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Worst Western movies of all time

While Western films are a long-beloved genre of film featuring gun-toting lawmen and plenty of adventure, not all Westerns are worth watching. Stacker consulted IMDb and Metacritic to compile a list of the most “worst” Westerns ever made.
While Western films are a long-beloved genre of film featuring gun-toting lawmen and plenty of adventure, not all Westerns are worth watching. Stacker consulted IMDb and Metacritic to compile a list of the most “worst” Westerns ever made. - Rastar Pictures
While Western films are a long-beloved genre of film featuring gun-toting lawmen and plenty of adventure, not all Westerns are worth watching. Stacker consulted IMDb and Metacritic to compile a list of the most “worst” Westerns ever made. - Rastar Pictures

Western films have long been beloved for their distinct style, gunfights, and renegade heroes. The genre, although borrowed throughout the world, is uniquely American and plays on themes of fearless exploration, the mythos of American expansion, hostile elements, and rugged individualism. Western archetypes have also transcended other genres: “Star Wars” is widely considered a space western, with characters like Boba Fett and Han Solo based on Western themes.

But for every classic, there’s a bomb—and for every movie that stands the test of time, 100 more quickly go stale or lose relevancy. Westerns are no exception, no matter if they feature a star-studded cast or robust funding. Some that were classics in the ’50s and ’60s now feel trite or silly; others were flops right out of the gates, to a heartbreaking-if-sometimes-hilarious degree.

Stacker curated a list of the worst Westerns of all time by looking at Western films with more than 2,000 votes on IMDb and Metacritic, weighting IMDb user ratings and Metascores evenly to create a Stacker score, and ranking accordingly. The #1 spot represents the worst-rated Western that qualifies.

Keep reading to see which Westerns fell short for today’s critics and audiences.

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Universal Pictures

#50. The Appaloosa (1966)

– Director: Sidney J. Furie
– Stacker score: 60.6
– Metascore: 46
– IMDb user rating: 6.3
– Runtime: 98 minutes

Marlon Brando stars in this slow-paced Western as a buffalo hunter named Matt Fletcher who returns home to find his prized Appaloosa has been stolen by a thief called Chuy Medina (John Saxon) and his girlfriend, Trini (Anjanette Comer). Trini eventually teams up with Fletcher to find his horse and take down Medina, culminating in a violent climax. The film reaks of sentimentality for a bygone era, which sat just fine with critics at the time: Saxon earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role.

PEC

#49. Death Rides a Horse (1967)

– Director: Giulio Petroni
– Stacker score: 60.6
– Metascore: 38
– IMDb user rating: 7.1
– Runtime: 114 minutes

This Italian spaghetti Western follows Bill Meceita (John Phillip Law) as he sets out for revenge against a gang that murdered his father, mother, and sister 15 years earlier. Lee Van Cleef, who also starred in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” co-stars as Meceita’s mysterious helper. “It’s hard to explain the fun to be found in seeing the right kind of bad movie,” Roger Ebert said of the film, which features obviously fake studio backdrops, a plethora of cliches, and an obvious twist.

Walt Disney Pictures

#48. Around the World in 80 Days (2004)

– Director: Frank Coraci
– Stacker score: 60
– Metascore: 49
– IMDb user rating: 5.9
– Runtime: 120 minutes

Very loosely based on the classic Jules Verne novel, “Around the World in 80 Days” tells the story of an inventor named Phileas Fogg (Steve Coogan) who makes a bet with a fellow inventor (Jim Broadbent) that he can travel around the world in 80 days. Fogg teams up with his loyal servant Passepartout (Jackie Chan) and a navigator called Monique (Cécile de France) to race across the globe in this poorly done slapstick rife with bad acting and irritating stereotypes.

The film performed so badly it was nominated for two Razzie Awards—Worst Remake or Sequel and Worst Supporting Actor (Arnold Schwarzenegger).

1821 Pictures

#47. Jane Got a Gun (2015)

– Director: Gavin O’Connor
– Stacker score: 60
– Metascore: 49
– IMDb user rating: 5.9
– Runtime: 98 minutes

Despite having its star-studded cast including Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Noah Emmerich, and Ewan McGregor, “Jane Got a Gun” bombed at the box office. Jane Hammond (Portman) lives a simple life in the country with her family. One day her husband Bill (Noah Emmerich) comes home with gunshot wounds after running into the Bishop Boys, a gang he used to be a part of, led by John Bishop (McGregor). To protect her husband and daughter, Jane enlists the help of her neighbor and ex-fiance, Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton) with whom she has a complicated relationship.

The film was applauded for being one of very few women-centric westerns, but was criticized for feeling dull overall except for a few taut scenes.

