Thunderheart 1992

Thunderheart

Critics Consensus

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89%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 19

75%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 12,144

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Movie Info

When a series of murders stuns a small Native American reservation, the FBI sends in agent Ray Levoi (Val Kilmer) to investigate. While Ray is relatively inexperienced, he is one quarter Sioux, and the FBI hopes that will make it easier for them to gather information from the locals. While the reservation police officer (Graham Greene) views the agent as an outsider, the tribal elder (Chief Ted Thin Elk) believes him to be the reincarnated spirit of Thunderheart, a Native American hero.

Cast & Crew

Val Kilmer
Ray Levoi
Graham Greene
Walter Crow Horse
Sam Shepard
Frank Coutelle
Sheila Tousey
Maggie Eagle Bear
Chief Ted Thin Elk
Grandpa Sam Reaches
Fred Ward
Jack Milton
John Trudell
Jimmy Looks Twice
Julius Drum
Richard Yellow Hawk
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News & Interviews for Thunderheart

Critic Reviews for Thunderheart

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for Thunderheart

  • Sep 02, 2012
    An FBI investigation of a murder mystery is made interesting by its unusual locale: a dusty and rundown Native American reservation in the Dakotas. Noirish qualities emerge when the murder, and the investigation, are shown to be cover-ups for something darker, but the "Indian" connection is what makes for entertainment here.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 26, 2011
    An FBI agent investigates a murder on a Lakota reservation. <i>Thunderheart</I> is a textbook example of how a skilled filmmaker can use a familiar genre to attempt to make a political point. The mystery and the message are interwoven expertly. However, as much as the film attempts to show Native life as it was, and still is in many places, (people living in near squalor with high incidents of alcoholism and violence), the last shot summarizes the feel I got through other parts of the film. I'm not giving anything away when I say that in the final moment, we see a busy highway that is far removed from the Res. It is as though Natives are still unwelcome in modernity, separated radically from it, even though thoroughly modern lives either are or can be lived by the people we just met. The film's heart is in the right place, exposing the degradation to which many of these people are subjected, but there is still something of a "noble savage" feel to how the film treats Natives. Add to this the fact that Fred Ward plays in a character in "red face," as the saying goes, and we can see how Natives are still subjects to some degree. Also, I wondered about why Sam Shepard's character, Cooch, constantly sent Val Kilmer's character, Ray, to advance the investigation alone. It seemed unrealistic. The performances are all fine; though, I think Val Kilmer was too stoic. If we are to buy the fact that a grizzled FBI veteran so quickly recovers his Native roots, I think more work needs to be done by the actor to make this transition obvious. Overall, <i>Thunderheart</i> is a well-told story even with a few relatively minor flaws.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Mar 17, 2011
    Val Kilmer plays a FBI rookie and half-breed Sioux Indian who is asked to assist in collaring a murder suspect on an Indian reservation. During the investigation Val finds himself coming to terms with his heritage; rejecting the tactics of his fellow agents, who want to cover up rather than solve the crime. Along the way, he meets a sarcastic but savvy, local lawman, Walter Crow Horse (Graham Greene) and a fiery, pacifistic activist in Maggie Eagle Bear (Sheila Tousey). Good portrait of the conflict that Val Kilmer's character is faced with and Chief Ted Thin Elk, the old wise man has an instant appeal to the viewer. Both Kilmer and Greene give wonderful performances backed up by the incomparable Sam Shepard.
    Deb S Super Reviewer
  • Mar 17, 2011
    This is a really good movie the only thing is that all the story's main feuds remain unresolved. I recommend it but it is annoying as hell having no resolve.
    Greg A Super Reviewer

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