It’s amazing how many movies are based on board games. Clue, Monopoly, and Ouija Boards are among the most well-known board games, although IMDb also includes Go and Go Fish as contenders.
Several popular board games were copyrighted and trademarked in the last century, proving that they have been around for a long time. This has resulted in a wide range of products from the board game industry, such as movies.
It’s been a mixed bag for board game-based movies, to say the least. There are many that have provided a new twist to the game, while others have been shameless marketing opportunity. The history of games like Monopoly and Scrabble can be explored in depth through a variety of documentaries.
10 Dungeons & Dragons (2000) – 3.6
Dungeons & Dragons is the inspiration for this fantasy film, which tells the story of an empress on a mission to find a magical treasure that will help her battle an evil warlock. Even though Marlon Wayans and Jeremy Irons were part of the cast, the movie was a tremendous letdown.
The practical and special effects of Dungeons & Dragons were slammed for looking cheap. Wayans’ persona was also criticized for evoking old-school Black stereotypes. One television movie and a direct-to-DVD sequel to the film both garnered positive reviews from viewers and critics alike.
9 Ouija (2014) – 4.5
Many people believe that the Ouija board may help them communicate with the dead. Ouija, a horror film by Blumhouse Productions and Hasbro Studios, demonstrated this ability to communicate with ghosts via a Ouija board. While the picture was a huge box office hit, it ultimately failed as a formulaic horror film.
Using the titular board, a group of friends tries to communicate with their deceased comrade, but they end up calling spirits from a darker realm. An adaptation of the Ouija board and a novelization were released to promote the film.
8 Battleship (2012) – 5.8
It’s possible that Battleship, like the board game it’s based on, could have become a strategic film about naval warfare. A more action-packed approach was taken by filmmaker Peter Berg, who turned the game into a military action film with some sci-fi themes.
As the title suggests, the story revolves around a ship’s crew who are pitted against an alien fleet. Battleship was criticized for being too similar to other alien invasion flicks. It included Liam Neeson, Taylor Kitsch, a frequent collaborator of Berg’s, as well as Rihanna, making her acting debut. As a result, Hasbro made movie-themed versions of the game, which contained extraterrestrial ships.
7 Ouija: Origin Of Evil (2016) – 6.1
This prequel to the original Ouija film by horror mastermind Mike Flanagan is a vast improvement over its predecessor. In 1967, a widowed mother and her two daughters conduct a bogus business of connecting with spirits and defrauding people using a Ouija board.
There is no evidence that the board has supernatural powers, but a series of unsettling occurrences has the family concerned. One of the daughters’ attempts to meet the spirit of her departed father also releases troubled souls that may have a connection to the very house they dwell in. There were some well-known horror cliches in the film, but the plot and execution kept spectators interested.
6 Candy Land: The Great Lollipop Adventure (2005) – 6.6
Hasbro’s Candy Land is a board game intended towards children, and it requires only a rudimentary understanding of reading and counting. Several fantasy characters, such as a gingerbread boy, a princess, and several other characters made from confectionary and sweets, are introduced in the direct-to-DVD film Candy Land: The Great Lollipop Adventure as they battle an evil lord to restore the utopian world of Candy Land to its former glory.
A film based on the game was in development at Sony Pictures, with Adam Sandler set to star. Since Hasbro had been accused of developing the game’s characters, work was halted in 2014. Since then, almost little is known about the upcoming film.
5 TIE: Under The Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story (2010) – 6.2
Known as a titan of the board game industry, Monopoly is one of Funskool’s most popular games. A documentary called “Under the Boardwalk” aims to tell different anecdotes regarding Monopoly and its competitive nature. Several American state champions of the game will be interviewed for this series.
Besides the thrill of playing, this film examines the psychology of the players and the techniques they use to win. Fans of the game will appreciate the area devoted only to the game’s countless editions who have amassed an impressive collection.
4 TIE: Going Cardboard (2012) – 6.2
Going Cardboard is a long-form documentary on German-style board games and how they made their way to other countries, such as the United States of America. Of particular note in this year’s Spiel is the four-day boardgame fair that took place in Essen, Germany, in 2009. Board game enthusiasts and vendors from all around the world are in attendance at this event. It’s also a terrific place to introduce new board games to the general public.
A look inside the board game industry is presented through interviews with board game designers, manufacturers, and players. Going Cardboard was directed by Lorien Green, whose husband had introduced her to the world of specialty board games, and was funded through a Kickstarter effort.
3 The Surrounding Game (2017) – 6.6
Playing Go is a popular pastime around the world. It is a two-player game that originated in China. Most of the world’s top go players and champions are from East Asia, thanks to the International Go Federation.
Surrounding Game is a documentary about American Go players who are attempting to become the first professional American Go champion. Also included was Go Seigen, who is widely considered to be one of the greatest Go players of the last century, making a cameo appearance.
2 Word Wars (2004) – 6.9
Scrabble, a board game based on words, has remained a classic for many years. An Emmy-nominated documentary called Word Wars was directed by Eric Chaikin, a professional Scrabble player. During the nine-month period leading up to the 2002 National Scrabble Championship, the largest Scrabble tournament in North America, Word Wars follows the preparations of four Scrabble players.
However, despite the fact that there have been other Scrabble films, Word Wars appears to be the most appealing for its human touch, rather than merely understanding the game’s strategy or historical context.
1 Clue (1985) – 7.3
the board game Clue is the inspiration for this darkly comic film (also known as Cluedo). The film is based on a well-known whodunit and would appeal to mystery film and novel fans. At a dinner party, the host dies, and the guests and house staff must work together to figure out how he was murdered.
There are three different endings available in the theatrical release, which is consistent with the video game. The three endings were given to theaters at random as part of an advertising campaign to draw in people and pay homage to the board game that inspired it.