With the upcoming Quentin Tarantino’s Western Django Unchained releasing on December 25th, why not have a look at the best movies of the genre made in the last twenty years or so.
Here are the films that did not make the cut for many reasons, but mainly because the ten others cited below were far greater achievements: Wild Bill, The Quick and the Dead (1995), Wyatt Earp, Rango, The Missing (2003), Tombstone, Once Upon A Time in Mexico, Open Range, Appaloosa, and of course Hidalgo.
10. Ride with the Devil
Set at the beginning of the Civil War in Missouri, Ride with the Devil is a lesser known Western that deserves much more recognition. One great news bit about this film is that it was released by the Criterion Collection a couple of years ago for our enjoyment. Plus it was directed by Ang Lee who also offered us the controversial masterpiece, Brokeback Mountain for which he received an Oscar for Best Director.
If entertainment means everything for you when you are watching a movie I would suggest you watch Desperado. This is the film that introduced many of us to the sheer fun of Robert Rodriguez‘s films. Inspired by Sergio Leone’s Westerns and loaded with extra guns and lots of action, Desperado is a guy movie that even girls can enjoy.
8. Lone Star
A much under-estimated film directed by John Sayles at his best, this murder-mystery is set in Texas with Chris Cooper as the sheriff who’s looking for the murderer of his predecessor. Its 135 minutes will get you on the edge of your seat.
7. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
It is not often that an actor of Tommy Lee Jones‘ talent can handle being in front and behind the camera at the same time and yet produce something that has this level of quality. Well, let’s say that he handled both jobs better than most who could only hold one of the two positions.
6. Meek’s Cutoff
Michelle Williams and Kelly Reichardt have been working together since Wendy and Lucy. Their brand of independent American Cinema is behind some of the most reinvigorating films to be made lately. The Western genre has always been a men’s genre so it is very refreshing to watch a story revolving around a female protagonist for a change. Especially when the protagonist is played by an actress of Michelle Williams caliber.
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