User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 545 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 30 out of 545
Watch On

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Jan 26, 2012
    5
    It's witty and clever, but far from cohesive. Apparently Sherlock is not only a great detective, but he can see the future as well? The scenes where he knows what is going to take place are absurd. The ending is also beyond ridiculous. I hate it when directors act as though we, as the audience, are morons. It was fun to watch, but silly. Downey Jr. is a genius of an actor, and the savingIt's witty and clever, but far from cohesive. Apparently Sherlock is not only a great detective, but he can see the future as well? The scenes where he knows what is going to take place are absurd. The ending is also beyond ridiculous. I hate it when directors act as though we, as the audience, are morons. It was fun to watch, but silly. Downey Jr. is a genius of an actor, and the saving grace of this movie. He manages to salvage something positive from this messy film. Expand
  2. Dec 16, 2011
    6
    I probably laughed out loud a good 30 times during the film, which is many more times than I expected to, but it just felt bloated around the middle. I still love the action sequences, and Downey Jr. is made for this role, but it could be tightened up in the 3rd iteration.
  3. Dec 26, 2011
    6
    An improvement over the original. My audience actually clapped, I think because the ending was clever, more so than the rest of the film. It's good they killed off Holmes' love interest early so they could concentrate on the real romantic relationship between Watson and Holmes. Not sure why they tried to make Downey look like the Joker in Batman in one scene.
  4. Dec 28, 2011
    6
    Even though there are now two films in Guy Ritchieâ
  5. Dec 26, 2011
    6
    Like the previous Sherlock Holmes movie I had no idea what was going on until the ending when everything came together, however overall this movie has good action scenes and is entertaining.
  6. Dec 17, 2011
    4
    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 inGuy 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
  7. Dec 25, 2011
    4
    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,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
  8. Dec 23, 2011
    5
    The potential for this series is great but no one seems wiling to take advantage of it. Here we have two great actors in Robert Downey, JR and Jude Law and the result is a TV miniseries. This film is no improvement on the first which may be my fault for not knowing the Holmes/Moriarty story better. Ritchie would have done himself some good if he had laid the foundation for that rivalry. InThe potential for this series is great but no one seems wiling to take advantage of it. Here we have two great actors in Robert Downey, JR and Jude Law and the result is a TV miniseries. This film is no improvement on the first which may be my fault for not knowing the Holmes/Moriarty story better. Ritchie would have done himself some good if he had laid the foundation for that rivalry. In addition, Law is not that good at being the straight man to Holmes. Law could have been left out of the film and I would not have noticed. Lastly, is Ritchie turning Moriarty into the a Bond super villain? Let's hope not as that is what destroyed that series. Expand
  9. Dec 22, 2011
    4
    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, butThis 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
  10. Dec 19, 2011
    6
    I'm giving it a pass - barely - because it was never boring. I'm still not convinced Guy Ritchie is the right director for Sherlock Holmes. I admire his visual style, but there was too much distracting slow motion and super fast word play between all the characters. I still have the same problem as I had in the first film about turning Holmes into a kung fu fighting super hero, butI'm giving it a pass - barely - because it was never boring. I'm still not convinced Guy Ritchie is the right director for Sherlock Holmes. I admire his visual style, but there was too much distracting slow motion and super fast word play between all the characters. I still have the same problem as I had in the first film about turning Holmes into a kung fu fighting super hero, but Hollywood has decided the average movie-goer in America has the attention span of a mosquito so the more action the better. They also threw a woman in the film for no reason, she is absolutely wasted. Still, Robert Downing Jr. and Jude Law do have a chemistry, there are some laughs, and a lot of action. Just don't expect much if you are a fan of the Arthur Conan Doyle books. Expand
  11. Dec 28, 2011
    5
    Guy Ritchie delivers his lurid best. I don't think that Moriarty is the worth enemy for Holmes. I got dizzy, lousy acts. Don't enjoy the talk, "the game," enjoy the slow-motion action scene, the forest scene is my favorite.
