Westerns are an intimidating genre to get into. There’s a long and storied history of films set in the wild west, and some of them are a little heavy on the western themes. Many westerns also have a certain look and feel to them that might not be appealing to someone just sitting down and watching the genre for the first time.
Today, we’re going to look at western films that are perfect for beginners or people who don’t particularly call themselves fans of the genre. These films aren’t too heavy on the western tropes, but they do hit some of them, making them a perfect bridge into the genre for newbies.
These are just some really fantastic movies, so even if you’re not a fan of westerns at all, you’ll get some entertainment out of them just based on the overall quality they bring to the table. And who knows, you might just end up becoming a fan of a genre you thought you hated!
Tombstone is one of my favorite movies of all time, and I’m definitely a person who doesn’t fancy myself a fan of westerns. The film is so damn quotable since to the fantastic lines written for Doc Holliday and Val Kilmer’s portrayal of the lovable gunman.
This movie is a western’s western in many ways, but it has a certain quality that makes it feel more like a badass action movie than a plodding western. Add in the incredible performances by Kurt Russell, Bill Paxton, and the rest of the star-studded cast, and you have a movie that’s tailor-made for the non-western fan.
Maverick is another blow-away western film that doesn’t really fit into the mold of what we think of as a western. It has lots of modern sensibilities, which makes it perfect for anyone who doesn’t want that run-of-the-mill old west movie. It’s not necessarily a spoof of western movies, but it features enough comedic charm that it definitely feels like it’s poking fun.
The other thing that makes this movie stand out is the cast. It stars Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, and James Garner, and they all do great jobs in their roles. Add in cameos from names like Corey Feldman, Danny Glover, Reba McEntire, Waylon Jennings, and Clint Black, and you have a recipe for success.
3. Django Unchained
Django Unchained features very western-like characters and fights that resemble traditional western movies, but everything else about this film screams action movie. Quentin Tarantino helms this revenge tale, and it’s quite a solid movie that any western fan will enjoy. And even though it doesn’t feel like a western, enough of the tropes are there that it might just turn you into a fan!
The cast of Unchained is what really sets it apart. The titular Django is played by Jamie Foxx, and his foil is played by Leonardo DiCaprio. There’s also Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kerry Washington rounding out an incredible cast.
4. 3:10 to Yuma
Christian Bale and Russell Crowe star in this film, and they both do a great job of making the western genre their own. It’s actually a remake of a film from 1957, but the remake feels quite different from the original and is far more suited to movie watchers who aren’t super into westerns.
The film has plenty of fun, action-packed western shootouts in 3:10 to Yuma, but the actual plot of the movie is more like a thriller than a western. It does a great job of bringing the two very different genres together, which makes it a must-see film.
5. Blazing Saddles
If you watched the movies above and still aren’t sold on what the western genre brings to the table, then you should just watch Blazing Saddles and make fun of it. This 1974 classic is all about mocking the tropes of the western genre, and even though the film is quite old, it still holds up today.
Interestingly enough, though, is the fact that this movie might actually make you realize that western tropes aren’t so bad. Making light of them puts them in a different perspective, which might end up being what sells you on westerns!