Dune Movie Review Summary

Actors: Kyle McLaughlin

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Dune

In the year 10,191, following a prologue, we meet Paul Atreides, whose father is the powerful but moral leader, Duke Leto Atreides. His family moves from their watery planet, Calladan, to their extremely different new territory, Arrakis (Dune). There Paul is tested and given dire warnings by the priestess Helena Mohiam, and they face dangers from the Dune's previous occupants. These were the nefarious Harkonnens, who on their darkly industrial planet, Giedi Prime, plot the overthrow of the House Atreides. There Baron Vladimir and his nephews, Rabban and Feyd-Rautha, engage in repulsive vices.
Click here to see the rest of this review

The Atreides are overthrown by the treachery of their house doctor, Yuey, and the Harkonnens invade and defeat them utterly (secretly with the help of the Emperor). Leto Atreides is killed, but Paul and his mother Jessica escape from a shuttle into the desert. There they avoid an enormous sandworm and are accosted by a tribe of native desert people, the Fremen. They join the tribe.

Jessica takes a mind-altering drug, the water of life, which transforms her and her unborn daughter. Paul undergoes surreal, transcendent visions of becoming a leader of the desert people and leading them in a war across the galaxies. He also falls in love with Chani, the Fremen leader's daughter.

Paul and the Fremen undertake raids against the cruel Harkonnens. Paul finds two leaders to help him: Stilgar the Fremen and Gurney Halleck, his family's man-at-arms. To prove himself Paul also rides a sandworm and takes the water of life, changing himself into a super being who the Fremen begin to devote themselves to. The attacks by the Fremen stop production of the vital spice commodity on Dune. This spice, melange, is needed to induce a mental state for space navigator pilots and because of this the Navigator's Guild makes an ultimatum to the Emperor, Shaddam.

The Emperor and the Harkonnens attack the Atreides and the Fremen on Dune. The Atreides fight with the use of atomic weapons and mental weapons from the backs of their giant sandworms. Paul's sister, Alia, confronts Baron Harkonnen and Paul must survive a duel with Feyd-Rautha. This lengthy final battle section is for the prize of becoming Emperor of the known universe.
The review of this Movie prepared by Scott D.

Emperor Shaddam the Fourth has pitted the Barony of House Harkonnen and the Dukedom of House Atriedes against each other, generally aiding one side behind the other's back. With this policy in mind, the Emperor has handed Duke Leto Atriedes control of the desert planet Dune.

Unfortunately, Harkonnen forces soon storm Duke Atriedes' outpost. The Duke is captured in the battle, and his son and pregnant wife flee into the desert, where they are found and befriended by the natives, the Fremen, who hail Paul Atriedes as their religious leader, and the one who can free them of cruel Harkonnen rule.

Paul Atriedes teaches them revolutionary new ways of digging for water from sand, and as he trains the Fremen to ride the giant Sandworms, with which the Fremen attack the Harkonnen fortress on Dune.
The review of this Movie prepared by Steve Arthur

Dune is a dramatization of Frank Herbert's science fiction master Dune. It is a coming of age story of Paul Atreides, a young nobleman with special mental powers, who becomes the focal point of a powerplay between rival houses in an empire 10,000 years in the future.
The review of this Movie prepared by Sincerae Smith

Dune is a story of feuding fiefs, political machinations, a single commodity economy, Eugenics, guerrila warfare, and a boy's rushed coming of age.

I give David Lynch credit for attempting to bring such a complex and compelling novel to the screen. Visually, Lynch's Dune is sumptuous. The Imperial Court is art deco a la the year 10191. The other sets and most of the costumes are very good. The casting and performances are mostly excellent with the unfortunate exceptions of Kyle MacLachlan's portrayal of the lead character, Paul Atreides (aka Paul Muad'Dib) and the regrettable Sean Young's casting as his consort, Chani.

Overall, the movie is a bit disjointed. Those that are not familiar with the book are likely to come away scratching their heads. Lynch had no choice but to leave out many of the details to fit within his budget and time constraints. However, he makes some suspect choices. There is no mention in the movie that the hated Baron Harkonnen is the protagonist's grandfather, for example. I also take issue with Lynch's interpretation of the Baron. In this movie, he comes across as a borderline psychotic. This charicature of evil detracts from the menace of the Baron. Lynch painted him as a Hitler when he is in fact more of a Machiavelli.

The movie is decent and certainly better than the miniseries of last year but it does not do justice to the book.
The review of this Movie prepared by Greg Careaga

Paul Atreides moves to the planet Arakis, Dune, when control of it is given to his father, Duke Leto Atreides. It was formerly controlled by the Baron Harkonin, who has left unwillingly and plans to take Dune back, for it is the only planet that produces the priceless spice Melange, without which space travel is impossible. When the Baron Harkonin takes back Dune and murders Duke Leto Atreides, Paul escapes into the vast deserts of Dune, where he joins the Fremen, a group of dessert dwellers who believe Paul is will fulfill an ancient prophecy. With the help of the Fremen woman, Chani, Paul comes to realize that he has previously unknown powers of sight into the future.
The review of this Movie prepared by Rebecca Davis

Complex story (first in a series of books) reflecting the politics of power if it needs to be put in a nutshell. Paul Atreides, the main character is an unsuspecting vehicle of tremendous mental and metaphysical power through the manipulation of his genetic history by a group of female adepts. In his mid to late teens, Paul begins to discover his inherited gifts and the benefits of his special training...just when his family is uprooted to a barren planet called Arakis...the desert planet. Thus opens the story of how this young nobleman grows into a powerful leader of a repressed native population.
The review of this Movie prepared by Pauline

Young Paul goes to the worm planet, where his family is betrayed. Forced to flee into the desert, he picks up a hot girlfriend, blue contact lenses, and an army of fanatics to overthrow a bunch of aristocrats with bad Yugoslav accents. Best scene: watching the dreaded Sarticar, the Emperor's bodyguard, in their fluffy black chef hats.
The review of this Movie prepared by steve

Script Analysis of Dune

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Actual chase scenes or violence 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzle 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40% **Fantasy or Science Fiction?**    -   science fiction story Coming of age    -   Yes he'll/she'll become:    -   a powerful magician/mental powers person Powerplays    -   Yes Plotlets:    -   overthrowing bad govt (sci-fi)/claiming throne (fantasy) magical being/mental/magical powers    -   Yes Inner Struggle    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   coping with special powers/seeking enlightenment War and Invasion    -   Yes Major kinds of combat:    -   laser battles

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   Prince/Nobleman/King Age:    -   a teen Has special powers?    -   Yes Magical/mental powers of main character:    -   can read emotions    -   mind reading    -   can see into the future    -   is very quick Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


A substantial portion of this movie takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:    -   humans in a primitive/fantasy society    -   primative aliens    -   empty, or nearly empty world    -   big overbuilt futuristic city    -   very controlled society    -   spacesuit needed on surface Planet outside our solar system?    -   Yes Desert?    -   Yes Misc settings    -   fort/castle    -   mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   very explicit references to deaths and torture Sex/nudity in movie?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vauge references only Kinds of F/X    -   exploding bombs    -   exploding spaceships    -   exotic spaceships    -   exotic aliens    -   exotic big cities    -   exotic alien landscape Is this movie based on a    -   book

Movies with storylines, themes & endings like Dune

Dune Message Board (click here)
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian