All 3 Dune Movies Ranked from Worst to Best, including Dune Part Two

A comprehensive list of the Dune movies ranked, including the films from David Lynch and Denis Villeneuve

timothee chalamet dune part two movie film 2024
Timothée Chalamet in Dune Part Two (2024)

There’s a chance we don’t see Dune: Part Three for quite some time. Rumor has it that Denis Villeneuve is *close* to putting his finishing touches on the script, but it may be another 5-6 years before the production comes to fruition. So, with all franchises that are essentially in limbo for the foreseeable future, time to rank the Dune movies!

I’ll firmly stake my claim that all three Dune movies are good. The two Denis Villeneuve movies don’t need much backing from me; they are wildly successful both critically and commercially (soon for the sake of Dune: Part Two when we get the box office report) and are two of the more expansive science fiction epics this century.

The David Lynch version of Dune, however, surely has its detractors. It does feel like there’s been a resurgence for the film in recent years, reclaiming it as an interesting, adventurous, and singular adaptation of the source material. I think it’s a fascinating dissection of the filmmaker’s style, and I’m glad we got at least one David Lynch film set inside of IP just for the sake of curiosity.

I wasn’t all too familiar with the Dune source text before Denis Villeneuve came along and claimed it for filmmaking purposes, and I’m glad to be acquainted with it now. It’s acidic and pulpy at times, and rather dense and allegoric at others. There’s a lot of meat on the bone, and it seems that Villeneuve is just scratching the surface.

But that’s a conversation for another day when (hopefully) Dune: Part Three hits theaters. For now, here’s how I’d rank the Dune movies:

3. Dune (1984) – Directed by David Lynch

dune 1984 movie david lynch

David Lynch’s Dune sure is a peculiar one, isn’t it? I’m glad I first watched it given the context of Denis Villeneuve’s version decades later because that feels like a more crystalized and straightforward version of the (first half) of the story. The world feels more natural and synthesized with the characters, the performances feel less quippy and ridiculous, and the overall hold over the story is way more prevalent in the 2021 version.

But that’s not to say that Lynch’s rendition of Frank Herbert’s novel is overwhelmingly a bad attempt, rather a movie that was way ahead of its time and an uphill battle to begin with. David Lynch was originally eyed to direct The Return of the Jedi before the first movie in the Dune franchise, and I’m glad he only made the latter because pushing the Lynchian style through the Star Wars engine would’ve been too distinct for its own good. With Dune, he has a chance to build a world from the ground up, completely putting together sets and camera shots that fit both the original text and Lynch’s sensibilities. Dune (1984) review

2. Dune Part One (2021) – Directed by Denis Villeneuve

dune movie 2021 denis villeneuve

Denis Villeneuve’s Dune is an ambitious and visually stunning sci-fi epic that successfully brings Frank Herbert’s classic novel to the big screen. With a star-studded cast led by Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, and Zendaya, this film is a must-see for fans of the genre and those looking for a thrilling cinematic experience. Dune Part One review

1. Dune Par Two (2024) – Directed by Denis Villeneuve

dune part two movie 2024

There’s nothing like Dune: Part Two, which feels like it could only be conceived by Denis Villeneuve and the best crew around him possible. Everyone is working at the top of their game to create one of the best theatergoing experiences of 2024. Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya star in the science fiction movie that stands against the genre’s best. Dune Part Two review

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