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Ranked: The best Taylor Sheridan movies and TV shows

What are the best Taylor Sheridan movies and TV shows?

Kevin Costner as John Dutton in Yellowstone.
Paramount Network

Whether you’re a fan of Taylor Sheridan movies or Taylor Sheridan TV shows, there’s no denying that the co-creator of the hit series Yellowstone is one of the most prolific screenwriters in Hollywood. Pending renewals, Sheridan is the man behind five ongoing television series, and he still manages to find the time to write an occasional Oscar-nominated movie script.

To celebrate Sheridan’s remarkable achievements in the industry, we’re taking a look back at all of the Taylor Sheridan movies and TV shows to date and ranking them from worst to first. Note that only films or TV series that Sheridan wrote or directed are included on this list, with the exception of Vile, a low-budget horror movie that Sheridan has essentially disowned. Since that movie was also an outlier to everything that Sheridan worked on afterward, it was an easy cut to make.

12. Without Remorse

Michael B. Jordan in Without Remorse.

Without Emotion might be a better name for Without Remorse. Michael B. Jordan is clearly an action star, but this throwback flick doesn’t really do him any favors by putting him into a standard Cold War-style revenge thriller. When Jordan’s John Kelly is kicking butt, he’s really convincing. But considering that Kelly supposedly loses his wife and unborn child early in the film, Jordan’s performance of his character’s grief and anger falls flat.

11. Special Ops: Lioness

Zoe Saldaña in Special Ops: Lioness.
Paramount+

On paper, Special Ops: Lioness should be a massive success just based on the cast alone. Any show that has Zoe Saldaña, Nicole Kidman, and Morgan Freeman among the performers should be a massive hit. However, the focus is largely on Cruz Manuelos (Laysla De Oliveira), a young Marine who is recruited to the Lioness program to infiltrate the inner circle of terrorist rings.

Compared to a lot of Sheridan’s other shows, Special Ops: Lioness lacks the spark of authenticity, and plays like just about every other counter-terrorist drama that we’ve ever seen.

10. Tulsa King

Sylvester Stallone in Tulsa King.

What if Sylvester Stallone played The Godfather in exile? The result would be pretty close to Stallone’s current series, Tulsa King. Stallone plays Dwight “The General” Manfredi, a man who served 25 years in prison for the Invernizzi crime family. Dwight’s reward is that he’s essentially kicked out of New York’s crime scene and forced to build the family’s operations in Tulsa.

A lot of the humor in this show comes at the expense of Stallone’s age, and he’s game for it. Dwight’s success in Tulsa may eventually lead to a showdown with his former crime family. But Dwight’s more immediate problem is his complex relationship with Stacy Beale (Andrea Savage), an ATF agent who may already have enough info to bring him down.

9. Mayor of Kingstown

Jeremy Renner in Mayor of Kingston.
Paramount+

If ever there was a show that works solely through the strength of personality of the lead actor, it’s Mayor of Kingstown. Not even Jeremy Renner’s near-fatal snow plow accident could keep him from reprising his role as Mike McLusky in the upcoming third season of the series. Mike’s not actually the mayor of Kingstown, but his ability to connect with players on both sides of the law gives him more power than any elected official. Mike’s also a hard-knock kind of guy who has been known to get into a few fights. It’s part of his charm.

8. Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Isabela Merced and Benicio del Toro in Sicario: Day of the Soldado.
Sony Pictures Releasing

Sicario: Day of the Soldado is the Terminator 2 of the Sicario franchise because it softens the edges of its most hardened character, Alejandro Gillick (Benicio del Toro). After establishing Gillick’s ruthless streak in the first film, the sequel lets him rediscover his heart when he takes it upon himself to protect Isabel Reyes (Isabela Merced), the daughter of a powerful drug lord.

Because the U.S. government’s attempt to escalate tensions between two drug cartels has failed, Isabel is marked for death because she’s one of the few who could expose the truth about America’s involvement with the conflict. Gillick risks his own life to see Isabel to safety, even though he is also targeted for assassination for disobeying his orders to kill her.

