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The Best Native American Movies

Updated January 13, 2021 26.8k votes 5.1k voters 354.3k views111 items

List RulesOnly movies featuring native Americans.

Looking for the best Native American movies and films with Native American themes? This list ranks all the good Native American movies so you know what to watch first if you are looking to learn more about the culture and history of Native people. These are films that focus on American Indians and their cultures as part of the story's central theme - famous films like Dances with Wolves and The Last of the Mohicans are widely known, but this list also includes lesser-known films like Smoke Signals and Skins. Some of these rank among the best war movies ever produced while others are heartfelt dramas who also have a place with the best costume drama films. Still others are love stories and great Native American romance movies, some are even . 

Once referred to as "Indians," Native Americans have an incredibly rich culture and history. While they may have originally only been used in Westerns as "the bad guys" (often played by white guys in red-face), today, Native Americans are just as often the heroes. Their braves, teepees, art, tomahawks, and skill with hunting buffalo are all veritable icons in American Indian movies. It's no small wonder then that they continue to be featured in Hollywood.

This is meant to be a list of all the greatest movies about Native Americans of all time, a few of them are even based on true stories. Vote up your  favorites to see which ones become the top Native American films of all time.

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  • Smoke Signals1
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    Smoke Signals

    Perrey Reeves, Cynthia Geary

    Released1998

    Directed byChris Eyre

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  • The Last of the Mohicans2
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    The Last of the Mohicans

    Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe

    Released1992

    Directed byMichael Mann

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  • Powwow Highway3
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    Powwow Highway

    A Martinez, Amanda Wyss

    Released1989

    Directed byJonathan Wacks

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  • Dance Me Outside4
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    Dance Me Outside

    Sandrine Holt, Hugh Dillon

    Released1994

    Directed byBruce McDonald

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  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee5
    779
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    Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

    Anna Paquin, J.K. Simmons

    Released2007

    Directed byYves Simoneau

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  • Dances with Wolves6
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    Dances with Wolves

    Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell

    Released1990

    Directed byKevin Costner

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    #11 of 28 Civil War Movies List#41 of 557 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

  • Dreamkeeper7
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    Dreamkeeper

    August Schellenberg, Nathaniel Arcand

    Released2003

    Directed bySteve Barron

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  • Incident at Oglala8
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    Incident at Oglala

    Norman Zigrossi, Robert Sikma

    Released1992

    Directed byMichael Apted

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  • Skins9
    459
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    Skins

    Graham Greene, Winona LaDuke

    Released2002

    Directed byChris Eyre

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  • Into the West10
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    Into the West

    Keri Russell, Gary Busey

    Released2005

    Directed bySimon Wincer

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  • Little Big Man11
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    Little Big Man

    Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway

    Released1970

    Directed byArthur Penn

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    #194 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films#220 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

  • Thunderheart12
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    Thunderheart

    Val Kilmer, David Crosby

    Released1992

    Directed byMichael Apted

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  • Windwalker13
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    Windwalker

    Trevor Howard, James Remar

    Released1980

    Directed byKieth Merrill

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  • Windtalkers14
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    Windtalkers

    Nicolas Cage, Mark Ruffalo

    Released2002

    Directed byJohn Woo

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  • A Man Called Horse15
    440
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    A Man Called Horse

    Richard Harris, Judith Anderson

    Released1970

    Directed byElliot Silverstein

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    #83 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made#10 of 142 The Best Western Movies on Amazon Prime

  • Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee16
    233
    30

    Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee

    Peter Weller, Irene Bedard

    Released1994

    Directed byFrank Pierson

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  • Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner17
    193
    35

    Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner

    Natar Ungalaaq, Sylvia Ivalu

    Released2001

    Directed byZacharias Kunuk

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  • Last of the Dogmen18
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    Last of the Dogmen

    Tom Berenger, Barbara Hershey

    Released1995

    Directed byTab Murphy

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  • The Cherokee Word for Water19
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    The Cherokee Word for Water

    Zahn McClarnon, Deanna Dunagan

    Released2013

    Directed byTim Kelly, Charlie Soap

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  • Clearcut20
    202
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    Clearcut

    Graham Greene, Tom Jackson

    Released1991

    Directed byRyszard Bugajski

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  • Skinwalkers21
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    Skinwalkers

    Adam Beach, Wes Studi

    Released2002

    Directed byChris Eyre

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  • The Only Good Indian22
    176
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    The Only Good Indian

    Wes Studi, Paul Butler

    Released2009

    Directed byKevin Willmott

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  • Legends of the Fall23
    363
    120

    Legends of the Fall

    Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins

    Released1994

    Directed byEdward Zwick

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  • Grand Avenue24
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    Grand Avenue

    Irene Bedard, Tantoo Cardinal

    Released1996

    Directed byDaniel Sackheim

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  • The Business of Fancydancing25
    171
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    The Business of Fancydancing

    Cynthia Geary, Leo Rossi

    Released2002

    Directed bySherman Alexie

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