When I was a kid in the late 1980s, the world was very different. We didn’t have the internet, we didn’t have mobile phones, we didn’t have thousands of channels to surf and our computer game choices were limited, even more so given their expense. However, there was one option that many kids of that age in the UK had in common: the fantastic, immersive books Fighting Fantasy by Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson that allowed you to make decisions and choose your adventure. They were the best thing since sliced bread, frankly, but we mention their existence here as Livingstone and Jackson were also central in bringing Dungeons and Dragons to the UK in the late 1970s which, in turn, has led us to 2023 and the latest attempt to get the famed game to the big screen.

Of course, in recent times, many will know of “D&D” from its multiple appearances in the world of Stranger Things and their Hellfire Club but the success of the series has only increased eyes on the game, as has the ability of filmmakers to delve deeper into the lore of the game as well as utilise audience appetites after The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones – to name a few. There was an ill-fated attempt in 2000 to bring it to the big screen, but despite the inclusion of Jeremy Irons, Thora Birch, and Marlon Wayans, it went the way of many videogame adaptations and now finds itself in the DVD bargain bins.

The 2023 incarnation comes with even bigger names – Chris Pine, Hugh Grant, Michelle Rodriguez, Rege Jean Page – but it’s perhaps the filmmakers attached that are the key difference in bringing us a D&D that will not only please the plethora of fans across the globe, but will delight general audiences with its whimsy and excitement. 

Frankly, you needn’t know too much about the game, nor indeed the plot,  to enjoy the ride. Still, for formalities: the titular thieves are led by Edgin Davis (Pine), a thief who, alongside his accomplice Holga (Rodriguez), plans to escape from their incarceration to help rescue his teenage daughter (Chloe Coleman). Enlisting the help of noble swordsman Xenk (Page), amateur wizard Simon (Justice Smith), and a young druid shapeshifter (Sophia Lillis), they set out to retrieve an ancient relic that has the power to resurrect those who have passed, whilst fending off a variety of foes all hellbent on stopping them, including an evil Red Wizard (Daisy Head) and former associate Forge Fitzwilliam (Grant).

SEE ALSO: Check out our chats with the cast and filmmakers of Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves

Those aforementioned filmmakers are Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, they of the brilliant 2018 comedy Game Night (arguably one of the best of the last decade or so), as well as their work on Spider-Man: Homecoming and Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs. They wouldn’t seem like the obvious choices, but much like Christopher Nolan with Batman Begins or Jon Watts with the MCU Spider-Men, this works to their advantage and helps the film break free of any pre-release doubts to produce an adventure that’s flowing in frolics and boisterousness that will certainly keep the very welcome “theatrical is back” bandwagon chugging along even more.

Indeed, Honour Among Thieves has more in common with last week’s big release, John Wick: Chapter 4, than anything else. Despite its fantasy-lands setting, D&D: HAT succeeds by having a realistic footing, giving it a unique and indelible energy that helps enlighten and expand its world of wizards, druids, and, of course, dragons. And dungeons. In fact, coming full circle back to the ’80s, which was where we started, its energy feels more in keeping with the best adventure/fantasy films of the era – The Goonies, Indiana Jones, Masters of the Universe, Willow, to name a few – and with it comes that old school mentality of having a realism at its core, augmenting it with all the otherworldly trimmings you’d be expecting for a brilliantly potent cocktail.

Of course, much of what transpires is stupendous silliness, and over its 134-minute runtime, the jokes do wear thin. Its third act isn’t as spontaneous as what comes before, but in the realm of what a D&D movie can be – and continue to be, if a new franchise is born out from this – then Honour Among Thieves is a pleasant surprise that embraces its zaniness head on to bring audiences a fanciful, energetic, pleasing romp that we hope we get to roll the dice with again soon.



Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves
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Scott Davis
Scott J. Davis is the HeyUGuys man on the red carpet. Purveyor of premiere interviews and junkets with movie and television stars, directors, writers, producers and sometimes even fans. He also writes movie news for the site and his favourite film is Masters of the Universe. He's a legend in his own lifetime.
dungeons-dragons-honour-among-thieves-reviewWhile it runs out of steam a little as it chugs along, D&D is back in a big way with a fun-filled adventure that's fuelled by its impressive cast and whimsical, welcoming nature.