20 Best Bounty Hunter Movies

The brutal romance of the dusty roads of colonial America, on which an invincible bounty hunter rides, never parting with his trusty revolver and knowing how much a human life is for sale – an unassuming and exciting plot of the adventure-historical drama about the Wild West, which became popular in the late 50s and formed a special genre called the Western. However, mercenaries tracking criminals still exist today.

We offer you the best and iconic films of this genre from the latest films to the classics of the last century, created both by independent directors and mastodons of the world cinema.

Dead for a Dollar

Dead for a Dollar
  • Rating IMDB – 5.3
  • Genre: Thriller, western
  • Production Canada, USA / 2022
  • Worldwide gross: $81,815
  • Director Walter Hill
  • Cast: Christoph Waltz, Willem Dafoe, Rachel Brosnahan, Warren Burke, Luis Chavez, Brandon Scott, Benjamin Bratt, Hamish Linklater, Fidel Gomez, Guy Burnet

Opening our list is an exemplary western from 80-year-old director Walter Hill starring two distinguished old men, Willem Dafoe and Christoph Waltz.

Max Borlund (Waltz) is an under-aged bounty hunter hired in 1897 by wealthy Nathan Price, eager to track down his wife, Natalie, who has been kidnapped by the black deserter Elijah. Borlund soon discovers that Natalie has voluntarily run off with the charming Elijah, and at the same time encounters his old enemy Joe Cribbens (Defoe), who has vowed revenge on Borlund.

Matt Harris wrote the script back in 2000, but only managed to sell it in 2020 when Hill decided to revive the Western in film.

20 Best Bounty Hunter Movies

For the Reward

For the Reward
  • Rating IMDB – 6.4
  • Genre: Western
  • US production / 2022
  • Directed by Bo Yotti
  • Cast: Bo Yotti, Lisa Barnes, John Marrs, Sky S. Donovan, Katrina F Kelly, Mark Speno, Mike Doherty, Matt Broom, Frank Harax, William Chandler

A short independent western from director and screenwriter Bo Yoti. Two bounty hunters, William Cole and Belle McLure, arrive in Black Rock, a small Wild West town, in search of criminals for whom there is a bounty.

On the spot, they find out that the town is being terrorized by a big cattle rancher, Clayton, who has formed his own gang of renegades of all stripes. The hunters have to take matters into their own hands, protect the townspeople, and restore justice.

The film was created on the set of the Gammons Gulch Movie Set in Benson, Arizona.

20 Best Bounty Hunter Movies

The Price of Death

The Price of Death
  • Genre: Action, western
  • Production Spain / 2022
  • Directed by Chip Baker
  • Cast: Al Matthews, Dan van Huzen, Ken Lucky, Russell Cummings, Crispian Belfrage, Ike Stilstra, Joaquin Ortega, Danny Garcia, Daniel Jordan

A Spanish action movie, a tribute to spaghetti westerns with a good star cast, which was the latest work by black actor Al Matthews (Sgt. Al Apone in Aliens).

A pair of sadistic gangsters are looking for one Harry Skinner, who stole money from them and stashed it somewhere. The criminals drive around the towns of New Mexico and easily kill people, gnawing out information.

Meanwhile, the sheriff of a small town sends a couple of his boys to convoy this same Harry to another settlement to be hanged, not too hopeful that they will all survive the dangerous “outing.”

The main shooting of the film took place in Almeria in 2015. Post-production was delayed due to financial problems.

20 Best Bounty Hunter Movies

The Highwaymen

The Highwaymen
  • Rating IMDB – 6.9
  • Genre: Thriller, drama, crime, detective story, biography
  • US production / 2019
  • Directed by John Lee Hancock
  • Cast: Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, Kathy Bates, John Carroll Lynch, Thomas Mann, Dean Denton, Kim Dickens, William Sadler, W. Earl Brown, David Furr

The film is based on a true story. Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson play two Texas Rangers, pals Frank and Manny, living in the 1930s. On behalf of State Governor Ma Ferguson, they are tasked with tracking down a couple of ferocious bandits, Bonnie and Clyde.

The FBI sticks their necks out, believing that the rangers should not interfere with a federal investigation. Still, they prove indispensable when it comes to a real violent confrontation.

Producer Casey Silver conceived this story back in 2005. He always wanted to tell about Frank Hamer, and he had a lot of contact with the son of the famous hunter who stopped Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.

