15 Best Westerns on Hulu to Watch Right Now: The Western is a staple of American culture. Full of vast landscapes and enthralling struggles against a once untamed region, the films embodied as many myths as they did truths about a bygone period. Over decades, the genre also created a host of movie stars whose very names became synonymous with larger-the-life figures. Still, change was inevitable as society not only evolved its tastes in entertainment but their perspectives on history. 15 Best Westerns on Hulu.
Movies representing the genre began to dwindle from the ’80s onward. Never quite content with dying out, the Western would come back with notable offerings like Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven and the Kurt Russell classic Tombstone. Those few outstanding titles — along with the influence of TV series like Yellowstone — have kept these throwbacks going. Add streaming to the mix, and there’s never been an easier way to catch up on all things westward. Here are the best Westerns to watch on Hulu right now. 15 Best Westerns on Hulu.
15. Hostiles (2017)
A tense Western drama starring Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike, Hostiles tells the tale of a group led by a legendary veteran of the Indian Wars as they travel from New Mexico to Montana. Captain Joseph Blocker (Bale), reluctantly agrees to escort a dying Cheyenne Chief and his family to their tribal lands.
The journey, which is already perilous enough, gets an added complication when they come across a widow (Pike), whose family was killed by Comanches. Joining the trip, their detail must navigate the dangerous route and demanding terrain, banding together to survive. However, the landscape isn’t their only problem since the journey also takes them through hostile Comanche territory. A great film, given Christian Bale’s more notable films, Hostile was one of his most underrated performances.
14. Blackthorn (2011)
A film that slipped under the radar since it was initially released in Spain, Blackthorn presented a fictional account of the life of the legendary Western character, Butch Cassidy, as an older man. Shot on location, the film follows Cassidy 20 years after he disappeared, and finds him living in a remote village in Bolivia. 15 Best Westerns on Hulu.
Living under an assumed name, James Blackthorn, the film reveals that the legends that said Cassidy had been killed in a shootout with the Bolivian Army were wrong, and he hid out in the village all that time. Featuring the likes of the iconic Sam Shepard as Cassidy, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as his younger self, and Stephen Rea, the film made for an interesting take on the legend himself, and how he may have lived out his final days.
13. The Salvation (2014)
A Danish western, The Salvation starred Mads Mikkelsen, Eva Green, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan in a gritty film set during the 1860s. It follows a Danish man named Jon who immigrates to the US and later brings his wife and son over as well. When they arrive, Jon, his wife, and son board a stagecoach together to travel to his home. 15 Best Westerns on Hulu.
Badly injured, Jon struggles to survive, all the while becoming a man hell-bent on revenge. However, in the process of getting it, he draws the wrath of a dangerous land baron connected to the convicts.
12. Wild Horses (2015)
The 2015 western-crime film Wild Horses saw the iconic Robert Duvall direct and star in it, alongside James Franco and Josh Hartnett. The film revolves around Samantha Payne, a Texas Ranger who reopens a missing persons case 15 years after it went cold.
Played by Duvall’s real-life wife, Luciana Duvall, Samantha suspects that the little child involved in the case may have been murdered. Her suspicions also lead her to believe that a local rancher was involved, causing a lot of tension in the town. With an intriguing plot at the center of it all, the film makes for a great alternative to regular Westerns with its new-age edginess. 15 Best Westerns on Hulu.
11. Hell or High Water (2016)
Facing danger to save the family farm certainly isn’t a new concept. Hell or High Water just gives the story an update that brings Western lore into the present day. Instead of cowboys, viewers are treated to the acting team of Chris Pine and Ben Foster; the actors portray two brothers intent on doing the unthinkable for their most important possession. Their outstanding performances are matched only by Jeff Bridges as a Texas Ranger intent on stopping the pair.
Both critically acclaimed and embraced by audiences, it marks yet another creative triumph from Yellowstone co-creator Taylor Sheridan — he would also go on to create the Yellowstone spin-offs 1883 and 1923. Hell or High Water achieved what titles like Dances with Wolves and Unforgiven had done previously, achieving Oscar nominations — the most prominent of them being for Best Picture.
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10. Savege State (2019)
The story follows a French family who are forced to flee their Missouri home when the Civil War breaks out.
Attempting to return to Paris, the family must traverse a dangerous cross-country journey to get there. They enlist the help of a mercenary, whose troubled past soon has the film dripping in some great tension. The resultant film became an award-winning one with some unconventional Western characters that ended up working well for it.
9. 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
Remakes can be tricky to pull off. Many fail to meet the original’s success, others find a way to match, if not be better than, the original material. 3:10 to Yuma happens to fall in the latter, creating something on par with the 1957 classic. This adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s short story stars Christian Bale as a man desperate to pay back his debts.
In the process, he offers to escort a brutal outlaw for money. Russell Crowe’s devious criminal provides more than anyone bargained for while creating a host of unforgettable sequences. Anyone who loves Logan or Ford v. Ferrari will appreciate their director James Mangold’s work on this throwback Western.
8. The Old Way (2023)
Nicolas Cage is as versatile an actor as they come, one minute he’s portraying a legendary bloodsucker in Renfield, and the next he’s taking on the role of a complex truffle hunter in Pig. The Old Way gives Cage a chance to try out the Western genre, something he’s not exactly known for. Revenge is at the center of the film as Cage’s character searches for those who killed his wife. He’s joined by a daughter, played by Ryan Kiera Armstrong, whose own feelings toward society carry over into their quest.