Rogue

#46. The Warrior’s Way (2010)

– Director: Sngmoo Lee
– Stacker score: 60
– Metascore: 45
– IMDb user rating: 6.3
– Runtime: 100 minutes

“The Warrior’s Way,” a New Zealand and South Korean film, is a mashup of genres produced by Barrie Osborne (“The Lord of the Rings”) with a plot that feels haphazard and disjointed. In the movie, protagonist Yang (Jang Dong-gun) is an assassin charged with wiping out every member of an enemy clan but becomes an outcast to his own clan when he decides to spare the life of a baby girl. Yang flees to the U.S. West where he joins a group of carnival workers (Tony Cox, Geoffrey Rush, and Kate Bosworth) to take on a colonel (Danny Houston) who is terrorizing the town.

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NALA Films

#45. Casa de mi Padre (2012)

– Director: Matt Piedmont
– Stacker score: 59.4
– Metascore: 52
– IMDb user rating: 5.5
– Runtime: 84 minutes

“Casa de mi Padre” is a fraught spoof of classic Mexican Westerns that was filmed entirely in Spanish. The thinly written storyline follows two brothers, Armando and Raúl Alvarez (Will Ferrell and Diego Luna) who are trying to save their father’s ranch. Things run amuck when Armando falls in love with Raúl’s fiance and the two brothers find themselves at war with a dangerous drug lord (Gael García Bernal).

The tired, banal stereotypes wore on viewers, who largely felt the feature-length movie could have been reduced to a mildly funny skit.

Palomar Pictures International

#44. Shalako (1968)

– Director: Edward Dmytryk
– Stacker score: 59.4
– Metascore: 51
– IMDb user rating: 5.6
– Runtime: 113 minutes

In “Shalako,” a hunting party of European aristocrats, their servants, and a retired American politician and his wife unwittingly wander onto unfriendly Apache territory in the New Mexico frontier while being guided by a cowboy named Bosky Fulton (Stephen Boyd). Countess Irina Lazaar (Brigitte Bardot) is the first to come face-to-face with an Apache, prompting a rescue from a tracker named Shalako (Sean Connery). Shalako tries to get the hunting party to leave but struggles to make them understand the danger. All the while, the son of an Apache chief is determined to track Shalako down and kill him.

The movie did very well in Britain but enjoyed middling success and reviews elsewhere. Ultimately  “Shalako” was panned for being miscast and poorly written.

Columbia Pictures

#43. The Legend of Zorro (2005)

– Director: Martin Campbell
– Stacker score: 59.4
– Metascore: 47
– IMDb user rating: 6.0
– Runtime: 129 minutes

A sequel to 1998’s “The Mask of Zorro,” Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones return as the two heroes of this franchise in their respective roles of Alejandro Murrieta, aka Zorro, and Elena Montero. As Zorro endeavors to save his marriage and country, moviegoers lamented a decidedly less-fun sequel featuring uneven writing and a lackluster romance.

Touchstone Pictures

#42. The Alamo (2004)

– Director: John Lee Hancock
– Stacker score: 59.4
– Metascore: 47
– IMDb user rating: 6.0
– Runtime: 137 minutes

A Western drama based on historical events, this film depicts the final days of the Battle of the Alamo, where a small band of rebel Texans stood against the Mexican army in a fight for independence. The story follows Davy Crockett (Billy Bob Thornton) as he travels down to Texas where he ends up helping to defend the Alamo to its tragic end.

Cutting 45 minutes off the original film, which was three hours long, didn’t save critics from seizing on its unwieldiness and unfocused retelling and accusing the movie of being an utter bore.

Subotica

#41. Young Ones (2014)

– Director: Jake Paltrow
– Stacker score: 58.9
– Metascore: 47
– IMDb user rating: 5.9
– Runtime: 100 minutes

In this sci-fi apocalyptic Western, water is a scarce resource worth dying (and killing) over.

The story follows one family—Ernest (Michael Shannon), his son Jerome (Kodi Smit-McPhee), and his daughter Mary (Elle Fanning)—as it tries to protect its property and revive the land. All the while, Ernest is unaware that Mary’s boyfriend plans to steal the land himself. Critical reviews of the film found it unfocused with a boring narrative despite powerful visuals.

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Alta Films

#40. Dust (2001)

– Director: Milcho Manchevski
– Stacker score: 58.9
– Metascore: 41
– IMDb user rating: 6.5
– Runtime: 127 minutes

The plot of “Dust” is unique in that it’s a tale stretched across two continents and 300 years. The star-studded film focuses on a diverse group of disconnected whose cross in a fractured narrative structure designed to mimic a Cubist art form. Upon its release, some critics accused director Milcho Manchevski of having a political agenda; others found the film riddled with racist overtones.

Bluegrass Films

#39. A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)

– Director: Seth MacFarlane
– Stacker score: 58.3
– Metascore: 44
– IMDb user rating: 6.1
– Runtime: 116 minutes

Directed by and starring Seth MacFarlane (“American Dad!,” “Family Guy”)—this film also features the likes of Neil Patrick Harris, Liam Neeson, Giovanni Ribisi, Amanda Seyfried, Sarah Silverman, and Charlize Theron. The film centers on the story of Albert Stark (MacFarlane), a farmer trying to win back his girlfriend (Seyfried). In a fun twist at the end of the film, Django Freeman—the renegade gunslinger played by Jamie Foxx in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained”—makes a surprise appearance.

Mocked as a poor imitator of “Blazing Saddles,” “A Million Ways to Die” was widely panned for being too long, too surface, and far too un-funny.

Walt Disney Pictures

#38. Home on the Range (2004)

– Directors: Will Finn, John Sanford
– Stacker score: 57.8
– Metascore: 50
– IMDb user rating: 5.4
– Runtime: 76 minutes

An animated Western musical released by Disney, “Home on the Range” tells the tale of three cows (Roseanne Barr, Judi Dench, Jennifer Tilly) out to capture a cattle-stealing outlaw by the name of Alameda Slim (Randy Quaid). The cows’ collective goal is to capture the outlaw,  collect the bounty, and save their farm. While considered wholesome, simple, and sweet enough, the movie lands in the “worst of” list for its most memorable trait: how totally forgettable it is.

DreamWorks Animation

#37. Spirit Untamed (2021)

– Directors: Elaine Bogan, Ennio Torresan
– Stacker score: 57.8
– Metascore: 49
– IMDb user rating: 5.5
– Runtime: 88 minutes

“Spirit Untamed” is an animated film centered around the story of a young girl, Fortuna Esperanza “Lucky” Navarro-Prescott (Isabela Merced) who spots a wild mustang while taking a train out west to live with her estranged father. Lucky eventually befriends the horse, whom she names Spirit. The two team up to save Spirit’s herd from a gang of thieves. Critics and moviegoers found the movie devoid of character development, painfully predictable, and decidedly boring.

Thats Hollywood

#36. In Dubious Battle (2016)

– Director: James Franco
– Stacker score: 57.8
– Metascore: 43
– IMDb user rating: 6.1
– Runtime: 110 minutes

James Franco produces, directs, and stars in this film based on a John Steinbeck novel of the same name. The movie follows an activist farmworker Mac McLeod (Franco) who fights for the rights of farmworkers in California after wages are slashed. Franco pulled spared no expense in his casting—the star-studded film brings together Sam Shepard, Josh Hutcherson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Robert Duvall, Selena Gomez, Bryan Cranston, Zach Braff, Ed Harris, and Danny McBride—but failed to deliver the goods.

“In Dubious Battle” was almost universally considered a massive snoozefest and painfully dull.

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Harold Hecht Company

#35. The Way West (1967)

– Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
– Stacker score: 57.8
– Metascore: 42
– IMDb user rating: 6.2
– Runtime: 122 minutes

“The Way West” seemed perfectly designed to become a classic Western. Boasting an all-star cast that included Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, Sally Field, and Richard Widmark, the film follows a group of settlers, led by an ambitious former U.S. senator (Douglas), who travel the Oregon Trail in search of a rich and fertile land to establish a community. Along the way, a member of the group drunkenly murders the son of a Sioux chief, which forces the senator into an impossible decision to ensure the safety of the rest of the group.

Themes of honor, loss, and man’s inability to cope with desperation permeate the narrative, but the film suffered from inconsistent storytelling and an over-reliance on grandiose scenery to the sacrifice of better character development. One critic, in a retrospective review, called the film “too much, and somehow not enough.”

Chartoff-Winkler Productions

#34. Comes a Horseman (1978)

– Director: Alan J. Pakula
– Stacker score: 57.8
– Metascore: 41
– IMDb user rating: 6.3
– Runtime: 118 minutes

Stepping outside the normal bounds of the traditional Western, “Comes a Horseman” takes place in the 1940s, just as World War II is coming to a close. A local rancher (Jason Robards) has begun buying up as many parcels as he can in order to control how the land is developed. When one woman (Jane Fonda) holds out, a power struggle ensues that ropes in a war vet (James Caan) and presents a classic clash of personalities.

Despite some solid reviews, including a generous one from noted critic Gene Siskel, the film failed to connect with audiences—and most other critics, who found the film sluggish, meandering, and a downer that lacked the spark of violent energy possessed by the most memorable Westerns.

Hecht-Lancaster Productions

#33. The Kentuckian (1955)

– Director: Burt Lancaster
– Stacker score: 57.8
– Metascore: 41
– IMDb user rating: 6.3
– Runtime: 104 minutes

The Western genre certainly lends itself to a slow-burn narrative style, but critics and audiences alike found “The Kentuckian” to have taken that allowance to its very unfortunate limit. Despite a fairly simple premise—a father (director and star Burt Lancaster) takes his son on a journey from their native Kentucky to make a fresh start in 1820s Texas—the film drags along from one slow-rolling scene to the next, making the sparse action within it seem almost out of place.

In its review, Variety also found the casting of Walter Matthau as the film’s heavy to be a mistake, calling the performance “too much of ten-twent-thirt flamboyance.”

Fox 2000 Pictures

#32. The Longest Ride (2015)

– Director: George Tillman Jr.
– Stacker score: 57.8
– Metascore: 33
– IMDb user rating: 7.1
– Runtime: 123 minutes

Based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks, “The Longest Ride” revolves around not one, but two love stories. Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson play a couple that, while on their way home from a date, rescue an elderly man who was in a car accident.

While in the hospital, the old man tells them the love story of him and his wife, a tale that ends up mirroring the couple’s own journey together. The film didn’t exactly bomb, making $63 million on a $34 million budget, but critics were vicious, calling it “shamelessly sentimental,” “painfully cliched,” and perhaps most withering of all, a “weak sauce addition to the Sparks empire.”

Quentin Quayle Pictures

#31. A Night in Old Mexico (2013)

– Director: Emilio Aragón
– Stacker score: 56.7
– Metascore: 45
– IMDb user rating: 5.7
– Runtime: 103 minutes

One might expect that when you cast a seasoned vet like Robert Duvall to lead your Western, success will naturally follow, but it was not so for this tale of a proud but down on his luck rancher who, unwillingly forced out of his home, takes his estranged grandson on a road trip to Mexico and finds himself in the crosshairs of a Mexican drug cartel after picking up a pair of hitchhikers in possession of a large sum of stolen drug money.

While some critics applauded Duvall’s depiction of a cantankerous old-timer, the general consensus was that the film let him down, wasting a good performance. Critic Sheila O’Malley, writing for RogerEbert.com summed it up: “[the film] hasn’t worked hard enough to give [Duvall] a story worthy of his talents. In many cases, he is acting all alone up there.”

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Warner Bros.

#30. The Frisco Kid (1979)

– Director: Robert Aldrich
– Stacker score: 56.7
– Metascore: 38
– IMDb user rating: 6.4
– Runtime: 119 minutes

Just five years after he starred in the hit comedy “Blazing Saddles,” comedy icon Gene Wilder came back to the Wild West, this time as a Polish rabbi making his way to San Francisco to lead a synagogue. After being robbed by a group of bandits, a bank robber named Tommy Lillard (Harrison Ford) takes pity on the rabbi and agrees to get him to California.

The role of Lillard was originally meant to go to John Wayne after the success of his role as Rooster Cogburn in “True Grit;” however, Wayne ultimately passed on the film and the part went to Ford. Branded as little more than a series of loosely connected sketch comedy setups, this film failed to find love from critics or moviegoers.

Papa Octopus Productions

#29. Badland (2019)

– Director: Justin Lee
– Stacker score: 56.1
– Metascore: 46
– IMDb user rating: 5.5
– Runtime: 117 minutes

A B-movie through and through, this story of a detective (Matthias Breecher) hired by an African American senator to hunt down Confederates in the post-Civil War West had the pedigree to succeed with a cast that included Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino, Bruce Dern, and Western film legend Wes Studi.

But an anemic script, coupled with a dull lead performance, relegated this film to the bargain bin almost immediately upon release.

Walt Disney Pictures

#28. The Lone Ranger (2013)

– Director: Gore Verbinski
– Stacker score: 56.1
– Metascore: 37
– IMDb user rating: 6.4
– Runtime: 150 minutes

“The Lone Ranger” was plagued with controversy before it even went into production, and it never really recovered by the time it made its way to audiences. The casting of Johnny Depp as Comanche Indian character Tonto sparked a plethora of backlash within the greater Native American community, who saw Depp’s casting and approach to the role as nothing so much as ethnic stereotyping that also effectively took a high-profile role away from a Native American actor and gave it to a white actor.

Despite doing decently at the box office, the film was lambasted by critics for being bloated, disjointed, and overall too frenetic in its approach to staging action sequences.

Dos Corazones Films

#27. Outlaws (2012)

– Director: Dean Wright
– Stacker score: 56.1
– Metascore: 35
– IMDb user rating: 6.6
– Runtime: 145 minutes

Even trying to lock down the title of this film is difficult. Released under the names “For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada, ” “Cristiada,” and “Outlaws,” this story of the war between the anti-religious Mexican government and the citizens of Mexico who want to preserve their Catholic beliefs barely registered in theaters, going to streaming less than three months after its initial release. Generic and dramatically unfocused, the film failed to depict a compelling version of the Cristero War of the 1920s, instead offering a needless epic that misconstrued historic fact.

Cutting Edge Group

#26. The Marksman (2021)

– Director: Robert Lorenz
– Stacker score: 55.6
– Metascore: 44
– IMDb user rating: 5.6
– Runtime: 108 minutes

Another entry in Liam Neeson’s late-career action hero mode, this story of a former Marine turned rancher who lives in a border town in Arizona and has a run-in with a Mexican cartel trying to kill a mother and her young son bit the bullet with critics, who found it formulaic, ponderous, and a rehash of tropes done many times before, and much better.

The film’s approach to the issue of illegal border crossing was seen as an irresponsible take on a serious subject for the purposes of substandard action scenes.

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Lionsgate Premiere

#25. The Duel (2016)

– Director: Kieran Darcy-Smith
– Stacker score: 55.6
– Metascore: 42
– IMDb user rating: 5.8
– Runtime: 110 minutes

People are mysteriously disappearing and dying in a small town called Mount Hermon, and it’s the duty of Texas Ranger David Kingston (Liam Hemsworth) to find out who is behind it. The problem is that the town where the killings are taking place is controlled by the Preacher (Woody Harrelson), who likes things just as they are.

Despite its ambition to limn moral ambiguity among its characters, the result is a standard-issue slog that bides its time with unnecessary dramatic filler. The New York Times went even further, worrying that films such as this “continue to snuff out hope that this genre can ever catch fire again or find a new point and purpose.”

Kickstart Productions

#24. Sweetwater (2013)

– Directors: Logan Miller, Noah Miller
– Stacker score: 55.6
– Metascore: 38
– IMDb user rating: 6.2
– Runtime: 95 minutes

A prostitute leaves her life of ill fame, marries, and settles down in New Mexico for a fresh start only to have her new husband dispatched by a religious fanatic, setting up all the reason she needs to take bloody revenge. A film like this should practically write itself, but alas TV-quality direction and the miscasting of January Jones as the lead left this film waylaid in a version of the West that is “less gritty, less pulpy” than ever depicted in recent memory.

Castle Rock Entertainment

#23. City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold (1994)

– Director: Paul Weiland
– Stacker score: 55
– Metascore: 43
– IMDb user rating: 5.6
– Runtime: 116 minutes

This follow-up to 1991’s award-winning “City Slickers” follows original stars Billy Crystal and Daniel Stern, along with Jon Lovitz, as they try to find the gold at the end of a treasure map left behind by trail guide Curly, played by Jack Palance, who despite his character being dead nonetheless resurrects his Oscar-winning performance from the first film.

Bruno Kirby, who also starred in the first film, bowed out of this sequel because during the filming of the original he suffered from horrible allergies from the horses. This movie suffers from the standard sequelitis of diminishing returns, offering a less funny, less well-developed variation of a story audiences had already seen once before.

Walt Disney Productions

#22. The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again (1979)

– Director: Vincent McEveety
– Stacker score: 54.4
– Metascore: 37
– IMDb user rating: 6.1
– Runtime: 88 minutes

Tim Conway and Don Knotts are back as two inept outlaws attempting to stay on the straight and narrow in this sequel to “The Apple Dumpling Gang.” Things go awry, however, when the pair move to a new boomtown but end up on the run after they’re falsely accused of stealing.

Things go from bad to worse as they flee from the town marshal and wind up caught in the middle of a train robbery. Despite the good faith generated by the first “Apple Dumpling Gang” film, this follow-up was flat-out dumb, failing to even draw in the younger audiences that made its predecessor a moderate success.

Krisjair

#21. Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991)

– Director: Simon Wincer
– Stacker score: 53.9
– Metascore: 36
– IMDb user rating: 6.1
– Runtime: 98 minutes

Mickey Rourke and Don Johnson’s stars weren’t exactly on the wane when this misguided attempt at a Western plopped into theaters in the early 90s, but it certainly didn’t help matters. To save their friend’s bar from foreclosure, Harley Davidson (Mickey Rourke) and Robert Lee, aka Marlboro Man (Don Johnson), decide to rob an armored vehicle owned by the bank and give their friend the money. However, the pair find themselves in over their heads when they realize what they stole was not money but a highly addictive and dangerous drug.

The resulting film is less Western than confused buddy action dramedy of the sort that permeated screens in the 1980s. Critics found it laborious, trite, too tongue-in-cheek for its own good, and felt Rourke and Johnson “fail[ed] to credibly play squinty soulmates.”

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Status Media & Entertainment

#20. Hickok (2017)

– Director: Timothy Woodward Jr.
– Stacker score: 53.3
– Metascore: 49
– IMDb user rating: 4.7
– Runtime: 88 minutes

As the title suggests, this low-budget film is based on the life of “Wild Bill” Hickok, one of the most famous and controversial gunslingers of the West. Luke Hemsworth stars as Wild Bill, whose skills as a lawman are tested when he is tasked with bringing peace and justice to an unruly and violent town in the Wild West.

