Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Posted on March 30, 2023 at 5:22 pm

B +
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language, fantasy action, and violence
Profanity: Some strong language
Alcohol/ Drugs: None
Violence/ Scariness: Extended fantasy action and violence, characters injured and killed, sad death of a parent
Diversity Issues: None
Date Released to Theaters: March 31, 2023

Copyright 2023 eOne
Hey, if the game is as fun as this movie, get me some 20-sided dice. “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” is an ebullient mix of fantasy, action, and comedy with a terrific cast, thrilling stunts and genuinely fantastic special effects.

We meet two of our heroes in prison (the dungeon part of the story). One is a talker and one is a fighter. The talker is Edgin (Chris Pine), a lute-player and a one-time spy for the good guys turned thief after his wife (Georgia Landers) was killed by the bad guys. He went on “one last” job to steal a magical tablet that could bring her back to life. But they were captured, and he had to leave his daughter Kira (Chloe Coleman) with the con man of the group, the con man Forge (Hugh Grant, all smarmy smiles, with teeth so white they almost glow).

The fighter is Holga (Michelle Rodriguez), “a fellow resident of rock bottom,” fearless and easily able to dispatch various threats, human and non, individual and horde of attackers. They escape from the prison. They find that Forge has somehow, with the aid of a powerful sorceress (Daisy Head as Sofina) become a ruler, living with Kira in a castle. And he will not let her go. Forge has told Kira that her father abandoned her and she believes it.

And so, as in all epic journeys and of course in the Dungeons and Dragons game, there is a quest involving many steps and some more characters with distinctive special abilities. Edgin wants to get Kira and retrieve that tablet, which is now secured by sorcery in a vault below Forge’s castle. And that requires some additional help. Simon (Justice Smith) is a sorcerer of limited abilities who was formerly part of the group led by Edgin. And he leads them to shape-shifter Doric (Sophia Lillis), an Elvin-looking creature who can transform into anything from an insect to a gigantic creature described as an owl-bear.

Directors and co-screenwriters John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein deftly balance the action, emotion, and comedy. You think you’re in for some gruesome scares in a cemetery scene where corpses are dug up and re-animated, but it turns into one of the film’s funniest moments. And the most serious character, a classic handsome hero played by “Bridgerton’s” Regé-Jean Page deftly makes his serious and straightforward Arthurian honor and gallantry witty when seen through the eyes of the raffish band of thieves. Bradley Cooper shows up in a small role, funny and utterly charming. “Magic can’t fix everything,” a character warns more than once. But amovie with great characters, settings, special effects, excitement, heart, and humor can feel like magic and that’s good enough.

NOTE: Stay for a funny mid-credits extra scene.

Parents should know that this film has extensive fantasy-style peril and violence with many characters injured and killed, including a beloved wife and mother. Characters also use some strong language.

Family discussion: Which character would you most want with you on a quest and why? Try playing Dungeons and Dragons and create your own character.

If you like this, try: action comedies like “Guardians of the Galaxy” and the 1973 “Three Musketeers”

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