Movie review: ‘Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves’ is a delightful romp

If you are a diehard, veteran dungeon master with countless Dungeons & Dragons campaigns under your belt, the new D&D movie Honor Among Thieves is definitely for you.

However,  if you just played a couple of rounds of D&D back in college, good news – Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is also for you!

And, if you have only a passing pop cultural knowledge of D&D or just enjoy fantasy adventure films in general, Honor Among Thieves is for you too!

The magical thing about Honor Among Thieves is that even though it has plenty of Easter eggs for long-time fans of the classic tabletop roleplaying game, it’s also a delightful romp for general audiences. 

I love superhero movies. I love sci-fi. But lately, I’ve had a hunger for more live action fantasy. Maybe it was sparked by Netflix’s recent Shadow and Bone series or the Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon. Whatever it is, I just really want to see swords and magic and dragons and epic battles with knights in armor, and Honor Among Thieves definitely delivers. 

If you’ve listened to the ESO podcast for a while, you have probably heard me wax poetic about my love for Chris Pine – my favorite of the many Hollywood Chrises, and, perhaps, the most underrated. He’s both charming and funny in this film, the perfect anchor for this cast of misfit heroes. 

Michelle Rodriguez also is wonderful as take-no-prisoners warrior Holga (the party “barbarian,” for my fellow D&D fans). She and Pine played so well off each other, and I loved every moment they had on screen together, from an action-packed and hilarious prison escape in the film’s opening to the final arena showdown. 

Also a shout-out to the Duke of Hastings himself, Regé-Jean Page, best known for his role on Netflix’s Bridgerton series, as the noble knight (a.k.a. paladin). My one complaint about this film is that he wasn’t in the movie as much as I thought he’d be. He provides a nice contrasting element of stoicism to balance out the more chaotic personalities in the gang.

The cinematography in this movie is truly breathtaking, the perfect blend of special effects and practical sets. I actually went back to see this movie a second time, just so I could see it in IMAX, and it’s worth the splurge. It makes good use of its budget, a relatively modest $150 million compared to other Hollywood blockbusters. 

If you’re in the mood for some swashbuckling fun, Honor Among Thieves is the perfect film. It’s not necessarily packed with deeper themes or nuanced issues that will keep you thinking long after you’ve left the theater, but not every movie needs to be that. Sometimes, you just want to go on a fun adventure, and that’s exactly what Honor Among Thieves is. 

I hope that positive word of mouth continues to propel this movie forward at the box office, because I’d really like to see more stories set in this universe. I’d like to see these same characters again, but I’d also love to meet some new ones (there are plenty of character classes within the D&D universe yet to explore). I wouldn’t mind a TV series, either.

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