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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 man's urban aspirations gone awry, a secret world exists in the forests and hills surrounding… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Joins the ranks of movies like Hoop Dreams and Murderball as one of the great documentary dissections of how Americans play."
‑ Grady Hendrix, Slate
"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?"
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"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."
‑ Nick Schager, Slant Magazine
"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."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"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.)"
‑ Scott Weinberg, eFilmCritic.com
"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."
‑ , Los Angeles Times
"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."
‑ Jack Mathews, New York Daily News
"How can you not like a movie where a guy says, completely without irony, "During my third campout, I was assassinated seven times.""
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"A documentary that peers casually into the inner workings of a game and lets us laugh at -- er, with? -- the participants."
‑ Eric D. Snider, EricDSnider.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."
‑ Eric Campos, Film Threat
"Eloquent and occasionally touching, Darkon is haphazardly photographed but unfailingly generous toward subjects who exhibit an astonishing degree of self-awareness."
‑ Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
"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."
‑ Aaron Hillis, Village Voice
"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."
‑ , Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"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."
‑ Nora Ankrum, Austin Chronicle
More reviews for Darkon on Rotten Tomatoes