Last Updated: April 24th
From the moment the bandit turned his gun toward the camera in 1903’s The Great Train Robbery, no genre of film has been more readily identified with quintessential American cinema than the Western. Though the popularity of classic Western movies waned in the late 1960s, today’s filmmakers still approach the genre with enthusiasm, breathing new life into these cinematic archetypes. Here’s a look at some of the best westerns on Netflix streaming right now.
The Hateful Eight (2015)
The Hateful Eight was originally conceived as a sequel to Quentin Tarantino’s 2012 film Django Unchained, but Tarantino almost gave up the idea of making the movie after the script leaked in early 2014. After he oversaw a live script reading in Los Angeles later that year, Tarantino changed his mind and decided to put his latest vision on the big screen. No longer a Django sequel, The Hateful Eight became a standalone story about eight strangers who take shelter at a stopover during a blizzard, all with very different reasons as to why they don’t trust one another. For the film’s score, Tarantino brought in legendary composer Ennio Morricone to do the film’s score, which won him an Academy Award.
Wind River (2017)
A modern-day Western set against the backdrop of a brutal winter, Wind River stars Jeremy Renner as a US Fish & Wildlife Service agent who’s recruited into helping the FBI after he discovers the body of a young girl on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. He’s joined by a rookie FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) to try and bring the killer to justice. Writer/director Taylor Sheridan was nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for his work on another modern-day Western, 2016’s Hell Or High Water.