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Dances with Wolves

Dances with Wolves

1990
Romance
Drama
3h 1m
Rewarded for his heroism in the Civil War, Lt. Dunbar (Costner) wants to see the American frontier before it is gone. He is assigned to an adandoned fort, where a sioux tribe is his only neighbor. Overcoming the language barrier and their mutual fear and distrust, Dunbar and the proud Indians gradually become friends. Eventually, he falls in love with the beautiful Stands With a Fist (McDonnell), a white woman raised by the tribe. (MGM)
Your probable score
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Dances with Wolves

1990
Romance
Drama
3h 1m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 59.7% from 6687 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(6687)
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Rated 04 Mar 2012
100
99th
One of the rare movies that satisfies in almost every way. The story is very rich and well told. Superb scenery and cinematography. Outstanding music. Excellent acting is entirely believable throughout. Every character felt authentic. The story was poignant and complete. I was entirely engaged from beginning to end. I wish more movies were made as well. Costner and McDonnell were excellent. Proof that a good movie begins with a solid story and an inspired script.
Rated 23 Apr 2020
100
97th
Yeah, I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna give this my top score, because this is immersive, transporting filmmaking at its best - full of rich characters, breathtaking cinematography, thrilling action (buffalo hunt!), and deep emotion. I appreciated that the Sioux, rather than being painted as perfect Noble Savages(tm), are instead shown as normal people with their own individual strengths and weaknesses. Has one of the most moving final scenes ever. Bravo.
Rated 06 Feb 2009
85
91st
Cameron really went above and beyond on the graphics in this film, it is truly revolutionary. The planet Pandora is just alive with...wait where am I? Oh damn wrong film. This one's good too.
Rated 14 Feb 2008
95
98th
It seems that with this film you either love it or hate it. I loved it. Costner's direction shows the sheer brutality and amazing beauty of the old West with some breathtaking landscape cinematography. I particularly enjoyed how dynamically the Sioux people were portrayed as they didn't meet the Hollywood stereotype of being bloodthirsty savages or perfectly peaceful, noble and wise. It's an excellent western and certainly in my mind one of the best epics ever made.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
100
99th
I can watch this one over, and over, again! I don't find anything wrong with this movie. It deserved every award it garnered. Just fantastic story-telling, incredible visuals, sumptuous score, and spot-on casting. One of the most moving films ever made, in my opinion.
Rated 04 Apr 2011
91
98th
GOOD GOD! 4 fucking hours! and not boring at any time!great film making and clever scripting from beginning to end! a colossal achievement! Deserved every bit of oscars!
Rated 27 Dec 2006
75
53rd
"Hi. My name is Kevin "Vanity Project" Costner. Most of my movies feature both my lovely face, and my beautiful arse. This movie is probably among my best, although since all it has to compare to is "Waterworld" and "The Postman", I don't think there's much competition. While I directed and produced this film, I still don't feel there's enough of me in it. See the director's cut for three hours of commentary about me, and my awesomeness."
Rated 08 Mar 2010
77
87th
Solid film. A nice pace is maintained throughout, and relationships develop in a convincing way. The beginning didn't really make sense to me though. And Costner's narration was not the best, but still there are many things to like about this simple but well executed piece. One of a handful of movies longer than 2.5 hours where a runtime longer than 2.5 hours is actually warranted.
Rated 30 Aug 2008
97
99th
This is Hollywood at its best! And: This is Kevin Costner at his best. He did a remarkable job, both as director and actor. I watched it with delight in the 90s, being really into Indians and stuff after that and still love watching it today. A great masterpiece!
Rated 12 Feb 2010
65
42nd
Overall it's a decent story but the soldier going native scenario is really nothing original. Also, if you take a look at the portrayal a little closer it starts to unravel because at its heart it's fairly shallow and even slightly offensive in its implications. Apparently native Americans can't find spiritual deliverance without a white man involved. The obligatory romance with a white woman who just happens to be living with the native americans is ridiculous too.
Rated 06 Jul 2010
67
30th
You have to overlook Costner's wooden acting and narration, and the simplistic and contrived storytelling, and Mary McDonnell's awful performance, and the fact that Costner's character is practically Christ-like (bullets don't hit him!). But besides all that, it's pretty easy to get swept up in the film's rhythms, even for four hours. The cinematography and score aren't bad at all, although they're not great either. I figured this would be offensively bad, but I really didn't mind it that much.
