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The Five Best Westerns of the 21st Century So Far

We often associate Western movies with the 20th century. We think of them as a genre from an era gone by, the days of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, but it’s a genre that is still as popular as it has ever been, with plenty of great movies having been released.

We’ve always had a fascination with the Wild West, movies have inspired other areas of the media, from video games like Read Dead Redemption, to elements of online casino. Shaman’s Dream is one online slot that has really taken the world by storm, earning rave reviews from both critics and players alike. This in-depth review of the Shaman’s Dream slot in particular shows the appetite for Westerns is well and truly still there, and it’s no real surprise with some of the movies that are also being released.

But what are the best Westerns of the 21st century so far? We dive through some of the best gun-slinging movies to have been released since the turn of the Millennium to reveal our top five…

3:10 To Yuma

Starring Christian Bale and Russell Crowe, the 3:10 To Yuma is based on the 1957 film of the same name, and sees Bale agreeing to escort notorious outlaw Ben Wade (Crowe) to a train station to board the 3:10 to Yuma where we will face trial. The journey is a treacherous one and sees the pair form an unlikely friendship, with plenty of twists and turns. But the big question is, will they make it on time?

True Grit

True Grit is a Coen Brothers classic that was released back in 2010 and stars Hailee Steinfeld in a role in which she was Oscar-nominated. She plays a young girl whose father is murdered by outlaw Rooster Cogburn, and the Coens tell the story in a way only they can.

Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino’s first effort of a Western is certainly one worth watching, and it was a film lauded by the critics back in 2012. The movie has an all-star cast, with Jamie Foxx taking on the lead role as a slave who becomes a bounty hunter.

He sets out on a mission to rescue his wife, played by Kerry Washington, who is currently under the “ownership” of Leonardo DiCaprio. Some scenes aren’t for the faint-hearted, but it’s a staggering piece of work.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

A Netflix Original released in 2018, and another Coen Brothers piece of work, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a series of short stories that really runs you through all the emotions. Some are funny, some sad, some heart-wrenching and some utterly relaxing. The stories all come together at the end in what is a wonderful piece of filmmaking and a completely unique version of the genre.

No Country for Old Men

This movie, released in 2007, is more about the death of the Western, and is based upon a crime novel by Cormac McCarthy. The movie stars Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem, with the former stumbling across a crime scene and unearthing a suitcase stashed with money. He takes the money, but Bardem is hot on his heels and a deadly chase ensures.

It’s a film often cited as timeless, and one that is one of the must-watch movies in anyone’s lifetime.


What are your favourite Westerns of the 21st century?


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