20. Way Out West (1937)
> Starring: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Sharon Lynn
> Directed by: James W. Horne
> Runtime: 65 min
> Available on: Apple iTunes, Hoopla, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Pluto TV
Laurel and Hardy’s “Way Out West” is one of the older Westerns on the list. The film features cinema’s favorite bumbling duo trying to deliver the deed to a gold mine to a prospector’s daughter, only to have it stolen. One of the film’s more endearing moments is a soft-shoe dance number the pair performs in front of a saloon. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes were completely won over by Laurel and Hardy’s Western spoof, giving it a 100% Freshness rating, with audiences awarding it a 91% score.
19. The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
> Starring: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Chief Dan George
> Directed by: Clint Eastwood
> Runtime: 135 min
> Available on: Apple iTunes, Vudu, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Amazon Video, DIRECTV, Redbox, Microsoft Store, FandangoNOW
In this Civil War-era Western, Clint Eastwood recreated his taciturn loner character as Josey Wales, a Missouri farmer who seeks revenge by joining the pro-Confederate Missouri Bushwhackers after his wife and son are murdered by pro-Union Jayhawkers from Kansas. The movie received praise from Native Americans because it depicted them in a non-stereotypical way. Eastwood’s revisionist take on the Western genre holds a 90% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and 92% of audiences liked the film.
18. Dances with Wolves (1990)
> Starring: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene
> Directed by: Kevin Costner
> Runtime: 181 min
> Available on: Vudu, Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Microsoft Store, AMC on Demand, DIRECTV, Redbox, FandangoNOW, fuboTV, Sling TV, Amazon Video
Kevin Costner won the Best Director Oscar and starred in this story about a soldier in the American West who makes peace with wolves and Native Americans and is eventually shunned by his peers. “Dances with Wolves,” which won seven Academy Awards, holds an 83% Freshness score among critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and an 87% rating among audiences. The film has a rating of 8.0 out of 10 among more than 232,000 IMDb users.
17. The Great Silence (1968)
> Starring: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Klaus Kinski, Frank Wolff
> Directed by: Sergio Corbucci
> Runtime: 105 min
> Available on: Vudu, Amazon Video, YouTube, Google Play Movies, Apple iTunes, Hoopla
This Italian-French co-production directed by Sergio Corbucci (“Django”) follows a mute gunfighter named Silence as he protects a group of outlaws from ruthless bounty hunters. The politically charged Western has a perfect score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and a 90% score from users on the site.
16. McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
> Starring: Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Rene Auberjonois
> Directed by: Robert Altman
> Runtime: 120 min
> Available on: Apple iTunes, Vudu, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, DIRECTV, Microsoft Store, FandangoNOW, HBO Max
A classic of the New Hollywood era, “McCabe & Mrs. Miller” stars Warren Beatty and Julie Christie as a gambler and a prostitute who team up to run a brothel in the Old West. The film plays with conventions of the genre, leading to director Robert Altman referring to it as an “anti-Western.” This approach hasn’t stopped the movie from being embraced by critics and audiences alike, with both delivering an 87% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.