Denis Villeneuve does not make poor decisions. Working closely with what they call “the Herbert team,” (who had much influence but no approval) Dune producers — at this nadir of worldwide illiteracy — took a story and told it in a way everyone could understand. Impeccably cast, it’s hard to imagine anyone else in their roles. Villeneuve’s love of Brutalist design — explored in his delightful Blade Runner 2049 — seem to fit almost too perfectly with the novel, and watching it expertly production designed is a gift. A major leap was writing crystalline dialog to clarify a story long-regarded as impossible to tell on a screen of any size. So there you have it. A review I would rather be right about than wrong.

Dune fight

Paul Atreides knows he must leave his old self behind as he prepares for a new adventure on Arakis.

But while I’m at it:

An irritating thing about instant criticism is that it’s purveyors have no clue how any film will be regarded in coming years, let alone generations. Had we taken critics at their word, we would never have bothered with “It’s a Wonderful Life” to “2001 A Space Oddity,” and other classics dismissed as pap like “Apocalypse Now,” “Alien,” and “The Shining.”

It’s going to take guts for any critic in the third decade of the millennium to tell their readers, “You know, I don’t know how I feel about this movie right now. I watched it once, I liked it enough to watch it again, but I’m not yet comfortable passing judgement. Decide for yourself.” This would be my equivalent of a ten-star review. Someone who thinks their immediate words might just be secondary to the amount of work that went into the film itself.