Dungeons & Dragons

Disappointing film version of popular fantasy.
  • Review Date: July 1, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 2001
  • Running Time: 107 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Several characters make slighting comments about members of other fantasy races.


Torture, swordfighting and other hand-to-hand combat, and a cataclysmic battle between airborne fleets of rival dragons. Miniature dragonlike creatures are embedded in a character's head and slip in and out of his ears; another character is tortured with


A verbal and visual reference to intercourse; a female character's armor breastplate is anatomically precise.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has some intense torture scenes. There's also lots of fantasy violence: swordfighting and other hand-to-hand combat, and a cataclysmic battle between airborne fleets of rival dragons.

Kids say

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What's the story?

Based on the popular role-playing game, DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS follows Empress Savina (Thora Birch) on her quest to obtain a magic talisman that will give her power over the Red Dragons and ultimately allow her to overthrow the evil Profion (Jeremy Irons) and his army of Golden Dragons. Aiding the empress are criminals Ridely (Justin Whalin) and Snails (Marlon Wayans) and dwarves Norda and Elwood.

Is it any good?


The convoluted quest at the center of this movie is a lark compared to the long-unrealized search for a fantasy movie with a story engaging enough to match the eye candy that today's special effects can conjure. Dungeons is filmed unimaginatively, with lavishly costumed extras wandering aimlessly as if they were directed to do so, and main characters moving through the cityscapes and landscapes as if nobody would notice a band of singular-looking fugitives glancing furtively about. Situations that would cause any sane person to convulse with dread have our heroes feeling nothing more than a gulp in the throat.

The performances are probably the film's most annoying aspect. Jeremy Irons is breathtakingly overwrought as the chief villain, but his right-hand man, played by Bruce Payne, chews scenery with even bigger bites. And the young leads are just as thuddingly bad. Nearly every performance earned derisive laughs from an audience of teens. Kids who like wizards and dragons will want to see this, and they'll probably like the special effects, but the movie could have been much better without too much effort.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether they liked this film, and what makes a good fantasy adventure. Fans of the popular fanstasy game can talk about how they would go about creating a movie based on the game.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 22, 2001
DVD release date:May 21, 2001
Cast:Jeremy Irons, Marlon Wayans, Thora Birch
Director:Courtney Solomon
Studio:New Line
Run time:107 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:fantasy action violence

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  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byTheShaman April 9, 2008
age 13+

Dont bother with this one

Has anyone seen the cartoon of D&D from the 1980's? well forget that. That was actually 10x better than this piece of dreck! I only watched the first half hour of this movie and then couldnt get up fast enough to take the Tape out of my VCR. Thank God that i recorded it off of HBO and didnt rent the movie. I would have wanted my money back. The characters are lame, the dialogue is even worse. DId a 10 yr old write this script? NO a 10yr old would have written a better one! Stay away from this piece of garbage. I was expecting a cool Sci-fi movie, instead i just wasted my time.


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