Board game movies are far and few between, but there are a surprising number of movies based on board games worth watching. Some offer incredibly faithful recreations of the source material, while others turn a very loose concept into something else entirely. Whatever your taste in movies, we can recommend a board game movie to check out.
These are the best board game movies to watch in 2023:
For most people, Jumanji is the board game movie. It may not be based on a real tabletop game (it in fact adapted a 1981 novel of the same name), but Jumanji remains synonymous with the hobby. It’s now possible to buy a board game based on the movie – deadly encounters and jungle animals not included, of course.
Made in 1995, Jumanji stars American national treasure Robin Williams as Alan Parrish, a boy trapped inside a magical board game for 26 years. He’s later released and realizes the only way to end the torment of Jumanji is to finish the deadly game.
Jumanji is almost 30 years old, but it’s an adventure movie still worth watching. At the very least, it makes roll-and-move games seem exciting again.
Clue is a black comedy based on the murder mystery game of the same name (Cluedo, for any Brits out there). The premise is very familiar – six suspects are found in a mansion with a dead body, plenty of motives, and a variety of household murder weapons. Was it Colonel Mustard in the library with the candlestick? Find out in 97 minutes.
We recently wrote about the sexiest Clue characters, but we didn’t factor in the glamour and star power of the Clue movie. Tim Curry and Christopher Lloyd are among the cast, and John Landis was in the director’s chair.
Although Clue is one of the oldest movies on this list, it’s also one of the best. The comedy capers still land, the performances are grand, and the simple concept of the original board game is a surprisingly compelling watch.
Ouija: Origin of Evil
Whether you believe in its spiritual powers or not, a Ouija board is a board game (it’s trademarked by Hasbro). There have been plenty of movies about Ouija boards, and several named directly after them. But in our opinion, Ouija: Origin of Evil is the only one worth watching.
Ouija: Origin of Evil is a 2016 prequel to the significantly worse Ouija movie. A widowed medium and her two daughters believe they have contacted the family’s dead father through a Ouija board. However, things quickly take a dark and devastating turn for the grieving women.
This board game movie was directed by Mike Flanagan, who’s perhaps most famous for horror series like Haunting of Hill House and The Fall of the House of Usher. Flanagan really knows his scares, so if you’re a fan of horror board games, this is one to check out.
Fun fact: Mars Attacks was originally a trading card game from the 1960s. This makes Tim Burton’s 1996 comedy Mars Attacks! a board game movie – as well as a wacky sci-fi adventure.
When it comes to plot, Mars Attacks! does exactly what it says on the tin. Brainy little Martians land in the United States and immediately fire their ray guns. Chaos, camp, and corniness ensue.
Mars Attacks! saw mixed reviews upon release, and it’s best remembered as a cult classic today. But if you don’t mind a bit of silliness, we recommend giving it a go – if only to see major celebrities like Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Natalie Portman, and Danny Devito face off against cartoonish aliens.
Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
This is a lighthearted adventure movie that excellently captures the feeling of playing Dungeons and Dragons. Chris Pine stars as Edgin the roguish DnD Bard. He, along with a humorous party of companions, is questing to stop an old adversary and win back his daughter. Oh, and maybe they’ll stop a world-ending evil scheme in the process.
We released our own Honor Among Thieves review earlier in the year, so we’re well-equipped to recommend this particular Dungeons and Dragons movie. We may have spotted plenty of DnD movie mistakes, but we still had a roaring time watching Honor Among Thieves.
Alright, the Battleship movie might not be the best blockbuster about a board game. But it’s about such an iconic tabletop title, that it felt wrong to miss it from the list. And sometimes a bad movie can be just as entertaining as a good one.
The 2012 action film takes the concept of blowing up submarines and turns it into a military sci-fi. For some reason, aliens and other planets have been thrown into the mix. With an extraterrestrial threat looming over Earth, members of the army and navy must stop the aliens from sinking their battleships for good.
This definitely isn’t a movie for everyone. But credit where it’s due: Battleship is oddly faithful to its original board game at times.