The rich history, diverse culture, and vast desert lands of Texas have inspired hundreds of movies and TV shows since the beginning of video entertainment. Whether it’s a story directly about Texas or one that only takes place in the Lone Star State, the influence of the music, cowboy culture, rodeo, and southern hospitality in these titles is unmistakable.
Here we list 9 of our favorite movies and TV shows that are set in Texas. All of these titles are available on demand. Whether you’re a fan of critically acclaimed stories or love indulging in over-the-top fun, you’ll enjoy our picks.
So grab the TV remote, connect to Grande Internet, and see which of these titles you have available!
No Country for Old Men
No Country for Old Men orchestrates a dark and gritty story following its iconic characters through the lawless terrain of rural Texas. Amidst desolate landscapes, a mysterious villain, Anton Chigurh, emerges as an usher of implacable doom. Played by Javier Bardem, the spectral figure is considered the most clinically accurate portrayal of a psychopath on screen.
The film is a faithful adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s dark novel of the same name. It depicts the inevitable descent into darkness for its unsuspecting protagonists who stumble upon over two million dollars of cash from the aftermath of a gone-wrong drug deal. In sharp contrast with Anton Chigurh, the protagonist Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (played by Tommy Lee Jones) is a mournful reflection on a world full of moral ambiguity.
With a 93% Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, No Country for Old Men is regarded by many as the best picture of the 21st century so far. The movie also won the 2007 Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay while Javier Bardem won Best Supporting Actor for his terrifying portrayal of Anton Chigurh.
Despite his extreme eccentricities that made him unrelatable to general audiences, Sheldon Cooper is the most fan-favorite character in one of the most popular sitcoms of all time. Young Sheldon is a prequel spin-off to The Big Bang Theory set in Medford, Texas in the late 80s and early 90s that follows a young Sheldon. The show gives the audience a glimpse into the evolution of socially awkward genius while giving room to the character’s snarky, satirical, and witty humor that fans of the original show are familiar with.
The intelligent character study explores the unique challenges an adolescent Sheldon—who’s so different from other kids—faces growing up. Each episode surprises the audience with Sheldon’s intellect as he develops his understanding of human relationships. The contrast of the title character with his religious mother and unremarkable siblings makes for an interesting comical setting, keeping the show fresh even after six seasons.
Love & Death
Love & Death is a captivating crime story that entraps two couples in a cataclysmic pas de deux of passions and perils. The series is based on the true story of Candy Montgomery, a housewife from Wylie, Texas who killed her friend Betty Gore with an axe in 1980 after having an affair with her husband. Woody Allen’s directorial finesse and Elizabeth Olsen’s compelling performance infuse the film with nail-biting suspense and binge-worthy elegance.
The series has received mixed reviews from critics with the consensus that it’s not too different from other true crime stories. However, its 89% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.4 rating on IMDb prove it’s worth watching even if it lacks originality.
This series is a Max original. If you don’t have it, Grande Communications is offering a free Max subscription for 12 months with its 940 Mbps Internet that only costs $50 a month. You may want faster speeds to stream in 4K anyway.
Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained is consistently ranked among the best revenge and revisionist Western films of all time. Set in the mid-1800s Texas, the film stars familiar faces of Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson.
Django Unchained follows a freed slave on his revenge arc to rescue his wife from a brutal plantation owner. The movie brings classic Spaghetti Western movies such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, A Fist Full of Dollars, and Once Upon a Time in the West to the 21st century while paying homage to the 1966 film Django by Sergio Corbucci.
The film was a massive critical and commercial success, winning two Academy Awards (Best Original Screenplay for Tarantino and Best Supporting Actor for Waltz) and grossing $426 million worldwide with a $100 million budget. With an 8.4 rating on IMDb, it’s among the 100 best movies of all time.
Dallas Buyers Club
Dallas Buyers Club is a 2013 biographical drama film about Ron Woodroof based on his interviews with Craig Borten and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and written by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack. Woodroof (played by Matthew McConaughey) was an electrician and an occasional rodeo rider who would indulge in drugs and casual sex. He was diagnosed with AIDS in the mid-1980s when HIV treatments were under-researched, stigmatized, and unapproved by the FDA.
Having been given only 30 days to live, Woodroof started looking for alternative therapies to treat himself. He smuggled then-unapproved drugs into Texas and founded what came to be known as Dallas Buyers Club as a front for his efforts to distribute treatments to others suffering from HIV. The film also stars Jared Leto as Rayon, a transgender woman and an AIDS patient who becomes Woodroof’s business partner.
The film received critical acclaim for its performances, direction, screenplay, makeup effects, and depiction of the AIDS epidemic. It won three Academy Awards including Best Actor (Matthew McConaughey), Best Supporting Actor (Jared Leto ), and Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and grossed over $55 million worldwide against a $5 million budget.
Boyhood takes an unusual approach to present a moving portrayal of growing up and parenting as seen through the eyes of a child. The film was shot intermittently over 12 years from 2002 to 2013 and the characters are seen growing up as the story progresses.
Boyhood starts with a six-year-old Mason Evans Jr. (played by Ellar Coltrane) and follows him as he grows up to the age of 18. It also stars Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason’s divorced parents and Lorelei Linklater as his older sister.
The film won several awards, including Golden Globes and BAFTA, and grossed over $57 million worldwide with a $4 million budget. With its depiction of a subject matter as relatable as adolescence, Boyhood’s powerful nostalgic impact lingers long after the credits roll.
When Danny Trejo’s iconic character Machete from the Spy Kids movies got a fake movie trailer in Quentin Tarantino’s 2007 double-feature Grindhouse, Robert Rodriguez decided to expand on the idea by giving the character his own movie. Isador Cortez, commonly referred to by his alias Machete, is an ex-Federale who runs a spy gadget shop. The film follows him as he seeks revenge against his former boss who betrays him after hiring him to assassinate a Texas Senator.
The B movie takes Machete’s one-of-a-kind persona to the extremes, delivering exactly the messy, violent, and over-the-top action audiences would expect from a low-budget exploitation R-rated spin-off of a family comedy franchise. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but there are no flaws to think of that the exploitation films of the 1970s and 1980s it pays homage to didn’t have.
The Forever Purge
Adding a new spin to its perpetually effective formula, the fifth movie of the franchise has the highest Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of all The Purge movies. The film is set in 2048 and follows a family living on a Texas ranch as they attempt to fight back against the purging lawless masked cowboys. When the insurrectionist movement continues committing crimes and murders even after the one-night purge ends, the family decides to escape the US.
The exploitation film was a commercial success making $77 million worldwide with an $18 million budget. Critics gave The Forever Purge mixed reviews, with some praising its creative deliverance of violence and gore that fans expect from the franchise while others criticizing its forgettable story and false pretense of political commentary.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
You saw this one coming—but our list wouldn’t be complete without one of the scariest and most influential slasher movies of all time. With its iconic chainsaw-wielding Leatherface, the 1974 original manages to frighten the life out of us despite the movie’s mostly daytime setting.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre has spawned 9 sequels and prequels. Although other titles in the franchise haven’t reached the success of the original, Leatherface remains one of the most recognizable villains in cinema history.
We used no particular order while listing these movies. Some of these moves may not be for everyone, but each is at least partly set in Texas and takes influence from the state’s culture and history. We hope you agree with our picks and we highly recommend checking at least some of these titles.