Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Directed By John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein

Starring – Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Hugh Grant

The Plot – A charming thief (Pine) and a band of unlikely adventurers undertake an epic heist to retrieve a lost relic, but things go dangerously awry when they run afoul of the wrong people.

Rated PG-13 for fantasy action/violence and some adult language

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves | Official Trailer (2023 Movie) – YouTube


Most surprisingly and importantly, “Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” is simultaneously a triumph for longtime hardcore enthusiasts of the tabletop game, but also an energetic thrill ride for inexperienced audiences alike, combining the fantastical elements of the vastly creative world-building with an ensemble of decorated characters with no shortage of imagination or heartly to their eclectically combustible personalities. While the film’s script does cleverly contain an Easter Egg or two that will more than make the former flash a toothy grin from their own days of nostalgia with the product, they’re never compromising towards the investment of the knowledge-attaining narrative, refusing to alienate one side over the other, and instead bringing both together with overtly effective humor from its radiant personality that brings out the strange and fantastical elements of magic alike. It’s also a visual triumph, both in the believability of its computer-generated special effects, more often than not seamlessly imbedding themselves in the textures of this thoroughly defined canvas, but also in the ever-changing variety of scenery with enough definition in its manufacturing that we can practically reach out and touch. From luscious tree-top villages to snowy mountaintop fortresses, the film leaves no stone unturned in its long-distance conquest, and when coupled with iconic composer Lorne Balfe’s thunderously epic score, capably paves the way for the many exhilarating set pieces that decorate and often destroy its lush and lavish landscapes. On that front, the variety of mind-bending puzzles and beastly adversaries constantly keeps our characters on their toes, while inscribing some enthralling directing duties for the dual Jonathan’s, which they use to conjure urgency and vulnerability within the balance of dangerous camera angles and unpredictable environmental elements that often get the best of our colorful characters. On the topic of this unanimously perfect ensemble, it’s clear that each of them is having a blast as their respective characters, with Chris Pine’s stern sarcasm, Michelle Rodriguez’ ferocity for physicality, and Hugh Grant’s sleezy suaveness stirring the scintillating ingredients that has them growing together as a dysfunctional family before our very eyes. One that stands above the rest is Zimbabwean actor turned star Rege-Jean Page, who is the true show stealer here, commanding a paladin war survivor with virtuous command that comes at the hands of some eerily accurate prophecies that he unravels in tongues, but the kind that he effortlessly backs up with his own brute and blossoming charm that will give the ladies in the audience something to swoon over, as their male moviegoers lose themselves to the folk and lore of some truly clever and relieving merits of magic that they continuously use in evading some overwhelming circumstances.


While much of the engagement had me losing myself to the vast display of world-building escapism and thought-provoking magic spells, the film finds weaknesses in two major obstacles that it continuously tries to shake, without downright escaping. The first is that at 129 minutes, the experience is simply too long. While the world itself is fun and easy to invest in, the overabundance of exposition-heavy flashback sequences leaves the story in the foreground halted for momentum, while the script frequently and abruptly clues us in to long-winded sequences that it could’ve easily conveyed in a couple of lines of dialogue between the characters, in turn stacking the objective and smoothing out the urgency of the narrative, which without them would be all the better in maintaining the investment that the duo of directors often take for granted in their battle-tested audience. Aside from this, the film doesn’t have enough to do for each of its characters, and as such a couple of them become less important the longer that the film persists. Sophia Lillis’ Doric is one character I easily point to in this regard, who originally is the first one contacted about joining the team, then continuously pushed aside by missions and adversaries that she can effortlessly resolve, but is instead left to stand by and watch less intelligent characters solve conflicts for the sake of vulnerability. Beyond her, Grant’s antagonist Lord of Neverwinter (Best name ever) disappears from the proceedings for roughly fifty minutes during a second half that is virtually centered around him, forcing us the audience to occasionally lose sight of the stakes at cost in the conflict, while wasting away another dazzling performance by the charismatic Englishman.

“Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” is a castle-crashing, spellbinding romper of a good time that entertains both sides of the respective audience, experienced and non, on its way to being the next big franchise of the fantasy genre. While the overtly-ambitious run time does occasionally slow down and even obscure momentum for the urgency of the narrative, the balance of mystical creatures, magical enchantments and an irresistibly infectious ensemble faithfully maintain your attention throughout, combining enough heart and imagination for its characters and world-building that solidifies an ambitious adaptation done right.

My Grade: 7/10 or B-

8 thoughts on “Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

  1. Hallelujah….I was really worried it was gonna be a stinker despite looking amazing. I just read one of the prequel no els last week and was hoping the movie would live up!

  2. I plan on seeing an early screening this weekend myself, but I had to check out your thoughts. So nice to see a movie be a solid surprise that didn’t exactly look the best from the trailers. I love how you started by focusing on the idea that this film doesn’t alienate those that haven’t played the game while still rewarding those that have played it with tons of references. I’d say that my only concern is the length, but knowing how much lore there is in a world like this, I’d figure that they’d try to cram in as much as possible. Very excited to see it Sunday!

  3. My husband is an AVID D&D player, and even got our boys into the game. All three of them have been super excited for this one, and now I’m super excited to tell them its actually decent ^_^ I’m sure my husband will pick apart every discrepancy, but they’ll still enjoy it. I knew my dude Hugh would come through, lol, I absolutely adore him in almost everything I’ve seen him in.

  4. I played D&D and this was a very likable movie. I agree the graphics were well done, and of the other three D&D movies probably the best. I wish they would have stayed a little more outside the humor side and had a harder battle scope. The mage fight scene though was very well done.

  5. I’m so happy you agree that there could have been more HUGE GRANT! Hahaha! I love him and he seemed to have fun with this role. The character balance would have been nicer but I will say Chris Pine lead the group beautifully and the cast synergy was incredible! Definitely agree with it being too long too! I smell a sequel based on how successful this was and I’ll definitely be in line to see it! Great review to inspire others to give it a shot! Definitely worth watching!

  6. I was on the fence about seeing this after your review I think 8ll give it a shot thank you

  7. I really enjoyed this movie! I thought Chris pine was excellent, and High Grant played a wonderful villain. The red wizard fight was really well shot, and I hope that they make more of these!

    1. I also agree with you that Rege-Jean Page was a show stopper, so much so that I was sad when he didn’t go on the final mission! I also agree that they could have fleshed out the characters a little more. Hopefully in the sequel!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *