The Best Westerns on Tubi to Watch Right Now


Is there anything better than a good Western? Though most associate the American frontier with tense stares, duels at high noon, and more cowboy hats than you can count, there’s a lot more to this interesting genre than you might’ve previously thought. With an extensive history dating back to 1903, Westerns have evolved and changed with the cultures that create them, reinventing the genre and its conventions with every passing decade. Nowadays, you can find a Western made anywhere, tackling any kind of subject or time you can imagine.




The free ad-supported streaming service Tubi has been a haven for all kinds of Western films in the past few years, carrying everything from the most exemplary of modern films to the most obscure of Spaghetti Westerns. If you’ve ever had the slightest inkling of interest in the genre, it’s a fantastic means to get your Western fix. If you’re unsure about what to watch from what’s available, we’ve compiled 20 of the best Westerns you can watch on Tubi right now, encompassing a variety of periods, genres, and settings.

Updated on Mar. 26, 2024, by Soniya Hinduja: This article has been updated with additional content to keep the discussion fresh and relevant with even more information and new entries.


23 Unforgiven (1992)


Unforgiven takes place in a small town in Wyoming, where two cowboys have been threatening folks with violent methods. A young man named Schofield Kid reaches the doorstep of a former gunslinger and quick-draw artist William Munny and seeks his help for one last job. Despite having retired for a quiet life, William realizes that the future of his kids might be in jeopardy and teams up with his old partner, Ned Logan, for their most dangerous assignment yet.

Complex And Unforgettable Characters

Produced, directed by, and starring Clint Eastwood, Unforgivenwon Best Picture at the Academy Awards that year, and for all the right reasons. Eastwood, who plays William, delivers on his promise and brings courage and heroism to the genre with his grizzled personality. Supporting actors Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, and Richard Harris anchor Eastwood’s transformation with solemn grit. Definitely one of the best deconstructed Westerns out there, Unforgiven deserves all the praise it continues to receive.


22 Red River (1948)

Red River

Release Date
September 7, 1948

Director
Howard Hawks , Arthur Rosson

Cast
John Wayne , Montgomery Clift , Joanne Dru , Walter Brennan , Coleen Gray

Among the few Westerns with a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes, Red River tells the story of a headstrong rancher, Thomas Dunson, who has worked hard his entire life to get where he is. Now determined to accomplish greater things, he leads a cattle drive all the way from Texas to Missouri. However, he has a bitter falling out with his adopted son, Matt Garth, who objects to Dunson’s tyrannical behavior and harsh methods.


Enduring Story About Father-Son Conflict

Never before has the changing American frontier looked more glorious than under the excellent craftsmanship of Howard Hawks. He directs Red River in a way that trades action for rich character studies. John Wayne and Montgomery Clift deliver once-in-a-lifetime performances as characters wrestling between tradition and modernity. The movie is also appreciated for its visual and narrative grandeur and for the way it revolutionized the Western genre by infusing it with intense emotion.

21 The Big Country (1958)

Gregory Peck as James and Jean Simmons as Julie, formally dressed while in a carriage
United Artists


For the 19th-century American West, former sea captain James McKay is a new arrival. While his aim is to reunite with his fiancée Patricia and spend a little time at her father’s ranch, James finds himself getting embroiled in a bitter feud between two rival families. As their battle over local water escalates into violence, James learns more about the ranchers, their fierce code, and their modes of operation in the vast world.

Timeless Tale Of The American West

An epic Western starring Gregory Peck, Carroll Baker, Burl Ives and Charles Bickford, The Big Country documents the change in masculinity as the world becomes newer and harsher. Director William Wyer has a keen eye for detail, so he tries to make the characters solid instead of flawed, the music dashing, and the narrative steady. While receiving a couple of Oscar nods, the movie truly wins for its photography, with Franz Planer’s shots of Texas being simply breathtaking.

20 They Call Me Trinity (1970)

Bud Spencer and Terence Hill in They Call Me Trinity (1970)
West Film


A classic meshing of Italian Spaghetti Western and comedy becomes a trendsetter with the legendary Terence Hill and Bud Spencer pairing in They Call Me Trinity. This fun and inspiring cult show follows two brothers who are forced to convert to protect a group of Mormons from Mexican Bandidos. Harriman is a land-hungry major who sends his bullies to harass the Mormons so that they can give up their fertile valley. Trinity and Bambino save the day by sending the guys packing with slapstick humor instead of using excessive violence.

Stars Hill and Spencer Show Off Perfect Chemistry

Director Enzo Barboni grabs your attention with a wonderful opening and then keeps it with a clever mix of action, plot, and comedy. The iconic pairing of Terence Hill and Bud Spencer makes this classic fun romp even more legendary. The chemistry between the two is magnetic, as it unleashes a dose of sibling rivalry.