20 Best Bounty Hunter Movies

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  • Rating IMDB – 7.3
  • Genre: Western, drama, comedy, musical
  • US production / 2018
  • Director Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
  • Cast: Tim Blake Nelson, James Franco, Harry Melling, Liam Neeson, Tom Waits, Zoe Kazan, Bill Heck, Tyne Daly, Brendan Gleeson, Willie Watson

A curious homage to the western genre by the Coen brothers, based on their own screenplay and winning many awards. If you’re attracted to small spectacular novellas about the violent romance of the Wild West, choose this film. It’s 6 exquisite short stories linked only by a Western theme, but not by plot.

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Buster Scruggs, caught in the film’s title, is a wanted outlaw, an impetuous gunslinger known to the world as The Misanthrope. However, he himself calls himself Nightingale and likes to sing in saloons and kill people…

The U.S. Board of Film Critics placed this almanac on its top list of Best Picture of the Year.

20 Best Bounty Hunter Movies

The Magnificent Seven

The Magnificent Seven
  • Rating IMDB – 6.8
  • Genre: Western, action, adventure
  • Production USA, Australia / 2016
  • Budget: $90,000,000
  • Worldwide gross: $162,360,636
  • Directed by Antoine Fuqua
  • Cast: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Lee Byung-hun, Manuel Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, Hayley Bennett, Peter Sarsgaard, Luke Grimes

A remake of the cult ’60s western with an identical title. The modern version, of course, looks much more exciting, free of the anachronisms and obtrusive templates of the numerous ’60s theme films.

The plot hasn’t changed. The inhabitants of a small town, besieged by a gang of criminals, minions of goldsmith Bartholomew Bogue, hire several bounty hunters to give battle to the villains.

Curiously enough, the characters in the film use explosives from the Giant Powder Company, a firm that produced dynamite under personal license from the very same Alfred Nobel, a chemist and philanthropist.

20 Best Bounty Hunter Movies

The Hateful Eight

The Hateful Eight
  • Rating IMDB – 7.8
  • Genre: Western, crime, thriller, drama, detective
  • US production / 2015
  • Budget: $44,000,000
  • Worldwide gross: $155 760 117
  • Director Quentin Tarantino
  • Cast: Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Demian Bichir, Bruce Dern, James Parks, Dana Gurier

Ripping, brutal, visually and musically impressive, Quentin Tarantino’s Western The Lousy Eight is on all the ratings and lists of the best genre movies.

Manhunter John Root drives a criminal, Daisy, through the mountains of Wyoming to be hanged in the town of Red Rock. Along the way, his traveling companions join him. Marcuis, a black mercenary, carries the corpses of three bandits to the same town to collect a reward, and Chris, a Southerner, travels to Red Rock, he says, to take the sheriff’s seat. A storm brews up, forcing this motley crew to stop at a secluded roadside tavern already full of dangerous guests.

Tarantino originally conceived of the film as a sequel to Django Libre, but after the script was stolen and published online, at first he thought of abandoning the project altogether, and then he reworked it into a stand-alone story.

20 Best Bounty Hunter Movies

Django Unchained

Django Unchained
  • Rating IMDB – 8.4
  • Genre: Western, action, drama, comedy
  • US production / 2012
  • Budget: $100,000,000
  • Worldwide gross: $425,368,238
  • Director Quentin Tarantino
  • Cast: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins, Dennis Christopher, James Remar, Don Johnson, Laura Cayuett

In 1858, a famous bounty hunter and former German dentist, King Schultz, wrests a tough black guy named Django from slave traders. Schultz needs a witness to identify the criminals he is tracking. In return, he offers Django money and freedom.

After a successful operation, Schultz offers the former slave to share with him the hardships and perks of being a bounty hunter. Django agrees, but first he wants to free his wife, who works on the plantations of the cruel Calvin Candy, from slavery. The freshly minted partners matures an impressive plan that will turn out to be big trouble for Candy.

In an interview, Tarantino said that he wanted to make a film about slavery, but to do it in the genre of the Western. And he certainly pulled it off.

