'Dances with Wolves' Critic Reviews

100%
MovieWeb:   3 reviews
81%
Rotten Tomatoes:   57 reviews
  • Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    42
    [A] beautiful and soft-headed frontier epic, which looks at Native Americans through New Age-colored glasses.
    Full Review » 24 years ago
  • Vincent Canby New York Times (Top Critic)
    50
    Its triumph is that it is never exactly boring, only dulled. It's a movie in acute need of sharpening.
    Full Review » 11 years ago
  • Desson Thomson Washington Post (Top Critic)
    Costner (with Michael Blake's screenplay) creates a vision so childlike, so willfully romantic, it's hard to put up a fight.
    Full Review » 15 years ago
  • Hal Hinson Washington Post (Top Critic)
    A stunning combination of all-American boyishness and sweeping grandeur.
    Full Review » 15 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    100
    A simple story, magnificently told.
    Full Review » 15 years ago
  • Jonathan Rosenbaum Chicago Reader (Top Critic)
    Sincere, capable, at times moving, but overextended, this picture is seriously hampered by its tendency to linger over everything -- especially landscapes with silhouetted figures, and not excluding its own good intentions.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Amy Dawes Variety (Top Critic)
    In his directorial debut, Kevin Costner brings a rare degree of grace and feeling to this elegiac tale.
    Full Review » 7 years ago
  • John Hartl Film.com (Top Critic)
    Recalls the sweep as well as the intimacy of a David Lean epic.
    Full Review » 15 years ago
  • James Berardinelli ReelViews (Top Critic)
    100
    It's a rousing adventure, a touching romance, and a stirring drama.
    Full Review » 15 years ago
  • Richard Schickel TIME Magazine (Top Critic)
    As a director, Costner is alive to the sweep of the country and the expansive spirit of the western-movie tradition.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Peter Travers Rolling Stone (Top Critic)
    Costner tells a personal story that never loses touch with the vast Western spaces encompassing and defining it. Dances With Wolves is an epic that breathes. And it's a beauty.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Sheila Benson Los Angeles Times (Top Critic)
    80
    Dances With Wolves is a clear-eyed vision. Authentic as an Edward Curtis photograph, lyrical as a George Catlin oil or a Karl Bodmer landscape, this is a film with a pure ring to it.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • David Sterritt Christian Science Monitor
    This is a western in the grand tradition, smoothly directed by Kevin Costner, who also gives a sensitive performance in the leading role. The screenplay is often trite, however.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Total Film
    60
    For all its worthiness and pictorial beauty, the narrative is damaged somewhat by Costner's over-cautious, sentimentalised portrait of the Sioux as early eco-warriors.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Peter Canavese Groucho Reviews
    75
    Costner went for broke with his large-scale, Panavision epic... [Blu-ray]
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • James Kendrick Q Network Film Desk
    100
    a nuanced and thoughtful portrayal of cultures both clashing and finding common ground
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Brian Orndorf BrianOrndorf.com
    92
    Dances with Wolves is as genuine an artistic triumph as they come; a spellbinding American classic that tastes the tears of a country in the midst of all its incomparable beauty.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • R. L. Shaffer IGN DVD
    100
    A masterful, painstakingly crafted adventure about the nature of acceptance, and the tragedy of human nature.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Maria Llull Common Sense Media
    100
    A grand, sweeping journey of the heart.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Dennis Schwartz Ozus' World Movie Reviews
    42
    Plodding, simplistic and overlong politically correct Western epic.
    Full Review » 7 years ago
  • Film4
    The film's real joy rests in Costner's meticulous attention to historical detail, creating a world that is both moving and credible.
    Full Review » 7 years ago
  • Dan Jardine Apollo Guide
    56
    The political correctness is so politically correct and sappy and sucky and conscience-appeasing and politically-pacifying and just generally brain-numbing
    Full Review » 7 years ago
  • Wesley Lovell Oscar Guy
    50
    An epic film that without its lead might have been better.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Bob Bloom Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
    75
    No one can doubt Kevin Costner's sincerity or vision.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Wesley Lovell Cinema Sight
    50
    An epic film that without its lead might have been better.
    Full Review » 8 years ago