19 The Long Riders (1980)

The Long Riders
United Artists

The Long Riders is a well-thought-out film that retells the last years of the legendary James-Younger Gang, who made a name for themselves as the most feared bank robbers in the 19th Century. The movie starts with a bang as Jesse James and his brother Frank are robbing a bank. There is a brief shootout, and some innocent folks are killed, but the Long Riders get away with the loot. They keep repeating the process from town to town, but all good rides must end, and the gang is decimated.


A Perfectly Penned Western

Being co-scripted by the former associate director of the National Theatre, Bill Bryden, The Long Riders is a film worth your attention. The action scenes are violent and memorable, especially a scene involving a knife fight between Sam Starr and Cole after the botched Northfield bank robbery. This, coupled with the interspersed wonderful glimpse of the gang’s life as outlaws, makes The Long Riders a Western you should get on as soon as you can.

18 The Homesman (2014)

The Homesman

Release Date
November 14, 2014

Runtime
122 Minutes

The Homesman is a 2014 French-American period drama film set in the Midwest in the 1850s. It is directed and produced by Tommy Lee Jones and co-written with Kieran Fitzgerald. The film is based on a 1988 novel by Glendon Swarthout of the same name. It follows an independent-minded woman, Mary Bee Cuddy, tasked with saving three women living on the edge of the American frontier. She offers to use her wagon to transport the three women back to Iowa, where a minister’s wife will give shelter to these so-called “cuckoo clocks.”


A Rare Western Focused on Women

Depression, madness, and sympathy in the 19th century make for this insightful and confident woman-centric Western film. Starring eccentric characters like Hillary Swank, Hailee Steinfeld, James Spader, and Meryl Streep, the movie brings out a muscular, heartfelt picture tempered with shrewd sympathy and insight to provoke your feelings when indulging.

17 Blackthorn (2011)

Blackthorn

Blackthorn

Release Date
July 1, 2011

Runtime
98

Writers
Miguel Barros

A fascinating take on the fate of the famous outlaw Butch Cassidy, Blackthorn starred Sam Sherpard as an older version of the iconic gunslinger. The film subverts the legend that Cassidy was killed by Bolivian soldiers after he crossed the border seeking refuge there. In this portrayal, it seems he survived and hid out there, posing in a secluded village as a man named James Blackthorn. Now, an old man, wanting to see a son he’s never met, Cassidy decides to make a perilous journey back to the US for the first time in 20 years.


Mateo Gil’s Take on Butch Cassidy

Made by the talented Spanish director, Mateo Gil, Blackthorn won four Goya Awards amid 11 nominations, including the award for Best Cinematography. Favorably reviewed, the film was wonderfully shot and driven by Shepard’s no-nonsense performance, which provided added gravitas to the character’s already legendary reputation. As an added treat, it also featured a great supporting role from Steven Rea, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jamie Lannister from Game of Thrones) as a young Cassidy in the film.

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16 Free State of Jones (2016)


Another great film from the Civil War era, Free State of Jones is a true story that saw Matthew McConaughey in the lead role as a farmer named Newt Knight, who became a medic during the war. Having little in common with the Confederacy, he soon led a revolt against it. Banding together other farmers and enslaved people, he helped the town of Jones County secede from the Confederacy. His exploits never went down well, and he was viewed as a traitor and an agitator long after the war.

McConaughey Is in His Element in Westerns

With a powerful performance from the Oscar-winning McConaughey, the film was a gritty portrayal of one of American history’s most fractious periods. The actor’s success in this Western shows why he’s perfect to lead the next Yellowstone spin-off. Moreover, this fascinating true story proves to be both gripping and gritty.


15 Brimstone (2016)

brimstone

brimstone

Release Date
March 12, 2016

Director
Martin Koolhoven

Runtime
140

Writers
Martin Koolhoven

With a fiery performance from Dakota Fanning spearheading it, Brimstone is a compelling film from the popular Western horror subgenre. In it, Fanning plays a persecuted woman who vows revenge against a powerful and malicious apostle. The antagonist is played by Guy Pearce and the acclaimed actor is once again on point with his intense performance in the film.

Horror and Western Tropes Are Well-Matched

Blending typical Western tropes with some atypical tension and a religious-horror underpinning, the film is a dark and frightening one. Although steeped in supernatural elements, its story still harks all too realistically back to the religious persecution many women of the age faced in the pursuit of the piety they were expected to live with.


14 Forsaken (2015)

Kiefer Sutherland and Donald Sutherland in Forsaken
Momentum Pictures

Forsaken follows the exploits of John Henry Clayton, who fought in the Civil War, but later went adrift and hadn’t returned home for years. When he eventually does return, he learns that his mother has passed on, and he now has an estranged relationship with his father. When their town is besieged by a gang terrorizing ranchers who refuse to sell their land, Clayton must decide if he wants to truly leave behind his previous life, or turn to violence one last time.

