To say Kevin Costner has had a world-renowned acting career is putting it mildly. The long-standing actor has appeared in countless films and TV shows, most of which have gone on to accrue tons of accolades. His current portrayal of John Dutton in Yellowstone has made it one of the most talked-about TV shows since the likes of Breaking Bad. To pick out a “best” movie would be hard to do, considering he has played so many roles through so many decades. Naturally, people often flock to Field of Dreams. It’s easily one of the best feel-good films ever made and houses one of the most recognizable lines in all of cinema with, “If you build it, they will come.” However, people often forget that Costner directed, starred, and won several Academy Awards for Dances With Wolves, which is honestly the best Kevin Costner movie. In fact, if you want to catch this one for yourself, it’s currently being rediscovered on streaming on Netflix in the USA.
One of the reasons Dances With Wolves might be overlooked is because the deep rating for films and comparisons for those who get really into cinema didn’t start way back in 1990 when the movie first came out. Think of how popular and successful Braveheart was for Mel Gibson, this is exactly the same situation for Kevin Costner. This Kevin Costner movie won an astounding 51 awards and 38 nominations. Two of the most important were Best Picture and Best Director, which Costner got to hoist high. That’s a truly astounding feat to accomplish and there have been very few actors who have starred in and also directed such epic films that went on to make millions of dollars and win tons of awards.
Dances with Wolves is the storyline that has helped to create other films of the same nature, like Avatar and The Last Samurai. What makes the story of a civil war soldier who is brought in and learns the way of the natives is how Costner poured his lifeblood into the film. He was a first-time director, shooting in rigid and terrible landscapes, and dealt with budget problems that had many pundits back then calling the film a “box office disaster.” It had not even seen the light of day and everyone was already counting it out. What followed was one of the most successful stories in all of film history. The troubles that happened during the shooting and production alone make this the best Kevin Costner movie. That and Costner had allegedly spent millions of his own fortune in making sure that this movie happened.
The end result of this Kevin Costner movie that was doomed before it began was seven Academy Awards, and a $424 million dollar worldwide box office smashing. The budget for this film is reportedly only $22 million, and it earned a hefty $402 million over that. Now that is a success. Dances with Wolves would be instrumental in how filmmakers were to make the longer styled strong narrative-type films. At three hours long, it’s hard to keep the attention of most people, but Costner found a way to bring in the characters in such a way that the audiences immediately cared about everyone on screen.
Even though people refer to Field of Dreams more, and its Rotten Tomatoes rating is higher (87% for Dreams compared to Dances With Wolves 83%), Dances With Wolves was still a global success. Even though it came out in 1990, it remains #294 in the top 500 highest-grossing films of all time. Field of Dreams only banked $61 million in comparison. Dances With Wolves seems to be a “forgotten” Kevin Costner movie, but it’s one of the movies that should be considered a must-see for cinema buffs.
Field of Dreams will always hold a special place in the hearts of those who love baseball, but Dances with Wolves follows an even deeper American storyline. The relationship between the natives and those who had not understood them. American history is brutal, and Kevin Costner took special care in telling a story of bravery and what perspective and experience can truly mean when we attempt to understand someone who is of a different culture. Costner did tons of research and that is likely why he is so good in western roles. You might even say that without Dances with Wolves, there would be no Yellowstone. Sorry, Field of Dreams, DWW is the best Kevin Costner movie.
If you’re wanting to catch Dances With Wolves on streaming for yourself and see what the hype is about, this Kevin Costner hit is currently on Netflix in the United States.