  12. Jan 1, 2012
    5
    The second installment in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes franchise is more action-packed than the first, and is just as funny. It's also on a far grander scale, as the great detective launches into a game of wits with his arch-nemesis Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris in a piece of perfect casting). Whilst the stakes have been increased, and there are a good deal more explosions this timeThe second installment in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes franchise is more action-packed than the first, and is just as funny. It's also on a far grander scale, as the great detective launches into a game of wits with his arch-nemesis Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris in a piece of perfect casting). Whilst the stakes have been increased, and there are a good deal more explosions this time round, A Game of Shadows has lost a lot of the charm the first film had. Robert Downey, Jr. has well and truly grown into his role - in the first film it felt like he was finding his feet, discovering who the character of Holmes really was, but this time round he is completely certain of himself, and his incarnation of the iconic literary character is mesmerising. As previously mentioned, Jared Harris makes the perfect Moriarty, both believable as an academic and as a criminal mastermind, and always menacing, and the scenes of "intellectual fistycuffs" between Holmes and Moriarty are without doubt the highlight of the film. Unfortunately Jude Law's Dr. Watson is now a little dull. In the first film he was essential to Holmes' investigations, serving as a combination of best friend, carer and bodyguard, but this time round he seems to have been brought along for the ride as an afterthought. He serves little purpose other than running around and firing the odd shot while Holmes works everything out. He's now just a big moving target with a moustache for evil henchmen to shoot at. And Jude Law forgets his character's limp on an alarmingly frequent basis. The relationship between Holmes and Watson has also devolved from an amusing "bromance" into full-blown homo-eroticism. Other characters from the first film aren't given the screen-time they deserve - Rachel McAdams' Irene Adler gets a couple of short scenes, and if you blink you'll miss Eddie Marsan's Inspector Lestrade. The performances of series newcomers Noomi Rapace and Stephen Fry are both competent but uninspiring. The main problem with the story of A Game of Shadows is not that it's uninventive and predictable (which it is), but that the pace is inconsistent - alternating between complex action scenes and quieter moments where Holmes tries to figure out exactly what is going on results in the story having a rather jarring stop-start feel. In addition, because of the excessive use of innuendo, sometimes the film resembles a Carry On! a little too closely. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is still entertaining for the most part, and has great performances from Robert Downey, Jr. and Jared Harris, but a combination of reduced roles for some central characters, uneven pacing and some laughable double entendre makes the film far less than it might be. Here's hoping these problems will be addressed in the sequel that will undoubtedly appear at some point in the near future. Expand
  13. Dec 21, 2011
    5
    Rarely do we see a sequel outstrip the original, and "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" is no exception. There appears to be a desire to reproduce some of the ambience of a Harry Potter film, which I noticed in the first Holmes project as well. In the original film, there was a pronounced and very dark occult theme; in the sequel the occult theme is lessened but vaguely represented by aRarely do we see a sequel outstrip the original, and "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" is no exception. There appears to be a desire to reproduce some of the ambience of a Harry Potter film, which I noticed in the first Holmes project as well. In the original film, there was a pronounced and very dark occult theme; in the sequel the occult theme is lessened but vaguely represented by a gypsy character played by Noomi Rapace (from "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," original Swedish production). She reads Tarot cards and hangs out with a gypsy band of wild, unbathed, petty thieves. She adds a colorful touch to the plot, although we see only a fraction of the intensity she generated in the Dragon Tattoo film. Jude Law's Watson seems to be as prevalent as Robert Downey's Holmes. Moriarty, played by Jared Harris, and Holmes are engaged in a violent physical and mental conflict to outwit each other. Moriarty is the incarnation of evil; Holmes is the hero and the good guy, a mantle he accepts with humor and a modest sense of grace. As a period piece set in 1891, there is much attention to detail--dress styles, ballrooms, weaponry, automobiles, etc. But the action-packed film is greatly dependent on shootouts and physical violence--dialogue and subtle intrigue cannot carry the plot. No matter how many times Holmes gets pummeled, he always bounces back in the next scene with only one or two scratches on his face, even after a giant tower practically falls on his head. His genius is characterized by a strange ability to note every detail with lightning speed, portrayed by fast-paced camera cuts. Action scenes are often frozen in slow motion, like a silent dream, then sound and normal speed are suddenly resumed. These camera tricks may be necessary to distract the viewer from the dullness of the plot. Despite the authenticity, Holmes says something about Watson getting a "nosh," which is a little startling. True, the Yiddish word, "nashn", which means "to snack," is derived from Middle High and Old High German; nevertheless, as a slang word that slipped into the English language, it can only be traced back to the 1950's. Too late for the very Protestant Sherlock Holmes, unless the Jewish community in London gave the Brits a head start on Yiddish expressions. Rachel McAdams reappears in this sequel, only to have her character killed off in the first fifteen minutes of the film. Surprising, since A-list actors never get killed off right away. Did McAdams have a busy schedule, or did she get fired by producer Susan Downey after sharing a rare, onscreen kiss with the producer's husband Robert Downey, Jr.? (It is a bit of a running joke among Downey fans that his wife, also his producer and boss, does not like to see him do love scenes.) The ending is an unembarrassed attempt to prepare us for Sherlock Holmes 3. And jealous and insecure wives aside, in the end the best reason to see this film is to have another opportunity to lose yourself in the large, soul-filled, liquid brown eyes of Robert Downey, Jr. Expand
