Dune - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dune Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ July 5, 2007
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.
paul o.
Super Reviewer
March 5, 2012
Ehhhhhh, its a decent sci-fi story. Its no eraserhead though and docent have the grittiness of blue velvet.
Super Reviewer
December 25, 2006
A strategically vital mining planet is the subject of a power struggle between duelling Houses that form part of a planet spanning empire in the far future. David Lynch's ambitious stab at bringing Frank Herbert's complex series of novels to the silver screen was something of a heroic failure. Vilified at the time because of its wordy script and erratic fidelity to the source material, Dune is nowhere near as bad as many make it out to be. It has much to commend it; it includes a believable sense of galactic empire, some nice costume design and (for the most part at least) a strong cast all presented with a really nice otherworldly, dreamlike atmosphere. Unfortunately its flaws include poor sets, very dated special effects and some unbelievably hammy performances from the villains of the piece (unsurprisingly, Sting is particularly bad). Add to the fact that some pretty hefty plot points are skimmed over using montage and voice overs and you have a very mixed bag of successes and failures in bringing what (certainly at the time) was probably an unfilmable story. A brave, if flawed attempt that with the right creative team could be ripe for a remake.
Matthew Roe
Super Reviewer
September 27, 2011
This film is a wonderful mess. David Lynch is a great visionary director that supplies a surreal, disgusting and enthralling movie that is one of my favorites in the sci-fi genre. Great (and frequently over-the-top) acting from some really great actors (Francesca Annis, Kyle MacLachlan, Max von Sydow, Jugen Prochnow and Kenneth McMillan), amazing set and costume design, the special effects should be far better than they are considering the year of release and that we had entered the age of Industrial Light and Magic, but they are still fun to watch. The story is told remarkably and creatively well, though the recuts of the film are nowhere near the same quality or succinctness of the original release. There are several problems I have with the film, especially that the film doesn't explain enough in certain areas. However, that is better than the extended edition which explains too damn much. Great movie-going experience, amazing to see on the big screen and one of David Lynch's more underrated masterworks.
Super Reviewer
½ August 3, 2011
Dune is yet another prime example of a film that's much underrated. I strongly believe that the film was a very well done action sci fi film. Of course at times, the plot doesn't make sense, but in the end, who cares? What you have with Dune is a terrific sci fi film that is overlooked due to the bad reputation it has received in the press. Dune surprised me; the film has an interesting story, a good cast and good special effects. The effects though they look slightly dated, are still impressive. I thought that that Dune was a very good looking film esthetically, and the film looks stunning. There are some very good performances and the film is quite thrilling. I thought that the film was very good, despite the fact that this film has a reputation saying otherwise. I would recommend Dune to people that are die hard sci fi fans. If you're going to watch this film, do so with an open mind. This isn't as bad as everyone claims it to be. This is a very entertaining film that will probably appeal to the most diehard sci fi fans. Dune is a far better film that you might think, and is a wonderful cinematic experience. Even though the film has it flaws, this is still a very entertaining film with lots of action and stunning visuals. Dune is a film to view with an open mind. I thought the film was great, and I think it's much underrated. This may not be a perfect film, but it definitely isn't among the worst of sci fi films. A great looking visual spectacle that is very entertaining.
Super Reviewer
½ July 25, 2010
"The spice must flow."

Dune is a mess. An ambitious mess. A brave mess. But still, a mess.

I don't totally blame David Lynch. He really went for it and brought a version of Dune to the screen that tried to be faithful to the novel. But it's incredibly hard to translate something as complex and epic as Dune to film. This is a story that works better when your imagination brings it to life. Your vision of a Guild Navigator, the revolting Baron, or the opulence of the Emperor's court is bound to eclipse the cheesy and low-budget (in appearance, at least) sets, costumes, and special effects of Dune.

Some flaws can directly be laid at Lynch's feet, though. The tone of the movie is often wildly over-the-top and absurd and the casting is questionable, at best.

