- Awesome Music: Everywhere. Tom Holkenborg composed a pretty impressive hybrid of High Fantasy and Spaghetti Western.
- Complete Monster: Walter o' Dim, real name Walter Padick and known as The Man in Black, is an Evil Sorcerer who abducts multiple "special" children to use their psychic energy to try to annihilate the Dark Tower which protects existence from the hungry monstrosities that dwell outside reality. This is a process that leaves the children "burnt out" by the end, where Walter discards them. Having a dark enmity with the Gunslinger Roland Deschain, Walter destroys Roland's home, killing all his fellow Gunslingers, the last being Roland's own father who Walter murders in front of him. When 11-year-old Jake Chambers escapes Walter's men, Walter punishes them by forcing them to kill each other and sends soldiers to destroy an entire village Roland and Jake have taken refuge at. Murdering the local seer to get their location, Walter ambushes Jake's stepfather and mother, murdering both—the latter by burning her alive—and draws a smiley face and taunting message from her ashes for Jake to find. When Jake is captured, Walter attempts to use him to bring down the Dark Tower and start the apocalypse while facing Roland in a final battle.
- Critical Dissonance: Critics were not fans of the movie, giving it a scathing 16% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, regular audiences were more forgiving, giving it an about average 55%.
- Crosses the Line Twice: Walter burning Jake's mother alive? Horrifying. Taunting him by drawing a smiley face in her ashes? Hilarious.
- Funny Moments:
- Before Jake and Roland confront Walter, they head off to a gun store in New York, where they allow the owner to believe he's being robbed.
- After defeating Walter and preventing the fall of the tower, Jake buys Roland a hot dog. Naturally, Roland thinks it's made from actual dogs and mutters "savages", but has a bite anyway. He likes it, then asks "What breed?"
- At one point Roland encounters a pair of hookers while riding a bus in New York. After they hit on him, he informs them that they have both forgotten the faces of their fathers. Even out of context, they're insulted.
- In a way, it's a touch funny to see Walter casually cooking chicken in the kitchen when Jake's mother and step-father return home.
- Evil Is Cool: Walter cuts quite the striking figure in that black suit.
- Evil Is Sexy: Walter cuts quite the striking figure in that black suit.
- Heartwarming Moments: Roland teaching Jake how to fire a gun, whilst they both recite the Gunslinger oath together.
- Ho Yay: In the spirit of the books' occasional glints of Foe Yay (especially in The Gunslinger), the Man in Black gets into Roland's personal space (physical and psychological) pretty frequently. And then there's the "tall, dark, and handsome" line.
- It's Short, So It Sucks!: When the film was revealed to be 95 minutes long, a lot of people expressed concern that that's not nearly enough to truly tell this story.
- Just Here for Godzilla: Quite a few viewers announced that Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey playing the adult leads was their sole motivation for watching this movie.
- Moment of Awesome: The way Roland kills the Man in Black. Despite shooting at him, the Man in Black merely uses his magic to catch the bullets. He's able to do this even when Roland uses his surroundings to ricochet his shots at him. Roland gets around this by shooting one bullet at the Man in Black, then shoots a second bullet to ricochet off nearby debris. When the Man in Black tries to catch the first bullet, the second bullet knocks into it, and deflects the first bullet into his heart. Roland's then able to empty the rest of his gun into him and cap it off with a headshot. Especially cathartic for those who didn't like how the villain was dispatched in the final book.
- So Okay, It's Average: While many critics agree that the film was not particularly good, they do praise the actors' performances. The general consensus is that the film is serviceable on its own merits, but is not a worthy adaptation of the novels.
- Tear Jerker: The part where Jake returns home only to find not only did Walter kill his step-father, but he incinerated his mother on the spot. Aside from writing a friendly message on the wall with her ash, what twists the knife more is Jake can't even look upon her face one last time.
- There's a Hope Spot where Jake uses his Shining to see into the past, out of the vain hope that Walter didn't really kill his mother and it's all just a cruel trick. But Roland stops Jake, knowing that if they use the Shining, they'll only give themselves away. So all they can do is assume the worst and accept that Jake's mother is dead.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The film is a Broad Strokes adaptation of the first book, with a bit of the third thrown in, but leaves out a fair number of plot points and occurrences from the original, even ones that would be important later, basically only keeping Roland, the Man in Black, Jake, and the Dark Tower itself. Possibly justifiable in that this is actually a Stealth Sequel instead of a remake where events are implied to be taking a better turn than the novel.
- During the climax, when Jake (telepathically) recites the gunslinger oath to boost Roland's morale, the movie could've shown Roland overcoming the trauma of his father's death. Walter killed Roland's father before his eyes for the exact purpose that Roland would be too shell-shocked by the memory to remember his father. And there could've been one part where Roland remembers his father's dying expression, then recalls his father as he was.
YMMV / The Dark Tower (2017)