We all watch movies, and which is the “best” is a matter of opinion really. Here are the top 10 western movies from 1990-2000. Don’t forget to check out other lists throughout Thought for Your Penny.
10. Back to the Future Part III (1990) 74% at Rotten Tomatoes
The final installment of the BttF trilogy finds Marty receiving a letter that was sitting in the Post Office since 1885. He goes back to save Doc Brown from being shot in the back by Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen, despite Doc’s insistence that he leave him be. Now they’re working with “modern” technology to find a way to get everyone back to the future where it’s safe.
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Michael J. Fox, Christpher Llyod, Mary Steenburgen
9. Young Guns II (1990) 35% at Rotten Tomatoes
The speech at the beginning of the rap song “Regulators” is from the original Young Guns, where Billy the Kid joins a gang of Regulators in the wild west. In this sequel, they’re separated, but still wanted, and Billy rescues Doc and Chavez while making a deal with his friend Pat Garrett. Is the old man in the beginning telling the truth that he’s actually Billy the Kid?
Director: Geoff Murphy
Starring: Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips
8. Maverick (1994) 66% at Rotten Tomatoes
Bret Maverick would rather con someone than fight with guns, and he’s determined to win a high-stakes poker tournament if he can gather the funds for the entry fee. Now he’s involved in a cat-and-mouse chase for the money against the country’s best con men (and woman) and thieves.
Director: Richard Donner
Starring: Mel Gibson, James Garner, Jodie Foster
7. Posse (1993) 31% at Rotten Tomatoes
Near Ft. Huachuca, AZ, there’s a road called Buffalo Soldier Trail, along with a museum dedicated to this oft-forgotten regiment. Buffalo Soldiers were the black guys fighting early American wars, and Posse focuses on a group of them post-war after being forced into a life of crime by a racist commander. It’s one of many chances for white people to open your eyes to the reality facing minorities in America then and now.
Director: Mario Van Peebles
Starring: Mario Van Peebles, Tommy Tiny Lister, Big Daddy Kane
6. City Slickers (1991) 90% at Rotten Tomatoes
A bunch of rich guys from Manhattan decide to try their hands at an authentic old-west cattle drive. That’s where they meet Curly, a grizzled cowboy who isn’t impressed by their city slicker ways. They eventually learn valuable lessons while exploring the open countryside of New Mexico and Colorado.
Director: Ron Underwood
Starring: Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern, Jack Palance
5. Wild Wild West (1999) 17% at Rotten Tomatoes
This movie gets a lot of flack from critics, but it’s actually not bad. It’s an entertaining sci-fi western with steam punk aesthetics that have held up much better than most movies from the 1990s. Also anyone alive back then who tells you they didn’t bob their heads to Smith’s song of the same name is lying to emulate Slim Shady.
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Starring: Will Smith, Kevin Kline, Salma Hayek
4. El Mariachi (1992) 93% at Rotten Tomatoes
El Mariachi is just a guitar player who wants to carry on the family tradition, but there’s a killer who carries his guns in the exact same guitar case. They accidentally switch cases, and now he’s being hunted by both the cartels and Azul. The ensuing battle (and movie profits) eventually transforms El Mariachi into Antonio Banderas.
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Carlos Gallardo, Consuelo Gomez, Jaime de Hoyos
3. An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991) 45% at Rotten Tomatoes
The first movie saw Fievel and his Mousekewitz family emigrate to America in hopes of creating a new life full of opportunities. They’re still being hunted by cats, so they head west, where con artist Cat R. Waul has promised cats and mice live in peace. It’s got a shiny cartoon face, but a very real story of human greed in the American West.
Director: Phil Nibbelink, Simon Wells
Starring: James Stewart, John Cleese, Amy Irving
2. Tombstone (1993) 73% at Rotten Tomatoes
Tombstone is a mining boom town not far from where I grew up, and Wyatt Earp is its most famous resident. The gunfight at the O.K. Corral (along with the events leading up to it) is depicted in this movie, as the Cowboys and Earps bicker back and forth over who truly controls the old west – the rural ranchers or the townsfolk and businessmen.
Director: George P. Cosmatos, Kevin Jarre
Starring: Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott
1. Unforgiven (1992) 96% at Rotten Tomatoes
William Munny is a gunslinger with a fearsome reputation, but he’s just trying to retire and live a normal life. That is until his wife dies and the whores of Big Whisky put a bounty on the heads of a couple of cowboys that cut one of them up. Now he’s bringing hell to the town, and there’s nothing Sheriff Little Bill Daggett, rival gunslinger English Bob, or anyone else is going to do to stop him.
Director: Clint Eastwood
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman