Saddle up, partner! We're about to take a wild ride through the tumbleweeds of cinema history as we corral the most cringe-worthy and yawn-inducing Western movies of all time.
From questionable plotlines to shootouts that missed the mark, get ready to lasso some laughter and facepalm aplenty in this roundup of the Worst Westerns ever to hit the big screen.
Shalako is considered one of the worst Westerns due to a miscast of talent and a poorly written script. Its premise follows a European hunting party in the American West.
Sean Connery, an out-of-place aristocrat, portrays Shalako, while Brigitte Bardot, an unconvincing noblewoman, plays Irina. The awkward chemistry and lackluster dialogue hinder the film's potential.
The Frisco Kid (1979)
Among the worst Westerns in film history, The Frisco Kid is one such lackluster example. The premise has Gene Wilder as a Polish rabbi and Harrison Ford as an outlaw.
The premise attempted humor and adventure but failed to deliver a compelling narrative or engaging performances. Gary Arnold of the Washington Post said, "The finished film obliterates whatever promise of novelty.
The Appaloosa (1966)
The Appaloosa stars Marlon Brando in a lackluster Western film about a man seeking to retrieve his stolen horse from a Mexican bandit.
It has weak storytelling, bland characters, and cultural inaccuracies. The Appaloosa failed to impress critics. Despite Brando's talent, the movie's flaws make it one of the worst Westerns ever produced.
The Kentuckian (1955)
The 1955 Western The Kentuckian is one of the worst Westerns due to its slow, dragging plot and lack of action. Walter Matthau's over-the-top performance as the villain was a questionable choice.
Under the direction of Burt Lancaster, who also stars as the protagonist, the film failed to capture the essence of the Western genre.
Comes A Horseman (1978)
The 1978 Western film Comes a Horseman, starring Jane Fonda, drew harsh criticism for its inability to resonate with audiences, sluggish pacing, and a lack of the genre's typical energy.
Directed by Alan J. Pakula, the movie's premise follows two ranchers fighting against a powerful land baron to keep their property.
The Warrior's Way (2010)
The Warrior's Way is widely regarded as one of the worst Western movies due to its haphazard and out-of-place plot, blending Eastern and Western elements with little coherence.
The premise, a skilled Asian warrior hiding in the Wild West, felt contrived and lacked authenticity. Main star Jang Dong-gun's performance failed to salvage the film.
The Alamo (2004)
The 2004 adaptation of The Alamo stands as one of the worst versions of both Western movies and any rendition of that title released. Unlike the original, which garnered praise for its authenticity and gripping storytelling, the 2004 version lacked depth and failed to engage audiences.
Starring Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton, and Jason Patric, the film portrays the famous 1836 siege at the Alamo in Texas during the Texas Revolution.
Young Ones (2014)
Young Ones is known to be one of the most disappointing Westerns ever made, according to critics who found it unfocused with a boring narrative despite its powerful visuals.
The film stars Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, Elle Fanning, and Kodi Smit-McPhee. Directed by Jake Paltrow, it presents a futuristic tale set in a drought-ridden world where water is scarce and when tensions are running high.
Jonah Hex (2010)
Jonah Hex (2010), starring Josh Brolin and directed by Jimmy Hayward, ranks among the worst Westerns in film.
The movie's premise revolves around Jonah Hex, a scarred bounty hunter with supernatural abilities seeking revenge against an unhinged terrorist threatening to unleash devastation upon the country. Equally as disappointing, its box office sales did not match merchandising from animated shows and video games.
The Duel (2016)
The worst Westerns in the genre left audiences cringing, and The Duel (2016) belonged with them. Liam Hemsworth struggled to carry the weak premise of a Texas Ranger investigating a town plagued by a sinister preacher (Woody Harrelson).
The film's poor execution and lackluster performances make it a forgettable addition to the Western genre. Bernard Woo of Rotten Tomatoes gave his thumbs down when he wrote, "The Duel is a forgettable, muddled affair that wastes its two charismatic leads on endless scenes of tonal wonkiness."
The Western film Dust has been deemed one of the direst Westerns ever, hampered by a disjointed narrative, politically driven allegations against its director, the enigmatic John Williams, and a flawed premise.
Critics slam its veiled bigotry, evident in its prejudiced undertones, which overshadow any redeeming aspects of the film.
A Million Days To Die In The West (2014)
A Million Ways to Die in the West ranks among the worst Westerns due to its excessive length, shallow execution, and excessively exaggerated humor. Stars Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, and Liam Neeson were not able to save the weak premise.
The film's over-the-top attempts at comedy miss the mark, leaving audiences unamused and disappointed.
Around The World In 80 Days (2004)
In the vast landscape of Western genre films, some titles stand out for all the wrong reasons, and Around the World in 80 Days is undeniably one of the worst. Starring Jackie Chan, Steve Coogan, and Cécile de France, the film attempted a unique twist on the classic Western by combining it with adventure and comedy.
However, the muddled premise, lack of authentic Western elements, and bloated runtime left audiences and critics alike unimpressed, making it a regrettable addition to the genre's history.
Death Rides A Horse (1967)
Death Rides a Horse (1967) disappoints as a Western with its visibly fake studio backgrounds, detracting from the authenticity.
Lee Van Cleef's performance fails to save the movie, as the weak storyline of a vengeful ex-outlaw seeking his family's killers lacks originality and depth. It falls short of one of the worst Westerns.
Jane Got A Gun (2015)
Jane Got a Gun, starring Natalie Portman, is widely regarded as one of the worst Westerns made ever.
The film suffered from a troubled production, resulting in a disjointed plot and lackluster performances. Critics panned it for its slow pacing, clichéd storyline, and failure to deliver the excitement expected from a Western.
