Most of the Westerns widely acclaimed by audiences and critics were made between John Wayne’s breakout film “Stagecoach” in 1939, directed by John Ford who made many of the most widely regarded Westerns of the 20th Century, and “The Unforgiven”, Clint Eastwood’s Oscar winning masterpiece, released in 1992. Few Westerns made in the 21st century would rank with these.
24/7 Tempo reviewed the Westerns made in the last two decades to find those which would measure up to those made in the 20th century. We reviewed critics ratings, American Film Institute rankings, and Academy Award nominations to find the 25 that have pleased both audiences and critics.
Interestingly, some of the best Westerns of the 21st century are remakes of those made decades before. “True Grit”, released in 2010, is virtually the same as the only movie for which John Wayne won a Best Actor Oscar — ”True Grit” made in 1969.
“3:10 to Yuma” was released in 2007, starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. It is a remake of the 1957 version that starred Glenn Ford.
“The Magnificent Seven,” which starred Denzel Washington, is a remake of a 1960 film. The 1960 version was itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 Japanese film “Seven Samurai.” “The Alamo,” which starred John Wayne in 1960, was remade in 2004.