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All of Kevin Costner’s Western Movies and TV Shows Ranked by Rotten Tomatoes


Kevin Costner may be leaving the Taylor Sheridan-verse behind, but he’ll never give up on being a cowboy — and even when he isn’t explicitly playing a cowboy, he always sort of embodies one. 

Costner is hanging up his hat after playing John Dutton in Yellowstone for the past five seasons — due to irreconcilable creative differences, as well as a salary negotiation that went south — but he’ll still be out in the Wild, Wild, West. Costner is co-writing, producing, directing, and starring in Horizon: An American Saga, a film series starring Sienna Miller, Sam Worthington, Luke Wilson and Thomas Haden Church. Warner Bros. Pictures is so confident in Horizon (and in Costner’s fiercely loyal fanbase) that it has already greenlit three sequels.

Here are all the Kevin Costner Western (and Western-adjacent) movies and TV shows, from his breakout roles to his latest TV mega hit, Yellowstone, ranked according to critics’ scores on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. 

1. ‘Dances with Wolves’

Kevin Costner Western Movies and TV Shows: Dances with Wolves
“Dances with Wolves”MGM

Critics score: 87%
Audience score: 87% 

A Civil War soldier leaves his former life behind to join a tribe of Lakota Indians. Life is good and relatively easy for Costner’s character, named “Dances with Wolves,” as he falls in love with a white woman raised by the tribe and grows accustomed to his new identity, but tragedy soon strikes when Union soldiers arrive with devious plans to take their land. 

Why it’s Fresh: Although flawed and overly simplistic, Dances with Wolves is a historical drama full of heart and a surprising amount of humor, as it tells a stirring, epic fairytale based in the Old West. The Age (Australia)‘s Neil Jillett said: “Kevin Costner, one of Hollywood’s new generation of star actors, makes a splendid debut as a director with Dances With Wolves, an ecologically sound, gloriously romantic and buoyant, if over-inflated, tragicomic Western.”

Release date: 1990
Cast: Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant 

2. ‘Yellowstone’ 

Critics score: 84%
Audience score: 76% 

A sincere and occasionally ruthless patriarch of a sixth-generation wealthy family of ranchers is constantly embroiled in drama with his own children, oil and lumber corporations, ambitious Indian entrepreneurs and state government officials. 

Why it’s Fresh: Despite its reliance on ramping up the melodrama and hitting all the familiar soap opera tropes, critics couldn’t help but be swayed by its talented cast and lush, mountainous backdrops. Buzzfeed News‘ Elamin Abdelmahmoud wrote: “Yellowstone only debuted in the summer of 2018, but it’s already outdated to call it a mere TV show. The vast and ever-expanding world, helmed by creator Taylor Sheridan, can now be considered a proper universe.” 

Release date: 2018-Present 
Cast: Wes Bentley, Kelly Reilly, Luke Grimes

3. ‘Let Him Go’

Kevin Costner Western Movies and TV Shows: Let Him Go
“Let Him Go”Focus Features

Critics score: 84%
Audience score: 76% 

After experiencing a horrendous loss, a retired sheriff and his wife leave their Montana ranch to the Dakotas to rescue their grandson from a dangerous family. 

Why it’s Fresh: Critics were mesmerized by Diane Lane and Kevin Costner’s chemistry in Let Him Go and the film’s gripping narrative, which seamlessly blends the genres of period drama, thriller, neo-Western and mystery. Mark Kermode of Kermode & Mayo’s Film Review described it: “Costner does the world-weary cowboy very well, with very good support…and a very good score.”

Release date: 2020
Cast: Diane Lane, Kayli Carter, Lesley Manville 

4. ‘Open Range’

Kevin Costner Western Movies and TV Shows: Open Range
“Open Range” Touchstone Pictures

Critics score: 79%
Audience score: 84% 

A ranch boss and his cowhand realize that their partner is in trouble with a rich landowner and his right-hand henchman after he doesn’t come back from an errand, so they vow to retrieve him and get revenge on his captors. 

