Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves – REVIEW & COCKTAIL

So DND. Dungeons and Dragons. The tabletop roleplaying game once thought to be only for the most sun-fearing geeks has had quite the renaissance in the past few decades. This could be due in part to shows like Stranger Things bringing it back into the mainstream, big Hollywood names forming their own exclusive club, or something as simple as a shift in societal norms. It’s a game designed to offer an endless amount of possibilities and adventures, which of course makes it ripe for a Hollywood adaption. There’s actually a few DND movies, none of which look particularly good. If you want to know more about those, Mr. Sunday Movies has a great video going over the first film, and the surprisingly interesting story behind its production. It does make you think though. Can a story where you create your own characters and own adventures actually be adapted in a faithful way? Truthfully I didn’t really think so, so when I heard a new Hollywood adaptation was on the way, I didn’t really plan on watching it. Though this all changed thanks to two reasons. First, it’s directed by John Daley and Johnathan Goldstein, who directed the comedy film Game Night, which I only just discovered a year ago and is hilarious. Secondly, I actually started playing DND. I’m in the middle of a campaign right now with other first timers. My character’s name is Kaizer, a reptilian thief who only recently gained sentience and is out to study the creatures and civilizations of the world. Does this count as a fursona? Stop asking questions.

Now more familiar with the material and the crew behind the film, I was on board. And I got pretty much what I expected. A fun, fantasy romp through many fantastical landscapes, driven by fun archetypal characters and decent special effects. It’s quite funny at times, even if it’s a bit inconsistent, and there’s a lot more care and craft put into building this world and creatures than you would probably expect.

(from left to right) Justice Smith as Simon, Chris Pine as Edgin, Sophia Lillis as Doric, and Michelle Rodriguez as Holga.

Honor Among Thieves sees a ragtag group of scoundrels come together to perform a dangerous heist in order to reunite a family while coming face to face with an imposing evil ready to take control of the world. Yeah, sounds like DND to me. The characters all fall into familiar but welcome archetypes. The witty thief, the headstrong warrior, the sorcerer that spends most of the quest having no idea what they can actually do. It felt pretty authentic to the ragtag groups formed in your playthroughs, with each character fulfilling a certain role that helps everyone along the quest. And all the actors do a great job at embodying those characters. Chris Pine nails the goofy, heart of gold thief slash bard Edgin, Michelle Rodriguez kicks ass as the warrior Holga, Justice Smith embodies the fear of living up to expectations and finding self confidence as the spellcaster Simon, and Hugh Grant does a standout job as the two-faced ruler of Neverwinter, Forge. Though these character archetypes are very familiar and don’t bring a ton of new ideas to the table, they are enjoyable to follow nonetheless due to the talent of the actors and their chemistry together. Also wasn’t expecting a Bradley Cooper cameo, but hey, DND is full of surprises. And shout out to the Auntey Donna boys. Happy to see them getting the work.

The world of the Forgotten Realms is brought to life through a mix of both digital and practical effects. It was actually really refreshing to see a high-concept fantasy film put in the extra work to design puppets, animatronics and incredible set pieces to make the world feel much more tangible. Though the visuals aren’t all equally clean and convincing, the extra effort absolutely makes a difference. Some of these scenes are so awesome to watch especially when you know it’s not as reliant on special effects as you would think. Definitely go and check out some of the behind the scenes videos to see how they pulled these shots and settings off. One of the things I respected the most about Daley and Goldstein’s work on Game Night was how they went about instilling creativity in the scene composition and camerawork for a comedy, something you usually don’t see a ton of. This translates to this film as well, making an attempt to not just settle for simple scene setups, throwing in some fun one shots and some entertaining fight sequences. 

The comedy of Game Night is another aspect I was looking forward to experiencing again in this film, and while I don’t think the film manages to be consistently as funny here, there’s still some pretty solid moments. From talking to the corpses of a once powerful army to a body projection going haywire like a video game glitch in real life, there’s some genuinely funny moments here. It’s not as entertaining all the time though, constantly falling into the pratfalls of exposition dumps and lack of originality. It doesn’t help that the pacing can be all over the place as we occasionally drift a bit too far from the main conflict at times, while the main villain isn’t nearly as memorable as the main cast. There’s certainly a lot of familiarity here that does keep the film from being as memorable as it could be inside of its world building, but I do have to say this is much better than what we could have gotten.

In a world of lazy IP milkers, I definitely didn’t mind this somewhat refreshing throwback to simple, mid-2000s fantasy adventures. The cast is likable, the visuals are often impressive and fantastical, and there’s enough wit and charm to satisfy most moviegoers. While there’s definitely some more polish needed, I’d actually look forward to a follow up. Here’s hoping the sequel development moves faster than the campaign I’m in. Swear I’ve been stuck inside this dungeon for almost 2 months.


(out of a possible 5 Helms of Disjunction)

Beckoning Death

I was actually a little disappointed. I dont think I saw a single potion in the movie, but thats alright, because we can make our own. This cocktail is based off of the Beckoning Death, a curse in the film that transforms people into feral, undead monsters. Its appearance is typically in the form of a red smoke, so I’ve decided to stick with that motif by using mezcal for the smokiness and raspberry liqueur for the color. Throw in a subtle spice from some cinnaom and just a touch of floral notes from some elderflower, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a potion. Of course, it can only really be a potion in a potion glass. If you’re in need of the proper glassware, here is where I got mine. Happy brewing!


  • 2oz Mezcal
  • 1oz Raspberry liqueur
  • 3/4oz Elderflower liqueur
  • 1oz cinnamon syrup
  • 1/2oz lemon Juice
  • 1/2oz lime Juice


  1. Add ingredients to a shaker and shake with ice.
  2. Carefully pour strained cocktail into potion bottle.

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