A Grounded Civil War Story

Featuring both Donald and Kiefer Sutherland, in addition to great performances from likes of Brian Cox and Demi Moore, Forsaken is a great Western that had its premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. With themes of family, violence, and community, this Western is rooted in ideas that stretch beyond its genre. It’s light on frills and heavy on story, which works well for this well-acted tale.


13 The Proposition (2005)

Before he would become attached to a Blood Meridian adaptation, John Hillcoat cut his teeth in the Western genre with The Proposition. Released in 2005, this fantastic Australian film sees Guy Pearce playing the role of Charlie Burns, a member of a gang who finds himself in a terrifying pickle. After the rest of his gang is slaughtered, he’s given an ultimatum by Morris Stanley (Ray Winstone). Should Charlie execute his older brother, Arthur Burns (Danny Huston), the life of his younger brother, Mike Burns (Richard Wilson), will be spared. Charlie has nine days to do the deed, with the death of either brother looming over him throughout.


A Thrilling and Gut-Wrenching Ride

This is a Western that doesn’t pull any punches. Its unrelenting brutality is matched only by its weighty story, with a slim hope of redemption lying in wait for a malicious outlaw. Combined with the unique setting in the Australian outback, The Proposition is easily one of John Hillcoat’s best films, as well as being a stand-out Western from the mid-2000s. The twisted premise makes for a different kind of story, one that is more related to the horror genre than usual Westerns.

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12 ​​​​​A Man Called Horse (1970)

Richard Harris as John Morgan in A Man Called Horse
National General Pictures

A classic western from the turn of the ’70s, A Man Called Horse featured the timeless talents of Richard Harris. Playing an English aristocrat, Lord John Morgan, who goes hunting in the Dakotas, he’s captured by a Sioux tribe and faces a potentially deadly situation. While his guides are killed, Morgan’s life is fortunately spared by the Chief.

Interesting Stylistic Choices Set this Apart

He faces abuse and mockery in the beginning, but endures it all and slowly becomes enamored by the tribe’s lifestyle over time. After falling in love with the Chief’s beautiful daughter, Morgan finds himself embracing his new home, and later even begins harboring ambitions of becoming its Chief himself. A Man Called Horse‘s visual style stands out among its peers as it features interesting psychedelic ’70s montages, which are not what you’d typically expect from a Western.


11 Django (1966)

Franco Nero as Django in Django
Franco Nero

Next to Clint Eastwood, Franco Nero is one of the most recognizable faces in the Spaghetti Western subgenre. Naturally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t include his most famous film, Django, on this list. Released in 1966, this violent western sees Nero playing our title character, a stoic drifter who carries a coffin behind him wherever he goes. When he stumbles across an attempted execution of a prostitute, Django inadvertently gets involved in a tense conflict between masked murderers and Mexican revolutionaries.


The Western Genre at its Most Violent

Serving as the direct inspiration for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, this gritty adventure is considered to be among the best of the best of Spaghetti Westerns. Django would gain significant notoriety for its intense amount of violence and graphic gun battles. However, underneath the controversy lies one of the best Spaghetti Westerns next to the prolific works of Sergio Leone.

10 Day of Anger (1967)

Lee Van Cleef as Frank Talby in Day of Anger
Consorzio Italiano Distributori
Indipendenti Film

Lee Van Cleef is another recognizable name in the Spaghetti Western subgenre, with his 1967 Western Day of Anger being one of his best outings. Directed by Tonino Valerii, who initially got his start working on Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars, this intriguing Western sees Cleef playing a legendary gunslinger named Frank Talby. When Talby takes on a young pupil named Scott (Giuliano Gemma), the two form a partnership that quickly turns down an unexpected path.


If You’re Looking for a Spaghetti Western…

As always, Cleef does a terrific job of portraying a grizzled cowboy, with the supporting cast painting a world stained with shades of gray morality. There are no clear heroes and villains here, as everyone’s motivations and actions are inherently personal. It’s a terrific Western that will keep you on your toes.

9 The Mercenary (1968)

Tony Musante as Paco and Franco Romano as Sergei in The Mercenary
California Pictures

Franco Nero returns in Sergio Corbucci’s The Mercenary, a Western film released in 1968. Nero plays Sergei Kowalski, a man whose greed is matched only by his spare ammunition. Set amid the Mexican Revolution, Kowalski finds himself teaming up with Paco Roman (Tony Musante) and Columba (Giovanna Ralli) as they liberate Mexico village by village. However, their efforts draw the ire of the nefarious Curly (Jack Palance), whose bid for revenge will clash with spent gunpowder in the desert sands.


