We all watch movies, and which is the “best” is a matter of opinion really. Here are the top 10 western movies from 2000-2010. Don’t forget to check out other lists throughout Thought for Your Penny.
10. True Grit (2010) 95% at Rotten Tomatoes
A stubborn girl hires a tough U.S. Marshal named Rooster Cogburn to track down her father’s killer, outlaw Tom Chaney. A Texas Ranger is also on the quest in this remake of the most iconic John Wayne role of his career. Even the remake plays well, and you’ll like it more than the original.
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld
9. Shanghai Noon (2000) 79% at Rotten Tomatoes
Chan and Wilson bring the buddy cop formula to the old west when a Chinese man named Chon Wang comes to rescue his kidnapped princess. He meets criminal-wannabe Roy O’Bannon, and they embark on the quest together. It’s a feel-good popcorn western.
Director: Tom Dey
Starring: Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson, Lucy Liu
8. The Proposition (2005) 86% at Rotten Tomatoes
A lawman apprehends an outlaw, giving him 9 days to either kill his older brother or watch them kill his younger brother. This choice drives the rest of the unique movie for any genre, making it one of the best westerns of all time.
Director: John Hillcoat
Starring: Ray Winstone, Guy Pearce, Emily Watson
7. Appaloosa (2008) 77% at Rotten Tomatoes
Two friends travel the old west as hired guns bringing justice to any small town that’ll pay them. As they take on the powerful rancher played by Jeremy Irons, a widow comes to town and all hell breaks loose.
Director: Ed Harris
Starring: Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Renee Zellweger
6. No Country for Old Men (2007) 93% at Rotten Tomatoes
When a hunter comes across the aftermath of a drug deal gone wrong, he takes the money against his better instincts. Soon, he’s hunted down by both the drug kingpin and an aging sheriff looking to protect him. it’s everything you want a western to be.
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Cohen
Starring: Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones
5. The Alamo (2004) 29% at Rotten Tomatoes
Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and dozens of other Americans are killed by the invading forces of Mexican dictator Santa Anna. This historical remake didn’t wow critics, but it’s still a great western classic that deserves another watch.
Director: John Lee Hancock
Starring: Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton, Emilio Echevarria
4. Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003) 68% at Rotten Tomatoes
In the final episode of the El Mariachi trilogy, he finds himself in the middle of a war between a cartel kingpin looking to overthrow the Mexican government and the corrupt CIA agent looking to stop him. It’s the best action south of the border.
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Johnny Depp
3. Open Range (2003) 79% at Rotten Tomatoes
The former gunslinger brought out of retirement is one of the best cliches in western movies. It’s on full display in Open Range with an all-star cast from the era. Highly watchable to this day, it’s a trope you’ll be glad exists as ranchers defend their land from a corrupt lawman.
Director: Kevin Costner
Starring: Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall, Diego Luna
2. There Will Be Blood (2007) 91% at Rotten Tomatoes
Day-Lewis was meant for playing on-screen villains. Nowhere is this more apparent than his portrayal of Daniel Plainview, a silver miner who discovers riches in oil. Every second of his moral decay will titillate you, and it’s hard not to get attached to the characters.
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Ciaran Hinds
1. 3:10 to Yuma (2007) 89% at Rotten Tomatoes
A small-time rancher and outlaw engage in a battle of wits while awaiting the 3:10 train to take him to Yuma for trial. This is the bar by which all westerns will forever be measured. It’s well filmed, has great dialogue, and the actors almost make you want to move to AZ.
Director: James Mangold
Starring: Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Ben Foster