Top 3 Westerns Of The 21st Century You Need To Watch In 2023

What makes a good Western movie in the 21st century? Since we’re well past Clint Eastwood taking down baddies on horses, it leaves a huge gap that the industry craves.

Western movies have always been, and will always be popular. But we are indeed facing a shortage of good movies. So that’s why we’re going to give you our top 3 Westerns of the 21st century to follow up in 2023.

Open Range


You might expect Open Range to be one of those movies who is critically acclaimed by everyone in the industry. Sadly, this movie has no Oscar to show for, but that doesn’t make it a bad movie. Not everyone associated Kevin Costner with the role of a director. But he did win an Oscar for a movie before directing Open Range. So the hype was real among fans who craved a good Western from the 21st century.

Open Range stars Costner himself and Robert Duvall as two cowboys who want to do nothing but live out their days in peace with their cattle.

As one might expect, things suddenly start to go sour between the cowboys and a group of corrupt lawmen. One leads to another and the two cowboys have no other option but to take matters into their own hands.

What makes Open Range such a good 21st century Western is the fact that Costner does an excellent job as Charley Waite and director at the same time.

The Proposition


Can we include Aussie Westerns on this list? The Proposition is a 2005 movie directed from the land down under. According to Scott Cooper Florida director, the movie is torn between the idea of justice and survival much like in another famous Western – Hostiles.

The plot of the movie essentially revolves around an outlaw who has to track down and kill his brother. Now, you might be wondering why the heck would he do that? Well, the twist is that the notorious outlaw is captured by lawmen and is given nine days to do that or his younger brother will be hanged.

So he has to essentially choose between his older and younger brother. The story isn’t as convoluting as the idea of going through with what is asked from Charlie Burns (played by Guy Pearce).

We recommend giving the movie a watch as it looks more painful than what we give it credit for.

Brokeback Mountain

Not many people would associate Western films with romance. But that’s exactly what Brokeback Mountain brings to the movie screen. You’ve probably seen memes of Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger romantically praying eyes on one another. Well, those memes are from this movie.

And the movie certainly doesn’t disappoint. Brokeback Mountain is a sad story of two shepherds who develop feelings for one another. But considering we’re talking about two men in love from way back in history, we’ll that brings a problem in itself.

What’s even more complicated is that both Jack and Ennis have girlfriends, and they eventually have to do the “right” thing and marry them. The pain of both shepherds having to go back to their normal lives after their shepherd duties end in the off-season was enough for the movie to win an Oscar for best screenplay.