9 Best Westerns on Starz Encore

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Westerns are a timeless action-packed genre of movies that are beloved by many. With the advancements in how we watch television, streaming a western film is easier than ever. Starz Encore has a wide selection of westerns to choose from.

Below you’ll find the top nine best westerns available on Starz Encore.

9 of the Best Westerns Available on Starz Encore – 2020 update

  1. Dances with Wolves
  2. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  3. True Grit
  4. Shane
  5. Hombre
  6. Young Guns
  7. Rawhide
  8. Tom Horn
  9. No Name on the Bullet

1. Dances with Wolves

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Dances with Wolves (1990) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch
8.0/1085/100Starz Free Trial
Amazon (rent or buy)

This is a classic western film that is revered by fans from all walks of life. Before Avatar, there was Dancing with Wolves. The storytelling in this film is top-notch. We see an entirely different culture through the eyes of an outsider. Instead of an alien culture, it’s one in America’s own backyard.

In Dancing with Wolves, John Dunbar (Kevin Costner) is a Lieutenant in the Civil War. After his victories in the war, Dunbar requests that his next duty station be somewhere out west. He finds a deserted outpost but quickly learns he isn’t actually alone. 

He meets a tribe of Indians and a pack of wolves. Soon he is immersed in their ways and culture. It’s a love story about more than romance, though that’s an element as well. He learns to love a group of people who are vastly different than himself.

2. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid (1969) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch
8.0/1086/100Starz Free Trial
Amazon (rent or buy)

Set in the 1900s and based on true historical figures, this film is a collection of popular stories among western fans. Many see it as one of, if not the best, westerns of all time.

Butch (Paul Newman) and Sundance (Robert Redford) are leaders of a gang out in the western part of the country. Their favorite pastime is robbing trains. After going after the same train too many times, the two realize a special posse is following them.

It doesn’t matter where they went or how they tried to avoid this group; they were always right behind them. Finally, Butch and Sundance were able to escape out of pure luck, but it gave them the idea to disappear to Bolivia. The film follows their adventures there.

3. True Grit

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True Grit (1969) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch
7.4/1078/100Starz Free Trial
Amazon (rent or buy)

A true John Wayne film. Fans love this film for its classic storyline and, of course, for John Wayne himself. There are tons of things to love about this movie. There’s a plan for revenge, and an unlikely team going on a manhunt. What’s not to love?

When Mattie’s father is murdered, she’s eager to seek revenge. She goes looking for his killer, only to find that the murderer is wanted by a couple of people too. She joins them on their manhunt, and together, they journey through Indian territory to find him.

Not only do fans love the story, but they love the imagery of True Grit. When it was filmed, the scenery the production team was able to capture is top of the line. Fans were blown away by the beautiful landscapes.

4. Shane

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Shane (1953) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch
7.6/1079/100Starz Free Trial
Amazon (rent or buy)

Shane is another great western film that provides its viewers with beautiful landscapes and imagery. Fans adore this film for its message as much as its fight scenes.

When Shane (Alan Ladd) rides into town, he tries to settle down on a farm with a family who takes him in. A group of cattle farmers wants the land of the family, and Shane won’t let them have it without a fight.

There are undertones of romance between Shane and Mrs. Starrlett (Jean Arthur). Nothing unseemly occurs between the two, but they are obviously attracted to each other. Eventually, Shane has to leave to take care of the men threatening the family.

5. Hombre

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Hombre (1967) –  IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch
7.4/1072/100Starz Free Trial
Amazon (rent or buy)

Any fan of westerns is sure to love this classic ‘shoot ’em up’ film about bandits. Many believe that it was the performance of Paul Newman that really made this movie their favorite western film.

John Russell is a white man who was raised by Indians. He inherits a boarding house when his father dies and intends to sell it. On a stagecoach ride with an assortment of characters tagging along, they find themselves besieged by bandits. In order to make it out alive, they’re going to need to listen to John—who may be their only hope of surviving the attack.

6. Young Guns

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Young Guns (1988) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch
6.9/1072/100Starz Free Trial
Amazon Prime Free Trial
IMDb (subscription)

Young Guns is another ‘revenge gone wrong’ classic that was inspired by real historical figures. While some believed it wasn’t as accurate as it could have been, they still found it enjoyable and worth watching.

After the murder of the good rancher who took in young men and helped them improve their lives, those same young men decided to take the law into their own hands. Led by Billy the Kid (Emilio Estevez), the boys set out to find the people responsible for killing their mentor and benefactor. This movie about good vs. evil and the loss of innocence makes it a great western that is guaranteed to entertain.

7. Rawhide

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Rawhide (1951) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch
7.1/1048/100Starz Free Trial

This film has a lot to offer for a western. It’s a suspenseful, almost thriller that gets you sitting on the edge of your seat. The acting sets it apart as being one of the best westerns.

Vinnie Holt (Susan Hayward) is a strong, independent woman who is traveling alone with her niece. While stopped for the night at a little stagecoach stop, the place is taken over by a group of three robbers. They intend to steal the shipment of gold on its way through that stop. In order to stay alive, Vinnie and her new friend Tom Owens (Tyrone Power) convince the robbers they’re both needed alive.

8. Tom Horn

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Tom Horn (1980) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch
6.9/1067/100Starz Free Trial
Amazon (rent or buy)

Based on a true story, this film is one that wasn’t well-received at first, but it grew on its audiences. Many reviewers have mentioned how well the acting was and how they were able to grasp the movie better after watching it again.

Tom Horn (Steve McQueen) is an ex-army man hired by some ranchers as a hitman. Soon, Tom Horn is on trial for the murder of a boy. A murder that he knows he didn’t commit, but he had a hard time proving since the gun used was the same kind as the one he carries. The same kind of gun he used on a shooting in town that killed some cattlemen.

9. No Name on the Bullet

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No Name on the bullet (1959) – IMDb

IMDb RatingRotten Tomatoes RatingWhere Else to Watch
7.3/1051/100Starz Free Trial
Amazon Prime Free Trial

Everyone loves a western mystery. This isn’t quite a whodunit, but close. What’s great about this one is that viewers get a different kind of performance from the lead, Audie Murphy. Instead of a soft-spoken hero, viewers are given a cold-blooded killer.

John Gant (Audie Murphy) is a well-known professional assassin. So, when he rides into town, everyone starts to worry. Everyone in this film has enemies who are the types to use a paid killer to take care of their enemies. The town becomes paranoid as they wait and wonder who John Gant is going to kill.

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