The film also holds a connection to one of recent film history’s most tragic moments. Armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed worked on The Old Way just months before joining the film Rust. The Alec Baldwin project would see cinematographer Halyna Hutchins die due to an on-set gun malfunction. Those who worked with Gutierrez Reed on The Old Way reported issues during filming. Key Grip Stu Brumbaugh told The Wrap that not only did she fail to follow gun safety, but her actions at one point angered Cage.
7. Shanghai Noon (2000)
Comedy may not come to mind when looking for Westerns, but there are a few notable exceptions. Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles is arguably the most recognizable — packed with satire and social commentary, it became one of film’s most talked about comedies. Shanghai Noon doesn’t reach the heights of Blazing Saddles, but the film relies on two likable stars as well as a much less controversial tone to tell its story.
Action icon Jackie Chan portrays a man set on rescuing royalty, while Owen Wilson takes on the role of a robber turned hero. Much like the Rush Hour film series, pairing Chan with an actor willing to take on comedy proves to be a winning formula. The film proved popular with audiences, so much so that a sequel soon followed. Unfortunately for Hulu subscribers, Shanghai Knights is not available on the service.
6. Murder at Yellowstone City (2022)
Murder at Yellowstone City features a title that might catch the eye of Yellowstone fans. While the film has nothing to do with the series, those who continue watching are treated to a distinctly Western mystery. The film sees a prospector murdered after a major discovery — many turn their ire towards a newcomer whose painful past only heightens their suspicions. It falls on another newcomer to help bring the true culprit to justice while battling against growing anger among community members.
Underlying themes of acceptance, understanding, and fighting preconceived notions make this a selection going well beyond the standard fare. The film features a well-known cast, including Gabriel Byrne, Thomas Jane, Isaiah Mustafa, Anna Camp, Nat Wolff, and Richard Dreyfuss.
5. The Last Son (2021)
Avatar star Sam Worthington enters the list with a fairly recent title. Instead of following the usual path for Westerns, The Last Son breaks away with something slightly supernatural in its story.
Worthington’s character is tasked with an unusual assignment, kill his children before they can murder him. He finds one remaining son who is more than capable of fulfilling the morbid destiny. Murder at Yellowstone City star Thomas Jane makes another appearance on the list with this surprising film.
4. Brimstone (2016)
A young mother faces danger after the arrival of a suspicious figure. The film brings together a talented cast to tell this difficult tale; Dakota Fanning leads the talented performers; Guy Pearce, Emilia Jones, and Kit Harington also star.
While other films would assume a chronological approach to their plot, Brimstone utilizes a different approach. Its story is divided into four distinct acts, each one crucial to understanding this complicated narrative. First-time viewers should watch it from beginning to end. After that, those seeking a different perspective can try looking at them from a chronological perspective.
3. Forsaken (2015)
Forsaken brings in one of the Western’s most used character traits, religion. A reverend sees his son return at a difficult time; anyone who owns the land is being pushed to give up their property, and the efforts become increasingly violent. They must put aside their differences to save what’s left of a demanding life. The film marks an onscreen reunion for a major acting family as Donald Sutherland and Kiefer Sutherland play the father and son, respectively. 15 Best Westerns on Hulu.
Individually, these talented actors have been a part of renowned works, with the younger Sutherland leading Fox’s 24. Forsaken offers yet another connection to the series through director Jon Cassar — the multi-hyphenate helmed episodes of 24 in addition to producing. The duo is far from the only icons to appear in Forsaken. Brian Cox stars as the gang leader and villainous owner intent on controlling the community. The actor would go on to bring one of TV’s most dynamic characters to life as Logan Roy on HBO’s Succession.
2. Bandidas (2006)
Bandidas proves that a Western doesn’t need to stick with the usual setting. Instead, this action film with a dose of comedy takes place in Mexico well over a hundred years ago. The film brings together two respected actresses — Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz. The pair portray two very different women whose singular thirst for revenge turns them into criminals. Bandidas marks a major moment for the actresses, appearing together onscreen for the only time in their extensive careers.
While it might seem like a production based in Mexico, the creative team comes from Norway and France. Directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg helmed Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales years after Bandidas. Co-writer Luc Besson, himself is no stranger to crowd pleasers, also counting a host of popular titles like The Fifth Element, Léon: The Professional, Taken, and The Transporter.
1. The Last Victim (2021)
Westerns can function in any period, something already shown by the list’s Hell or High Water. This time, the drama The Last Victim revolves around a ruthless gang with no limits; their spree doesn’t go unnoticed, and soon they are followed by a Sheriff intent on bringing them to justice. The plot thickens when an unsuspecting witness finds herself in the middle of it all. It soon becomes a race to bring the gang to justice before they can silence the woman.
Ron Perlman heads up the cast as the determined lawman. The Hellboy actor’s presence is put to good use here as he creates a character that any outlaw would dread. Also, look for Heroes star Ali Larter in the role of a tormented eyewitness. Outside of Westerns, Larter has made a name for herself with horror — her most notable role being Clear Rivers in the Final Destination film series.