(Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves: left to right, Michelle Rodriguez as Holga, Chris Pine as Edgin, Justice Smith as Simon, Sophia Lillis as Doric {image via Paramount}

Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is a fun film. Not quite Oscar material, but fun. It might win a Saturn Award or two.

Dungeons and Dragons, the game, is not typically played by small children, and the language and violence present in the film reflects this. Honor Among Thieves is rated PG-13. It also passed the Bechdel Test with flying colors, as for once the female characters in it weren’t there to talk about men. Instead, the plot advanced without such silly distractions. The pacing is a bit uneven, but the film is frankly mostly an action film and it’s hard to sustain that whole “rolicking adventure” vibe for 134 minutes without stopping to take a breath.

As an ex-teacher, I gave it a B+. My husband said he’d give it an A- or a B. My son said it rate it an 8 on a scale of 1 to 9. Although you don’t need to play D&D to understand the movie, D&D players will certainly get more out of the film than someone who’s never rolled a 20-sided die. Not only is the movie based on Gary Gygax’s Dungeons & Dragons game, four of the supporting characters are from D&D canon: the dragon Themberchaud, Lord Neverember, SzassTam, and the wizard Elminster.

The movie gives a lot of fan service, via the inclusion of a number of famous creatures from the tabletop RPG, including he infamous gelatinous cube, tabaxi, and Aarakocra (notably missing was any mention of the Dread Gazebo). The costuming and scenic design were sumptuous, occasionally over the top, but that comes necessarily from the source material, and you feel right at home with it. The music worked well, with a score written by Lorne Balfe.

There is a segment featuring a battle in the labyrinth that is reminiscent of Vera Nazarian’s The Atlantis Grail books and the ’80’s movie Spacehunters: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone. There is a deliberate tip of the hat to the Saturday morning cartoon show Dungeons and Dragons, and there is one end-credits scene that you’ll probably want to stick around for.

Who’s Who

Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves stars the ubiquitous Chris Pine (Kirk in the Star Trek reboots, Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman, Robert Bruce in Outlaw King) as Edgin, a charming rogue who knows the value of tenacity and persistence. Edgin is member of a group called Harpers, despite the fact he himself is a lutenist; Harpers are spies and peacekeepers.

Likely to be nominated for a Saturn for Best Actress is Michelle Rodriguez, (Letty Ortiz in the Fast & Furious franchise, Rain Ocampo in Resident Evil:Retribution, Trudy Chacón in Avatar) who plays the barbarian warrioress Holga.

Justice Smith (Franklin Webb in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Tim Goodman in Pokemon: Detective Pikachu) plays novice sorcerer Simon.

Sophia Lillis (Beverly Marsh in It and It: Chapter Two, Nancy in Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase) plays Doric, a pretty Tiefling druid with the ability to shapeshift into various creatures, an owlbear, a snake, etc.

Holga, Edgin, Simon, and Doric are the main members of the questing party. The villains are Hugh Grant (William Thacker in Notting Hill, Charles in Four Weddings and a Funeral, Waverly in The Man from U.N.C.L.E reboot.) as Forge and Daisy Head (Arriane in Fallen, Genya Safin in Shadow and Bone, Alexia in Underworld: Blood Wars) as Sofina, a Red Wizard of Thay.

Chloe Coleman plays Kira, the reason for the quest. She is Edgin’s daughter and Holga’s beloved “Bug.” As Holga says, “No one hurts my Bug .They are trying to rescue her, which is the reason for almost everything that happens in the movie. Hollywood Reporter named Chloe Coleman as on its Young Hollywood list as a child performer headed for big screen stardom in 2019. She has previously played Sophie in My Spy, Nevine in 65, young Lo’ak in Avatar: The Way of Water.

Regé-Jean Page excels as the paladin Xenk Yendar, who helps our heroes. You may have seen him as Denny Carmichael in The Gray Man or as Captain Khora in Mortal Engines.

If you like action-packed fantasy movies with strong female characters, you might like Honor Among Thieves. It’s currently in theaters everywhere.


Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.