User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 114 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 1 out of 114
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  1. May 29, 2015
    10
    Marvelous storytelling. An epic movie that drew me in, and made me one with it's leading character as he became one with the land and its people. It is romantic, adventurous, war-torn, violent, peaceful, and lovely. It is full of love, hate, misunderstanding and guidance. Dances with Wolves is a picture of mankind at both its best... and worst.
  2. Jun 24, 2014
    10
    Dances with wolves is something that you don't see in movies now a days and it speaks to you In away that movies should this without a doubt one of my favorite movies of all time
  3. Jun 15, 2014
    10
    Dances with Wolves is maybe THE masterpiece of Costner's career. As producer and leading role, he manages to reproduce the magnificent western atmosphere that we find in the book written by Michael Blake. The story is centered on the meeting of two cultures -Indian and American- in a context of civil war, in a part of the country not conquered by the army yet. Although the four and halfDances with Wolves is maybe THE masterpiece of Costner's career. As producer and leading role, he manages to reproduce the magnificent western atmosphere that we find in the book written by Michael Blake. The story is centered on the meeting of two cultures -Indian and American- in a context of civil war, in a part of the country not conquered by the army yet. Although the four and half hour of the long version may seem too much, don't expect you to fall asleep! I suggest you to reserve your evening to enjoy this masterwork, both visually and audibly, thanks to John Barry's music. Expand
  4. Feb 25, 2014
    9
    Phenomenal film. First off, the cinematography is breathtaking. Just absolutely stunning. The mise en scene, as a whole, is great as well as the scenery was top-notch. In addition, the soundtrack made me absolutely swoon. If I had not already been swept off of my feet, the soundtrack would have swept me off my feet, but in the end, it just serves as further evidence of the sheer beauty ofPhenomenal film. First off, the cinematography is breathtaking. Just absolutely stunning. The mise en scene, as a whole, is great as well as the scenery was top-notch. In addition, the soundtrack made me absolutely swoon. If I had not already been swept off of my feet, the soundtrack would have swept me off my feet, but in the end, it just serves as further evidence of the sheer beauty of this film. Just wow. In terms of the story, I thought it, as well, was beautifully presented. From the early encounters to the very end, there is a certain beauty to the interaction between the characters as Dunbar adjusts to his new situation. In terms of the acting, Kevin Costner and a cast of relative unknowns did a great job. Initially, I was unsure about Costner and did not like his performance that much in the beginning, but as the film progressed, he won me over completely. The final note I want to make is on the length. It is three hours, so it is up there in terms of time, but it never really shows its length. Instead, it almost tricks you into thinking it is much shorter in the way it utilizes every second to tell its story. Expand
  5. Mar 9, 2013
    9
    With its great direction and extremely well acted and written plot, Dances With Wolves suceeds in all standards.
  6. Mar 6, 2012
    10
    a great film where you look, with a technical section that nothing blockbusters envy, besides being a heartwarming story of valuesâ
  7. Jan 12, 2012
    8
    A very good, even though a little bit naive movie. Kevin Costner is one of the worst actors I've ever seen, but he seems to work well for this particular one - plus the supporting cast really did their best. The plot is really simple, but it can keep the viewer interested, and the part when Dunbar got to be friends with the Sioux was heartwarming. Beautiful visuals and music complete aA very good, even though a little bit naive movie. Kevin Costner is one of the worst actors I've ever seen, but he seems to work well for this particular one - plus the supporting cast really did their best. The plot is really simple, but it can keep the viewer interested, and the part when Dunbar got to be friends with the Sioux was heartwarming. Beautiful visuals and music complete a movie that is definitely worth watching. Expand
  8. Jun 18, 2011
    9
    Dances With Wolves is the 1990s version of Avatar. Wait, let me rephrase that; Avatar is a 2000's version of Dances With Wolves. It's well-done, exciting, and truly emotional. It's Kevin Costner's best film,for none of his other's can beat it. It gets you emotionally drawn to the film throughout, and you never want any of the characters to be forgotten. While watching the film, I quicklyDances With Wolves is the 1990s version of Avatar. Wait, let me rephrase that; Avatar is a 2000's version of Dances With Wolves. It's well-done, exciting, and truly emotional. It's Kevin Costner's best film,for none of his other's can beat it. It gets you emotionally drawn to the film throughout, and you never want any of the characters to be forgotten. While watching the film, I quickly realized it resembled many characteristics that I had seen in previous movies. The cinematography, the acting, and the story had all been recreated in films that had come out after the movie, and this was a basic beginner of many films in Hollywood. Itââ Expand
  9. Mar 1, 2011
    8
    I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. A great story with great acting and directing. Although it has conflict with Native Americans it was really nice to see a story with such great humanity and friendship with them. It is seriously long and honestly, I don't think I could ever watch it again but it was great.
  10. Oct 31, 2010
    8
    its like Avatar with indians in this entertaining movie.
  11. EC
    Jul 1, 2007
    10
    A marvelous film. Many powerful sequences, some memorable characters, lush and evocative cinematography in the right places. Not too many movies leave you feeling enriched, but this one does.
  12. Li
    Jan 30, 2007
    4
    This grossly overrated film works only if you live in some strange reality where being extremely naive and foolhardy doesn't get you immediately killed and poo-pooed at. The protagonist evokes neither awe nor sympathy, just sad pity for a deluded has-been. However, the cinematography is admittedly beautiful (but not stunning).
