Can't Get Enough of Yellowstone? Watch These 10 Underrated Westerns Next
No cult classics from the days of old on this list; we're going for something a bit more exciting.
Here are some of the modern, almost criminally underrated Westerns you should queue up right after binge-watching Yellowstone.
1. Open Range (2003)
Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall team up in this Western about a couple of free-grazing cattlemen. They're just looking for some peaceful pastures until they run into a corrupt rancher who controls a small town. Costner plays Charley, a skilled gunman with a troubled past, while Duvall is Boss Spearman, the seasoned cattle herd leader.
After their young companion Mose gets kidnapped and killed by the rancher's men, things get personal. Spearman and Charley decide it's time for some good ol' Western justice. They hole up in the town, prepare for a gunfight, and even find some love interests along the way.
2. The Proposition (2005)
Set in the Australian outback, which is as wild as any American frontier, this film follows outlaw Charlie Burns (Guy Pearce). Captured by the law, he's given a grim choice: either he kills his older, even more brutal brother Arthur, or his younger brother Mikey will be hanged. It's a gruesome family affair, with Charlie torn between his love for his brothers and the desire to save his own skin. As he sets out to confront Arthur, the tension keeps ratcheting up, right to the bloody climax.
3. Seraphim Falls (2006)
Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan in a cat-and-mouse Western. Neeson plays Carver, a vengeful Civil War colonel who's relentlessly pursuing Brosnan's character, Gideon. Starting off in the snowy mountains and leading to the desert, the chase is a relentless and gritty affair. Along the way, Gideon encounters various characters, including a deceptive con-woman and an opportunistic trader. What did Gideon do to deserve this relentless pursuit?
4. All the Pretty Horses (2000)
Based on Cormac McCarthy's novel, this film follows young John Grady Cole (Matt Damon) who, after losing his family ranch, decides to head to Mexico with his buddy Lacey Rawlins (Henry Thomas). On their journey, they pick up a teenage runaway, Blevins, who eventually causes them trouble. In Mexico, John and Lacey find work as ranch hands and life seems good, especially when John falls for the ranch owner's daughter. But it's not all romantic sunsets; they get caught up in a whirlwind of troubles involving horse theft and prison time.
5. 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
Christian Bale plays Dan Evans, a down-on-his-luck rancher who volunteers to escort captured outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) to a train that will take him to court in Yuma. It's not just about the $200 reward; Dan wants to restore his dignity and earn the respect of his disappointed son. The journey to the station is fraught with danger, including attacks from Wade's gang and Apache warriors.
6. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)
Tommy Lee Jones not only stars in but also directs this movie. He plays Pete Perkins, a ranch foreman in Texas who discovers that his best friend, Melquiades Estrada, has been killed and hastily buried by a rookie border patrolman. Deciding that's no way for a man to go, Pete takes it upon himself to dig up the body and give Melquiades a proper burial in his Mexican hometown. He even kidnaps the patrolman to help him do it.
7. Appaloosa (2008)
Viggo Mortensen and Ed Harris team up in this one. They play Everett Hitch and Virgil Cole, two friends hired to protect the town of Appaloosa from a tyrannical rancher named Bragg, played by Jeremy Irons. These guys are professional peacekeepers, but they've got their work cut out for them. The situation gets even more complicated when a beautiful widow named Allison (Renée Zellweger) rolls into town, capturing Virgil's heart and testing his friendship with Everett.
8. The Missing (2003)
Directed by Ron Howard, this movie is a thrilling mix of Western and supernatural elements. Cate Blanchett plays Maggie Gilkeson, a frontier woman who teams up with her estranged father, Samuel (Tommy Lee Jones), to rescue her kidnapped daughter, Lily. As they track down the villainous kidnapper, a Native American "brujo" or witch, they encounter strange occurrences and mystical forces.
9. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
Brad Pitt plays Jesse James, the infamous outlaw. Casey Affleck is Robert Ford, a young member of Jesse's gang who idolizes him but ultimately turns on him for a chance at fame. The tension is palpable as the relationship between the two men grows increasingly complicated. While the title kinda gives away the ending, how it all goes down is something you have to see for yourself.
10. Cold Mountain (2003)
Civil War-era epic starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, and Renée Zellweger, who bagged an Oscar for her performance. Law plays Inman, a Confederate soldier who deserts the army to trek back to his love, Ada (Kidman). Along the way, he faces all kinds of obstacles, including Union soldiers, hunger, and his own moral compass. Back home, Ada struggles to maintain her father's farm, finding unexpected help from a rough-around-the-edges drifter played by Zellweger.