Rated 31 Aug 2010
100
91st
An altogether remarkable drama and love story, that, to virtually everyone's surprise, was both a huge commercial success while simultaneously achieving overwhelming critical acclaim. Pictorially stunning, if overly long. Costner makes one of the most remarkable directorial debuts in many years. McDonnell is wonderful. A truly thrilling buffalo stampede is among the most memorable movie images in many years. Try to see this stunner in a movie theater, *not* on a tiny TV screen.
Rated 14 Dec 2009
94
80th
I love the score, the ponderous tempo, the amazing landscape shots. I loved the message about friendship and loyalty. Never been so ashamed to be a "white man."
Rated 27 Jul 2011
75
72nd
"Dances with Wolves" is a corny, bloated and disarmingly likable epic that boosts several sweeping, kinetic sequences and moving moments as well. Costner turns in an almost appallingly earnest performance to go along with his remarkable directorial accomplishments. Although it never quite overcomes its devotion to cliché (and the final hour is annoyingly hokey), it grows on you thanks to Costner's skill as a director, gorgeous cinematography and surprisingly light-hearted approach.
Rated 17 Aug 2007
100
99th
This movie was a phenomenon. And then McDonalds started selling the VHS version for like 5 dollars when you ordered Meal Deal. It was awesome. Tumani Tutanka Y'Peeshbe-anello! Tumani Tutanka Owa-chee!
Rated 04 Apr 2010
80
82nd
One of those films I watched in my early teens and can remember thinking it was beautiful even back then. Costner is great.
Rated 19 May 2019
90
83rd
4 hr version: Mammoth western epic is largely a triumph for Costner as 'big-picture' director and producer, with his own solid and charismatic leading turn acting as the perfect ballast for this humanistic and oftimes powerfully moving saga. Fine support from Greene and McDonnell combine with the almost sci-fi premise of a white frontiersman engaging positively with an Indian tribe; sags a little in the final stretch, becoming too overstated when the white tribe re-enter the picture.
Rated 26 Jul 2012
75
60th
Too long and drawn-out for its own good without a compelling enough plot/theme to sustain it. Though, there are some great moments and it was enjoyable to just stare at the beautiful stretches of untainted, natural vistas.
Rated 17 Feb 2012
76
81st
You should watch the Director's Cut.
Rated 15 May 2011
90
90th
This film paved the way for many imitators such as Avatar and The Last Samurai and this is Costner's peak on both sides of the camera. This is a funny, fun and moving watch. Don't let the three-hour run time scare you away. You won't even notice. It's too good to care.
Rated 17 May 2008
92
99th
kevin costner places himself among the best in the business in a wonderful story with great cinematography.
Rated 23 Oct 2012
90
80th
Perhaps the last great, traditional epic film. Costner directs the film treading in familiar territory yet the plot is a welcome change from classic biblical, ancient civilization or cowboy epics. It is solemn and heartfelt and unlike most modern post-Gladiator epics perfectly balances substance and spectacle. Not recommended for Costner haters or people with ADD (who are hard to come by in this day and age).
Rated 14 Aug 2007
90
82nd
A very strong epic Western.
Rated 18 Aug 2013
50
44th
A simply-told tale of a man gradually realising the barbarity of his civilisation. Not the tale of a white saviour (no one is saved), but it is notable that Costner places himself in every scene. He clearly desired to be an old-style Hollywood showman, and despite (or because) of the success of this debut, he was subsequently shunned by both critics and audiences, as though the sincerity of his wish to present heroic spectacles had become an unpalatable affront to their own decadent cynicism.
Rated 26 Mar 2007
83
83rd
Fantastic film. Much better than every film that ever tried to imitate it but failed. I love Kevin Costner as an actor, if he would have only chosen his roles better. Love him as a director as well. Poor Kevin Costner.
Rated 06 Aug 2012
7
68th
It's long as hell but doesn't feel like it so that's a good thing. No way should this have won best picture over Goodfellas, one of the academy's biggest tragedies. The voiceover is pretty bad (just a lazy way for the writer to explain what's going on) and it's not always the most interesting or engaging thing but it has beautiful cinematography, good acting and a decent story so its watchable. Not a must see and a bit overrated but it was decent.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
90
91st
Such a well-photographed movie. It's the kind of film you would have seen from David Lean. "Lawrence of South Dakota."
Rated 25 Sep 2011
90
96th
Tatanka!
Rated 21 Oct 2014
5
18th
Great cinematography and an interesting perspective on the western genre but over long and plays to too many Hollywood conventions to have any real substance.
Rated 09 Jan 2022
85
76th
Often incorrectly referred to as a white savior story & criticized for winning Best Picture over Goodfellas, this is actually a really strong film. It's cinematography and scope are love letters to old Westerns from masters like John Ford. Costner's acting and narration are really just OK, but the story and human portrayal of the Sioux (with tasteful and inclusive casting that bucks Hollywood stereotypes) is where the movie shines. Goodfellas is still better though.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
90
97th
Beautifully acted and visually stunning Kevin Costner and a wolf become friends.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
83
71st
A long film. A very long film. But it's still my favority Kevin Costner film. It's the film that earned hiom his reputation. This is the definition of Western.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
88
80th
I thought this was a good portrayal of the relationship between Calvary and Indians. It was certainly more realistic than the tripe we used to watch as kids.
Rated 27 May 2013
80
90th
Kevin Costner is about as dry as they come as an actor, so with him both starring and directing this film, it comes out pretty damn dry. However, that doesn't stop it from being good. It's almost 4 hours long, which might put some people off. I personally thought the length and slow pace were totally appropriate. We, the audience, got to truly explore and savour each aspect or experience, just as Costner's character did. I really enjoyed the scenery. It's far from perfect, but I enjoyed it.
Rated 23 Aug 2011
50
47th
Dances with Wolves is ambitious and made with the best of intentions, but wasn't for me. I didn't enjoy myself watching it, because it's far too long and I had trouble caring about what was going on. But there's a lot of good parts to it, like the portrayal of the Sioux tribe and the breathtaking landscape. But if you've never seen it, check out the shorter, (although 3 hours is still a long time), version, and only if you enjoy that should you watch the longer cut.
Rated 19 Jul 2007
25
3rd
boring
Rated 06 May 2008
4
56th
I should see the director's cut.
Rated 26 Jul 2010
90
67th
Great film, in my opinion. Seen it many times and still like it a lot.
Rated 19 Jan 2013
83
89th
Good plotting and a great use of the setting.
Rated 22 Jul 2009
73
72nd
Costner's "masterpiece", but who doesn't have to moan a bit about the fact he had to fall for the only white girl around.....
Rated 14 Aug 2007
70
58th
As classics go, not bad. Don't be prepared for non-stop action, but I nice comfortable watch.
Rated 06 Aug 2010
83
60th
If you like em long, this will work for you.
Rated 04 Jun 2007
90
83rd
very powerful film, but very long
Rated 14 Aug 2007
60
25th
It has an alright story, but it's waaaaay too long to be enjoyable (for me anyway.)
Rated 01 Sep 2009
81
64th
The kind of solid filmmaking with a clear message that you'd expect from an Oscar winner. It never really felt spectacular, occasionally even underdeveloped for a film that runs over three hours, but it kept me interested all the way through with a well shot and solidly structured story.
Rated 19 Mar 2012
75
26th
What this film is trying to do, it does very well. I don't necessarily like what it is trying to do, but I'd be lying if I said that after three hours of this I was not wrapped up in the story and close to showing my True Emotions (c). It really doesn't feel four fucking hours long, which is more than can be said about similar fare like Out of Africa (which is only 160 min). But while he does a pretty good job behind the camera, Costner is rather bad in front of it (also when talking over it).
Rated 25 Sep 2010
73
88th
I think Costner could be a very talented diretor. The cinematography is excellent, and the pacing does not seem like you are watching an extraordinarily long film. Costner's acting however hurts the film. It comes off as monotone and lazy. His everyman charm works for some of his roles, but this was not one of them. All in all though it is an entertaining piece.
Rated 17 Jul 2015
70
69th
"Dances With Wolves" is a rather obvious film as far as its premise is concerned and does drag in points, but it is very well made - there's no mistaking the effort made. Its three hours don't seem completely justified and the themes are way too familiar, but it's a worthwhile one.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
90
70th
pretty cool
Rated 23 Feb 2007
90
98th
Misunderstood film for political reasons. A penetrating, idiosyncratic portrati of a man trying to find himself. Stunning camera work.
