The first 'Dune' reviews are up. Here's what critics have to say.

Denis Villeneuve's Dune was screened at the 2021 Venice Film Festival, where it was pushed back a year after its original premiere date in 2020.
Many praised the movie's enormous scale and beauty as inspiring and brilliant. Others criticized it as the first of a two-part series that ended just as things were getting interesting. Dune, a movie as big and anticipated as it is, has been called "unfilmable" by many people. There will be many critical opinions about the film, with more to come closer towards the Oct. 2021 premiere.

Here are the opinions of critics about Dune.

Smarter sci-fi

The Guardian, Xanbrooks

Denis Villeneuve's fantasy epic shows us that big-budget spectacles don't have to be stupid or hyperactive. It is possible to allow for the occasional quiet passage among the chaos...Dune is dense and moody, and often quite sublime.

IGN , Scott Collura

Villeneuve is a master at bringing new life to tried-and-true scifi concepts.

A faithful adaptation

Roger Ebert, Glenn Kenney

It's an understatement to say that I haven't admired Villeneuve's previous films. But I cant deny that hes made a more-than-satisfactory movie of the book. Two-thirds, actually.

Empire, Ben Travis

For science-fiction lovers, particularly those who long-worshipped Frank Herbert's dense tome, and have waited decades for it on the big screen in a more successful version than other filmmakers, there is no doubt Villeneuves Dune will be the adaptation they have always longed for.

An abrupt ending

IGN, Scott Collura

Villeneuve has shown himself to be an expert in the art of sci-fi. The film's visuals and sound are outstanding. The movie's last half is a bit too sloppy and distracts from its beauty.

Indiewire, David Ehrlich

Dune is a nightmare in the sense that it ends on a note that is so unresolved and flat that it's hard to believe that anyone would choose it.

The LA Times, Justin Chang

The pleasure of watching the game of thrones unfold is greater than the depth or meaning of the film, even though it comes to an abrupt and unsatisfying halt halfway through Herberts novel.

High entry requirements

Vanity Fair, Richard Lawson

Dune is so aloof and uninviting in his self-seriousness, it's hard to love him, or even to celebrate his tentpole authorship. Dune fails to provide us with something to root for, feel for, or consider for more than the length of the film.

The Guardian, Xanbrooks

This is his world, rich in myth and mystery, without any narrative signs or much in the way if exposition.

It is powerful and it is overwhelming

CNET, Richard Trenholm

Villeneuve has created a vivid, detailed, and evocative Dune version. It is full of striking imagery. It is utterly and winningly bizarre.

The LA Times, Justin Chang

It's hard to deny that there is something thrilling about being swept up in this movie's great squalls, spices, and interplanetary intrigue. The film has a level so powerful in its dust-choked aridity, you might want to tighten your mask a bit more in the theater.

EW, Leah Greenblatt

Villeneuve's adaptation of Frank Herbert's 1965 classic novel is in fact exactly what widescreens were meant for: a rich, lofty experience that's so overwhelming, it begs to see big or not.

Dune premieres on HBO Max and in theaters October 22.