User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 517 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 30 out of 517

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  1. Dec 17, 2011
    Guy Ritchie has managed to take anything that could be found fun in the first installment and use it to death to the point of monotony. Game of Shadows is really the same movie as the first: an extremely Hollywoodized, action-oriented take on the classic detective. While the first was fairly enjoyable, with a great performance by Downey Jr., this one has scrapped any mystery whatsoever in favor of a Victorian era, Steam Punk actioner. There is a bit of redemption however, with the last twenty-five minutes to half an hour being intense and fairly clever, as well as some decent action sequences. It doesn't exactly outweigh the awful performance by Stephen Fry or the fact that Robert Downey has now worked all originality or quirkiness in his character to death. And of course, the upsetting fact that they set it up for a third movie. Expand
  2. Dec 17, 2011
    the first one was great, and this one was horrible. It had like three cool actions scenes and dry comedy throughout. But the movie stretched way too far. People were falling asleep in the theater and booing the movie. I really didn't like it.
  3. Dec 25, 2011
    God, if I could put this in simplest terms this was an extremley boring movie and I honestly couldn't wait till it ended. The movie does take extreme intellectual ability to understand which is what makes this a boring movie also a silly premises and plot, though action at times also clever scripting and acting which saved the movie from total demise, other than that the movie was to long, too boring, and to hard to understand. Expand
  4. Dec 19, 2011
    I am not sure I saw the same movie as others reviewing this trash. I am an avid movie goer who enjoys a variety of movies. I did enjoy the first Sherlock Holmes movie. I thought it was fresh and fast moving. This movie was extremely difficult to follow. Additionally, the characters were not well developed. The end of the movie tried to tie everything together. However, by then nobody cared! I had a difficult time staying awake. From the comments heard from the other members in the audience, I was not the only one. Don't waste your money. If you must see this, wait until it hits TV. Expand
  5. Dec 17, 2011
    Not awful, just not worth watching. Admittedly, I wasn't a fan of the first, but I wanted to see where they went with a sequel. Unfortunately, they retain the same problems that made the first movie uninteresting. The plot is so convoluted that most audience members will stop trying to figure out what's going on to try and just try to focus on the film's over-saturated action sequences.
  6. Dec 22, 2011
    This sequel has very little of what made the original so much fun. Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and Dr. Watson (Jude Law) talk way too much and most of it's not witty. Worse yet, the plot is confusing and convoluted. The action sequences are edited so fast and blurry that's it's impossible to tell what's going on. Director Ritchie has thrown around plenty of his stylistic flourishes, but they just add flash and noise. There's nothing about this film to recommend it. Expand
  7. Jan 1, 2012
    This has to be the worst Sherlock Holmes movie I ever saw. The story is uninspiring (to say the least) and advances in fits and turns. Dialogue is poorly written and astonishingly boring for the most part. The plot is so transparent, that you could watch another - far better - movie looking right through it. There was literally one scene, that managed to interest me and it's far towards the end of the movie. And about 5 minutes long. Expand
  8. Jan 7, 2012
    Such a dull and boring movie. The only thing that is possibly interesting at all are the fists fights due to the obscure filming. I would rather watch Bridesmaids than this garbage, and Bridesmaids was one horrid piece of crap. From about 10 minutes in I was ready to walk away, and that feeling didn't change. The story was boring, Rachel Mcadams was in it for about 5 minutes. The jokes weren't funny and the action was barely enjoyable and fancy. Worst movie of 2011 and 2012 at present. Expand
  9. Jan 1, 2012
    The actors are great as usual. But the director needs his head examined. This movie was horrible! What a waste of time, not to mention money. The first RD Jr. Holmes was great, but this one should be avoided. It will make the 99 cent box of cheap DVD's at the Supermarket rather quickly.
  10. Feb 14, 2013
    The first one was an amusing little action flick, even if it had nothing to do with Sherlock Holmes. This one doesn't even try to be a good movie, and they've stopped pretending to be Sherlock and Watson altogether. Terrible movie.
  11. Jan 5, 2012
    I'm no fan of the first Sherlock Holmes flick, and now the second installment only reduced my liking of the film series. This is definitely a Guy Ritchie film, it has boisterous action, choppy editing and what not, which does nothing to advance its already mediocre plot. The "humor" is quite corny and lacks comedic timing, and the script itself was a miss. Polished production designs and efforts from the cast are not enough to save this one, as it was one big mess. Expand
  12. Jun 15, 2013
    Once and for all pushing a beloved literary character into territory even James Bond is lately too embarrassed to occupy. A Game of Shadows is as unengaging as it is seemingly unending.
  13. Jan 6, 2012
    I would have really enjoyed this film, had it not been shot digitally, and not post-processed to the point of being so dark, it was a strain to make out exactly what was on the screen. Not that post-processing is a bad thing -- it was put to good use in Se7en by Brad Fincher, but when the screen is S-O-O-O dark, and the action is so jerky (due to digital photography), that you find yourself asking yourself exactly what you made out of the last scene (multiplied by the amount of scenes in the film). There is one scene set in full daylight about 3/4 of the way through -- and to give you an idea, set your monitor brightness to 5% -- now you have an idea of how dark this film is.

