When it comes to westerns and crime stories, No Country For Old Men is a masterful mashup. Here are a few other selections in the same vein.
As far as the Coen brothers’ filmography goes, No Country for Old Menis unquestionably their best work. Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, and cinematographer Roger Deakins all star in the film, which is no surprise given its stellar cast and crew.
That being said, what really sets No Country for Old Men apart is its innovative fusion of the crime and western genres, elevating both its themes and its antagonist at the same time. Fortunately for moviegoers who enjoyed the Coens’ film, there are a slew of excellent crime Westerns to see afterward.
10. Appaloosa (2008) – Available On Tubi TV
In Appaloosa, Viggo Mortensen stars alongside Ed Harris, Renee Zellweger, and Jeremy Irons in a little-known but excellent crime Western. A Western in the traditional sense, it delves much deeper into psychology, which distinguishes it from the rest of its genre.
A rancher has been terrorizing the residents of a small town, so the town hires two friends to serve as Marshals and Deputy Marshals. Along the way, the friends become embroiled in a love triangle with a newly arrived young widow.
9. The Sisters Brothers (2018) – Available On Hulu
There are four great actors in the lead roles in The Sisters Brothers, one of Joaquin Phoenix’s best performances (John C. Reilly, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Riz Ahmed alongside Phoenix). There are many familiar genre tropes subverted in a surprising way in the crime Western film.
We see brothers Eli and Charlie Sisters, who are known for their heinous deeds, go after a prospector (Ahmed) and a private detective (Gyllenhaal) who appear to be working with them.
8. Silverado (1985) – Available To Buy From Prime Video, Google Play, And iTunes
In addition to receiving positive reviews from critics and moviegoers alike, Silverado earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score. It’s interesting to note that Lawrence Kasdan, best known for his work on the Star Wars and Indiana Jones film franchises, co-wrote, produced, and directed this crime Western.
After arriving in Silverado, a ragtag group of misfits decide to take on the evildoers and put an end to their mistreatment of the people of Silverado.
7. The Proposition (2005) – Available On Kanopy, Pluto TV, And FuboTV
The Proposition stands out because it’s an Australian Western, not a Hollywood production. With respect to the time period, the film does an excellent job of portraying indigenous Australian culture.
Captain Stanley captures two of the notorious criminal brothers in late nineteenth-century rural Australia. In order to save his younger brother from execution, the middle brother is offered a one-of-a-kind opportunity: to track down and kill their elder brother.
6. The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada (2005) – Available On Prime Video, Pluto TV, And Tubi TV
Neo-crime fiction in the Western style The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada was a critical and commercial success, winning Best Actor and Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival and being nominated for the Palme d’Or for its director, Javier Bardem. This Luc Besson co-production, directed by Tommy Lee Jones (who also starred in the film), employs a narrative heavy on flashbacks while also presenting some events from multiple points of view.
Following a ranch foreman as he tries to fulfill a promise to a recently deceased friend who must be buried in Mexico, the story is based on true events and the novel As I Lay Dying, which depicts them.
5. The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (2007) – Available On Showtime, FuboTV, And DirecTV
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, starring Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck, was a critical and commercial success. It was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Actor for Pitt and Affleck’s outstanding performances.
An adaptation of the same-named book’s plot follows Jesse James and Robert Ford as their lives spiral out of control, culminating in the crime for which they are both wanted.
4. Hell Or High Water (2016) – Available On Hulu
One of Taylor Sheridan’s great crime neo-Westerns,Hell or High Water is a must-read for fans of Sicario, Wind River, and the Hell or High Water trilogy about the modern-day American frontier. Sheridan received an Oscar nomination for his performance in the film, which was a huge success.
Ben Foster and Chris Pine star as two brothers who go on a bank robbery spree to save their family ranch from two Texas Rangers while they’re on the run (played by Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham).
3. 3:10 To Yuma (2007) – Available On Peacock
While Sam Mendes’3:10 to Yumahas strong performances from Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, the film also incorporates elements of the crime drama and western genres to create a film that is as good as the original.
Authorities have apprehended a notorious outlaw who must now be transported to a train that will take him to Yuma, Arizona, for trial. Also, a small-time rancher joins the outlaw’s band as they race against the clock to reach their destination as quickly as possible.
2. The Hateful Eight (2015) – Available On Netflix
The Hateful Eight, directed by Quentin Tarantino, is a Revisionist Western thriller with all of Tarantino’s trademark elements, but it also has suspense and mystery to help enfold the crime story.
Like Tarantino’s other films, this one was a huge hit, with composer Ennio Morricone winning his first Oscar for his work on the score.
While in the American Civil War, an intrepid group of travelers stop at a stagecoach stopover to escape a blizzard. The ensemble cast portrays these eight strangers.
1. Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969) – Available On Hulu And History Vault
One of the best Western films ever made (if not the best), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was initially met with mixed reviews before becoming a classic.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid lead a band of outlaws in Wyoming in the early 1900s who attempt a train robbery but fail miserably. Since they’re now in danger, the band decides to head to Bolivia to hide out there.