8 Movies Like Butcher’s Crossing That You Must Watch

‘Butcher’s Crossing’ is a Western drama film that employs stirring imagery to invoke strong emotions within a story of a hunting trip undertaken in search of great ambitions. The film follows William Andrews, a young man seeking adventure, who stumbles across a time-hardened hunter, Miller, who has a one-track focus on hunting a massive buffalo herd. As a result, once the two men join convictions, it leads to a daunting trip into remote passes, where terrible temptation lies. With Miller’s mission turning into an obsession, it charts a dreadful future for his hunting party, defined by his indomitable greed.

The film, rich in picturesque as well as brutal cinematography, presents a moving image of 19th-century Western America, with subliminal themes critical of colonization, animal cruelty, and unfair treatment of Native Americans. Consequently, if the film has left you seeking similar watches, here are some films that are sure to be worth your attention!

8. Okja (2017)

The multilingual English/Korean Bong Joon Ho directorial adventure drama film, ‘Okja,’ brings a riveting narrative about a young girl willing to risk everything for her closest companion. Young Mija lived in the Korean mountains for years with Okja, a fantastical massive animal, friendly and loyal, under her care. However, everything changes when wealthy CEO Lucy Mirando, obsessed with her public image, takes Okja and Mija away to New York to reap benefits from the fascinating creature. As such, the young girl finds herself on a single-minded mission to save her friend, battling society’s various complications as she attempts to return herself and her friend to their home.

Although ‘Okja’ and ‘Butcher’s Crossing’ present drastically different perspectives on the theme of animal cruelty, their opposite approaches still hold the significance of animal conservation at their center. As such, if you’re inclined towards a kinder watch after the latter film, ‘Okja’ might be the perfect fit for you.

7. Older Than America (2008)

‘Older Than America’ brings a horrifying truth about the past revolving around the cultural trauma of the Native American genocide and its prevalent, lasting aftermath. Rain O’Rourke starts seeing visions that help her uncover a Catholic priest’s menacing conspiracy against her mother, Irene, a resident of a psychiatric institution with a schizophrenia diagnosis. As a result, the woman finds herself undertaking an investigative journey to unravel the facts about her mother’s life that are driving outside powers to silence her. In doing so, the atrocities that took place in the local historical Indian boarding school come out in the open.

This film is a lot more vocal and unsubtle about handling the reality of Native American genocide than ‘Butcher’s Crossing,’ wherein the central Buffalo hunt conveys a social and cultural metaphor. Therefore, ‘Older Than America’ would prove to be a great watch for people interested in the Native American past within a more textual narrative.

6. The Hateful Eight (2015)

Quentin Tarantino’s ‘The Hateful Eight’ is a mystery-driven period film that revolves around eight distinctly vicious individuals who are compelled into forced proximity only to realize their assembly may just prevent their collective survival. After Bounty hunter John Ruth and his prisoner Daisy Domergue pick up Marquis Warren and Chris Mannix during a snowstorm, the group finds themselves seeking shelter in Minnie’s Haberdashery. However, the presence of three other personalities, Oswaldo Mobray, Joe Gage, and Sanford Smithers, creates tension within the singular cabin, leading to deadly complications.

The film brings a similar depiction of provoking violence and injustice that ‘Butcher’s Crossing’ pens through Miller’s hunting trip— with both instances presenting cruelties that highlight the realities of life. As such, if you’re a fan of complex philosophies explored through a Western medium, this movie is for you.

5. 3:10 to Yuma (2007)

James Mangold’s crime drama film, ‘3:10 to Yuma,’ starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale as the protagonists, features a much more hopeful yet equally raw tale about the Old West. Once the authorities somehow manage to capture the legendary Ben Wade, an impoverished farmer, Dan Evans, volunteers to be a part of the posse, bringing the criminal to his demise in Yuma’s unforgiving court. Consequently, a harrowing journey follows, ripe with contrarian character dynamics and a compelling fight for survival.

Nevertheless, in the midst of action-driven plots surrounding Native attackers, gang wars, and feats of escape, Wade and Evans’ characters undergo a philosophical battle of wills that results in surprising outcomes. ‘3:10 to Yuma’ is a compelling watch for fans of the genre who are interested in something with a more sanguine disposition than ‘Butcher’s Crossing.’

4. Buckskin (2021)

The indie film ‘Buckskin,’ offers a Western tale that retains similar thematic bleakness to ‘Butcher’s Crossing.’ Sharing the latter’s 1800s Texan setting, this film revolves around Wesley Porter, a fur trapper who becomes entangled in the rescue of a boy lost in the Buckskin woods’ mysterious depths. Thus, with his paths crossing with hostile Native tribes and their cunning traps, Porter’s quest to save a life becomes a battle for survival. The film maintains “a hunting journey” at the center of its plot against the backdrop of an arduous mountainous region. The same is bound to remind viewers of the latter film’s unique themes and narrative that draw from a singular hunt and its impactful effects on the protagonist.

3. Seraphim Falls (2006)

Revolving around the rivalry of two men from opposing sides of the Civil War, ‘Seraphim Falls’ possesses all the elements of a Western— from woodsy locations and gunslinging characters to a passionate thirst for vengeance. The story, set after the war’s end, follows Gideon, a Yankee officer, and Carver, a Confederate colonel, with the latter hiring guns to hunt down the other man for him. The reason behind their contemptuous relationship? A mysterious series of events that took place in Seraphim Falls.

As a result, Gideon, skilled with a knife, which often ends up being his sole companion, traverses Nevada with armed men on horseback, following his tail until he finally faces his one true enemy. The film offers all the gritty Western elements that fans may like in ‘Butcher’s Crossing’ while featuring a distinct but equally thrilling obsessive hunt as the narrative center.

2. The Mountain Men (1980)

For fans who enjoyed the dynamic portrayal of hunting in the 19th century, presented through the lens of an adventurous group, ‘The Mountain Men,’ another Western film, will not disappoint. The film centers itself around the titular mountain men, Bill Tyler and Henry Frapp, who are in the business of hunting and trapping beavers to trade their hide for a profit to French businessmen. The film focuses on the dynamic between these two men as they undertake one thrilling venture after another in the scenic— but deadly—mountains. Thus, if you enjoyed the building blocks of ‘Butcher’s Crossing,’ this film will offer a similar narrative that prioritizes adventure-driven plots instead of drama.

1. Moby Dick (1956)

Based on the eponymous classic Herman Melville’s novel from 1851, ‘Moby Dick,’ is a drama film that charts the tale of a grand adventure that, much like Miller’s hunting trip, dissolves into a disaster due to the captain’s obsessive disposition. The film follows sailor Ishmael, who is a part of the crew aboard Captain Ahab’s vessel, The Pequod. Ahab sports a grave rivalry with the giant white sperm whale, dubbed Moby Dick, who bested the captain and took away his leg upon their last encounter.

As such, embarking on a journey colored with his need for vengeance, Ahab leads his men into a ruinous time in search of Moby Dick and eternal revenge. While the film has an obvious man vs. nature dynamic that remains reminiscent of ‘Butcher’s Crossing,’ its additional parallels between the central protagonist duo characters provide another layer of similarities.

Read More: Butcher’s Crossing: Is Nicolas Cage’s Miller Based on an Actual Buffalo Hunter?