Why it’s Fresh: Largely lauded for its fusion of modern and classic, old-timey Western, Open Range was a standout due to Costner and Robert Duvall’s on-screen rapport, and the story’s simultaneous tenderness and grisliness. The Orlando Sentinel‘s Roger Moore explained: “Open Range is too talky, too corny and too long. Yet it gets so much right, from its simple affection for the sight of horses at full gallop to a climactic gunfight that sets a new standard for wit and excitement and righteous revenge.” 

Release date: 2003
Cast: Robert Duvall, Annette Bening, Michael Gambon  

5. ‘A Perfect World’

A Perfect World
“A Perfect World”Warner Brothers/Getty Images

Critics score: 79%
Audience score: 84% 

A prison escapee kidnaps a boy, and a surprising bond between them forms as they traverse the American Southwest with a Texas Ranger on their tail. 

Why it’s Fresh: Critics consider A Perfect World to be one of Clint Eastwood’s best directed/produced/starred-in works, and the tug-at-your-heartstrings drama provided a memorable role for Costner that further cemented him as a Hollywood fixture in the ’90s.  ReelViews‘ James Berardinelli explained: “A Perfect World is evidence that Hollywood is still capable of producing the kinds of moving, intelligent movies that have increasingly become the province of independent filmmakers.” 

Release date: 1993
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Laura Dern, T.J. Lowther 

6. ‘Silverado’ 

Kevin Costner Western Movies and TV Shows: Silverado
“Silverado”Columbia Pictures

Critics score: 78%
Audience score: 80% 

A group of misfit cowboys travel to Silverado to claim their reward for halting thieves in their tracks but soon find that the town has fallen into troubled times thanks to greedy ranch hands and corrupt town officials. So, as cowboys tend to do, the men take matters into their own hands.  

Why it’s Fresh: Silverado is undoubtedly the Western that marked Costner as a go-to pick to play a cowboy hero, and critics enjoyed how the film masterfully revitalized the then-dead Western genre with a touch of ’80s flair and a captivating story. The New York Times‘s Janet Maslin called it “a sweeping, glorious-looking Western that’s at least a full generation removed from the classic films it brings to mind.” 

Release date: 1985
Cast: Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Rosanna Arquette

7. ‘Hatfields & McCoys’ 

Kevin Costner Western Movies and TV Shows: Hatfields & McCoys
“Hatfields & McCoys”Chris Large/History

Critics score: 71%
Audience score: 88% 

This based-on-a-true-story dramatic Western miniseries explores the infamous family feud between the Hatfields in Kentucky and the McCoys in West Virginia (a rivalry that once got so bad, it almost started another Civil War, and forced state and federal officials to intervene). How’d it all begin? With a stolen pig. 

Why it’s Fresh: While the miniseries wasn’t one of Costner’s flashiest or most well-known roles, it’s certainly one of his finest performances as a cowboy. Produced by the History Channel, the show balanced entertainment value and contextual accuracy. The Los Angeles Times‘ Mary McNamara wrote: “With Kevin Costner as Devil Anse Hatfield and Bill Paxton as Randall McCoy, an immediate standard of dramatic excellence is set by the two actors to which the rest of the cast must live up — and they do.” 

Release Date: 2012
Cast: Bill Paxton, Tom Berenger, Powers Boothe

8. ‘The Highwaymen’

"The Highwaymen"
“The Highwaymen”Hilary B Gayle/Netflix

Critics score: 58%
Audience score: 75% 

A Bonnie and Clyde story from the perspective of the lawmakers instead of the lawbreakers, depicting how a pair of former Texas Rangers try to capture the notorious outlaw sweethearts.  

Why it’s Rotten: Despite the magnetism of both Costner and Woody Harrelson, the Netflix flick was a miss for most critics because of its slow-burn (and low-reward) plotline. AV Club‘s Jesse Hassenger explained: “The Highwaymen is a crucial reminder that good Dad Movies aren’t as easy to make as they look.” 

Release date: 2019
Cast: Woody Harrelson, Kathy Bates, John Carroll Lynch

9. ‘Man of Steel’  

Man of Steel
“Man of Steel”Warner Bros.

