Kevin Costner attends the premiere party for Paramount Network's "Yellowstone" Season 2 at Lombardi House on May 30, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Kevin Costner attends the premiere party for Paramount Network's "Yellowstone" Season 2 at Lombardi House on May 30, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Kevin Costner's 11 Best Movies, Ranked


Kevin Costner has been one of the most beloved leading men in Hollywood for decades. Isn't it shocking that he never led a TV series before his successful Paramount Network show, Yellowstone?

Costner has had an incredible career since his rise to fame in the early '80s. Though it was hard to narrow down, here are our picks for the best Kevin Costner movies, ranked.

11. Hatfields & McCoys

Okay sure, this is a miniseries, but Costner was too good in this not to mention it. The miniseries follows the true story of the historic Hatfield-McCoy feud with Costner starring as "Devil Anse" Hatfield and Bill Paxton as Randolph "Randall" McCoy. Costner earned a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award for his performance in this History Channel show. 


10. The Bodyguard

 Who could forget the film that gave us Whitney Houston's timeless cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You?" Originally written for Steve McQueen and Diana Ross, Costner plays former secret service agent Frank Farmer who becomes a bodyguard for superstar Rachel Marron (Houston). While critics widely panned the film, it's a fan favorite for the intoxicating love story between the bodyguard and his damsel in distress. 

9. Silverado

Costner's breakout role was this Western film directed by future Wyatt Earp director, Lawrence Kasdan. Also starring Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn and Danny Glover, the film follows a group of misfits in the Old West traveling out to make their fortune in the town of Silverado. 


8. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Costner stars in the leading role of England's folk hero Robin Hood. Pretty much only Costner could show up to set, keep his American accent and still make this work. Alan Rickman also does an incredible job as the Sheriff of Nottingham. Some critics panned Costner's performance as the arrow wielding hero, but he had the last laugh. It was the second-highest-grossing film at the box office in 1991. 

7. No Way Out

In this political thriller, Costner stars as Lieutenant Commander Tom Farrell, U.S. Navy during the end of the Cold War. Farrell gets falsely accused of murder by dirty politicians. Gene Hackman co-stars  as Secretary of Defense David Brice. Costner is cool and calculated and you'll never see the ending coming. 


Read More: Kevin Costner: 8 Things You Didn't Know About the Actor

6. JFK 

This Oliver Stone directed thriller follows New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It examines an alleged cover-up as Garrison attempts to file charges against Clay Shaw (Tommy Lee Jones). Gary Oldman co-stars as Lee Harvey Oswald.

Read More: Kevin Costner: 8 Things You Didn't Know About the Actor


5. Field of Dreams

Costner came back to the baseball diamond the year after Bull Durham to star in Field of Dreams. Costner plays Ray Kinsella, who builds a baseball field in his Iowa cornfield in the hopes that one of his father's favorite former MLB players can play the game again. Ray Liotta plays Shoeless Joe Jackson, one of the players banned from the MLB due to the "Black Sox Scandal."

4. A Perfect World 

This Clint Eastwood drama follows escaped convict, Butch Haynes (Costner), who takes a young boy hostage while on the run. He ends up starting to care for the child as they travel together across Texas, showing that Costner has the acting chops to thrive as an anti-hero. Eastwood co-stars as the Texas Ranger on their trail. 


3. The Untouchables

This crime drama directed by Brian de Palma follows a Bureau of Prohibition agent Eliot Ness (Costner) as he works to bring a stop to Al Capone's (Robert De Niro) criminal activity in the city of Chicago. Sean Connery co-stars as the veteran officer, Jim Malone, who helps Ness. The film earned Connery a Best Supporting Actor Oscar and helped put Costner on the map as a leading man and box office draw. 

2. Bull Durham

This beloved sports movie was loosely based on writer/director Ron Shelton's experience as a minor league baseball player, centered around the Durham Bulls in Durham, North Carolina. Costner plays veteran ballplayer "Crash" Davis who gets brought on to help prepare newbie Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh (Tim Robbins) for a career in the majors. Susan Sarandon plays Crash's love interest, Annie, a dedicated baseball groupie who is also determined to help Ebby become a great pitcher. It's widely considered one of the best sports films ever made. 


1. Dances With Wolves 

The prime spot on this list has got to go to Costner's Oscar-winning Dances With Wolves. The western film was based on the Michael Blake novel which follows Lieutenant John J. Dunbar (Costner) as he travels out to the American frontier and befriends the Lakota Native American tribe. After its release in 1990, it won a total of 7 Academy Awards including Best Director and Best Picture. Leave it to the incredible Costner to direct a film for the first time and end up not only winning an Oscar but getting credited with renewing interest in films set in the Old West.

Editors Note: This article was originally published on Oct 7th, 2020.

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