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Is Dune 2 OK For Kids To Watch? A Parent's Guide

Contains spoilers for "Dune: Part Two"

Critics are united in their praise for "Dune: Part Two." Given that, and its cast featuring some of the best young stars in Hollywood today, like Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Florence Pugh, and Austin Butler, kids have reasons for wanting to see what the hype is about. The Motion Picture Association has rated the film PG-13 for "strong violence, some suggestive material and brief strong language." But could kids younger than 13 enjoy "Dune: Part Two?"

It's up to parents to know what their children can handle, but the film is probably on par with the first installment. There's a good amount of violence this time around, particularly in the scenes involving Feyd-Rautha (Butler). He's a brutal combatant, and at one point, he slits the throat of a woman and stabs another seemingly out of nowhere. The whole movie leads up to a holy war, so there are ample explosions and talks of annihilating opponents with atomic warheads. It may be a bit intense for some. 

The profanity is fairly mild; Paul Atreides (Chalamet) says "s***" at one point. Outside of kissing, there's not really any sexual content. Starting the recommended age range at 13 is probably a wise decision. If nothing else, the plot for "Dune: Part Two" may be too unwieldy for younger viewers. Even adults may find themselves in the weeds a bit. 

Dune 2 has mature themes younger kids may not fully appreciate

Young children are a lot smarter than people tend to give them credit for. Still, Frank Herbert's "Dune" is a tome of heady sci-fi concepts and mature themes that aren't for the faint of heart. It's not like "Star Wars," where a movie may be rated PG-13, but kids who are 10 or 11 can still follow the plot and know what the movie's trying to say. "Dune: Part Two" is another beast entirely, with interplanetary politics and mystical sensibilities where it can be difficult to decipher what's transpiring at times. 

That's not even getting into the mature themes. "Dune: Part Two" deals heavily with religious fanaticism and how those in power use religion to control the masses. It's a common theme in the book, and the movie doubles down on it by showing Paul's descent from wanting to avoid becoming the messiah of the Fremen to accepting his role wholeheartedly. His mother, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), works underhandedly behind the scenes to see that Paul rises to power. Parents raising their kids in religious households may not necessarily appreciate the movie instilling such a message to viewers. 

PG-13 is an appropriate rating for "Dune: Part Two." It may be best to leave anyone much younger at home, as they may not even really take in what the movie has to say. However, "Dune: Part One" and "Part Two" can serve as a solid introduction to more mature science fiction and make teenagers curious as to what else is out there. For anyone 13 years old and up, "Dune 2" is absolutely worth seeing when it arrives in theaters on March 1.