10 Best Kevin Costner Westerns

Kevin Costner & Modern West In Concert - Nashville, TN
Kevin Costner & Modern West In Concert - Nashville, TN / Terry Wyatt/GettyImages

Kevin Costner is known for some of the most famous roles in film and television. We take a look at his long bio of Western films and television roles.


Kevin Costner is widely known as one of the world's greatest actors in both film and television. Not to mention one of the biggest heartthrobs. Costner’s first big break into Western movies came with Silverado. Co-starring alongside Danny Glover and Kevin Cline. He was not yet a leading man but you couldn’t tell that from the screen, as he stole the show every time. The film premiered in 1985 and made over 32 million dollars. It was also nominated for Best Original Score and Best Sound at the 58th Academy Awards.

Wyatt Earp

Ironically he hasn’t made a long list of Westerns compared to others in his genre, but the ones he has done have been mega hits and are still widely known today. One of the most famous ones of them being Wyatt Earp. Wyatt Earp came out in 1994 and starred Costner along with Dennis Quaid and Gene Hackman. It became an Oscar nominee for Best Cinematography in 1995. The legendary story of Wyatt Earp and his adventures in a lawless land is one of the best American Westerns to this day.

Open Range

Kevin Costner would go on to star, direct, and co-produce in another big hit Open Range with Robert Duvall as Charley in 2003. His character was a cattle hand who was a former Union soldier in the Civil War. An American Revolutionary Western that portrayed a man having immense guilt over the lives he took against the Confederate Army. Charley plays one of Boss Spearman’s (Robert Duvall) cattlemen as they herd cattle across the country. Just like in any Western trouble brews along the way.

Dances With Wolves

Costner’s biggest hit is arguably Dances With Wolves. A 1990 western classic that was starred, directed, and produced by Kevin Costner. It was a film adaptation of a 1988 novel written by Michael Blake. Costner plays a Union Army Lieutenant name John Dunbar who comes across the Lakota Indians when trying to find his post. Dances With Wolves was a box office smash earning 424 million dollars. Receiving huge acclaim, the film was nominated for 12 Academy Awards, and out of those won 12. Kevin Costner won for Best Director and it went on to win the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture.

Let Him Go

Let Him Go is another Western by Kevin Costner that will simply break your heart. Starring alongside Diane Lane Let Him Go tells the story of a married couple grieving the untimely loss of their son, but having their grandson also fills that void of loss. Unfortunately, their former daughter-in-law has chosen a far worse man after the death of their son. Their only connection to their deceased son is being ripped away from them. You will see the journey to get back what they lost and it ends devastatingly.

The Postman

The Postman is a 1997 film starring Kevin Costner that was once again based on a 1985 novel by David Brin. Kevin also produced and directed this apocalyptic adventure. It was classified as neo-western in the United States before it was yet established in the current future of 2013. It was by far Kevin Costner’s biggest failure but even so any film by the man is better than most of anything you’ll watch on television today.

The Highwaymen

The Highwaymen is all about dismantling the romance of the story of Bonnie and Clyde. Costner and Woody Allen portray former Texas Rangers of Frank Hammer and Mandy Gault. They are tasked with the mission of finding the western legends Bonnie and Clyde. Along the way, the movie will show you that the life of an outlaw is not all it’s cracked up to be and it never has a happy ending.

Hatfields & McCoys

The infamous story of the Hatfields & McCoys is something very well known in the South and history of America. Kevin Costner plays the leader of the Hatfield family Anse Hatfield. As you may well know the Hatfields and McCoys share a brutal rivalry that ended in bloodshed. It has a Romeo and Juliet vibe within it. It was based on true events that really happened in the 1800s. As you watch you can see just how lawless the country was then.

A Perfect World

A Perfect World was directed by Clint Eastwood in 1993 and starred Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, and Laura Dern. Costner plays Butch an escaped inmate from the Huntsville prison who ends up taking a boy hostage in an effort to help aid his escape. Though it was not a box office smash it was one of Kevin Costner’s greatest performances. Kevin showed off his wide array of talents in this different style of role in this more modern-day Western.


Then there was one. Kevin Costner’s most notable recent role in a Western production is Yellowstone. He has played the patriarch of the Dutton Family for all five seasons of Yellowstone. John Dutton is not somebody you ever want to cross and this modern western has a way of making you ask yourself how is any of this legal? As hard as he is he is very soft with his family and especially his late wife and daughter. Family is the most important thing and so is his land. Any person or thing that puts either of that in jeopardy will find their way to the train station.

Among Kevin Costner’s rich resume of Westerns, he will be adding a new one to the list shortly in the future with the film Horizon. Horizon has been Kevin Costner’s dream project, a multi-part movie that will be covering a 15-year span of pre and post-Civil War era. We already know Kevin Costner shines in these types of roles. Costner is producing, financing, and writing alongside Jon Baird. This is what you call his baby and it’s already being compared to his most stellar productions already.

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