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Dune (1984)


Average Rating: 5.9/10
Reviews Counted: 40
Fresh: 22
Rotten: 18

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 2.2/10
Reviews Counted: 6
Fresh: 2
Rotten: 4

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 69,625



Movie Info

David Lynch wades through dark waters in his adaptation of Frank Herbert's cult science fiction novel. In condensing Herbert's rambling and complex book by eliminating characters and compacting events, Lynch succeeds in rendering the story incomprehensible to those unfamiliar with the novel and making the film look like a sketchy greatest hits collection of the book for Herbert fans. The story takes place in the year 10,191. The universe is governed through a system of feudal rule, presided over … More

Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
Rudolph Wurlitzer , Christopher De Vore , Eric Bergren
In Theaters:
Mar 16, 1998
MCA Universal Home Video


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Critic Reviews for Dune

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (18) | DVD (35)

Most sci-fi movies offer escape, a holiday from homework, but Dune is as difficult as a final exam. You have to cram for it.

Full Review… | July 18, 2011
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

The problem is that the imagery isn't rooted in any story impulse, and so its power dissipates quickly.

Full Review… | July 18, 2011
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Dune is a huge, hollow, imaginative and cold sci-fi epic.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Lynch's third feature may have been a commercial disaster, but it gets under your skin and is marked by unforgettable images and an extraordinary soundtrack.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

This movie is a real mess, an incomprehensible, ugly, unstructured, pointless excursion into the murkier realms of one of the most confusing screenplays of all time.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Several of the characters in Dune are psychic, which puts them in the unique position of being able to understand what goes on in the movie.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Underrated, especially for devotees of the book. An impressively faithful if necessarily streamlined adaptation, though heavy on industrial-looking art direction and grotesque makeup effects.

Full Review… | March 21, 2014
Movie Dearest

An incoherent, strange, plotless, poorly structured mess that has to be seen to really be believed.

Full Review… | February 21, 2014
Movie Mezzanine

Critics at the time labeled it "confusing"; I don't see how, considering that you hear what everyone is thinking, all the time, and they repeat their key thoughts constantly so that their actual acting never has to do the job of telling the story.

Full Review… | January 7, 2013
Topless Robot

There's not a shred of humor in it, and it's a bleak look at humanity's future. But I was swept into the fantastic world.

Full Review… | July 30, 2012
7M Pictures

What we get, at best, are enthralling shots. At worst, most scenes seem out of a stilted chamber-drama, with backstory-burdened dialogue and stiff lines. A soporific languor often takes hold. Certain moments just come off as kitschy.

Full Review… | July 24, 2012
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Misconceived, incomprehensible, and only decently executed, Dune is arguably Lynch's weakest film in an otherwise brilliant output.

Full Review… | April 13, 2012

It's not for everyone, but if you don't mind the brain-bending confusion of the plot and occasional feeling of '80s high camp, this isn't as bad as its detractors would have it.

Full Review… | July 18, 2011
Empire Magazine

Mammoth, unwieldy and completely ahead of its time.

Full Review… | July 18, 2011

Visually delightful but choppy, confusing, and overloaded with exposition.

Full Review… | July 18, 2011
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Anyone looking for a satisfying and coherent science fiction epic will have to look elsewhere.

Full Review… | April 25, 2010
Combustible Celluloid

Now, in a far less Star Wars saturated landscape, Dune can be viewed as what it is: a brilliant mistake, misguided from the start but still aesthetically satisfying.

Full Review… | April 18, 2010

The movie is insane; it's textbook Lynch.

Full Review… | July 30, 2007

Lynch's most glaring failure.

June 1, 2007

If you think David Lynch is the Kwisatz Haderach, baby, have I got a movie for you.

Full Review… | February 22, 2006
Film Freak Central

It's like watching a Reader's Digest synopsis of the novel.

Full Review… | February 11, 2006
Sci-Fi Movie Page

Flashy special effects at the time still hold up decently today. Originally, the film was shown theatrically with a hand out that gives you definitions and background information. Before watching the film, it help if you brush up on the Hebert world by

March 14, 2005
Entertainment Insiders

Audience Reviews for Dune


The desert roaming tribe of mystics/warriors called the Fremen (free men?) longingly await the heavenly arrival of their messiah. In the meantime powerful and arrogant otherworldly forces battle for control of a drug that bestows second sight, singularly produced on the same desert planet by a rather huge indigenous life form.
The Jesus story then, made into sci-fi, Herbert's novels an veritable earthquake in that community, and wrestled with by David Lynch to bring to the screen. While stylistically vibrant, Lynch is brought low by the inability to transmit the unfolding wonder Herbert delivered: " ... a god walking amongst us!" that is the essence of the story, given by a multitude of intricacies. Lynch tries to follow the story, but only trips in those same intricacies, giving instead plodding pace and mysticism lost.

Apeneck Fletcher

Super Reviewer

Review coming to

Alexander Diminiano

Super Reviewer



Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Ehhhhhh, its a decent sci-fi story. Its no eraserhead though and docent have the grittiness of blue velvet.

paul o.
paul oh

Super Reviewer

Dune Quotes

Baron Vladimir Harkonnen:
I want to spit, once, on your head.
– Submitted by Donald K (20 months ago)
Duke Leto Atreides:
The sleeper must awaken.
– Submitted by Asri S (2 years ago)
Lady Jessica:
A million deaths is not enough for Yueh.
– Submitted by Asri S (2 years ago)
Usually, we have wormsigns the likes of which even God have never seen.
– Submitted by Asri S (2 years ago)
Paul Atreides:
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.
– Submitted by Adrian G (2 years ago)

Discussion Forum

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