  14. Dec 21, 2011
    5
    Sadly the sequel failed to live up to the first installment of the franchise though it is not without merit. In this new film on the mystery solving detective, Shelock Holmes must uncover a plot most foul devised by the evil Professor Moriarty and foil it before Europe is thrown into the grips of a World War. The strongest part of the film is its cast lead by Robert Downey Jr as HolmesSadly the sequel failed to live up to the first installment of the franchise though it is not without merit. In this new film on the mystery solving detective, Shelock Holmes must uncover a plot most foul devised by the evil Professor Moriarty and foil it before Europe is thrown into the grips of a World War. The strongest part of the film is its cast lead by Robert Downey Jr as Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. Watson who give respectable performances and work very well together. Jared Harris proved to be almost perfect for the role as the evil professor and Stephen Fry provides some excellent comic relief. The film also has top notch production design and effects and another good score by the awe inspiring Hans Zimmer. However the movie tries to be too complicated and intricate and at times the plot gets muddled. Worse still are some of the jarring action scenes, which constantly alternate between slow and fast motion leaving the viewer exhausted. Then there are the confusing scenes when Holmes seems to visualize every fight he gets into before the actual fight takes place which seems very redundant to me. Furthermore the film makes Holmes seem unrealistically intelligent. For example, in one scene Holmes notices a wine and a cement spill on the floor of a cellar and this somehow leads him to the correct conclusion that there is a secret exit in the cellar if one pushes a certain lever on a coat hanger. Still it's worth seeing if you are a fan of the first film even if it falls a little short. Expand
  15. Dec 18, 2011
    5
    I enjoyed it as a thrill ride and fun action flick. My wife really liked it and would give it a 9 out of 10. I was too distracted by one of my biggest pet peeves to rank it above a 5. As a "gun guy" I can't abide seriously flawed firearms details. If as a filmmaker you choose to make a big deal about the firearms the characters are using perhaps you should pick one that is contemporaryI enjoyed it as a thrill ride and fun action flick. My wife really liked it and would give it a 9 out of 10. I was too distracted by one of my biggest pet peeves to rank it above a 5. As a "gun guy" I can't abide seriously flawed firearms details. If as a filmmaker you choose to make a big deal about the firearms the characters are using perhaps you should pick one that is contemporary to the period not a Luger P08 that won't be invented for nearly two decades, not to mention the sub-machine gun that's at least a quarter century out of time. Give Taran Butler a call or better yet call me and I'll consult for free! Expand
  16. Dec 18, 2011
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A truly poor sequel. Ritchie takes the device of Holmes being able to triumph physically through rapid intellectual analysis pod the situation, which worked in the first installment, and beats it to death here. The charm of Conan Doyle's books is that the reclusive cerebral Holmes can observe minute details which illuminate the truth of crime scenes, interrogations, and the rest of criminal investigation. In order to pander to a broad (and presumably dull-witted) audience, Ritchie has turned Downey's performance into that of a whirling martial arts sensei. Moriarty is no hatcher of labyrinthine schemes here but merely a run of the mill (by today's standards) defense contractor. The ham-handed finale was the final insult and, for me, His Last Bow. Expand
  17. Dec 17, 2011
    4
    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.
  18. Dec 29, 2011
    6
    The rush for this movie comes from the success of the previous one. Nice photography, excellent scenery, same music, as well as the two main characters Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey) and his friend Dr. Watson (Jude Law), his lady friend, Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) , died poisoned at the very early scenes. A first success does not imply a second one, that what typically happened. In thisThe rush for this movie comes from the success of the previous one. Nice photography, excellent scenery, same music, as well as the two main characters Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey) and his friend Dr. Watson (Jude Law), his lady friend, Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) , died poisoned at the very early scenes. A first success does not imply a second one, that what typically happened. In this second version it is more of a satiric Sherlock Holmes who makes fun at the first place, he overestimates his brightness of mind against adversaries and events. Life is not a one person brain capable of solving all mysteries that easily and fore-sightly. Two hours are spent in this movie following beautiful shootings and scenery in a non convincing acting or scenario. I went out with a main feeling, something is missing. Collapse
  19. Dec 19, 2011
    6
    Fails to capture the magic of the original, long and drawn out, too many fight scenes, not as good as it could have been.

