6 Western Movies to Watch on Netflix in December 2023, Ranked
Don't say 'yee-haw' until you've seen these movies.
This December, six great Western movies, both classic and revisionist, are all available on Netflix. Let's take a look at a few that are sure to please all Wild West fans.
6. The Electric Horseman (1979)
Box office: $61.8 million
Rotten Tomatoes score: 64%
The main character, Sonny (Robert Redford), was once a Las Vegas rodeo legend. His life, however, has come up against the harsh realities of cynical commercialism: a corporate conglomerate has reduced his talent to mere cereal ads.
During one of the acts, he befriends a prestigious racehorse that turns out to be drugged and severely injured. He decides to kidnap the horse and release it in a canyon inhabited by wild horses. Helping him is a New York journalist (Jane Fonda) who wants to tell Sonny's story, but in the process begins to develop feelings for him.
5. The Hateful Eight (2015)
Box office: $156.5 million
Rotten Tomatoes score: 75%
The Hateful Eight may not be as critically acclaimed as Django Unchained, but Tarantino delivered a superb chamber Western thriller in 2015 that begins like an Agatha Christie murder mystery and ends... well, like most of Tarantino's other films. Not only is the film itself available on Netflix, but there's also an extended four-part version that includes even more character screen time.
4. Silverado (1985)
Box office: $32.2 million
Rotten Tomatoes score: 78%
Silverado, an adventure Western drama created by brothers Lawrence and Mark Kasdan, kicked off (along with Fandango) Kevin Costner's longtime love affair with Westerns, starring Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn and Danny Glover. The movie is a classic old-fashioned Western about four friends who head to the lawless town of Silverado.
3. The Harder They Fall (2021)
Box office: $8,292
Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%
What makes this film so distinctive is that the narrative follows the story of real-life black lawmen and outlaws, making The Harder They Fall one of the few examples of an all-black cast. Set at the intersection of the 19th and 20th centuries, the plot follows the notorious clash between two black men, cowboy and writer Nat Love and bandit Rufus Buck.
Yes, this movie features Jonathan Majors, we had to warn you in advance. However, The Harder They Fall stars other equally talented actors who have been praised by critics and audiences alike. Do not be intimidated by such a small box office, as the film had a limited release before being added to Netflix.
2. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
Box office: around $45,000
Rotten Tomatoes score: 89%
The Coen brothers are known for their absurdist stories, yet they contain universal ideas about the confrontation of cynicism and altruism, sublime values and everyday superstition, heartbreaking drama and surreal comedy. A great example is The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, one of the few films made by a filmmaking duo in the Western genre. This satirical Western, a six-story anthology, has everything we love about the Coen Brothers: black comedy, equally black drama, and, of course, high morality.
1. The Power of the Dog (2021, Rotten Tomatoes score 94%)
Box office: $417,022
Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%
Montanans, we demand an explanation as to why there is rancher-related mayhem in the state! From the Dutton family of Yellowstone causing bloodshed to Benedict Cumberbatch now. The Power of the Dog is the tale of the decline of the now over-romanticized days of the Wild West, marching in tandem with toxic machismo and its inherent viciousness. The plot follows two brothers, played by Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons, who own a ranch in Montana in 1925. However, their cowboy utopia and brotherly bonds are shattered when one of them begins to abuse his brother's future wife.