Country singers Trace Adkins and Kris Kristofferson, as well as Bruce Dern, round out the cast. Critics pointed to lightweight stakes, a lack of historical context, and amateurish errors in filmmaking as the prime suspects for this “oater’s” failure to hit the bullseye.

Dino de Laurentiis Cinematografica

#19. Navajo Joe (1966)

– Director: Sergio Corbucci
– Stacker score: 53.3
– Metascore: 32
– IMDb user rating: 6.4
– Runtime: 93 minutes

Burt Reynolds stars as the eponymous hero in this spaghetti Western about Navajo Joe, a Native American man looking for payback against the gang of outlaws that murdered his tribe. According to anecdotal legend, Reynolds signed on to the film believing Sergio Leone of Clint Eastwood’s “Dollars Trilogy” fame would be directing.

When he found that he was mistaken, he tried to get out of his contract but was refused release by the studio. It stands as one of the worst films in Reynolds’ career, despite the fact that he was well on his way to a solid career in the genre after his stint on popular TV series “Gunsmoke.”

Atlas Independent

#18. The Hollow Point (2016)

– Director: Gonzalo López-Gallego
– Stacker score: 52.8
– Metascore: 41
– IMDb user rating: 5.4
– Runtime: 97 minutes

Patrick Wilson stars as a small-town sheriff who aids a retired lawman (Ian McShane of “Deadwood” fame) as he faces a violent drug cartel and its notorious hitman (an against-type John Leguizamo). Described as “sub-par “Fargo” meets rehashed “No Country for Old Men”,” the film was near-universally reviled by critics, who blamed a lamely contrived plot, poor editing, and a lack of creative impulse.

No Remake Pictures

#17. Outlaws and Angels (2016)

– Director: JT Mollner
– Stacker score: 52.2
– Metascore: 40
– IMDb user rating: 5.4
– Runtime: 120 minutes

Chad Michael Murray leads a gang of outlaws into the New Mexico desert after robbing a bank. The gang descends upon a seemingly innocent family but finds they’ve bitten off more than they can chew when it turns out some of the family members are not as virtuous as they seem.

Not even a supporting cast including Luke Wilson and both Clint Eastwood’s daughter Francesca, and ex-partner, Frances Fisher, could save this “sadly misfocused” film. Critics sharpened their knives on the film’s relentless, unnecessary brutality and lack of directorial confidence

Patriot Pictures

#16. Wild Horses (2015)

– Director: Robert Duvall
– Stacker score: 51.7
– Metascore: 44
– IMDb user rating: 4.9
– Runtime: 100 minutes

Fifteen years after a boy goes missing, a detective decides to reopen the cold case, believing that the boy was killed by a local rancher. Robert Duvall, known for his work on films such as “Tender Mercies” and “The Apostle,” directed, wrote, and starred in this flaccid pic. One critic pretty well summed it up: “What a shambles.”

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Columbia Pictures

#15. The Dark Tower (2017)

– Director: Nikolaj Arcel
– Stacker score: 50
– Metascore: 34
– IMDb user rating: 5.6
– Runtime: 95 minutes

Hollywood A-listers Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey star in this apocalyptic thriller based on the first book in author Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. The film focuses on a young boy, haunted by images of a dark tower, who joins forces with the tower’s guardian (Elba) to defend it against The Man in Black (McConaughey) who is working to eradicate the tower and open the gates of hell. The film was in development for years, going as far back as 2010 when director Ron Howard attempted the project after JJ Abrams tried and failed to bring it to the screen.

What audiences finally got satisfied neither fans of the books nor fans of good cinema. The film was likened to a 95-minute trailer, and even Stephen King himself felt the film pulled its punch.

Peters Entertainment

#14. Wild Wild West (1999)

– Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
– Stacker score: 48.3
– Metascore: 38
– IMDb user rating: 4.9
– Runtime: 106 minutes

After finding box office success on “Men in Black,” Will Smith and Barry Sonnenfeld reunited once more to create this steampunk version of a Western. Smith and Kevin Kline work as special agents to protect President Ulysses S. Grant from a Confederate scientist who wants revenge after the Civil War.

After it was released, “Wild Wild West” was nominated for a whole host of Razzie Awards, “winning” Worst Picture, Worst Screenplay, Worst Director, Worst Screen Couple, and Worst Original Song. Filmmaker Kevin Smith has offered inside dope on how one “spidery” aspect of this movie came to be, and both critics and audiences failed to find the laughs in this supposed comedy.