    There is no twist or turn in the screenplay. It is so predictable as to be laughable. Stephen Fry was a pleasant addition, but his part is woefully under-utilised.

    I found the original film to be a surprisingly refreshing film, albeit with too much CG, but action packed and humorous, with plenty of wit.

    This film does not rate in comparison, or on its own. You could convert this film into 37-D, and it would still be one dimensional
  14. May 1, 2012
    I wonder how this got such a high score. I didn't find it funny, or engaging or compelling. It didn't interest me at all. Enough said. When I find a movie THIS boring, I can't help but give it a low rating.
  15. Jan 6, 2012
    A frustrating movie- I was hoping it'd turn into a steampunk film, but it stayed wholly in period. There was a promising "underground railway being built here" sign on Baker Street, but this didn't turn up later in the film.

    There's no chance for the viewers to try and solve the mysteries themselves; there's lightning-fast flashbacks as quick explanations are offered. The film is very
    dark throughout; almost all the action takes place at night. The editing is very fast at times, which creates confusion and disorientation in the viewer.

    There are some good scenes, the Moriarty character is used well and there are some good confrontations between he and Holmes, with a chess metaphor running between them.
    There's a nice use of the final scenes of Mozart's "Don Giovanni" in an Opera House scene.

    If the film had been slowed down and more mystery added to it, I would've enjoyed it a lot more.
  16. Jan 7, 2012
    The worst movie since Sucker Punch. Despite the fact it steals many things from other (good) movies, this film is not just boring, but doesn't contain any exciting or unsuspected moment. Bored from the start to the end.
  17. Jul 24, 2012
    Game of shadows is loosely based on the same story as The Reichenbach Fall/Final Problem episodes of the BBC show but here the plot is not presented with the same interesting detective mystery style that Sherlock Holmes should be and is padded out by endless and mostly pointless action scenes that make it far longer than it should be and even more boring than the 1st film. We have action films for action scenes, there is no reason to mutate Sherlock Holmes into Rambo. He never even does his observation analysis thing once in the whole 75% of the film I watched. Expand
  18. Jan 1, 2013
    Peppered with enough pointless slow mo and colourful explosions to keep most people happy Sherlock Holmes 2 is bloated and direction-less. It just about flirts with a vague and familiar plot involving an evil genius and a possible world war but never quite embraces it properly and fully. The film also manages to skip any meaningful character and story progression by virtue of a succession of languid expository sequences and monologues. Furthermore, it fails to engage or involve the audience as its overtly 'clever' central characters have to constantly remind us what is going on and more importantly, why we should care. The trick with this kind of movie is to show us the intellectual merit of our characters but to always let the audience be smarter, it has to be this way otherwise there is no connection, no cinematic symbiosis.

    It is too easy to lambaste the film for not holding true to the source material, so i wont do that here but it is important to note that the film is astonishingly short on mystery or indeed, any interesting ideas. Instead we get so-called 'clever' disguises, whimsical plotting and an overwhelming sludge of absurdity more akin to that of a Tom Cruise era Mission Impossible film. Finally, Guy Ritchie continues to be director of interest although this is not always due to the importance or success of his films. Indeed, he seems to have a few ideas up his sleeves but sadly gleams too much delight from showing us the same ones over and over again from project to project. How is the fighting between Sherlock and his faceless baddies here any different to Brad Pitt's bare knuckle forays in Snatch? Also, how long can we endure the Tarantino-lite, pseudo-intellectual rumblings of his central characters who seem intent on talking around the films hollow plotting with puffed up similes and mindless metaphors. Anyways, this all results in the movie being a mildly watchable piece of cinematic pap.
  19. Mar 24, 2013
    Painful to sit through. The plot line seemed to jump from place to place like it was created by a fourth-grader.

Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 38
  2. Negative: 5 out of 38
  1. 40
    The only reason to put yourself through Guy Ritchie's overblown, inelegant Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows is to see Jared Harris, who plays Professor Moriarty, in a chilling low key.
  2. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Dec 19, 2011
    Something of an overlong, overblown, disorganized mess, despite being slightly better than its predecessor.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Dec 16, 2011
    What this film really celebrates is crunch-and-thud video-game-style action, not especially well choreographed by director Guy Ritchie.