Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to

Dune (1984)

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Long, convoluted, dated sci-fi epic has some cult appeal.

Movie PG-13 1984 137 minutes
Dune (1984) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 12+

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 13+

Great movie stands the test of time.

Great sci-fi classic movie. No swearing or sex but some violence and scary scenes would be too much for sensitive viewers. Effects were good for the era but some look a bit cheesy now, especially the giant worms but hey, they did a good job with what they had! The story is amazing and it comes through in the movie. Good movie adaptation.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (4 ):

Dune is mainly interesting as a curio in the career of brilliant, unique director David Lynch (The Elephant Man, Mulholland Drive). Fans may enjoy combing through the movie to find his special touches, but his detractors will argue that it's just more "weird for weird's sake." Unfortunately, anyone looking for a satisfying and coherent science fiction epic will have to look elsewhere. Lynch compressed the 500-page novel into an awkward 137-minute movie, resulting in an overuse onf terrible, expository dialogue and characters "thinking" out loud to explain their motivations. (A 177-minute version was assembled for television, but Lynch did not approve it and removed his name from it.)

However, fans of "bad" sci-fi movies may get some enjoyment out of the movie's odd visual effects, and the cheesy score by Toto and Brian Eno certainly has some majestic moments. The impressive ensemble cast may also provide some pleasures, including Patrick Stewart, Virginia Madsen as the narrator, Brad Dourif, pop star Sting, Max von Sydow, a very young Alicia Witt, and Jack Nance (the star of Lynch's Eraserhead).

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate