What were the GOOD Kevin Costner films?

In a No Way Out discussion in this thread (unboxed spoilers), I asked why everyone dogs on this Kevin Costner flick. The Gaspode replied:

I agree with that assessment. It’s as if movies that were once good retroactively suck.

But I feel Cosnter made some pretty good flicks (a few even post-WW). The weird thing is, most of the time, it would have been just as good a film had Kurt Russell, Dennis Quaid, Mel Gibson, or Harrison Ford had been given the lead. He is kind of a pleasant, Midwestern sort of guy. He got a good script and he didn’t screw it up. Maybe after his success with Dances, he became too much of a chief and not enough of an indian…
Either way, he has a solid filmography:


The Untouchables- My favorite. The cast was great and Costner did a solid job playing an idealistic fed who has to learn the Chicago way.
Bull Durham- The only film that I can see that would have suffered had it not featured Costner. This was his best work as an actor.


No Way Out -A fun thriller; though the Family Guy joke was hilarious
Robin Hood -I’ll take some heat for this one, but I liked it. Now it would have been better had he used an accent…or had he been Mel Gibson… but the film was an excellent swashbuckler.
JFK- The older I get the more dishonest I find the movie. But the film was down right interesting, and Costner’s desperation was believable.


Field of Dreams- I’m not as impressed with this one as other people, but it was pretty good. Costner puts in a nice performance in a film that, for all its positives, is fairly boring.
The Bodyguard- A fun little turd. Not high cinema or anything, but a decent little picture. Of course, anyone could have been in the role. Kurt Russell, Dennis Quaid, Steve McQueen
Tin Cup- Bull Durham with a putter. But an enjoyable flick. Plus, it was filmed in my neighborhood…
13 Days- His most recent film that I have enjoyed. But really, they could have cut his part and the film would have been more interesting…

Untouchables was awesome, but another great movie with Costner is Silverado, one of my favorite Westerns. It’s almost hard to believe he was cast as the young, hotheaded, rebellious guy, but that’s what he was in the late '80s when teamed with Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, and Danny Glover in Lawrence Kasdan’s crowd-pleasing buddy-Western.

I’m normally not a fan, but he was perfectly cast by Clint Eastwood in A Perfect World. There his inability to emote in a dramatic role worked perfectly for the character he was playing. A bit like using Adam Sandler in Punch-Dunk Love ( which I wasn’t crazy about as entertainment, but appreciated ).

  • Tamerlane

I’ve always liked Revenge a lot, although Madeline Stowe is kinda dry in it…

Fandango, one of his earliest films, was great. In fact, it was recently released on DVD and I need to get it to replace my worn-out VHS tape…

I haven’t seen it since it was in theatres, but I liked Dances With Wolves.


Seconded. In fact, I liked it a LOT.

I haven’t seen a Costner film in about 8 years (The Postman, 1997), and I haven’t liked one since Wyatt Earp(1994). Here’s my list of the ones he was in that I liked(rated better than 2.5 on a scale of 1 to 5), and my rating of them:

Silverado - 3
American Flyers - 3
No Way Out - 3
Bull Durham - 4
Field of Dreams - 4.5
Dances With Wolves - 4.5
Wyatt Earp - 3

Second thumbs-up for A Perfect World. I’m no Costner fan, but he was very good in it.

I agree with the OP’s “excellent” choices. However, I would dump everything else Costner has touched into the “ordinary to unwatchable” pile. No Way Out at the “ordinary” end - **Robin Hood ** at the “excreble” end.

… No love for “The Postman”?.. I seriously like the hell out of that movie. There’s only two things to hate about that movie as far as I’m concerned and that’s “Oh Postman, you hand out hope like it was candy from your pocket.” It’s her delivery that is bad not necessarily the line… and the epilogue…“That was me.” GAH!

“3,000 Miles from Graceland” is a terrible movie in a good way but Costner’s performance as the bad guy illegitimate son of the King is good.

This is one of my favorite coming of age films. Grossly underrated and little heard of.

He plays Gardner Barnes. He is so utterly charming and stars with Judd Nelson Who is not a weenie. and the scene stealing Truman Sparks and his old lady [s]zie=1]played by Glenn Headly** .

I’m surprised nobody’s mentioned Open Range, since it’s easily the best western KC has been associated with.

Yeah, Open Range was good stuff.

I really love Dances with Wolves, Bull Durham, and Field of Dreams. But I also like Tin Cup and even For the Love of the Game (though I seem to be the only one)

I liked “The War”.

I have to admit, Costner’s best role, the one that showed his acting chops to the fullest was The Big Chill.

Oohh…that was low.


Another vote for A Perfect World.
I also thought JFK was excellent, in part because of Costner (and it definitely had something to do with Gary Oldman).
And I really enjoyed the Robin Hood he was in, though that may have had more to do with Christian Slater. Still, I’ll watch it whenever it’s on.
I barely remember him in Testament, but I recommend it- it’s an understated story about nuclear fallout.

That’s where I was going, too. Open Range is great.

Dances With Wolves
The Untouchables
No Way Out
Bull Durham
Tin Cup
Field of Dreams

All very good to excellent.