Rated 27 Sep 2007
96
96th
Costner's first directorial effort is without a doubt one of those big, elaborate epics, although a quiet, highly introspective one. Extremely well crafted, there's not a false note, but some segments are much better than others. The theatrical version works just fine, although the extended adds many wonderful moments and a few heavy-handed ones and at four hours, it is a bit of overkill. Still, this is not to be missed, eloquent and sincere. Sadly, Costner would never achieve this level again.
Rated 19 Sep 2007
85
58th
Good Kevin Costner movie, a little long, but a good perspective on the American Indian issue of the Wild West.
Rated 02 Mar 2008
100
97th
In Matrix, there goes a line - something that attributes the western civilization to the likeness of the virus - extirpating everything of value on its path.. This film takes that one line and spins around it a strong, passionate albeit long .. tale - that leaves you thinking.. Is the world following the right people as role models ?
Rated 01 Sep 2007
70
58th
One of Costner's best efforts. Too long and a overly focused on the theme white men=savages and red men=civilized people. But, it's a good movie.
Rated 15 Aug 2010
66
88th
#90s(l)#, liked, oldies(2) }*{ #90s(e)#, reviews, story
Rated 21 Aug 2007
86
68th
Long but impressive.
Rated 18 Mar 2007
80
60th
Dances With Wolves is an epic that is surprisingly well done considering it's Kevin Costner who made it. The landscape scenes are breathtaking as well as the cool costume design. Overall, though, it's just another period piece that doesn't really do a lot to seperate itself from the rest.
Rated 18 Oct 2007
60
53rd
Epic and well-shot. Worh seeing a couple times.
Rated 21 Sep 2010
78
50th
some striking scenery and images but a bit long and drawn out
Rated 05 Jan 2008
89
92nd
Brilliantly varied film which is both honest and compelling. Well acted throughout, good story line and believable characterisations. Well judged pace keeps the film moving well to an ending that keeps you thinking. - An under-rated gem of a film.
Rated 17 May 2013
81
60th
Dances with Wolves is an excellent western film. The story is phenomenal. The performances in it are all top notch.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
85
68th
indians and buffalo trump KC!
Rated 28 May 2009
18
12th
MERDE. One of the worst movies ever to be taken seriously.
Rated 20 Nov 2009
80
73rd
A consistent script, great visuals and music.
Rated 09 Apr 2012
64
45th
Wildly overrated when it came out, and probably underrated now as a result of the backlash against it. It's a good, not great, movie that would have benefited from a shorter cut. Some great cinematography as well.
Rated 19 Oct 2013
82
71st
81.500
Rated 20 Sep 2009
93
82nd
Fascinating movie about life on the American plains.
Rated 08 Apr 2013
80
78th
I liked a lot of it but you can't ignore the obvious techniques at manipulation. That and the cringe-worthy voice over was what kept me from loving it. It's still very entertaining and for a 3 hour movie it does''t drag at all.
Rated 14 May 2010
60
42nd
Wow. From rememberance I had this rated 90. It was like walking through a dessert, that's what it was. A very beautiful one, yes. Very. But still, you're not sure you brought enough water or food to make it to the other side. ... On the serious side, I think the acting's good. (And no, I never thought I'd say this about Kevin, who is best remembered from Tin Cup, what a glorious film). All in all: apart from WIND IS IN HIS HAIR (epic name), not much was groovey.
Rated 04 Jul 2012
75
52nd
[Director's Cut] I thought it started great, but slowly grew less engaging. There was a ton of potential to make a great film, such as the cinematography, the score (although the triumphant theme was overused), and the somewhat archetypal story of the hero. There was always something along the way that threw me off though, such as McDonnell's awful acting, Costner's self indulgence and the narration, but all in all it just felt like Costner was trying too hard to make an epic.
Rated 26 Jan 2009
85
94th
Amazing movie that takes place around the Civil War, which shows the beautiful connection between the Sioux indians and the lone soldier (Dances with Wolves) Lt. Dunbar. I LOVED the scenery carmera shots, and hated when the wolf dies :(.
Rated 04 Jan 2010
8
93rd
It seems uncool to admit these days, but I gotta say I really liked it. I mean, hell, it kept me intent and interested for four goddamn hours, which it couldn't have if it wasn't really good. I'm an enormous sucker for epics, what can I say? It's a little convenient that there was a white girlfriend for Costner to fall for rather than a Native woman and there's still no way this film should have won over Goodfellas in 1990, but it's still pretty great.