20 Best Bounty Hunter Movies

True Grit

True Grit
  • Rating IMDB – 7.6
  • Genre: Western, drama, adventure
  • US production / 2010
  • Budget: $38,000,000
  • Worldwide gross: $252,276,927
  • Director Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
  • Cast: Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Barry Pepper, Dakin Matthews, Yarlath Conroy, Paul Wray, Domhnall Gleason, Elizabeth Marvel

The Coen Brothers’ lavish western that won a full handful of cool cinematic awards. The plot centers on a 14-year-old girl, Mattie Ross, who does not consider herself a child at all. When her father is murdered by the notorious bandit Cheney, she hires scalp hunter “Zabiaka” Cogburn, who is ready to follow Cheney into Indian territory and take revenge on her father’s killer.

Meanwhile, LaBeef, a Texas Ranger, arrives in town looking for the same outlaw. Cogburn, LaBeef, and Mattie, who will show real iron grip, join together on the most dangerous journey of their lives.

This is the second adaptation of Charles Portis’ novel and in many ways a remake of the first adaptation, the 1969 film True Courage.

20 Best Bounty Hunter Movies


  • Rating IMDB – 5.9
  • Genre: Action, thriller, drama, crime, biography
  • Production USA, UK, France / 2005
  • Budget: $50,000,000
  • Worldwide gross: $22 944 502
  • Directed by Tony Scott
  • Cast: Keira Knightley, Mickey Rourke, Edgar Ramirez, Delroy Lindo, Mena Suvari, Lucy Liu, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, Reese Abbasi, Monique

Tony Scott’s film is based on the true story of the daughter of the famous British actor Lawrence Harvey. A bully from childhood, Domino, tired of the glamour of a luxurious life, gave up her career as a model and went to train as a bounty hunter, becoming the most famous female mercenary in history.

Her “targets” were drug dealers and murderers, and the men around her spoke admiringly of the girl’s skills. In this film, Domino is arrested by the FBI and tells agents everything she knows about stealing money from an armored van, at the same time remembering her past.

The real Domino died in 2005 from a drug overdose in her bathroom.

20 Best Bounty Hunter Movies

Into the Badlands

Into the Badlands
  • Rating IMDB – 5.1
  • Genre: Horror, western
  • US production / 1991
  • Directed by Sam Pillsbury
  • Cast: Bruce Dern, Mariel Hemingway, Helen Hunt, Dylan McDermott, Lisa Pelikan, Andrew Robinson, Adam Sanchez, Jerry Gardner, Glen Barnes, Steve Tyler
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Three supernatural stories are woven together in this atmospheric fusion of western and horror, with events set in the 1870s. Actor Bruce Dern plays T. L. Barston. He is an experienced bounty hunter on the trail of the half-breed criminal Red Roundtree, for whose murder there is a $5,000 bounty, the dream of any mercenary.

Along the way, he meets several characters with amazing stories of his own, but leaves them behind as he sets out to move on. In the end, Barston catches up and destroys his target, and then realizes that he may part with his life in return.

The film was nominated for an Emmy Award in the Cinematography category in 1992.

20 Best Bounty Hunter Movies

Midnight Run

Midnight Run
  • Rating IMDB – 7.5
  • Genre: Action, thriller, comedy, crime, adventure
  • US production / 1988
  • Budget: $30,000,000
  • Worldwide gross: $81,613,606
  • Directed by Martin Brest
  • Cast: Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Japhet Kotto, John Ashton, Dennis Farina, Joe Pantoliano, Richard Foronji, Robert Miranda, Jack Kehoe, Wendy Phillips

A brilliant buddy comedy and road movie with Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin in the lead roles. De Niro is a bounty hunter who tracks down criminals. His next mission is to catch cunning lowly accountant Jonathan Mardukas, who stole $1.5 million from the mob, and deliver him to Los Angeles by a certain deadline.

It was easy to track down Mardukas and even to get a mutual sympathy for him. And then some wild problems began. It turned out that half the world was after Jonathan, and he was afraid to fly, so he had to be taken across America in a car.

In preparation for the role, Robert De Niro talked a lot with real bounty hunters.

20 Best Bounty Hunter Movies

The Hunter

The Hunter
  • Rating IMDB – 6.2
  • Genre: Action, thriller, drama, comedy, crime, biography
  • US production / 1980
  • Budget: $8,000,000
  • US fees: $16,274,150
  • Directed by Buzz Kulick
  • Cast: Steve McQueen, Eli Wallach, Katherine Harold, LeVar Burton, Ben Johnson, Richard Venture, Tracey Walter, Thomas Rosales Jr., Teddy Wilson, Ray Bickel

This is a kind of biopic about the real-life gunfighter of the Wild West, Ralph-Edgar Thorson Jr., who was a very versatile person and had a church ministry and a doctorate in medicine. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and became a bounty hunter by the end of the ’40s. And often the criminals he caught worked on his estate, where Ralph gave them jobs, preached and helped them reform.