Critics score: 56%
Audience score: 75% 

An alien child with extraordinary powers crash-lands on the farm of Kansas couple Martha and Jonathan Kent (Costner) who have been desperately trying to have a child of their own. They raise Kal-El as Clark Kent, and though they try to hide their son’s gifts from the world, destiny intervenes, leaving him with no choice. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s his alter-ego Superman coming to save the day. 

Why it’s Rotten: Director Zack Snyder made corn-fed superhero Superman into a blockbuster spectacle, and his desire to provide more thrills than thoughts for the audience is what ultimately made the supe standalone go sour for critics. The Dissolve‘s Matt Singer called it “a gritty, realistic story shot by a director whose instincts constantly push him away from grit and realism, and into flash and fantasy.” 

Release date: 2013
Cast: Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane

10. ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves
“Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves”Warner Brothers/Getty Images

Critics score: 51%
Audience score: 72% 

A Robin Hood origin story starting when the titular Prince of Thieves was only known as the prisoner Robin of Locksley (Costner), a nobleman crusader who escapes and, with the help of a fellow inmate, travels back home to England and helps save his kingdom from a cartoonishly villainous Sheriff of Nottingham.  

Why it’s Rotten: Critics felt that while Alan Rickman was perfectly cast as the film’s vicious antagonist, Costner was a miss, not quite hitting the notes of “medieval-times renegade and wise-cracking cowboy-esque vigilante” that the fabled character is known best for. The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Desmond Ryan wrote: “Much as I admire Costner, it is the very qualities of honesty, honor and sincerity he projects so forcefully that encumber this Robin.” 

Release date: 1991
Cast: Morgan Freeman, Christian Slater, Alan Rickman

11. ‘Waterworld’

Waterworld
“Waterworld”Getty Images

Critics score: 45%
Audience score: 43% 

A rugged loner in a world ravaged by the aftermath of climate change, the Mariner reluctantly helps a young girl and her guardian escape from pirates on a hostile artificial island, hoping to find land that isn’t underwater. 

Why it’s Rotten: Waterworld was the most expensive movie ever made at the time, and critics felt that it didn’t live up to its budget due to its unimpressive plot only thinly veiled by its cool futuristic setting. Little White Lies‘ Anton Bitel wrote: “That Costner’s antihero should be so fundamentally dislikable is entirely acceptable — after all, the Mariner’s arc makes him an eternal outsider… — but that he should also be deadly dull is less so.” 

Release date: 1995
Cast: Dennis Hopper, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Tina Majorino

12. ‘Wyatt Earp’

Kevin Costner Western Movies and TV Shows: Wyatt Earp
“Wyatt Earp”Warner Bros.

Critics score: 31%
Audience score: 61% 

An epic biopic directed by Lawrence Kasdan about the real-life gunslinging and gambling Sheriff Wyatt Earp, who boldly takes on the Clanton and McLaury gangs terrorizing Dodge City and Tombstone in the Old American West. 

Why it’s Rotten: While Wyatt Earp was praised for its gorgeous and meticulous cinematography, it was lambasted by critics for including one too many Western movie clichés and for being overly long (its runtime is 3 hours and 11 minutes). Entertainment Weekly‘s Owen Gleiberman wrote: “Wyatt Earp tries to confront us with something weightier than the pleasures of old-fashioned heroism. Unfortunately, it ends up offering something sketchier: a psychodramatic hero without a center.” 

Release date: 1994
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman, Mark Harmon

13. ‘The Postman’

Kevin Costner Western Movies and TV Shows: The Postman
“The Postman”Warner Bros.

Critics score: 8%
Audience score: 50% 

In a post-apocalyptic and dystopian United States, a nomadic traveler known as the Postman wanders through towns in the Northwest, delivering old mail., 

Why it’s Rotten: Critics thought the film, which was directed, produced and led by Costner, was laughably reverential, self-serious, and had a wee too much self-mythologizing to be enjoyable or even coherent. CNN.com’s Paul Tatara wrote: “It’s about as inspiring as a movie about a vengeful meter reader.” 

Release date: 1997
Cast: Will Patton, Larenz Tate, Olivia Williams



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