20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Director-star Kevin Costner's exhaustive Western "Dances With Wolves" has always gotten a mixed rap. For the legions moved by its Spielbergian crescendos, just as many… 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Director-star Kevin Costner's exhaustive Western "Dances With Wolves" has always gotten a mixed rap. For the legions moved by its Spielbergian crescendos, just as many…
DVD Review

Dances With Wolves: Special Edition (2003)

Kevin Costner, Dances with Wolves | HORSE POWER Costner plays the hero in the love-it-or-hate-it ''Dances With Wolves''
Image credit: Dances With Wolves: Ben Glass
HORSE POWER Costner plays the hero in the love-it-or-hate-it ''Dances With Wolves''
EW's GRADE
A-

Details Release Date: May 20, 2003; DVD Release Date: May 20, 2003; Movie Rated: G; With: Kirk Douglas and James Mason; Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures

Director-star Kevin Costner's exhaustive Western ''Dances With Wolves'' has always gotten a mixed rap. For the legions moved by its Spielbergian crescendos, just as many cynics have griped that it's too PC. For every fan pleased that it won Best Picture, there's a hardcore geek who'll never forgive it for thwarting Martin Scorsese's ''GoodFellas'' Oscar bid.

Sure, the long-winded epic will never be a classic -- a fact that Dances With Wolves: Special Edition, with an extra hour of well-crafted if unnecessary footage, can't disprove. But the set's four above-par commentaries, two revealing though repetitive production documentaries, and countless testimonials about the romantic joys of staging a buffalo hunt on the South Dakota tundra underscore the fact that ''Wolves'' is a filmmaking tour de force. And thanks largely to Aussie Dean Semler's camera work and Brit John Barry's music, both landmarks in a mostly American genre, it's also an effective, if occasionally trivial, piece of storytelling.

Originally posted May 20, 2003 Published in issue #711 May 23, 2003 Order article reprints
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