Good try, but this adaptation doesn't work.
Super Reviewer
November 18, 2009
When you watch the extended 3 hr cut of the movie, you really do get to see what David Lynch was trying to accomplish with this sci-fi epic. Many special effects from the 80s don't hold up today, but surprisingy the ones in this do. It also manages to tell this very large and sparse story quite well, even non-fans are able to grasp the concepts and character motives. Why a lot of people complain that this is too weird and odd, I feel that that's what separates it from things like Star Trek and Star Wars. This truly is a story that is hard to relate to because it has such a developed world and characters. I think that the actors should be commended, especially Kyle MacLachlan, for saying so many outlandish lines without coming off as corny.
Super Reviewer
½ September 6, 2010
This is a film for those who've read Dune, otherwise it's confusing and weird. If you know what's going on, this is a fantastic sci-fi film, and you'll love it.
Super Reviewer
½ November 5, 2006
Not David Lynch's best moment but not as bad as everyone thinks it is. If you've never read Frank Herbert's novel of the same name, you shouldn't have too much to bitch about as far as how grotesquely, oddly, and randomly Lynch decided to tell the story instead of going the route of a faithful adaptation. Avoid the extended version (Lynch himself disowned it) if you can help it.
Super Reviewer
June 14, 2006
A science fiction classic after Frank Herbert's novel. Full of inner monologues, odd characters and a beautifully weird production design - it's a David Lynch movie after all. A great cast with many stars and Toto's fantastic soundtrack complete the movie as one of the most unique films of the genre. Yes, it's all very odd and confusing but always entertaining and with countless unforgettable images and a really unique atmosphere. The scenes with the sandworms are pure movie magic. No remake will ever be this cool.
Super Reviewer
December 12, 2009
In a twisted kind of way I enjoyed the Original one then the Remake of 2000?
Super Reviewer
½ March 10, 2009
Having never read the original novel or seen the mini-series of Dune, I think I can give a fresh take on the film itself without mulling over its adaptation from novel to film. Dune, to me, is another fresh and interesting sci-fi film from the early 80's (most of the sci-fi greats came out around this period). It's not exactly a perfect film, but it can't be written off entirely. I believe David Lynch (who I was shocked to learn directed this movie) did the best job he possibly could at the time. First of all there is an all-star cast that is just phenomenal. Kyle Maclachlan is, to me, just ok in this part. I can't really see him as a leading man. He does his job well, but I just don't see him in this part, but maybe that's just me. The rest of the cast is great. Max Von Sydow, Linda Hunt, Brad Dourif, Sean Young, Patrick Stewart, Sting, Dean Stockwell and Virginia Madsen round out the rest of the main cast and seem to be enjoying their work because it seems so effortless for them. The look and style of Dune is very much what you'd expect from David Lynch: a lot of dream imagery, unexpected violence and a lot of dark. I'm watching the 1996 DVD release and I'm seeing a considerable amount of grain on the film. Some shots are more grainy than others, particularly the special effects shots. Speaking of which, the special effects in the movie are...well, they're decent...to be fair. It bothers me a bit because you look at the original Blade Runner, which came out only two years before, and you can see how low-tech Dune looks in contrast. Mattes are pretty obvious, effect shots are grainy and the early computer imagery is very much dated. However, I don't judge films based on the quality of their effects. They are well executed, but not to a degree other big budget films were achieving at the time. The score of the film by the band Toto was a very welcome surprise. I thought they did a tremendous job with it and it matches the picture perfectly. It isn't in a sense a traditional sci-fi symphonic score, but it works well with the images and storyline, which to me is all the more important. My main problem with the movie in general is the storyline itself. It reminds me a bit of A Clockwork Orange where a new language is introduced into a story and the audience is expected to follow along. Whereas A Clockwork Orange relied on visual imagery to tell its story which helped its narrative and its language, this film doesn't, so for the better part of the movie I spend my time trying to decipher what people are saying and trying to follow the story. I eventually got it, but it took some time, particularly with the quieter scenes where the dialogue is spoken internally and almost at a whisper. That aspect of it was a letdown, as was the ending, which was rather abrupt and unfulfilling. The filmmakers were signed on to make two more Dune films, but due to the lack of success at the box office, this never came to be, so we're left with an ending that never really wraps up this large scale story properly. Flaws aside, the film's execution and delivery is refreshing in a genre of mostly mediocre films. Had this film been made today, I think it would benefit from a modern and relevant storyline. As a sidenote (since I mentioned Blade Runner before), I guess I should mention that Ridley Scott was originally developing this project with the intention of directing it, but unfortunately before he could get it into production, his brother passed away suddenly, leaving him in remorse. So the project was given over to Dino De Laurentis who went on to develop it with David Lynch. As a consequence, Ridley made Blade Runner instead. It would have been interesting to see what Ridley would have done with this story, but then again, we wouldn't have Blade Runner, so everything happens for a reason.
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2009
Long, freaky, misunderstood, and grossly underrated.
Super Reviewer
½ May 30, 2007
I enjoyed the acting of the Atreidis. Paul, Leto and Jessica; they were portrayed quite well. However, at some points the movie just seemed kinda rushed, and even absurd and nonsensical at others. I understood Lynch's vision but I didn't like how it came out or at least many aspects of it. Also, it changes or misinterprets a lot from the actual book, this being a film adaptation and from what I've read and deduced, I think a film is just too short to properly portray the magnitude of the story of Dune. I recommend the two Sci-Fi channel mini-series, Dune and Children of Dune, to complement your viewing experience into what has been done in terms of motion pictures for the Dune saga.
Super Reviewer
September 27, 2008
Absolutely stunning. One of the best films going. A world almost more absorbing then Star Wars, for me. Poor ending and I felt the Harkonnen were too much like stereotypes, caricatures of themselves.
Super Reviewer
½ March 13, 2008
"I'll miss the sea, but a person needs new experiences. They jar something deep inside, allowing him to grow. Without change something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken."

Ok, so a lot of trivia is already known about this film. Ridley Scott was set to direct, but dropped out to direct Alien. H.R. Giger designed some of the production but dropped out, however, some of his ideas were still used. David Lynch passed on directing Return of the Jedi to direct Dune, and has since disowned the t.v. version and placed "Judas Booth" in credits as director. The film has its' flaws.

That said, I love Dune. The production sets, costumes, music and dreamlike quality come together to offer me something rare. It strays from the books quite a bit and the esoteric dialogue is a kind of bonus for some of those who've read them...not everyone who's read them.

Considered a failure in 1984, and today by some, this film had a lot to contend with after the Star Wars trilogy, Alien and Blade Runner set such a high precedent for sci-fi. A lot of sci-fi films offer a narrative that's so simple or one that's so complex that it's nonsensical. Dune demands the viewer make use of their intelligence.

Still one of the most engaging, sophisticated, complex science fiction films I've ever seen and probably ever will.
Super Reviewer
½ February 3, 2008
Slowest movie ever made. I swear this was filmed in slow motion, and the sets painted with bbq sauce. They all look as if they were rusted. Sting is actually fun to watch.
Super Reviewer
½ October 23, 2007
If you don't walk without rhythem, you won't attract the worm.
Super Reviewer
½ July 9, 2007
Dune is a rich and cramped telling of an epic story. There's great imagery, but I always get lost by the intricate plot.
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