Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Review

The iconic fantasy tabletop RPG Dungeons & Dragons has been adapted to the big screen in the past, but none of the films based on the game have been well received. Now, with the release of Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, another attempt to capture the magic of the wildly popular game has been made. Is this new movie proof that tabletop games are perfect source material for films, or is it yet another failed attempt to profit off of something that many hold dear? Let’s roll for investigation to find out.

The Good

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves immerses audiences in an epic, fantastical world. The rules of the world are clearly understood without it ever being over-explained. Everything about this setting, from the characters and locations to the creatures and magic, feel real. It’s all like being transported to a new land for the duration of the film.

What helps the movie be so immersive are the spectacular visuals. The special effects, along with production design and costume design, are all excellent. Gelatinous Cubes, owlbears, displacer beasts, mimics, and more look lifelike. Each spell and fireball look absolutely incredible. With how perfect everything looks, and even sounds, it’s truly like physically being in a D&D campaign that came to life.

In true modern blockbuster fashion, this movie isn’t without its quips and one-liners. Those humorous moments, though, land pretty consistently. Most of the sarcastic jokes and visual gags are pretty funny and lead to some big laughs. When people sit around a table to play a game of D&D, it’s typical that they may joke around and have a good time, and that’s what it feels like here.

There’s also a surprising amount of heart and a rather dramatic storyline used throughout. Some moments are enough to bring tears to the audience’s eyes. Characters are given emotional backstories and there’s no shortage of heartfelt interactions between them. It gives the film stakes and the audience a reason to root for them throughout their adventure.

Each member of the main party receives the perfect amount of the spotlight and development. Like an actual game of D&D, the whole party are the protagonists and that feels like the case here. Seeing their arcs come full circle, like Edgin realizing his past mistakes or Simon embracing that he’s approached life differently than how his family would have wanted and gaining self-confidence, is truly satisfying. The film makes us care about these characters, so we’re happy to see them grow.

The action throughout the movie is exciting and well-choreographed. It’s difficult to not be entertained by Michelle Rodriguez’s Holga taking on a group of guards on her own or Sophia Lillis’s Doric shapeshifting into a variety of animals to escape a castle. Hand-to-hand combat, spells being cast, and blades coming into play all make the action wildly entertaining.

The filmmakers excel in creating a story that dives deep enough into D&D lore to make diehard fans happy while also being accessible enough that even the most casual moviegoers can be invested. There’s plenty of references and details for long-time players and DMs to get excited for, but the intriguing story and entertaining characters are perfect for anyone to enjoy.

The Bad

As entertaining as the action is, there’s a bit of a problem with how it’s approached. The main party doesn’t fight together as a group until the very end. Until then, the combat is either a single character battling foes while the others watch or the party simply running away from a threat. D&D typically features plenty of combat in which the players work together. It’s odd to see that represented so little here. On top of that, bards usually play songs and cast spells that give their fellow party members a boost, but Edgin never does that. He just smacks his enemy with his lute. It’s unclear just how effective a wooden lute is against a necromancer.

While most of the humor leads to some big laughs, there are moments when jokes feel like total misses. For instance, there’s a weirdly long bit about tea being too hot. It feels more awkward than funny. Part of it could be that’s just Forge’s personality, but it doesn’t take away from how strange it feels to focus on tea temperature for humor.


Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves truly feels like a group of friends sitting around a table and playing through their campaign, with that campaign being this film. There’s even a character that feels like an NPC that a DM is speaking through. The movie is great for both tabletop fans and newcomers. It’s emotional, hilarious, and action-packed. It’s just as fun as one would expect to have while playing a game. Hopefully this isn’t the last time we get to experience this immersive world on screen.

Rating: 9.5/10


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