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How D&D Players Really Feel About The Dungeons And Dragons Movie

What a good time it is to be a Dungeons & Dragons fan. 23 years after Courtney Solomon's critically panned D&D movie relegated the RPG classic's live-action adaptations to direct-to-DVD status, "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" has captured the best things about D&D, filling the big screen with the kind of joy and adventure that bodes well for future sequels. Critics and audiences rate Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley's movie highly, and the likeable cast — which features big names like Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Hugh Grant and Regé-Jean Page — makes for a magnificent party of adventurers. All of this is extremely good publicity for the game, and it doesn't exactly hurt that Pine thinks everyone should play D&D. But what do actual players think of the movie?

Turns out, many of them really enjoy it, and they've taken to the game's subreddit to express their joy. In a post that proclaimed their love for "Honor Among Thieves," redditor u/hcpookie described their experience in the theater. "The audience tonight were all geeks (surprise!) and so the energy of the theater was really up-beat," they wrote. "There were even tear-jerker moments, which I must give them props for since that's hard to do in a 'high fantasy' film!" Dungeons & Dragons subreddit member u/spookykelsy found the communal viewing experience similarly enticing. "It was a pretty full theater which I was shocked about and I didn't hear a single person complaining about it," they wrote. 

Apart from the positive experience of seeing the film with fellow enthusiasts, several D&D aficionados pointed out specific details about the movie. They were particularly impressed by its emotional impact, but the experience of simply being able to see the movie as a longtime D&D fan is also important to many.

Players love the humor and emotion in the movie

Many D&D enthusiasts in the Dungeons & Dragons subreddit's discussions about the movie were clearly happy with the way "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" manages to marry its joking moments with its more heartfelt ones. Redditor u/ItsAmerico compared the movie's vibe to James Gunn's work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has been known to balance a similar line between laughter and emotional gut punches. "It's a D&D fantasy Guardians of the Galaxy film, feel it's the best way to summarize it," they wrote. "It's not a comedy but there's definitely some good comedy and character writing with the jokes. There is also some genuine heart in it that makes you care."

Redditor u/NumberNineRules also highlighted the movie's successful balance between the serious and humorous moments, and compared "Honor Among Thieves" favorably to recent superhero movies. "Better than the last 4 or 5 Marvel and DC outings. Comedy was done well, it managed to take itself seriously when it needed to and joked when appropriate without marvel level 'he's right behind me isn't he' detracting from serious moments," they wrote.

Players love the communal experience of watching the movie with other D&D fans

Though it's clear that fans appreciate the movie's comedy-drama balance, it seems that many of them still rate the aforementioned opportunity to see a Dungeons & Dragons movie of this caliber with their player peers the highest of all — to the point that even the movie's occasional lower moments couldn't rain on the parade. "It wasn't perfect, but the fact that everyone I went with to see it, which included 4 out of 6 of my players and most of our children (a total of 9 of us), were standing around and talking about it and it took us all about 15-20 minutes to leave the theater, is quite telling," u/stratuscaster summed up the communal experience. "Plus we were talking with other random people in the theater that loved it as well. I haven't felt that excited post movie since like the first Matrix."

"If you are a fan of the game you will love this movie," u/nashdiesel concurred that the players will likely enjoy their trip to the theater. "Will everyone love this movie? No. I can see certain demos not wanting to rush out to see this. But if you like D&D it's a slam dunk."

This emotional experience alone is clearly enough to score "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" some serious appreciation points from the fandom. The fact that it also happens to be a genuinely good, fun adventure movie probably doesn't hurt, either.