Dune age rating: Is it suitable for children?

Dune age rating: Is it suitable for children?

Since the first trailer dropped late last year, Dune has been one of the most talked-about films in the world, attracting comparisons to the likes of Lord of the Rings and Star Wars (the latter of which it actually pre-dates).

With this in mind, it’s no surprise that movie buffs of all ages are keen to see the film, although some parents are understandably concerned that it may contain content inappropriate for their child.

Set on a desert planet called Arrakis, Dune follows the Atreides family as they move in to manage production of a substance called spice, only to find themselves caught in a deadly trap that could very well destroy them.

Early reviews for the sci-fi epic have been largely very positive, with particular praise going to the all-star cast and stunning visuals from visionary director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049).

If you would like help deciding whether Dune is suitable for your family cinema trip, read on for more information about the content of the blockbuster.

Dune age rating

In the UK, the BBFC has given Dune a 12A certificate, meaning no one younger than 12 may see the film in cinemas unless accompanied by an adult.

In relation to Dune specifically, this rating has been assigned as the film contains “moderate threat, violence and bloody images”, which is something parents should consider when deciding whether to bring their child.

In the United States, the film has received a similar verdict from the MPAA, which classifies it as PG-13, warning that some material in the film may be in appropriate for children under the age of 13.

The MPAA came to this conclusion after seeing that the film features “sequences of strong violence, some disturbing images and suggestive material”.

Notably, most mainstream blockbusters released in the United States are given a PG-13 certificate, including the Avengers films and the most recent Star Wars trilogy.

Is Dune suitable for children?

Jason Momoa plays Duncan Idaho in Dune

Warner Bros

Parents unfamiliar with the Dune novels should be aware that the film does contain some violent scenes, with several characters fighting with sharp blades.

That said, the film is very light on gore, with the “bloody images” mentioned in the BBFC certification being as graphic as the film ever gets in this regard.

The film’s primary villain is Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (played by Stellan Skarsgård), who is dressed up in elaborate prosthetics that may make his appearance frightening to younger viewers.

There is no sexual content in the film although at one point a male character does appear naked, but only the top half of their body is visible so it is not graphic nudity.

It’s also worth noting that Dune is not a blockbuster filled with non-stop action, as it also contains complex themes relating to cultural norms, prophecy and colonialism which might be difficult for young children to understand.

Dune is released in UK cinemas on Thursday 21st October. Check out more of our Film and Sci-Fi coverage, or visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight. 

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