The film describes Thorson’s period working as a bounty hunter for bail bondsman Richie Blumenthal. Daddy tracks criminals all over the country, but he himself is hunted by the psychopathic Rocco Mason, obsessed with a thirst for revenge.

Thorson is one of the few positive roles for actor Steve McQueen, usually playing the anti-hero and nicknamed “the king of cool.” And, sadly, his last role before his death in the year of the film’s premiere.

20 Best Bounty Hunter Movies

Joe Kidd

Joe Kidd
  • Rating IMDB – 6.4
  • Genre: Western, аction, сrime
  • US production / 1972
  • US fees: $6,330,000
  • Director John Sturges
  • Cast: Clint Eastwood, Robert Duvall, John Saxon, Don Stroud, Stella Garcia, James Wainwright, Paul Koslo, Gregory Walcott, Dick Van Patten, Lynn Martha

A good-quality American western, borrowing the style and Clint Eastwood’s spaghetti westerns. A cult “gunslinger” since the Dollar Trilogy, the actor once again appears in the laconic image of a cynic and bounty hunter with a strong moral backbone.

Eastwood’s character is Joe Kidd, stuck in a New Mexico prison for disorderly conduct. The action is set in the 1900s. Mexican anarchist Luis Chama has launched a real revolution against landowner-exploiters and local rich man Frank Garlan forms a mercenary unit to capture Chama, offering Joe Kidd to lead it.

After this film, Clint Eastwood decided to make westerns himself and fully joined the cohort of directors who play major roles in their films.

20 Best Bounty Hunter Movies

La vita, a volte, è molto dura, vero Provvidenza?

La vita, a volte, è molto dura, vero Provvidenza?
  • Rating IMDB — 5.6
  • Genre: Comedy, western
  • Production Italy, France, Germany (FRG) / 1972
  • Directed by Giulio Petroni
  • Cast: Thomas Milian, Gregg Palmer, Janet Agren, Dieter Eppler, Stelio Candelli, Gabriella Giorgelli, Hans Terofal, Maurice Poli, Renzo Marignano, Horst Janson

Spaghetti is the name given to films in the Western genre that were filmed in Spain and Italy in the 70s and 70s, so to speak, in “pasta” countries. Director Giulio Petroni (also known under the pseudonym Jeremy Scott) is one of the classics of the genre.

This film is a comedy western starring Cuban Thomas Milan and American Gregg Palmer. Milan plays Providence (Providence), a well-known and successful bounty hunter, who almost daily receives a reward in different states for catching … The same criminal, his friend Kid, nicknamed Hurricane, who then he himself helps to escape from another dungeon. The profitable business of friends is one day under threat.

Upon its release, the film became a box office hit in Europe, and Petroni promptly released a follow-up to Here We Go Again, Eh Providence?, cementing Milan’s status as a western star.

20 Best Bounty Hunter Movies

Il grande silenzio

Il grande silenzio
  • Rating IMDB – 7.7
  • Genre: Western
  • Production Italy, France / 1968
  • US fees: $53,074
  • Directed by Sergio Corbucci
  • Cast Jean-Louis Trintignant, Klaus Kinski, Frank Wolfe, Luigi Pistilli, Mario Brega, Carlo D’Angelo, Marisa Merlini, Anna Maria Ferrara, Marisa Sally, Raf Baldassarre
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Another title of the film is Silent Man, the name given to the mysterious gunman in the Wild West, played by French actor Jean-Louis Trintignant. He goes out on the hunt for the ruthless Loco assassin.

During the famous Great Blizzard that broke out in 1899, many ordinary people were impoverished and forced to plunder. The bounty hunters were allowed to lynch the looters, and Loco’s sadistic ways found a legitimate basis…

Many spaghetti westerns were filmed in the Tabernas Desert in southern Spain, where it is easy to imitate the arid landscapes of the Wild West. Many sets were built there, used in various films, and some have survived as theme parks.

