Magazine November 29, 2021, Issue

Villeneuve’s Dune Is a Visually Striking Disappointment

Timothée Chalamet in Dune (Warner Bros. Pictures/Legendary Pictures)

For Denis Villeneuve’s Dune it is necessary to offer two reviews. The first is for normal moviegoers, the sort who are interested in epic science fiction without being committed Duniacs. What those normies need to know is that the new movie is a visual and aural triumph, a worthy exemplar of the space-opera sublime, with a plot stripped down and straightforward enough that you won’t get lost in the tangles of its universe, a few terrific performances, and a cast that generally looks really good against its epic desert backdrops.

Writing last issue without having seen the movie yet, I compared

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This article appears as “Sumptuous Space Opera” in the November 29, 2021, print edition of National Review.

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In This Issue


Politics & Policy

End Roe

In this special issue, we examine the legal arguments, the policy arguments, and the social arguments for finally ending the Roe era in America.

The Law

The Policy

The Social Impact

Books, Arts & Manners


Weird English

A review of Highly Irregular: Why Tough, Through, and Dough Don’t Rhyme — and Other Oddities of the English Language, by Arika Okrent.


The Week

The Week

Glenn Youngkin unlocked the secret to electoral success in a Virginia that hadn’t elected a Republican statewide in twelve years.


The Latest