DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES (2023) – Fun Fantasy Full of Humor and Adventure

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES (2023) is a fun movie that is enjoyable even if you don’t know anything about the famous role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. Players of the game will probably appreciate it more, but in terms of audience satisfaction, this one delivers whether you’re a player or not.

To be honest, I really wasn’t all that interested in seeing DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES, as high fantasy really isn’t a genre I enjoy all that much. But the trailers for this one looked pretty darn funny, and writer/directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein have a proven track record, as they wrote the screenplays for Marvel’s SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (2017), the first and probably my favorite of the Tom Holland Spider-Man movies, and the HORRIBLE BOSSES movies. They also directed the funny comedy GAME NIGHT (2018) starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams.

On the other hand, if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen the movie!

And that’s because the story in this one really doesn’t matter. It’s all just an excuse to write humorous lines for dashing witty characters in a colorful fantasy land where the good guys battle the bad guys, and the end result is never in question. Which could be the formula for a dreadfully dull movie, but that’s not the case here. At all. Because the dialogue is humorous and the characters are sharp-witted.

The whole thing is just popcorn-movie-fun.

The plot is about a group of thieves– and these are nice heroic thieves, Robin Hood style robbers— Edgin (Chris Pine), Holga (Michelle Rodriguez), Simon (Justice Smith), Doric (Sophia Lillis), and Xenk (Rege-Jean Page) who are in search of various relics which will lead them to the ultimate prize, a magical object that Edgin hopes to use to bring his murdered wife back to life. They each have their own reasons for wanting to help Edgin, and along the way they also need to rescue Edgin’s daughter Kira (Chloe Coleman) who has been in the care of their former associate Forge (Hugh Grant), who has since changed his ways and is now poisoning Kira against her father, and also teaming with the main villain in the movie, the red devil Sofina (Daisy Head).

As I said, the end is never in doubt. You know who will come out on top long before the movie ever gets there, but the fun of this one is the journey along the way.

And that’s because the script by Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, and Michael Gilio is a good one. The situations are lighthearted, and most of the jokes land.

It also helps to have a talented cast. Chris Pine and Michelle Rodriguez seem to be having a lot of fun, and they have a good chemistry together. Pine is perfect as the dashing hero, and as light and witty as his presence is in this movie, his performance is even better because there’s a deep undercurrent of seriousness in the character, as Edgin identifies as a loser, telling his friends when they are down that he has consistently messed up, so much so that his wife’s death is on him, and so he’s driven to get things right this time and make things better.

Rodriguez also has a field day playing silent tough guy type, and her character Holga can pretty much hold her own against anybody and then some.

Justice Smith as Simon gets most of the best lines in the movie, while Sophia Lillis as the shapeshifting Doric gets to be the freckly soft-spoken cute presence when she’s not turning into various creatures. Lillis played young Beverly Marsh in the recent IT movies.

Rege-Jean Page is both handsome and humorous as Xenk, arguably the most powerful one in their group, and once again, Hugh Grant plays an over-the-top eccentric villain, something we just saw him do in Guy Ritchie’s OPERATION FORTUNE: RUSE DE GUERRE (2023). I enjoyed Grant’s performance more in OPERATION FORTUNE, because there was a deadly serious side to his character that doesn’t exist here in DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, but that’s not a complaint, because Grant is so good at playing these types of characters. Like the rest of the cast, he’s fun to watch throughout.

I also really enjoyed Daisy Head as the villainous Sofina. Head is serious and frightening and plays the role with a driven sense of purpose that looks like she walked off the set of GAME OF THRONES.

The movie also looks great, as it has a clear, crisp print that projects the colors of its fantasy world to the point where unlike a lot of movies with CGI created worlds, it looks incredibly realistic, like directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein were shooting on location. The action sequences are decent. They’re nothing earth-shattering, but they are certainly watchable and don’t go on for too long.

Sure, the story plays out like a story in a Dungeons and Dragons game— duh!— with lots of magic spells and conversations about which powers to use and the advantages and disadvantages of each, but this doesn’t get in the way of the success of this movie.

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES is a fantasy adventure comedy that is as satisfying as it is jovial. It’s a summer popcorn movie that just happened to be released in the spring.

I give it three stars.



Four stars – Perfect, Top of the line

Three and a half stars- Excellent

Three stars – Very Good

Two and a half stars – Good

Two Stars – Fair

One and a half stars – Pretty Weak

One star- Poor

Zero stars – Awful


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