12 Entertaining Westerns on Netflix

TrialForFreeFilm & TV Streaming, Netflix, Western Movies

western movies on netflix

Western films are a popular choice among many, given their action-packed nature. While very popular in the mid-20th century, they’ve constantly been redefined throughout the years, proving to be one of the most flexible–and timeless genres. Westerns have also grown to be very popular in recent years, whether they’re taking place in modern times or more than a hundred years ago. 

Here are 12 Western films available on Netflix

12 Westerns on Netflix

  1. The Outlaw Josey Wales
  2. Justice 
  3. In a Valley of Violence
  4. Badland
  5. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  6. Dances with Wolves
  7. Django Unchained
  8. The Long Riders
  9. American Outlaws
  10. The Ballad of Lefty Brown
  11. Quigley Down Under 
  12. Rango

1. The Outlaw Josey Walesblank

The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes Rating Where Else to Watch 
7.8/1090/100Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Vudu

This western film is especially famous for being action-packed. It takes place after the Civil War, and the main character is an outlaw on the run, escaping Union soldiers. 

The plotline takes after many other western films, which involve a rugged outlaw in pursuit of self-proclaimed justice.

Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood) takes on that role. At the beginning of the film, Josey is forced to witness the murder of his wife and child–an act committed by Union soldiers. Shortly afterward, Josey joins confederate forces and begins his search for revenge. 

After Union soldiers killed those members of his family, Wales moves out west and joins a guerilla unit. Wales is set on revenge and quickly becomes one of the most fearsome cowboys in the West. 

2. Justice

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Justice (2017) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch 
4/1024/100 (Audience Score)Amazon Prime Video

Although many of the popular western films come from the mid to late 20th century, justice is an example of a modern-day western film. Despite this, it still takes place in a similar time as many other westerns–the late 19th century. 

Despite having a low rating on both IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes, this movie is still a popular choice among movie lovers. 

In this movie, James McCord (Nathan Parsons) is a U.S. marshall who is set on avenging the death of his brother, who was murdered in a small town. This follows the plotline template of many westerns, where the protagonist aims to avenge a death. 

On top of that, James has other issues to deal with: The town is led by a corrupt mayor with equally corrupt henchmen. Furthermore, the mayor is attempting to revive the Civil War, which requires James to protect the citizens of the town. 

3. In a Valley of Violence

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In a Valley of Violence (2016) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes Rating Where Else to Watch 
6/1077/100Amazon Prime Video, Vudu

Like Justice, this movie is also relatively recent. Many westerns on Netflix have come out within the past ten years, but the streaming platform still has many classics.

This movie takes place in 1868, which is slightly more than three years since the Civil War ended. 

A stranger named Paul (Ethan Hawke) appears in an old western town with his dog in the film. The town that they end up in–called Denton–happens to be an infamous area called the Valley of Violence. Paul stumbled upon this town in an attempt to take a shortcut. 

This town is almost entirely abandoned. What Paul finds out, however, is that a group of outlaws and misfits control the town. On top of that, he is forced to deal with Gilly (James Ransone), who is the son of the town’s marshal and one of the outlaws with whom Paul must contend. 

4. Badland

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Badland (2019) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes Rating Where Else to Watch 
5.5/1050/100Hoopla, iTunes, Google Play Movies, Vudu, Amazon Video, Microsoft Store, Vudu, YouTube

Set more than ten years after the Civil War, this western film features a dangerous detective named Matthias Breecher (Kevin Makely). Matthias is given the task of hunting down some of the worst Confederate war criminals after the Civil War. 

During his quest, Matthias meets a mysterious pioneer woman, who ends up helping him much more than it initially seems. 

Although this film doesn’t rate as well as other westerns on this list, it still follows the storyline of the classic western. 

5. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes Rating Where Else to Watch
7.3/1089/100Amazon Prime Video 

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is one of the more highly rated western films. Additionally, it’s one of the most popular given its humor and action-packed nature.

Unlike the previously mentioned films, this one encompasses six different stories with different scenarios.

Throughout the stories, however, there’s a character named Buster Scruggs (Tim Blake Nelson). Some of the stories involve Buster’s encounters with robbers and impresarios, where others include adventures on wagon trains and involve dangerous bounty hunters. 

No matter which story, one thing remains constant–there’s always an action-packed adventure with a great storyline. 

