All member reviews for Dances with Wolves

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

Common Sense Media says

A grand, sweeping journey with graphic violence.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Users say

(out of 20 reviews)
AGE
14
QUALITY
 
Review this title!
Adult Written bymoviemadness April 1, 2009
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Excellent But Mature Movie

Dances With Wolves is an EXCELLENT movie that accurately portrays the times. That being said, it's not for kids. The violence is graphic and, at times, perpetrated because of racism, ignorance, or barbarity. A great deal of callous disrespect is shown by soldiers towards the people and animals of the west. There are several scenes of a man naked (we see his back, bottom, chest, legs, and arms) and a woman (we see her back and the sides of her breasts). There is also sex under blankets. This movie leaves the viewer deeply ashamed of the white presence in the west, but also newly appreciative of those that showed respect. A viewer needs maturity to watch this. Best for 15+
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 15 years old Written byTheSuperman765 April 6, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

i rate this title ON for ages 13+

The good stuff * Messages: Some strongly negative images and scenes are overpowered by what is ultimately strong positive messages: Animosity and prejudice are often based on fear and lack of awareness of the culture and values of the "other." By living among strangers and sharing their lives and aspirations, understanding and respect come naturally. Language is a vehicle which promotes such understanding. Some battles are waged as a means of survival; other battles are about power and subjugation. Native American tribes were fighting the oncoming white troops and settlers for access to their own land and resources which would sustain their way of life. * Role models: John Jay Dunbar, as a survivor of the Civil War with little or no knowledge of the American frontier and the plight of Native Americans who inhabit it, is the role model for the film’s audience. As Dunbar comes to view the frontier as it really is, the audience follows suit. Dunbar is open to a different way of life, and he is brave, smart, loyal and heroic. Most of the Native Americans in this movie are shown as devoted to family, eager to laugh, protect their way of life, and live in harmony, a vastly different picture of this people from many movies that came before it. With Dunbar the only exception, the white soldiers in this film are depicted as brutal and ignorant. What to watch out for * Violence: Intensely violent battle scenes between white soldiers and Native-Americans and between different tribes. Both participants and innocents (including some children) are shot with guns or arrows; they’re knifed, scalped, killed with hatchets or in furious hand-to-hand combat. Human and animal blood flows throughout. Many animals (horses, dogs, and buffalos) are attacked and shown bleeding and dying. Indians ravage an innocent group of settlers; white soldiers beat, pummel, and ferociously kick the film’s hero; the same soldiers gleefully attack a beloved wolf for the sport of it. Sex: A Native-American couple, their bare shoulders visible, are briefly shown making love under the animal skins which cover them. There are several scenes which depict a couple who is deeply in love passionately kissing, embracing, and undressing. There is some nudity, including rear views of a naked male. Language: Some swearing early in the film: “Jesus Christ,” “I just pissed in my pants,” “Goddamn,” “butt,” “son-of-a-bi*ch,” “h**l,” “bi*ch,” and some fart sounds. * Consumerism: Not an issue. * Drinking, drugs, & smoking: One character smokes a cigar. In numerous scenes the tribal ritual of smoking a pipe is shared by groups of Native-Americans and their guests. A few instances of alcohol consumption.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Teen, 16 years old Written byGhwtguy February 22, 2010
AGE
14
QUALITY
 
Very good story teaching of friendship and fighting for what is right
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written byLordoftheRings1997 July 24, 2013
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

Good, but NOT for kids!

I am really interested in the Native American culture. That being said, I think the parts of the movie with the Sioux Indians were my favorite parts. Not only because the Indians are such an amazing group of people, but also because those parts were less violent, and the Indians don't cuss! :) This movie made me cry, but it is so amazing to see the steadfastness and determination of the Indian tribe as they try to remain peaceful. And the friendship that forms between Dunbar and Wind-in-his-Hair is so awesome. However, this film is DEFINITELY NOT for kids. VERY violent at times, and there is a sex scene, which my mom fast-fowarded through. And the themes of this film are very deep for younger kids as well. I would say no one under 15, unless they are VERY mature!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old March 2, 2014
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Great Movie, Some Graphic Violence

