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By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Lots of fighting in vivid but long sci-fi adaptation.

Movie PG-13 2021 155 minutes
Dune Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 25 parent reviews

age 16+

Spiritually Dark

I really wanted to like this movie because it had good reviews and friends said they liked it, but my husband and I had to walk out after a while. In terms of sy-fy, the plot line is cool. But, I felt increasingly uncomfortable with the dark themes like human sacrifice, witches, etc. I would not take a kid to this. It's pretty tough to compare this movie to star wars, because dune just had a spiritual and disturbing edge to it.
age 13+

Jaw-dropping prologue has intense violence

Dune (2021) is a beautiful film following a dystopian world and its inhabitants relying on “the spice” the universes most important substance and natural resource crucial for space travel. Throughout, expect knife violence which can get bloody at times. VIOLENCE: MODERATE Throughout the film, countless soldiers are killed with knifes and swords in intense sequences, this consists of mostly throat slitting and stabbing. At the beginning, violence in minimal with only one onscreen stabbing to the side, the middle of the film depicts intense battle scenes where soldiers slice each other’s throat, stab each other and punch each other, showing some instances of blood spray. The aftermath of killings usually shows blood covered knifes, hands and faces, and blood commonly sprays about on faces. The third and final act also shows plenty of throat slittings, stabbing a with swords and other weapons. In certain scenes knifes and swords are shown stabbed all the way through chests with lots of blood on blades and bodies, a particularly violent scene shows a character lunging over soldiers as he slices their throats and bodies. Most of the combat shows visible “shields” which create red areas when people are stabbed. This covers up lots of blood but doesn’t completely remove it. This is the most blatantly violent and bloody PG-13 film released in the 21st century in my opinion, as all stabbings and deaths are onscreen with visible injury. A room filled with dead men is shown. Blood is shown pooled and splattered all over the walls and their corpses, bloody knives and stab wounds are clearly visible. The killings are later shown onscreen. On several occasions, bodies are shown being graphically burned in a large pile, causing all bodies to be tarred and black, fingers are shown missing from them as all are shown up in flames. Most shots are up-close and in your face, while others show the entire fire with all of the corpses on it. A man, despite being stabbed and slashed countless times, continues to stab and kill his enemies while stumbling around before dying. A scene depicts soldiers implied with spears and blades. A man who is drugged and naked bites down on a bladed tooth causing poison to spread around the room killing most surrounding men. Later, we see one man with his eyes missing. A lady commands soldiers on a ship to kill each other. They are shown slitting each other’s throats, beating each other in and stabbing each other with some visible blood. Although this film is bloody and violent fir a PG-13 film, it shouldn’t be an issue for teens who have seen soft R films and other moderate violence in video games. The throat slittings and kills only show brief glances of blood and nothing too extreme, as all violence is shown in intense, fast moving sequences. LANGUAGE: MILD A use of “sh*t” and some use of “damn”, “hell” and “ass” DRUG CONTENT: MILD The film revolves around a fictional substance called “the spice” however this isn’t depicted as a drug and more as a natural resources . Characters exposed to “the spice” have blue eyes. The point of the substance is to help with space travel, and not for recreational use. SEXUAL CONTENT: NONE A man is shown fully nude lying on a chair, however his crotch is cleverly hidden by objects and people around him. This isn’t sexual or graphic as this as used primarily as a form of humiliation. A man is nude in a sauna type area shown from the waist up in a completely non-sexual manner. All nudity is hidden, however we see a few shirtless men. Rape is briefly mentioned in dialogue according to online, however I never heard this. The film is clean of sexual content. OVERALL: 13+ for strong violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (25 ):
Kids say (87 ):

In this first of two Dune movies, director Denis Villeneuve smooths out the most cumbersome parts of Frank Herbert's original tale, providing enough spectacle to overcome the dull bits. With echoes of his earlier films Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, Villeneuve brings a languid moodiness to the storytelling here, slowing things down and allowing viewers time to take in the vast sets (built broad and low to fit the widescreen frame) and devices -- like the amazing, if impractical, ships modeled after dragonflies -- and to keep track of the story's innumerable characters. This rhythm builds to the tale's memorable, invigorating highlights -- such as Paul dodging a life-threatening hunter-seeker or enduring the painful gom jabbar test, or the first appearance of the massive sandworms -- and makes them feel extra vivid.

The movie even manages to soften the old, tired "chosen one" device, as well as the simplistic plot strands that are covered up by heaps of sci-fi names (how do you pronounce "Thufir Hawat" anyway?), places, and devices, making things flow more organically. It's even possible to remember that the original novel, published in 1965, actually inspired much that came after it, including Star Wars and The Matrix. Villeneuve can't quite downplay the source material's choking seriousness, but there are lighter moments. Skarsgard's Baron is a highlight; he's so grotesque that you can't look away. And then there's a swaggering Jason Momoa as swordmaster Duncan, who seems to be the only one having any fun. As with Blade Runner 2049, Dune goes on too long, with too many scenes of fighting, and this version lacks the quirky personality of the 1984 David Lynch take, but it's far more rousing.

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