    Robert Downey plays a great part, some parts of the story where too drawn out.
  20. Jan 1, 2013
    4
    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 successionPeppered 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.
    Expand
  21. Feb 12, 2012
    5
    The movie was good but the ending kinda killed it. The pity I had was quickly vanished when Sherlock was still alive. This movie had potential but thanks to the anti-climatic ending, potential no more.
  22. Apr 16, 2012
    6
    Reviewing this in real time;
    It begins 'elementary' enough, by minute 22 I've 'deduced' that this ride is going to be 99.9% visual, so I'm now removing my thinking cap and settling in for 2 hours of style over substance. It's very pretty. Every shot would make a decent screensaver. Very little of the dialogue seems to matter. OMG it's see-Say, they keep saying exactly what we're
    Reviewing this in real time;
    It begins 'elementary' enough, by minute 22 I've 'deduced' that this ride is going to be 99.9% visual, so I'm now removing my thinking cap and settling in for 2 hours of style over substance. It's very pretty. Every shot would make a decent screensaver. Very little of the dialogue seems to matter. OMG it's see-Say, they keep saying exactly what we're already seeing. You could watch this with the sound off. Minute 51 and I'm still not letting myself think about what I'm seeing, that would ruin it. It's still very pretty to look at, though. I think this is what you would call a "visual feast". BTW, the acting is fine, everyone is squeezing as much tonal modulation as possible from every line. Emote, baby, emote.
    Just to underline the most glaring error so far, Sherlock Holmes is and always has been the 'Thinking Man's hero'. He's wasn't Indiana Jones, he's wasn't Bond, he's wasn't Batman. But now he's all three. Okay, now back to the film.
    It got really really pretty for a while and now it's just back to regular pretty.We're at the point where the audience is supposed to think, "Uh oh, s#!+ just got real." Bombs, canons, Gatling guns, GERMANS! A ballet of explosions! Death...sadness, loss...resurrection? Aww, BFFF's. That was fun to watch. Okay, let's regroup and begin building the third act.
    Surprisingly I now care (mildly) about the principle characters. Still no use for dialogue, you know everything because you can see it. Ha! Ritchie just tried to make a political statement about war profiteers. Cute. Hm, final conflict was also fun to watch. Final punchline aaand that's a wrap.
    Okay to summarize, it's all about style, there's no mystery or very much story for you to get absorbed in, you just follow the action to the end. Guy Ritchie is not deep but he does have an eye for visual detail and when he gets to stop worrying about storyline and just lay out cool visuals he nails it. Early in to this real-time review I started thinking of this film as a high priced escort, pretty to look at but no fun to talk to. Well this one was pretty enough so you didn't need to talk to her for 2hours, 3 minutes and 27 seconds. And now that she's gone you can't hate on her. She is what she is.
    6 out of 10 because I didn't feel frustrated when it was over. AND it was really pretty.
    Expand
  23. Jul 16, 2012
    6
    Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a solid sequel that walks the fine line between improving upon the ideas of it's predecessor or simply retreading them. Although not perfect, the movie does more than enough to entertain throughout it's duration. Is it superior to the original? To be honest, I think it's too close to call... But is it worth watching? Well, that's elementary my dear reader.
  24. Feb 12, 2012
    6
    Sherlock Holmes was a marvelous movie. It had action, humor, style and wit amongst things but it also had substance in it's story. And that's were SH2 comes up short for me. The story isn't as absorbing as the original however it terms of action and entertainment in trumps it by some manner. A Game of Shadows picks up from it's predecessor with Sherlock hot on the heels of ProfessorSherlock Holmes was a marvelous movie. It had action, humor, style and wit amongst things but it also had substance in it's story. And that's were SH2 comes up short for me. The story isn't as absorbing as the original however it terms of action and entertainment in trumps it by some manner. A Game of Shadows picks up from it's predecessor with Sherlock hot on the heels of Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris). The beginning is frantic and sets up the tone for the film and also includes a brief cameo from Rachel McAdams,playing Irene Adler. Holmes suspects Moriarty to be behind some seemingly unrelated business acquisitions, murders and terrorist attacks and in doing so takes on Moriarty in a "Game of Shadows." The plot is difficult follow at times and you will often be left wondering what is going on although the final third of the film comes together very well leading to an awesome ending that I didn't see coming. What SH2 has in abundance is sheer entertainment and amazing action. The explosive set-pieces are outstanding and really capture your attention drawing you into the film, it's almost as if the story is secondary infact that's largely the point, Guy Ritchie succeeds in the action department but the story is lacking. Robert Downey Jr. is once more in fantastic form as Holmes bringing that charm and personality to the role, Jude Law also impresses as Watson delivering another fine performance. Noomi Rapace, best known for The Girl With... trilogy, comes on board and there's even an appearance from a certain Stephen Fry! A Game of Shadows excels in it's set-pieces extravaganza providing some of the best explosive sequences your likely to see however the story loses its focus and as a result is hard to follow until the closing stages which ultimately pays off with a fabulous finale Sherlock Holmes style. Expand
  25. Feb 5, 2012
    6
    Like the first Sherlock movie, Sherlock 2 looks great with good editing and a visual style but does not have a compelling plot or characters you care that much for. There are some charming moments but for the most part Sherlock 2 was underwhelming. I recommend Sherlock 2 if you liked the first movie but don't expect too much as its only ok and is not too memorable.