  13. UsmanA.
    Jun 6, 2006
    10
    its a briliant film. explains the civil war and how america split up because of slavery. 1 man changes from being a hero to being a traitor.
  14. JenniferM.
    May 24, 2005
    9
    I think the film was very interesting. It had a wonderful story line. The acting was great, one of Kevin Costners greatest films ever.
  15. Paul
    Apr 26, 2005
    10
    My all time favorite movie.
  16. [Anonymous]
    Nov 13, 2004
    10
    Beautiful and intresting. ONE OF THE BEST FILMS EVER!!!
  17. AndrewM
    Aug 12, 2004
    8
    This is simply fine quality storytelling. It has a highly entertaining narrative coupled with scenes of visual splendour and populated throughout by authentic characters. Costner isn't much of an actor, but this role really wasn't too demanding - it's the handling of the film that is so impressive. Solid script and excellent directing style by Costner lift this film above This is simply fine quality storytelling. It has a highly entertaining narrative coupled with scenes of visual splendour and populated throughout by authentic characters. Costner isn't much of an actor, but this role really wasn't too demanding - it's the handling of the film that is so impressive. Solid script and excellent directing style by Costner lift this film above the routine, seen one-seen 'em all historical westerns. It doesn't score greatly from an edifying point of view, and because it obviously attempted to it lowers the film's rating, but this is still a highly entertaining expose of American culture and technically it is very well done. Expand
  18. SamA.
    May 20, 2004
    10
    This is an excellent movie showing the various veiws of the plain indians and the buffalo hunting.
  19. Dany:)
    Apr 22, 2004
    10
    The best film of kevin costner with no doubt. 'hair in the wind' saying: "dancing with wolves, don't you see I'm your friend? don't you see I'll always be your friend?" in last sequence riding his horse in top of a mountain maybe is the very best sequence i've seen in years. (hope you understand my poor english).
  20. PatC.
    Jan 9, 2004
    8
    This is the one where Costner got it right. Got being Costner right, anyway. OK, so, it only works where Union Army service provokes suicidal tendencies, and because, as any Native American can tell you, there are good Indians and bad Indians. Wait, Costner's geekish sense of proportion is just getting started. In a fit of sanitary decorum he builds a 5-alarm campfire to roast This is the one where Costner got it right. Got being Costner right, anyway. OK, so, it only works where Union Army service provokes suicidal tendencies, and because, as any Native American can tell you, there are good Indians and bad Indians. Wait, Costner's geekish sense of proportion is just getting started. In a fit of sanitary decorum he builds a 5-alarm campfire to roast inedible wild game. He can't preserve enough of his belongings, the army's stockpile of munitions, or his sense of discretion on how to enter an armed camp to avoid desertion charges. The only moment approaching comedy quickly ensues as his brothers-in-arms kick his ass, presumably for being a total incompetent in the event he is not a deserter. Or perhaps they read ahead in the script and saw he was going to off them for initiating the inevitable reckoning. Then there's his "Hey, Babe. I'm quite a catch, how come you're not buying it - oh, wait, you are buying it" escapist romanticism in full bloom. And the wise Chief 10 Bears is reduced to incoherent mutterings lest he call B.S. on Costner's dysfunctional presumptions. Hokeyness on an epic scale. Little Big Man without those annoying reality checks. You gotta love it. The Academy sure did. So let's remember the goofballs who helped tame the West, and embrace this fumbling revisionist history which, while tepid and uncomfortable, still has way more authenticity than John Wayne's legacy. Expand
  21. BennettM.
    Dec 20, 2003
    4
    New-Agey garbage.
  22. YoonC.
    Sep 15, 2003
    6
    Preachy and predictable, sentimental washing of hog than dancing with wolf, a sort of revisionist New Agey fantasy of white man befriending, indeed playing, Indian. Still, grand vistas and attention to authenticity make it worth at least one viewing, but only on the big screen.
  23. AtHomeWithGilbertMulroneycakes
    Jul 16, 2003
    10
    A Good Film. Only problem I have is that it chickens out a little by making Stands With A Fist white. It would have made more thematic sense to have the love interest a Proper Native American Lady - though maybe it transgresses Sioux law else, I don't know. Anyway, it's a Good Film - a Great Film, and brilliantly directed by Costner to boot. It's a good start. Then again, A Good Film. Only problem I have is that it chickens out a little by making Stands With A Fist white. It would have made more thematic sense to have the love interest a Proper Native American Lady - though maybe it transgresses Sioux law else, I don't know. Anyway, it's a Good Film - a Great Film, and brilliantly directed by Costner to boot. It's a good start. Then again, hindsight's a wonderful thing. Expand
  24. PenniS.
    May 18, 2003
    10
    The greatest western in movies. An awesome pictorial of how the west was won. Kevin Costner is truly the best actor, director, and movie maker.
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Smoothly directed by Kevin Costner, who also gives a sensitive performance in the leading role. The screenplay is often trite, however, and there's no reason for the picture's three-hour length. [9 Nov 1990, Arts, p.12]
  2. The picture moves slowly but never sluggishly, and it never grinds down. The measured pace shows real assurance on the part of Costner. [9 Nov 1990, Daily Datebook, p.E1]
  3. 88
    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. [9 Nov 1990, Friday, p.C]