the heroes of the series are such historical figures as the robbers Jesse James, Billy the Kid, the leaders of the Indians Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, and other famous characters from the history of America.

Original title:
The American West

Genre:
Drama, western, history

Actors:
Mark Lee Gardner, Bert Thomas Morris, David Stevens…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 7.4

Age limit:
12+


Salvation (2014)

A minimalist European western starring Mads Mikkelsen. Farmer John’s wife and son are killed by bandits. An angry cowboy intends to take revenge. He finds offenders and eliminates them one by one. But evil begets evil, and soon John will have to answer for his actions before the local gangster , who keeps the whole district and even the servants of the law in fear. He is the brother of one of the bandits killed by John and is ready to wipe out not only the cowboy himself, but also all the inhabitants of his village.

Original title:
The Salvation

Genre:
Drama, Western

Actors:
Mads Mikkelsen, Eva Green, Jeffrey Dean Morgan…

Country:
Denmark, UK, South Africa, Sweden, Belgium

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.3, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Cowboys vs. Aliens (2011)

With a star-studded cast and a hefty budget, this American cowboy movie has all the typical western characters – fast Indians, lasso riders, a pastor, a sheriff, bandits and a femme fatale. A stranger arrives in a remote province in Arizona. He is not looking for adventure, but answers to questions about himself and his past. But the city where he arrived is terrorized by aliens . By uniting local residents with Colonel Dolarhyde and Apache warriors, the wanderer challenges a common enemy.

Original title:
Cowboys & Aliens

Genre:
Fiction, Action, Thriller, Western

Actors:
Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde…

Country:
USA, India

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.9, IMDb – 6.0

Age Limits :
12+


Iron grip (2010)

14-year-old brave and desperate girl Matty Ross goes in search of her father’s killer in the mysterious lands of hostile Indians, where danger awaits at every turn. To accompany her on a perilous journey, she hires an elderly Marshal Rooster Cogburn, a big drinker. By coincidence, another lawyer from another state joins the couple, also looking for a criminal.

Original title:
True Grit

Genre:
Drama, adventure, western

Actors:
Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.6

Age limit:
16+


Kid Montana (2010)

A modern Canadian film about cowboys is an action comedy where the image of a classic American shooter is parodied. The inhabitants of a small town eked out days without adventure, until a strange rider appeared in the vicinity with a bullet in the buttock. Compassionate villagers sheltered, fed and patched up the traveler. They still do not know that the guest is the well-known criminal Montana Kid, wanted for the murder of seven people, and soon not only lawmen, but also bounty hunters will come after him.

Original title:
Gunless

Genre:
Action, drama, comedy, western

Actors:
Paul Gross, Sienna Guillory, Dustin Milligan…

Country:
Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
18+


Elusive Luke (2009)

An adventure comedy about cowboy Luke, who returns home after years of wandering. Now the city has its own rules – the inveterate villains Pat Poker and Billy Z.K. are in charge here. The situation is aggravated by Luke’s clash with old enemies. The hero is waiting for rivers of whiskey, shooting and insidious bandits. And, of course, the case will not do without love for the beautiful blonde – the singer of the local tavern.

Original title:
Lucky Luke

Genre:
Comedy, adventure, western

Actors:
Jean Dujardin, Mikael Yun, Sylvie Testu…

Country:
France, Argentina

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.8, IMDb – 4.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Appaloosa (2008)

The top movies about cowboys are continued by a dramatic action film based on the book of the same name by Robert Parker. Appaloosa is a small town in New Mexico. It is there that two friends go to protect the inhabitants from the atrocities of the owner of the local ranch. The partners begin to administer their own justice, but soon a beautiful lady appears on the horizon. It is the widow, played by Renee Zellweger, who will play a key role in the romantic western.

Original title:
Appaloosa

Genre:
Action, crime, melodrama, western

Actors:
Viggo Mortensen, Ed Harris, Rene Zellweger …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Train to Yuma (2007)

The drought ruins Dan Evans’ crops – soon all his property will be confiscated for debts. Therefore, the farmer desperately grabs every opportunity to earn. The government offers Dan $200 to escort criminal Ben Wade to the nearest town. Leaving his family at home, the man embarks on a dangerous journey. But Ben’s gang is already looking for their leader, and he offers Dan a rather large sum for his release. What will the farmer choose – duty or the opportunity to save himself and his family from poverty?

Original title:
3:10 to Yuma

Genre:
Crime, Action, Western

Actors:
Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Logan Lerman…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.7

Age Limits :
16+


Interrupted Path (mini-series 2006)

The events of the serial film about Texas and cowboys unfold in 1898. Print and his nephew Tom work together, driving horses from ranch to ranch across the country. On one of the trips, the men meet five girls whom the criminals were going to sell into sexual slavery. Honest cowboys have no choice but to help frightened Chinese women. However, the bandits are not ready to say goodbye to profit and are already on the heels of the saviors.

Original title:
Broken Trail

Genre:
Western

Actors:
Robert Duvall, Thomas Haden Church, Greta Scacchi …

Country:
USA, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 7.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Three Graves (2005)

The crime film won the Cannes Film Festival and received critical acclaim. In the Texas desert, outlaws kill the boy Estrada, leaving the corpse to rot at the crime scene. Soon the dead man is found and buried in the nearest cemetery. However, a friend of the bandit victim, Pete, wants to bury his comrade with full honors in Mexico. To do this, he kidnaps a policeman , steals a corpse, and sets off on a dangerous journey to find out the secret of the murder of a comrade and worthily see him on his last journey.

Original title:
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Genre:
Drama, crime, detective, adventure, western

Actors:
Tommy Lee Jones, Barry Pepper, Julio Zedillo …

Country:
France, Mexico, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Deadwood (TV series 2004 – 2006)

The series about the confrontation between the sheriff and the owner of a brothel has earned a high rating thanks to a non-trivial, tense and realistic plot. Set in the 1870s during the Indian Wars, gold rush and traveling cowboys. The Wild West has not yet been conquered, but the aristocrats and industrialists have already laid their eyes on the rich land. Locals deceive visitors, visitors try to deceive everyone, and the servants of the law have not yet decided whose side they should take.

Original title:
Deadwood

Genre:
Drama, crime, western, history

Actors:
Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 8.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Open space (2003)

A heartfelt film about the life of tough cowboys in the Wild West is worth watching for fans of classic westerns. Four cowboys – an old man, a loving macho man, a stupid big man and a teenager are engaged in grazing cattle. One day they face a problem in the person of the rancher Baxter, who keeps the whole district in fear. As a result of this meeting, one of the cowboys is killed and another is injured. Then the surviving friends decide to restore justice and take revenge.

Original title:
Open Range

Genre:
Action, drama, melodrama, western

Actors:
Robert Duvall, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Indomitable Hearts (2000)

Young cowboys John and Cole go to work in Mexico. There, Cole meets the girl of his dreams – the daughter of an influential rancher. However, in those days, the connection between an American and a Mexican woman was unacceptable. Forbidden love will never be accepted by her family or her friends. Unable to cope with the surging feelings, Cole brings himself and his beloved mortal danger.

Original title:
All the Pretty Horses

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, western

Actors:
Matt Damon, Penelope Cruz, Henry Thomas …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 5.8

Age restrictions:
18+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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