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Darkon

Darkon (2006)

tomatometer

75

Average Rating: 7.3/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.

audience

65

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 1,412

My Rating

Movie Info

As swords are raised and the battlefield air flows thick with tension, the participants in a full-scale role-playing game called Darkon shed their mundane identities to assume the role of warrior knight, mystical wizard, or fierce maiden. This is the story of Darkon, a game that allows hundreds of adventure-seeking adults to live out their wildest medieval fantasies. Though, to the majority of Baltimore residents, the paved parking lots and inner-city decay serve as a constant reminder of modern

Feb 26, 2008

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All Critics (18) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (15) | Rotten (2) | DVD (1)

By approaching the subject without a sense of ironic distance, Neel and Meyer get at something elemental, a variation of the American Dream at work, in which everyone can live out their life as they see it, even if that's as a medieval elf.

October 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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Eloquent and occasionally touching, Darkon is haphazardly photographed but unfailingly generous toward subjects who exhibit an astonishing degree of self-awareness.

September 22, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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Neel and Meyer approach their subjects with open minds. Running around Baltimore in medieval armor isn't everyone's chalice of wine, they seem to be saying -- but who are we to judge?

September 14, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
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There should be plenty of material here. But all we see are average men and women looking for an escape from their boring jobs and disappointing home lives.

September 14, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Empowered as they are, it's hard to take this motley crew seriously when they spit medieval maxims with soccer goals in the background, but the filmmakers approach their subjects with humanity.

September 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
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There are lessons to be learned here, not the least of which is that you should never trust elf mercenaries, no matter how much you pay them.

February 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Joins the ranks of movies like Hoop Dreams and Murderball as one of the great documentary dissections of how Americans play.

November 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Slate

The film perceptively addresses the intertwining of fantasy and reality, which eventually seems so pronounced that one senses players are acting out their dreams of either being, or striking back against, bullies.

September 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

How can you not like a movie where a guy says, completely without irony, "During my third campout, I was assassinated seven times."

February 8, 2007 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

This low-budget documentary by Luke Meyer and Andrew Neel spends three years chronicling Darkon, a medieval role-playing group whose members dress up in homemade costumes and chase each other around fields in suburban Baltimore.

February 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

For all its hipster appeal, it's hard to imagine anyone who would not be charmed by this ode to nonconformity, a humanistic, thoughtful, and entertaining film that won this year's SXSW Film Fest's Audience Award.

June 26, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

A documentary that peers casually into the inner workings of a game and lets us laugh at -- er, with? -- the participants.

April 3, 2006 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

You won't leave this film with a full grasp of, say, how a Darkonian knows when he's mortally wounded, but you'll relate to this exuberant subculture more intimately than you'd perhaps expect.

March 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Darkon works as a fascinating and colorful documentary about an endearingly bizarre game and as a "can't wait to see who wins" sports film. (And as a nifty little comedy, too, actually.)

March 17, 2006 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

It's an epic fantasy adventure with loads of laughs, starring a bunch of people who, believe it or not, you wish you were.

March 15, 2006 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for Darkon

Somewhere there is a Trekkie Dentist who feels really good about themselves.
January 4, 2011
Godless

Super Reviewer

An average doc about the world of LARPing. I would have liked it to cover more of the world of LARPing but it sticks to just one group and it's struggles. There are a few people covered but one more than the others. You get interested in the story but I would have liked to see more of the others.
They do get a little carried away but I think the whole thing looks fun and I wouldn't mind trying it out.
August 7, 2009
superclerk25

Super Reviewer

I did not know this culture existed and this film provides a very interesting glimpse into the world of outcasts shunned by other outcasts. Check out the HULU page discussions on this for a thorough exploration of the piece.
July 25, 2009
Stinger839

Super Reviewer

It's startling to actually see the amount of creativity, time, effort and preparation that these men and women put into their hobby. The way that these people totally commit to something that most adults would look down on requires an odd type of courage that many of the rest of us probably lack.

Some of the participants view role-playing as an enjoyable diversion, while others draw courage and catharsis from their alter-egos. Each of these groups are handled well and fairly by the documentary makers, and I never felt like they were being exploited or mocked. Watching them practice their swordplay or listening to how they feel more comfortable in the fantasy world than in the real one never felt uncomfortable or embarrassing. It's a good thing that these people have the world of Darkon, where each of them can be who they really want to be, even if it's only for a weekend at a time.

This is a great film for anyone who is curious about LARPing, or who simply would like to watch a novel and entertaining documentary.
November 23, 2008
lewiskendell

Super Reviewer

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March 16, 2006:
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