Rated 17 Oct 2007
90
77th
Sublime. (How did this get made by Costner?)
Rated 16 Nov 2007
75
81st
i have to give this a 75 despite all my usual complaining about its revisionism. it's still a beautifully made film.
Rated 01 Jan 2011
60
23rd
Fun
Rated 18 Aug 2007
80
51st
A good story with a sense of humor and some good performances and great scenery.
Rated 07 May 2013
100
85th
This is an epic classic that you have to see.
Rated 01 Aug 2009
79
82nd
An epic story and at times breathtakingly beautiful, this is without doubt Costners greatest achivement. It's not without its flaws. Not all of the performances are that great, and times the writing leaves a little to be desired. Still despite its minor faults, it is for the most part supurb.
Rated 10 Apr 2008
90
82nd
Gorgeous cinematography and a wonderful journey into the last stands of the Native Americans. Outside of the weakness of Costner's acting, this film soars.
Rated 01 Jan 2011
88
66th
A three-hour delight; The movie generates much of its power by being so life-affirming at a time when people feel nervous about the future.
Rated 27 Sep 2009
67
75th
[Director's Cut] Extremely long epic western. I was surprised that it didn't drag. Pacing in later Costner films is terrible, but this one doesn't suffer from that. I like theme of man's connection with nature in films, and it was nicely done here. I felt like reading some Jack London's novel at the times. Story is predictable, and a bit manipulative emotionally, but the film isn't bad.
Rated 14 Dec 2008
95
84th
Great film.
Rated 13 Aug 2009
70
51st
I guess it's not worth saying that Costner winning over Scorsese for Goodfellas is arguably the worst travesty in Academy history (oops, I said it anyway). The movie's not bad, I guess. Maybe even above average. But I still can't get past that factoid.
Rated 29 Mar 2015
69
70th
3.43/5
Rated 12 Feb 2007
75
89th
Great film.
Rated 24 Jul 2008
89
76th
Epic western film with breathtaking landscape scenes and a good pace! Costner does a remarkable job as both a director and actor!
Rated 08 Jul 2007
90
96th
Costner's best work of his career - by a long shot. The landscapes and visions are beautiful and the story doesn't drag despite its length. It's too bad that Costner simply can't play anything but the simple, soft spoken, monotonous everyman. Thankfully for him, it works perfectly in this movie.
Rated 27 Dec 2010
78
61st
77.500
Rated 21 Feb 2011
99
99th
On its own, this movie would be a solid 75-80, beautiful landscape shots, a gripping tale about belonging, what makes life worthwhile and the questionable developments in human history. But then costner got barry on board and...well...the result is the most beautiful music to express everything that encompasses life all at once. Whoever truly listens to these themes and isn't disarmed by both the tragedy and beauty of existence, losing every capacity for hate, is a lost case in my book.
Rated 24 Apr 2008
100
98th
I am not into westerns, but I love this beautiful film about the Sioux and the unspoiled plains and the bison, evoked by the sweeping score by John Barry, who unbeknownst to you has written many of your fave film scores including most of James Bond movies. Kevin Costner here underplays as a psychically wounded Civil War soldier and lets himself react to his environment. Mary McDonnell well plays an orphaned young white woman raised by the Sioux as one of their own.
Rated 22 Dec 2008
90
81st
Excellent movie. Long as all hell, but worth it.
Rated 16 Feb 2014
80
76th
Beautiful. Sad.
Rated 05 Jan 2010
85
55th
A lush and rich western. Featuring a thrilling buffalo hunt. I recommend the extended version.
Rated 28 Feb 2011
75
30th
It would probably be really good if it cut out a half hour.
Rated 09 Feb 2009
99
76th
one of the best movies
Rated 12 Jul 2007
85
41st
One of Costner's better performances in the award-winning historical epic. Just doesn't do it for me, though.
Rated 21 Jul 2010
95
93rd
Gorgeous! A sweeping epic. It has fantastic pace and is exciting. Great film.
Rated 23 Apr 2010
80
65th
Don't judge me, but I like it.
Rated 25 Jul 2010
88
67th
A very well made epic
Rated 20 Aug 2007
90
47th
A great movie, though long. I need to watch it all the way through one of these days.

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