“He who controls the spice, controls the universe”
Dune is essentially the first part of the epic must-read sci-fi novel from Frank Hubert. ‘Villeneuve’s movie is a slow paced, epic and beautifully shot picture and easily one of 2021’s best mainstream titles.
If you’ve finished watching this one, you may be itching for more of the same. Well, fret not! We’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle with our top 10 picks.
Of course for all the movies we’ve reviewed, we’ve also added a handy link so you can check out our full review.
So without further ado, we present 10 movies to check out when you’ve finished watching Dune!
Arrival is a cleverly written, thought provoking sci-fi flick that takes a relatively subdued approach at what would happen if aliens landed on Earth.
Instead of explosions and bombastic action like Independence Day or Armageddon, Arrival instead plays out as a character-driven examination, with language expert Louise Banks in the driving seat.
The story begins when she’s recruited by the US government to investigate strange egg-shaped objects which have appeared across the globe.
As the movie progresses, we catch glimpses of these alien entities, with Louise doing her utmost to try and communicate with them. What do they want? Why are they here? And are they actually hostile?
This movie is a real modern classic, with a moody atmosphere and an engrossing story to boot.
2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey is a classic sci-fi tale but also one that’s pretty polarizing. It’s a movie that certainly takes its sweet time to tell its story, with long, drawn-out shots used to really exemplify the technicality that’s gone into making this film.
When it comes to a classic tale set in space armed with ideas about the unknown and AI, 2001: A Space Odyssey definitely fits the bill. The story itself revolves around a mysterious artifact buried beneath the Lunar surface. Determined to find out what this means, humanity is joined by the intelligent supercomputer H.AL. 9000 to investigate further. Of course, things don’t go according to plan.
Mysterious, moody and at times unintentionally mundane, 2001: A Space Odyssey is like none other.
Cloud Atlas weighs in at nearly 3 hours and it’s one of those movies that consistently impresses. It’s not a particularly easy movie to follow in its entirety, with 6 different timelines and a pretty convoluted story to boot. However, it’s unlike many other films out there.
The story is difficult to explain but essentially consistent of different stories that all occur at many different times in history, both the past and distant future. Instead of being told in sequence, the film obfuscates its plot by interlacing them throughout the film.
This originality serves Cloud Atlas well and much like Dune, this is a movie that the big screen could really do with more of. In a sea of remakes, prequels, sequels and re-releases, Cloud Atlas delivers something wholly unique.
Blade Runner is a quintessential sci-fi thriller and one that still holds up to this day. Straight from the mind of Ridley Scott, this gorgeous picture presents a dystopian 2019 vision of Los Angeles, complete with towering skyscrapers and synthetic humanoids.
At the center of this is grizzled former Blade Runner, Rick Deckard. He’s called out of retirement when four rogue replicants steal a spaceship and illegally enter Earth to find their creator, Dr Eldon Tyrell.
This essentially sees Deckard tasked with tracking down and “retiring” these dangerous androids.
Blade Runner is an amazing film, one that dives into deep, philosophical questions while boasting a solid story to back it up.
Lawrence Of Arabia
If you’re looking for more desert-dwelling storytelling, look no further than Lawrence of Arabia. Released back in 1962, this is a brilliant epic and an absolute must-watch for fans of Dune.
The story itself tells the tale of T.E. Lawrence, an English officer who successfully unites and leads the diverse and warring Arab tribes during World War I. Their enemies are the Turks, whom Lawrence prepares to face.
Well-written, beautifully shot and arguably one of the best desert movies released, Lawrence Of Arabia should definitely be on your watch-list.
Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
When it comes to epic stories on the big screen, few come close to the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. With all three movies filmed together in New Zealand, Peter Jackson brings Tolkien’s grandiose fantasy vision to life in the best possible way.
While the first story only begins the tale, it sets the scene for the rest of the trilogy to play out. Within this, a meek hobbit from a peaceful Shire called Frodo sets out with eight companions. Together, they embark on an epic quest to destroy the all-powerful One Ring and save Middle Earth from the evil Sauron and his minions.
Complex characters, warring factions and a breathtaking treat of sweeping vistas; Fellowship of the Ring is fantasy at its absolute best.
When it comes to movies like Dune, nowhere else are you going to find something similar than the 1984 movie adaptation. Directed by David Lynch, this movie is a beautiful mess and next to the 2021 picture, doesn’t quite hold up. However, it’s still worth a watch.
The story is virtually the same though, with prophecies starting to come true as a Duke’s son leads desert warriors against the galactic empire. It’s up to Paul to free the desert world and unite the people in this plight, but all is not what it seems…
Weird and an undeniable visual treat, this sci-fi flick is not one you’re likely to forget in a hurry.
Star Wars: A New Hope
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, before the sand hating prequels and the sequel Mary Sues, came a story that changed the face of science fiction forever. Taking the archetypal ‘Heroes Journey’ format, George Lucas penned Star Wars, a story about an epic battle between good and evil.
For those who have been living under a rock since 1977, A New Hope is the first movie in the Star Wars trilogy and sees a teenage boy called Luke Skywalker whisked away on an adventure of a lifetime, with a fabled Jedi Knight called Ben Obi Wan Kenobi and a colourful ensemble of characters.
A New Hope is essentially the classic adventure trope of good VS evil – just like Dune – but instead of politics and a slow pace, A New Hope leans into its action.
Children of Men
Children Of Men features one of the greatest openings to any movie in history. This explosive start is followed by a solid screenplay and one of 2006’s best films.
The post apocalyptic story takes place in an alternate future in 2027. Women have somehow become infertile and to make matters worse, the world’s youngest person has just died. With humanity on the brink of extinction, it’s up to a former activist called Theo Faron to try and change humanity’s fortunes.
This fortune comes in the form of a miraculously pregnant woman whom he’s tasked with transporting to a sanctuary at sea, away from the chaos and anarchy gripping the streets.
Some gorgeous cinematography and a couple of incredibly tense sequences help make Children Of Men one of the more definitive post-apocalyptic stories.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is a beautiful animated movie and arguably one of Ghibli’s most visually striking projects. The scale is epic, the characters well-written and the visuals beautifully composed.
The story takes place in the future, with Earth decimated by the “Seven Days Of Fire.” Humanity is holding on desperately, reduced to small groups thanks to the spread of toxic jungles full of poisonous spores. At the center of this conflict lies Princess Nausicaa, who tries to understand the jungle rather than fight it.
With two factions on the verge of all-out war, it falls to Princess Nausicaa to try and save the day before it’s too late. Another underrated gem, Valley of the Wind is a wonderful movie.
So there we have it, our 10 Movie picks to keep you busy after watching Dune on HBO Max or (preferably) on the big screen!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!