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.
| Original Score: 4/5
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.
As a director, Costner is alive to the sweep of the country and the expansive spirit of the western-movie tradition.
In his directorial debut, Kevin Costner brings a rare degree of grace and feeling to this elegiac tale.
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.
Once you're sucked into the leisurely narrative, it's hard to resist.
Its triumph is that it is never exactly boring, only dulled. It's a movie in acute need of sharpening.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
It's a rousing adventure, a touching romance, and a stirring drama.
| Original Score: 4/4
A simple story, magnificently told.
Recalls the sweep as well as the intimacy of a David Lean epic.
Costner (with Michael Blake's screenplay) creates a vision so childlike, so willfully romantic, it's hard to put up a fight.
A stunning combination of all-American boyishness and sweeping grandeur.
[A] beautiful and soft-headed frontier epic, which looks at Native Americans through New Age-colored glasses.
| Original Score: C