6. Dances With Wolves

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Dances With Wolves (1990) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch 
8/1083/100Amazon Prime Video 

Dances with Wolves is a highly rated western film that takes place in a Civil War outpost. Lieutenant John Dunbar (Kevin Costner) is living in the Old West, and while he’s there, he befriends a group of Lakota Indians. 

Soon, they develop a strong friendship, and John Dunbar leaves his former life to live with them. Soon enough, John also finds love with a woman from the tribe. 

However, by the end of the film, things go awry, and disaster strikes when Union soldiers arrive on their land. 

While this movie is highly rated for its cinematography and storyline, it has also been criticised for its portrayal of Native Americans, which is–although well-intentioned–misrepresentative of their actual culture. 

7. Django Unchained

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Django Unchained (2012) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch 
8.4/1087/100Netflix, Showtime, Amazon Prime Video, DirecTV, Spectrum on Demand, Roku, Pluto TV, Vudu, Peacock

Directed by Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained is a film that takes place prior to the Civil War. The main character is a freed slave named Django (Jamie Foxx), who goes on a journey to save his wife, who’s on a plantation in Mississippi under the control of a violent plantation owner. 

Taking place in 1858, Django embarks on this journey with a German bounty hunter named King Shultz (Christoph Waltz). In exchange for becoming partners, the two head to the plantation to execute their plan, where King Shulz tries to befriend the plantation owner and attack from the inside. 

8. The Long Riders

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The Long Riders (1980) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes Rating Where Else to Watch 
7/1083/100Amazon Prime, iTunes

This 1980 film features a bank robbery in which a gang–called the James-Younger Gang, watches one of their members, a man named Ed Miller (Dennis Quaid), murder a man in cold blood. 

Their leader is quite displeased at the incident and decides to break off the gang. They go their separate ways and eventually meet up again in the future at a bank robbery in Minnesota, where everything seemingly goes wrong–leading up to a big chase. 

9. American Outlaws

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American Outlaws (2001) – IMDb

IMDb Rating Rotten Tomatoes Rating Where Else to Watch 
6/1014/100Amazon Prime, iTunes, Vudu, Pluto 

Like many western films, American Outlaws takes place after the Civil War. The two main characters, Frank (Gabriel Macht) and Jesse (Colin Farell), are confederate soldiers who return home to Missouri. 

However, what Frank and Jesse come to discover is that the railroad baron named Thaddeus Rains is pushing innocent civilians from their homes. They learn that in order to bring peace to the town, they need to stop the railroad baron from getting involved.

Amid the chaos, James’ mother is murdered, leading both him and Frank to engage in railroad robberies intended to hurt the railroad and the railroad baron. 

10. The Ballad of Lefty Brown

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The Ballad of Lefty Brown (2017) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch 
6.3/1079/100Amazon Prime Video

The Ballad of Lefty Brown follows the long tradition of western films, as the main character is a cowboy in the pursuit of justice. This film tells the story of Lefty Brown (Bill Pullman), who watches his partner–Edward Johnson–get murdered. 

The rest of the film tracks his search for revenge as he travels across the West. To aid in his pursuit of revenge, Lefty Brown recruits one of his old friends and a young gunslinger. 

While everything seems to be going to plan, Lefty finds out that he is being accused of his friend’s murder and must turn into an outlaw himself to expose the truth. 

11. Quigley Down Under

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Quigley Down Under (1990) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch 
6.9/1056/100Hoopla, Spectrum on Demand, AMC Plus, Roku, Pluto TV, Amazon Prime Video 

In this 1990 movie, the protagonist, a rifleman named Matthew Quigley (Tom Selleck), leaves for Australia when he sees an ad requesting a sharpshooter. Soon after, Matthew meets his boss and finds out that the sharpshooting job is much different than he previously anticipated. 

Matthew’s job is to kill Australian indigenous populations. Further on in the film, he and his boss fight, and he’s left for dead in a remote part of Australia, where he’s ultimately saved by the same people he was tasked to kill. He teams up with them, however, and begins to plot their revenge. 

12. Rango

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Rango (2011) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch 
7.2/1088/100Amazon Prime, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu 

This 2011 animated film describes the adventures of a charismatic chameleon, Rango (Johnny Depp), after surviving a car accident. This movie is slightly different from the other western films on this list because it’s animated, but it’s a western nonetheless. 

This movie is ideal for children who may not be old enough to watch more violent western films. 

In the movie, Rango ends up in a western town called Dirt, which is in desperate need of water–and some proper leadership. 

Rango ultimately accepts the role of the town sheriff and goes on the hunt to get the town more water. 

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