Dances With Wolves opens with the main character, John Dunbar (played by Kevin Costner), who at that point is getting prepared for an amputation of his foot, struggle to get on his boots, and, covered with blood, runs out to the front line, gets on a horse, and charges at the enemy, trying to commit suicide.
Made in 1990, Dances with Wolves is considered a classic, and it somewhat deserves the title. Really, though, it mostly just flipps between shots of very graphic war violence and sweeping shots of the plains. This is one of those movies that seems impossible to be rated PG-13. There is tons of blood in shots of battles, people we come to love are killed, animals we come to love are also killed, and there are scalpings, people are shot full of arrows, shot with guns, and brutilized in almost every way imaginable. Sexuality is also an issue, with a couple rather explicit sex scenes, some non-sexual nudity, and a lot of passionate kissing. That said, language is minimal, and the cinimatogrephy is amazing, espessially the buffalo hunt. The acting, however, was to me pitiable. Kevin Costner sounds like he is speaking out of a history book, and the violence against the Native Americans is solved by the “heros” axing and shooting the white people. This movie barely scrapes by on a 4 star rating, and that is only because of the cinimatogrephy. I do understand that in 1990, this kind of movie promoting Native American culture was practiclly unknown, and I’m glad that Dances with Wolves paved the way for more of those, but if your young child wants to see a Cowboy/Indian movie, there are much less violent ones out there.