The Legend Of Zorro (2005)
The worst Western films often suffer from weak storytelling and lackluster performances, and The Legend of Zorro is one such example. Despite boasting stars like Antonio Banderas as Alejandro Murrieta/Zorro and Catherine Zeta-Jones as Elena Montero, the film's messy plot and over-the-top action sequences garnered poor reviews.
Directed by Martin Campbell, the movie's attempt to revitalize the Zorro legend fell short, failing to capture the magic of the iconic character's adventures.
In Dubious Battle (2016)
In Dubious Battle (2016), a Western film directed by James Franco and starring James Franco himself alongside Nat Wolff, faced scathing criticism for being dull and slow-moving.
Adapted from John Steinbeck's novel, it failed to captivate audiences with its subpar pacing and unremarkable execution, making it one of the worst in the genre.
The Way West (1967)
The 1967 Western film The Way West is criticized as one of the genre's worst due to its inconsistent storytelling and overreliance on magnificent scenery, neglecting character development.
Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, it stars Kirk Douglas, who leads a wagon train to Oregon, facing challenges and conflicts along the treacherous journey.
The Longest Ride (2015)
The Longest Ride, directed by George Tillman Jr., is a prime example of a worst Western film. Criticized for being overly sentimental and relying on painful clichés, the movie's $63 million box office success with a $34 million budget further validates its negative reviews.
Starring Britt Robertson, Scott Eastwood, and Alan Alda, the film follows the intersecting love stories of a young couple and an older man.
A Night In Old Mexico (2013)
In the 2013 Western film A Night in Old Mexico, directed by Emilio Aragón, critics found Robert Duvall's brilliant performance wasted in a lackluster flick, contributing to its reputation as one of the worst Westerns ever produced.
The movie follows an aging rancher, played by Duvall, who embarks on a last adventure with his estranged grandson.
The Lone Ranger (2013)
Among the worst Westerns in film history, The Lone Ranger was a prime example of a misfire. Critic Leigh Paatsch of The Herald Sun wrote, "Only two words come to mind. Why bother?"
Released in 2013, it starred Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the titular character and was directed by Gore Verbinski. The film's befuddled plot failed to captivate audiences and critics alike, resulting in a lackluster and forgettable cinematic experience.
Case De Mi Padre (2012)
Case de mi Padre was panned as one of the worst Western movies due to its subpar plot and execution. The film attempted to parody telenovelas but failed to deliver compelling humor or storytelling.
While it is usually comedic, Will Ferrell's lead role could not rescue the film from its tedious and uninspired narrative.
For Greater Glory: The True Story Of Cristiada (2012)
For Greater Glory: The True Story Of Cristiada (2012) could be one of the worst Westerns in film history. Jim Lane of Sacramento News and Review wrote, "The story deserves a better movie than it gets here..."
The principal actors delivered uninspired portrayals due under the direction of Dean Wright, and with a perplexing premise, it falls flat as a compelling Western tale.
Sweetwater (2013) stands among the worst Westerns in film, with its misguided attempt at blending genres. According to critic Michael Sragow of the Orange County Register, "This oater with shades of Weird West comic books has a plot too easy to foretell and a thrill level that dips with the rising of the body count."
Starring January Jones and Ed Harris and directed by Logan and Noah Miller, the film's premise of revenge and justice in the Old West falls flat in its execution.
Among the worst Westerns in film history, Outlaws (2016) is top of mind as a prime example of missed potential and lackluster execution. Critics gave scathing reviews of the film, stating the performance by its star was wooden, a meandering plot, and the director seemingly lost in the vast expanse of clichés.
Directed by Joe Smith, the movie revolves around a group of outlaws seeking redemption in the unforgiving Wild West.
Wild Horses (2015)
Among the worst Westerns in film history, Wild Horses (2015) is a prime example of missed opportunities. Starring Robert Duvall and directed by Robert Duvall himself, the film falls flat with a clichéd premise and lackluster execution.
Robert Abele of the Los Angeles Times said Duvall "loses the thread - and our attention - one too many times in a sea of lackluster conversations and unremarkable plot strands."
American Outlaws (2001)
One of the worst Westerns in film history includes the 2001 release of American Outlaws, a critically panned movie directed by Les Mayfield. Starring Colin Farrell, the film's premise revolves around a group of young outlaws led by Jesse James, aiming to take down a railroad tycoon.
Rex Reed of the Observer slammed the movie when he wrote it was "A big yawn that only reminds us why movie westerns are six feet under and not likely to make a comeback."
Diablo, released in 2016, remains one of the worst Westerns in film history. Starring Scott Eastwood and directed by Lawrence Roeck, the film fails to captivate with its clichéd revenge plotline.
The story follows a Civil War veteran seeking his kidnapped wife, but weak execution, lackluster performances, and a predictable narrative leave viewers unimpressed.
Spirit Untamed (2021)
Spirit Untamed (2021) garnered negative reviews as one of the worst Westerns ever produced. Isabela Merced voiced Lucky Prescott, and Jake Gyllenhaal voiced Jim Prescott, but even their talents failed to overcome the film's shortcomings.
With a weak plot and lackluster animation, it failed to capture the magic of its predecessor. Directed by Elaine Bogan, it fell short of delivering the promised charm and excitement.
Home On The Range (2004)
Home on the Range (2004) is considered one of the worst Westerns ever produced. With stars like Roseanne Barr as Maggie, Judi Dench as Mrs. Calloway, and Cuba Gooding Jr. as Buck, the animated film follows three farm animals on a mission to save their owner's farm.
Critics panned its lackluster plot, uninspired humor, and forgettable direction by Will Finn and John Sanford.