Dino De Laurentiis Company

#13. The White Buffalo (1977)

– Director: J. Lee Thompson
– Stacker score: 48.3
– Metascore: 25
– IMDb user rating: 6.2
– Runtime: 97 minutes

An unusual mix of fantasy and Western storytelling, not even tough-guy action star Charles Bronson could save this hokey tale of famous lawman “Wild Bill” Hicock, who is plagued by visions of a white buffalo and sets out in search of the creature, along the way teaming up with Crazy Horse, a Lakota warrior also searching for the buffalo to take revenge on it for killing his daughter.

Though critics found any number of deficiencies to mock, the most egregious flap had to be the buffalo itself—“a hung-over carnival prize.”

American Entertainment Investors

#12. Masked and Anonymous (2003)

– Director: Larry Charles
– Stacker score: 47.8
– Metascore: 32
– IMDb user rating: 5.4
– Runtime: 112 minutes

Legendary musician Bob Dylan both wrote and starred in this limpid Western drama. Dylan plays a down-on-his-luck musician named Jack Fate, who is released from prison and must perform a benefit concert. After the film was first sold to HBO, Dylan decided he didn’t want to be involved in the film anymore because it was too “slapsticky.”

In order to keep him on, producers worked with him to rewrite the film into a piece that was much more serious than originally intended. The end result is an unintelligible mess that works only to focus attention on scenes of Dylan’s character on stage performing.

Morgan Creek Entertainment

#11. American Outlaws (2001)

– Director: Les Mayfield
– Stacker score: 47.2
– Metascore: 25
– IMDb user rating: 6.0
– Runtime: 94 minutes

In “American Outlaws,” a group of Civil War veterans return to their homes in Missouri at the end of the war only to find that a railroad company is planning to build through the area, and its representatives are threatening to destroy farms and put farmers’ families to harm. When the farmers choose to fight back, the group of veterans form an outlaw gang, known as the James-Younger Gang, led by outlaw Jesse James (Colin Farrell), to take revenge on the railroad company by stealing their assets.

The real-life James-Younger Gang was founded by James and his brother Frank, and was responsible for numerous bank robberies, as well as train and stagecoach heists. Sadly, critics refused to get behind this nuevo Western variation on the James legend. Roger Ebert pointed to the film as evidence that “even the B Western is dead.”

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Black Diamond Pictures

#10. September Dawn (2007)

– Director: Christopher Cain
– Stacker score: 46.1
– Metascore: 25
– IMDb user rating: 5.8
– Runtime: 111 minutes

Based loosely on the actual events of the Mountain Meadows massacre, this film focuses on the fictional romantic relationship between the son of a Mormon religious leader in Utah, and the daughter of a pastor in the Baker-Fancher wagon party traveling through Utah to California. The wagon train is slaughtered by a group of killers whose relationship to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and its leader Brigham Young is still hotly debated.

While this all may have sounded good on paper, it flatlined on celluloid, with the Boston Globe calling it “made-for-TV historical treacle,” and the New York Times boot-stomping it, saying the film aped “Schindler’s List” in effort to create a Christian Holocaust film.

Paper Street Pictures

#9. The Pale Door (2020)

– Director: Aaron B. Koontz
– Stacker score: 45.6
– Metascore: 39
– IMDb user rating: 4.3
– Runtime: 96 minutes

This horror/Western mashup kicks off with a botched train robbery attempt by two brothers and their gang when they discover that their purloined bounty is not a chest of gold, but a young girl hidden inside. She convinces the group to take her back to her home, but instead of the reward they were promised, the gang finds themselves trapped in a town full of witches determined to kill them. Less than the sum of its parts, the film collapsed with critics and audiences, failing to satisfy as either Western or screamer.

Greisman Productions

#8. Texas Rangers (2001)

– Director: Steve Miner
– Stacker score: 45
– Metascore: 29
– IMDb user rating: 5.2
– Runtime: 90 minutes

After the Civil War, a group of young men—made up of a cast including Ashton Kutcher, Dylan McDermott, R&B singer Usher, and James Van Der Beek—form the Texas Rangers and are charged with keeping the peace on the Mexican border. With a 2% Rotten Tomatoes score, there is little to redeem this revisionist bust. The Associated Press review did, however, offer a more interesting future alternative to the film’s creators.

Diablo Movie

#7. Diablo (2015)

– Director: Lawrence Roeck
– Stacker score: 44.4
– Metascore: 35
– IMDb user rating: 4.5
– Runtime: 90 minutes

Not to be confused with the umpteen video games that employ this same generically devilish title, this story of a Civil War veteran who is on a mission for revenge after his wife is kidnapped and their home is burned down is not entirely what it seems.

The film’s “hero,” played by Scott Eastwood, is actually a brutal murderer who kidnapped the woman he believes is his wife and only sets out after her as the result of a split-personality crisis after the woman is rescued by her real husband and brothers. Eastwood is the son of Clint Eastwood, but even that fact couldn’t rescue this mess from inelegant direction and a meandering screenplay.

