100

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
While no one is going to place Costner alongside Laurence Olivier in the acting department, he brings a likability to Dunbar that many better performers might not have been able to match.
Full Review
100

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
This movie moves so confidently and looks so good it seems incredible that it's a directorial debut.
Full Review
88

Chicago Tribune

By Gene Siskel
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]
Full Review
88

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Jay Scott
The treatment of the Sioux is not only sympathetic, it's ethnographically exact. Neither Noble Savages nor Red Injuns, the natives in Dances With Wolves are differentiated human beings about to undergo cultural genocide.
Full Review
80

Empire

By Angie Errigo
Of sentiment there is too much and the final sequence when the white men inevitably rear their heads and raise their rifles so fraught with tears and peril as to be exhaustingly melodramatic.
Full Review
75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
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]
Full Review
75

USA Today

By Mike Clark
Ultimately, this film is more interesting than rousing; missing is a John Ford-ian wealth of idiosyncratic characters. [9 Nov 1990, Life, 4D]
Full Review
63

Christian Science Monitor

By David Sterritt
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]
Full Review
50

TV Guide

A western for people who are completely ignorant about the genre. Costner's direction is barely competent and frequently clumsy.
Full Review
50

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
The movie is so busy turning the Sioux characters into photogenic saints that it never quite allows them the complications of human beings.
Full Review
72 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.