Reviews of Dungeons & Dragons; Honour Among Thieves by actual D&D players
A charming thief and a band of unlikely adventurers embark on an epic quest to retrieve a long lost relic, but their charming adventure goes dangerously awry when they run afoul of the wrong people.
Luke - DM, Occasional Player, Dog Whisperer
Having played tabletop roleplaying games since the 90s, I will be honest and say I didn’t hold a lot of hope for the new movie. I was...apprehensive. I was honest enough with myself to accept that previous interations of D&D weren't particularly good nor great advertisements for D&D or the roleplaying genre in general. However, I held out hope that some day D&D would have justice done to it on the big screen. I just wasn't sure if it was going to be a Chris Pine lead adventure.
I needn’t have worried. The new D&D movie is an absolute romp and delight. Warm, heartfelt, funny, accessible, and true to the source material in a way I never thought could be done. It's an amazing comedic adventure movie on it's own that doesn't require the watcher to have an understanding of D&D, while giving fans AH-HAH moments and easter eggs to delight them.
It felt like the adventures we’ve experienced while playing with friends. The funny moments, stupid names or ridiculous ideas for monsters that we come up with; the hilarious fighting scenarios and even more hilarious relationships between player characters; the stupid use of spells that somehow achieve the outcome you want; and it even has that overpowered NPC your DM throws in because you’re all too low level and weak to actually do the part of the quest to finish it. There is a scene where the party must interrogate a deadman with the Speak With Dead spell and the outcome is laughably accurate.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t areas it could have done better. For instance, the relationship between Chris Pine's character, Edgin and Michelle Rodrigues' Holga feels realised, but the relationships between the other characters feels at times forced and shallow. The big bad(s) is one-dimensional and without any real motivation other than – EVIL, MUST DO EVILS. And the movie missed some golden opportunities; such as having a shopping session, or Critical Role cameos (which was confirmed recently by Matt as not having happened.)
But overall those are only small, niggling bits that really don’t detract from the adventure and storytelling experience. The movie hits so many other notes that it’s impossible not to like it. The characters are loveable, relatable losers with faults and flaws – just like us players. In fact it’s really not hard to envision these being characters someone rolled up and then made a script for a movie based on them.
Also, an interesting fact is that the directors actually made the cast play D&D and ran them through a campaign. I genuinely believe that comes through in the movie and to it's benefit. The cast understand timing and interactions between players, monsters, and situations on a visceral level that I just didn’t think would be possible if someone hadn’t played the game.
To sum up, this movie is 100% worth your time and I hope will cause a revolution in the tabletop gaming industry. And you know what? I’m here for it.
I give it a 4/5
Szymon Dabrowski - DM & player
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is everything I wanted this movie to be. When I first learned that Paramount Pictures and Entertainment One were going to make a Dungeon & Dragons (D&D) movie I was happy, if somewhat concerned. My biggest fear was that they would try to make a movie full of fun service to suit fans of the franchise and not focus on making a good movie on its own right. After watching it, with full honesty, I can say: I was worried for no reason.
If you know nothing about D&D, Forgotten Realms or role-playing games in general, you will still end up watching a very good movie filled with action, comedy but also heart-breaking moments, good character development and very good CGI. Honor Among Thieves has everything to call itself a very good adventure movie. It made me laugh at very-well placed comedic situations, sit in complete silence while watching a group of friends fighting for what they believe in, cheer with them when they succeeded, and cry when they didn’t.
If you are familiar with D&D, while watching this movie, you will find everything I have written above and in addition to that, you will discover many easter eggs. I even caught myself naming spells in my head that characters were casting! Class features, monsters, locations and even NPCs were smoothly interwoven into the whole story. Watching characters trying to complete their goals just to fail and try again felt like sitting in my DM seat and watching my players do the same thing.
Making a movie with so many references and yet doing it so tastefully is something I truly appreciate. I will happily go and watch it again with both my friends, who are big fans of D&D, and my relatives, who are not. Who knows? Maybe watching movie this fun will finally convince them to give Dungeons and Dragons a shot?
I give it 4.5/5