(1984)

Critic Reviews

40

Metascore

Based on 17 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
75
While it's hardly a cohesive experience, individual scenes are brought to life with striking power.
70
For all its cumbersome scope (realized on a shimmeringly large scale by Lawrence of Arabia cinematographer Freddie Francis), the film remains an intensely personal epic, Lynch's uncommon emphasis on characters rather than effects lending his exposition a rather remarkable lucidity.
70
Time Out
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.
60
Empire
A most fascinating disaster of genre making.
60
Dune is a huge, hollow, imaginative and cold sci-fi epic. Visually unique and teeming with incident, David Lynch's film holds the interest due to its abundant surface attractions but won't, of its own accord, create the sort of fanaticism which has made Frank Herbert's 1965 novel one of the all-time favorites in its genre.
50
DUNE is visually delightful but choppy, confusing, and overloaded with exposition. Moreover, most of the thematic material that made the novel work--subtexts involving incestuous desire, capitalism vs. environmentalism, and Middle East politics--is simply missing.
40
Washington Post
How maddening Dune is! As you would expect from visionary director David Lynch, it is a movie of often staggering visual power, the most ambitious science fiction film since "2001"; it's also stupefyingly dull and disorderly. Dune doesn't get going till fully two hours have elapsed, so only the most patient will wait for the images to build to their crescendo. Lax in its storytelling, Dune gives us sublimity unmoored.
40
The problem is that the imagery—as Sadean as Pasolini's Salo—isn't rooted in any story impulse, and so its power dissipates quickly. The real venue for this film is either a grind house or the Whitney Museum.
30
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.
25
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.

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