The Western is considered a quintessentially American artform, reflecting many facets of the nation's mythology and self-image: the conquest of the frontier was indicative of the 'manifest destiny' of the United States, that the nation was an exceptional one, and that the settling of the land by means of genocide and theft was natural and morally right. By and large, the classical Western celebrated this process through tales of settlers warding of the threat of bloodthirsty natives, before films began to look more sceptically, questioning the morality of this process through the 1960s and 1970s (Little Big Man, McCabe and Mrs Miller, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid). More recently, Westerns have begun to investigate the nation's past and present in highly critical and challenging ways, and since 2008, films such as Meek's Cutoff (2011), Slow West (2015) and Hell or High Water (2016) have offered increasingly grim visions of the nation, challenging the frontier narrative as one of uncomplicated progress, and looking more clearly at the corrosion and breakdown of the American economy and society. This paper will argue that recent Westerns, which are characterised by an austere aesthetic and 'slow' narrative pacing, are reflective of the nation's material, moral and spiritual decline since the collapse of the economy in 2008. It will demonstrate how the genre continues to play a vital role in the national imaginary, in recent years reflecting the shifting nature of America's power, and questioning clearly its foundations on traditional, authoritarian masculinity and rampant capitalism.