Scored by the Great Ennio Morricone

Having previously directed the infamous Django, Corbucci’s return to the frontier is as violent as it is entertaining. Ennio Morricone, the composer of numerous Sergio Leone films, provides the score for The Mercenary, painting a familiar yet effective soundscape for the film’s setting. Of course, if you loved Django‘s infamous machine gun, you’ll be happy to know that a similar weapon reappears in this bullet-laden Western.

8 The Salvation (2014)

the salvation

The Salvation

Release Date
May 22, 2014

Director
Kristian Levring

Runtime
92

Writers
Anders Thomas Jensen , Kristian Levring


Have you ever wanted to see Mads Mikkelsen in a leather duster? If so, you need to see The Salvation. This Danish Western sees Mikkelsen playing a Danish settler immigrating to the United States in the mid-1860s. Unfortunately, an idyllic opportunity turns into a horrifying nightmare as his family is taken from him in an instant. With nothing but revenge on his mind, the settler finds himself with no allies as he attempts to take on a severely angry gang leader and his surrounding posse.

A Bleak Danish Western

Suffice it to say, The Salvation is not an easy-going film. While other controversial Westerns often use the veneer of fantasy or over-exaggeration, The Salvation is as grim and gritty as they come. However, this incredibly brisk Western utilizes its dark setup effectively, delivering a straightforward story that incorporates some unique multicultural elements.


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7 And God Said to Cain (1970)

Klaus Kinski in And God Said to Cain (1970)
Arrow Video

Two years before Klaus Kinski and Werner Herzog collaborated for Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Kinski made a name for himself in the Spaghetti Western subgenre. Though you may recognize him more from his role in For a Few Dollars More, he would also lead the 1960 revenge Western And God Said to Cain. Kinski plays Gary Hamilton, a man who is freed from incarceration after being framed for a crime. After losing ten years of his life, Hamilton is left with nothing but a burning desire for revenge against those who wronged him.


A Horror-Inflected Revenge Flick

And God Said to Cain veers more in a horror-tinged direction. The director, Antonio Margheriti, previously dabbled in delivering scares with films like Castle of Blood and The Long Hair of Death. His Gothic horror sensibilities make And God Said to Cain feel especially unique, compounded by a comparatively subdued performance from Kinski.

6 Sweet Country (2017)

Hamilton Morris in Sweet Country
Netflix

Warwick Thornton turned heads when he directed 2017’s Sweet Country. This Australian Western is loosely based on real events, telling a harrowing story set towards the end of the 1920s. Hamilton Morris plays Sam Kelly, an Aboriginal farmer in Australia’s Northern Territory following the Great War. However, when his employer hands Sam and his family over to a reclusive veteran, an escalating series of abusive incidents forces Sam to do the unthinkable. Left with nowhere else to turn, all Sam can do afterward is run.


A Dive Into the Aboriginal Experience

Sweet Country is more than just a typical Western film. Though it incorporates some traditional Western elements, its focus on Australian history is easily its biggest strength, implementing the historical context of the war and the treatment of Aboriginals in a compelling denouncement of racism. If anything, you’ll come to love the beautiful vistas and stunning landscapes featured in Sweet Country‘s cinematography.

5 Breakheart Pass (1975)

Charles Bronson in Breakheart Pass (1975)
United Artists Releasing


Along with making a name for himself with the Death Wish franchise, Charles Bronson also starred in a handful of Western films. Breakheart Pass is easily one of Charles Bronson’s best films, being one that starts as a “whodunnit” mystery before kicking things into high gear. A train carrying a variety of passengers is heading towards Fort Humboldt deep in Nevada, with its cargo containing supplies to deal with a deadly disease. Bronson plays John Deakin, a man supposedly facing a murder trial, as each of the train’s passengers starts disappearing one after another.

A Murder Mystery-Western Crossover Moment

Breakheart Pass is a surprising Western that goes in unexpected directions. Before its compelling murder mystery is solved, you’ll discover that something even more nefarious is lying in wait, putting Bronson’s character to the ultimate test. If you want a bit of intrigue with your snowy Western film, Breakheart Pass may be the one for you.

4 The Wind (2019)

The Wind
IFC Films


Westerns and horror often clash together, and when they do, the results are always interesting to watch. Take The Wind, for instance. Caitlin Gerard plays Lizzy Macklin, a resourceful woman living in the remote frontier in near-total isolation. As strong-willed as she is, even she can’t help but feel a little perturbed by the constant shrieking of the wind. Over time, she begins to feel a strange presence creeping closer and closer to her homestead, compounded by the arrival of a new couple moving in close by.

For Those Who Love an Unreliable Narrator

Before her involvement with Five Nights at Freddy’s, director Emma Tammi crafted a genuinely compelling story that frequently questions our protagonist’s perception. Is it just the wind, or is the isolation of the frontier starting to mess with her senses? The setting and period accentuate the horror found throughout, with its non-linear progression forming an intriguing mystery to solve.




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