7. Those Who Wish Me Dead

Finn Little and Angelina Jolie in Those Who Wish Me Dead.
Warner Bros. Pictures

Angelina Jolie’s role in Those Who Wish Me Dead feels like it would have gone to Sylvester Stallone in the ’90s. Jolie plays Hannah, a woodlands firefighter who is haunted by her inability to save four people from a fire in the past. But Hannah gets her chance for redemption when she meets Connor (Finn Little), a young boy whose father has just been murdered by the mob.

To prevent Connor and Hannah from escaping the forest with proof of the mob’s criminal activities, the assassins on their trail start a massive fire. This forces the unlikely duo to bond as they attempt to stay alive against all odds.

6. 1883

Isabel May in 1883.
Paramount+

1883 was the first Yellowstone prequel series, although it’s far enough apart from the show that it largely stands alone. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill play the Dutton family’s progenitors, James and Margaret Dutton, with Isabel May as their daughter, Elsa Dutton. However, one of the real stars of the series is Sam Elliott’s Shea Brennan, the man who leads the wagon train west so that the Duttons and other families can start a new life.

The journey is just as dangerous as Brennan predicted, and even the Duttons are touched by tragedy before the end of the line. But it’s a great Western story in its own right.

5. 1923

Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren in 1923.
Paramount+

The sequel to 1883 is 1923, which takes place almost 100 years before the events of Yellowstone. This time, Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren have the starring roles as Jacob and Cara Dutton, the owners of the Dutton ranch and the adoptive parents of Spencer (Brandon Sklenar) and Jack Dutton (Darren Mann), the sons of Jacob’s deceased brothers.

1923 features a lot of parallels with the events of Yellowstone, especially as the family has to fight to hold on to their land. There is a second season of 1923 coming, but it doesn’t have a release date yet.

4. Wind River

Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner in Wind River.
The Weinstein Company

Two of the MCU’s Avengers, Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner, reunited in Wind River, the movie that Sheridan considers to be his true directorial debut. Renner plays Cory Lambert, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Agent who discovers the body of an Indigenous woman, Natalie Hanson (Kelsey Asbille). FBI agent Jane Banner (Olsen) is called in to determine if Natalie was murdered.

Cory and Jane’s investigation is initially stonewalled by potential witnesses. But as they get closer to the truth about Natalie’s death, both of their lives are put in danger.

3. Sicario

Benicio del Toro in Sicario.
Lionsgate

Sicario isn’t the kind of movie that typically kicks off a franchise, but this was one of Sheridan’s best movies, which also teamed him with Dune: Part Two director Denis Villeneuve. The film stars Emily Blunt as Kate Macer, an FBI Special Agent who is drawn into a special task force run by CIA officer Matt Graver (Josh Brolin). Graver also employs a Mexican national, Alejandro Gillick (Benicio del Toro), as an assassin for the CIA.

Kate soon discovers that she was misled about the operation, which may not only be morally dubious but also extremely illegal. What Kate doesn’t realize is that the U.S. government is more than willing to get its hands dirty in the drug war. The real question is whether Kate is willing to see the operation through to its end.

2. Hell or High Water

Ben Foster and Chris Pine in Hell or High Water.
Lionsgate

Hell or High Water earned four Oscar nominations, including Best Original Screenplay for Sheridan, for its skillfully-told modern western tale. Two brothers, Toby (Chris Pine) and Tanner Howard (Ben Foster) are determined to provide for their family by any means necessary. Towards that end, they embark on a spree of bank robberies.

Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) and his partner, Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham), are assigned to put an end to the robberies. But when the rangers end up on the Howard brother’s trail, it leads to bloodshed on both sides.

1. Yellowstone

The cast of Yellowstone.
Paramount Network

There was really only one choice to top this list. Yellowstone has only been on the air since 2018, but it’s proven to be Sheridan’s most enduring contribution to film or television. The series revitalized Kevin Costner’s career by casting him as John Dutton III, the aging patriarch of the Dutton family who will do almost anything to maintain his family’s control of the Dutton family ranch.

The second part of Yellowstone season 5 will premiere sometime in November 2024. Whether Costner will return to reprise his role as John Dutton remains to be seen after his very public dispute with Sheridan and Paramount Network. Regardless, we’re hopeful that John and the Duttons can get some closure before the inevitable sequel series arrives.

Editors' Recommendations

Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell is a freelance writer for The Manual, Digital Trends, Fandom, Yahoo Entertainment, and more!
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