A great movie about friendship and survival. Again, a great movie, but parents should note the graphic violence and moderate carnage level makes this movie borderline Rated R. the openingsscene shows a bloody surgery being performed. Some intense battle sequences with a high body count of 35+ and some bloody wounds. Characters are shot, stabbed, scalpeled, and axed in the back with brief bloody results. A character commits suicide (off-screen). Buffalo are shot and impaled with arrows. A horse is shot through the neck 5 times with blood, and a wolf is shot with no blood. Characters suffer severe injuries with blood running down their faces. All in all, a great historical family movie for teens and mature teens. My rating: Rated R For some intense sequences of bloody warfare including disturbing images of wounded.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byFILMCRITIC500 September 6, 2012
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

masterful, violent, bloody western is a NO GO for kids

a masterpiece of a movie, this western epic is both parts adventure and battle, with many scenes of gruesome violence and many graphicly disgusting images of dead animals, with full detail of organs, brains, and blood. asides for the envelope pushing images, the film also contains several scenes of brutal, bloody violence that makes the film more of an R. people are beaten, kicked, pucnhed, shot, stabbed, cut, sliced and one character is scalped offscreen (you hear him scream, but dont see the scalping or the scalp itself.) Dunbar hets naked in somescenes, and you see his bare butt and brief flashes of his groin.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 13 years old Written byBestPicture1996 September 3, 2009
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Very epic, very violent

It is a LOOOONG movie and most assuredly not one for family night. The violence is brutal, the sex is intense and quite awkward for anyone you're watching it with. The plot is great though, I loved the Indians and the depictions of the Yankee soldiers in the War.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byGoodProductionMovies August 28, 2013
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Positive and educational, but can be too horrific and realistic.

This film is a very accurate one and has a very positive message, although the violence and gore may be too realistic for some viewers. The violence includes stabbings, guns, arrows, and all this is very bloody and gory. There is one scene where a drunken man is shot with 5-7 arrows and screams as he dies. Many important characters have a painful death. People in this movie(besides the good rolemodel), also enjoy getting drunk and acting stupid. This is partly why the language is seviere sometimes. Although the cussing isn't too strong, it can be frequent. There is a suicidal suggestion, one sex scene and kissing. another thing to be careful about is the cruelty to animals. All the violence described ealier incorporates not only humans but some animals. Although this can seem intense, good rolemodels and positive messages are stronger than some innopropriate situations. At the end of the movie, the good message will most likely be the thing that reaches out toward you the most.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byKiraWatson May 14, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

good

There is 1 swear word the B word and that is it. It also contains some blood where a lady is hurt and I think some passionate kissing that is all.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written bySteelemovies June 21, 2010
AGE
12
QUALITY
 
Love this movie and we watched it with our 12 & 14 year old but had them cover their eyes during the sex scene. Great conversation starter about what happened during that time.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old February 1, 2015
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
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.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Parent of a 2 year old Written bygerbowski October 14, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Classic western should be ok for most teens

A classic western epic with a different view on Native Americans. Although it can be violent at times, it is not excessive, and the few sex scenes are quite tame. I really enjoyed this movie and I think most people will too. It should be ok for most teenagers, depending on the maturity of your child.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 11 years old April 27, 2012
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

My MPAA rating

My MPAA rating is R for intense violent warfare, scalping, torchering, some strong sexuality and nudity and some brief strong language
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written bydavyborn September 8, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Masterfully directed oscar winner is savage, brutal and touching

One of my all time favorites would probably be Dances with Wolves, which is also probably Kevin Costner's best movie in my opinion. Beautiful to look at, epic in scope and a real uncommon respect towards the Native American tribes of the time are definitely reasons to say that Dances with Wolves is probably the only (Than again, he hasn't exactly directed very many movies so there aren't really that many other movies to pick from)movie that Kevin Costner ever directed the heck out of it. But, even though it is Rated PG-13, it is incredibly violent, savage and bloody, and does not shy away from graphic violence against both sides. Also, there is some infrequent sexual content and nudity which includes one very graphic sex scene. Finally, there is some very uncommon but pervasive nonetheless profanity towards the native Americans. Great, great movie, but too violent for some.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 11 years old March 6, 2010
AGE
12
QUALITY
 
Parent of a 8 year old Written byLindie January 24, 2010
AGE
12
QUALITY
 
Great movie for about the 12 and up crowd
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written bywho3697cares June 7, 2009
AGE
14
QUALITY
 
One certainly has many bones to pick with Kevin Costner's directorial debut, but somehow it's great and hard not to love. It's also a clear improvement from the rascist portrayals of Native Americans over the century prior to this movie.
Teen, 15 years old Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

A great movie!

Lots of bloody violence and the sex scean make this movie inappropriot for anyone under my age. But its a great movie!
Adult Written byhorse_gerbil April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Wonderful piece of work, but be cautious.

Keep in mind, I did love this movie, it was one of the greatest I've seen. I didn't personally think that the violence and nudity was that bad, but I've seen 300 (with blood every second and also showing bear breasts.) The plot is intreaging, but there are emotional times, and they are pretty strong. If you get into a movie like I do, a few tears might fall. Dances with Wolves is a great movie, but probably not for 10-.
Teen, 13 years old Written bybig_sister April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

a wonderful movei

this movie was really good. I saw it the first time when i was 8, and i really enjoyed it. I would say to just know your kid about this movie. it was fine for me when i was 8, but that might not be the case for your child.