20 Best Bounty Hunter Movies

El precio de un hombre: The Bounty Killer

El precio de un hombre: The Bounty Killer
  • Rating IMDB – 6.3
  • Genre: Western
  • Production Spain, Italy / 1966
  • Directed by Eugenio Martin
  • Cast: Richard Wyler, Tomas Milian, Galina Zalevska, Hugo Blanco, Enzo Fiermonte, Lola Gaos, Ricardo Canales, Mario Brega, Manuel Sarso, Tito Garcia

In Russian distribution, this Spanish-Italian spaghetti western has another title: The Price of Life. Fugitive criminal Jose Gomez returns to his hometown, pursued by bounty hunter Luke Chilson.

The townspeople protect Gomez, not wanting to give up their fellow countryman to an outsider mercenary, and prepare a trap for Luke, at first unaware that their former acquaintance has become a different, dangerous and trashy man. Soon Luke remains the only hope the natives have of freeing themselves from Gomez’s brazen gang.

The film is based on the 1958 novel The Bounty Killer by American author Marvin Albert.

20 Best Bounty Hunter Movies

Sergio Leone’s Dollar Trilogy

Per un pugno di dollari
  • Rating IMDB – 7.9
  • Genre: Action, drama, western
  • Production Italy, Spain, Germany (FRG) / 1964
  • US fees: $3,500,000
  • Directed by Sergio Leone
  • Cast: Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volonte, Marianne Koch, Wolfgang Lukshi, Sieghardt Rupp, Josef Egger, José Calvo, Margarita Lozano, Danielle Martin

The famous Spaniard Sergio Leone and his masterpiece film with Clint Eastwood are a sure recipe for an enjoyable evening for a connoisseur of quality retro bounty hunter movies. It was Leone’s iconic Trilogia del dollaro that shaped the characteristic spaghetti western genre that became popular for years to come.

The most recent film of the trilogy, The Good, the Bad, the Wicked, is a prequel to the other two, set during the Civil War. Three men hunt for Confederate gold. The next film in the chronology of events is For a Fistful of Dollars, in which Eastwood’s character finds himself in a town that has become the scene of a rivalry between two violent gangs. The third film is “A Few Dollars More. In it, Clint Eastwood’s character, along with a retired Confederate colonel, pursues the most violent bandit.

Clint Eastwood largely created the image of his character himself by buying props and clothes for him and requesting edits to the script.

20 Best Bounty Hunter Movies

Ride Lonesome

Ride Lonesome
  • Rating IMDB – 7.1
  • Genre: Drama, western
  • US production / 1959
  • Directed by Budd Boetticher
  • Cast: Randolph Scott, Karen Steele, Pernell Roberts, James Best, Lee Van Cleef, James Coburn, Benny E. Dobbins, Roy Jenson, Dyke Johnson, Boyd ‘Red’ Morgan

Ben Brigade is a notorious bounty hunter who captures the wanted murderer Billy and takes him through the perils of the Wild West for trial and execution. En route, Ben is forced to linger at an abandoned stagecoach stop, where he teams up with Carrie, the wife of the escaped station master, and two outlaws, Sam and Whit.

The group is pursued by Indians, whose chief wants Carrie, the captured outlaw’s brother Frank, and Sam and Whit plan to beat Billy back so they can turn him in to the authorities themselves and get amnesty for their crimes.

This film is part of the Ranaun Cycle, which consists of seven collaborations between director Boetticher and actor Randolph Scott.

20 Best Bounty Hunter Movies

Showdown at Boot Hill

Showdown at Boot Hill
  • Rating IMDB – 6.2
  • Genre: Western
  • US production / 1958
  • Directed by Gene Fowler Jr.
  • Cast: Charles Bronson, Robert Hutton, John Carradine, Carol Matthews, Fintan Mailer, Paul Maxey, Thomas Brown Henry, William Stevens, Martin Smith, Joe McGuinn

A classic of the psychological western, the film that made famous the actor Charles Bronson, who first played the lead role – bounty hunter Luke Welsh, forced to rethink his life after another successful manhunt.

Luke tracks down and destroys his target, gangster Con Meynor, in a small town in the Wild West. Trying to get confirmation of Cohn’s identity from the locals, Luke begins to realize that his victim was respected in the town, and no one is going to help the no-good hitman get the reward for this murder. He’ll have to stick around…

This is the first film in the series, which director Gene Fowler Jr. created for acclaimed filmmaker Robert L. Lippert.

20 Best Bounty Hunter Movies
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Анна Румянцева
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