Warner Bros.

#6. Jonah Hex (2010)

– Director: Jimmy Hayward
– Stacker score: 44.4
– Metascore: 33
– IMDb user rating: 4.7
– Runtime: 81 minutes

Before comic book movies began getting the respect and resources of summer tentpole entertainment, “Jonah Hex” arrived as part Western, part superhero movie. Based on the DC Comics series centered on a bounty hunter who formerly served in the Confederate army before he was betrayed by his commanding officer, the film seemed to barely qualify for theatrical release, clocking in at an anemic 1 hour 21 minutes (including end credits), which critics found to be both nonsensically plotted and mercifully short.

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Lighthouse Pictures

#5. Scorched Earth (2018)

– Director: Peter Howitt
– Stacker score: 43.3
– Metascore: 32
– IMDb user rating: 4.6
– Runtime: 96 minutes

Riding the post-apocalyptic world zeitgeist, former MMA fighter Gina Carano plays a bounty hunter named Attica Gage who goes after an outlaw with a large price on his head. Despite Carano’s then-rising star—just a year after this film, she went on to star in Disney’s Star Wars series, “The Mandalorian,” before off-camera behavior cost her the job—the only earth scorched by this blip on the cinematic radar came courtesy of critics, who found it dull, draggy, and flavorlessly anti-climactic.

Rastar Pictures

#4. The Villain (1979)

– Director: Hal Needham
– Stacker score: 41.7
– Metascore: 22
– IMDb user rating: 5.3
– Runtime: 89 minutes

An outlaw by the name of Cactus Jack, played by Kirk Douglas, is hired to rob a woman who’s just collected a large sum of money from her father. Unfortunately for Cactus Jack, the woman is escorted by Handsome Stranger—played by none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger—and the two foil his plans every step of the way.

“The Villain” was one of Schwarzenegger’s first film roles. Just a few years later, in 1982, he got his breakthrough role as Conan in “Conan the Barbarian.” This spoof registered as a lukewarm pastiche of gags that had been done better in recent years by filmmakers such as Mel Brooks and the team behind Looney Tunes.

New Line Cinema

#3. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993)

– Director: Gus Van Sant
– Stacker score: 40
– Metascore: 28
– IMDb user rating: 4.4
– Runtime: 106 minutes

Director Gus Van Sant had already made a name for himself with offbeat cult classics “Drugstore Cowboy” and “My Own Private Idaho” when he brought this Tom Robbins novel to the screen. The story of Sissy Hankshaw (Uma Thurman) and her unusually large thumbs made little sense to anyone and lacked the flourish of Robbins’ expansive descriptions and storytelling.

Critics found the film cold and caricaturish for no discernable reason other than to present itself as offbeat. The New York Times pointed to the film’s dialogue as a major point of failure, finding that Sissy “talks like a novel, and a dated one at that.”

Grodnik/Aloe Productions

#2. Disturbing the Peace (2020)

– Director: York Alec Shackleton
– Stacker score: 37.2
– Metascore: 34
– IMDb user rating: 3.3
– Runtime: 91 minutes

Straight-to-streaming Westerns seem to be cursed when letting characters named “Diablo” into the script. Here, Guy Pearce plays a former Texas Ranger who must do battle with the leader of a biker gang called—wait for it— Diablo (a curiously cast Devon Sawa).

Since Pearce is no stranger to Westerns, having starred earlier in “Lawless,” set in Depression-era Virginia, and “The Proposition,” which set him as an outlaw in the outback of Australia, critics were quick to point to his performance as this film’s lone saving grace. Beyond that, the consensus was a poorly scripted, poorly edited, repetitive series of standoffs with little redeeming cinematic quality.

Eaves Movie Ranch

#1. The Ridiculous 6 (2015)

– Director: Frank Coraci
– Stacker score: 36.7
– Metascore: 18
– IMDb user rating: 4.8
– Runtime: 119 minutes

As one of the first films in Adam Sandler’s long-running deal with Netflix, this comedy features a veritable buffet of Hollywood stars, including Terry Crews, Will Forte, Jorge Garcia, Taylor Lautner, Nick Nolte, Rob Schneider, Danny Trejo, and Luke Wilson, “The Ridiculous 6” tells the story of six men who learn that they all share the same father. Sandler plays a man who is visited by his long-lost outlaw father (Nolte) and after he is kidnapped, sets out to come up with the money for his ransom, recruiting his newly found half-brothers to help him.

Branded as a lazy and misshapen torturous genre joke, critics turned on this film with the lightning speed of a quick-draw artist. While the Chicago Sun Times’ Richard Roeper may have provided the best one-line dagger to the film’s heart, these guys had a pretty good time with just what a bad time they had watching this movie.

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