  26. Jun 15, 2013
    4
    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.
  27. Feb 8, 2012
    6
    Rien de bien neuf à l'horizon pour cette suite, à part un scénario plus conventionnel et un ensemble bien plus spectaculaire. Sinon, ce Sherlock Holmes 2 est comme son prédécesseur, c'est-à-dire un blockbuster qui a son public tout comme les gens qui sont réticents au résultat fourni.Rien de bien neuf à l'horizon pour cette suite, à part un scénario plus conventionnel et un ensemble bien plus spectaculaire. Sinon, ce Sherlock Holmes 2 est comme son prédécesseur, c'est-à-dire un blockbuster qui a son public tout comme les gens qui sont réticents au résultat fourni. Faisant parti de ces derniers, j'ai eu droit à un film d'action rondement mené et superbement interprété, mais qui devrait s'intituler autrement, n'accrochant pas du tout à cette version moderne du personnage et à ce côté action et mise en scène (ralentis, ambiance...) qui nous semblent incompatibles au Sherlock des vieux films que l'on préfère. Quant aux adorateurs du premier film de Guy Ritchie, il trouveront sans peine ce qu'ils sont venus voir dans cette suite et ne seront pas déçus. Expand
  28. Jan 6, 2012
    6
    Fairly decent film. I liked Jude Law and Robert Downey's performances and the screen "bromance" they had. It had its moments of humor, and I also liked the action and the slow motion added to the action scenes. However, I felt they had no reason to include Noomi Rapce, because she barely had importance to the movie.
  29. Nov 29, 2012
    5
    Unfortunately this movie was nowhere near as good as the first one. The acting and the witty humor was still there as well as the way certain layers of the plot unfold. However, there were certain aspects of the story that felt like lazy writing. More than anything though, the action sequences, while outstanding in the first film, were overdone and cheesy in many scenes. This movie isUnfortunately this movie was nowhere near as good as the first one. The acting and the witty humor was still there as well as the way certain layers of the plot unfold. However, there were certain aspects of the story that felt like lazy writing. More than anything though, the action sequences, while outstanding in the first film, were overdone and cheesy in many scenes. This movie is another perfect example of why 3D is potentially hurting film making. There were many instances where you could tell than the director threw in gimmicky "pop-outs" that felt forced. The biggest flaw of all, in my opinion, was the ending. Unrealistic just doesn't begin to describe how ridiculous the ending was. These things took away from the experience and left you waiting for it to end rather than enjoying the experience. Expand
  30. Jan 10, 2012
    6
    My very first cinema encounter in 2012 is the sequel of a reverberating bromance action flick of Sherlock Holmes and his lover Dr. Watson, two years after the triumph of the unorthodox trio - Guy Ritchie, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law - of rebooting the household name into a bankable cash inflows, this time, at the same Christmas/New Year season, the threesome orgy revels in a moreMy very first cinema encounter in 2012 is the sequel of a reverberating bromance action flick of Sherlock Holmes and his lover Dr. Watson, two years after the triumph of the unorthodox trio - Guy Ritchie, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law - of rebooting the household name into a bankable cash inflows, this time, at the same Christmas/New Year season, the threesome orgy revels in a more unrestrained burlesque, while all the detective-related mind-trickery is watered down in spite of Prof. Moriaty's existence (an underrated Jared Harris).

    The film has some self-consciously insipid moments during its 129 minutes running time, for the hefty action sequences, either those slow-motion or pre-mind fighting is overly abused, which functions eloquently in the first episode, nevertheless, the same question here, do we really need Holmes to be an action star like Bruce Lee? (anyway, it could not be worse than WITHOUT A CLUE 1988, a slapstick farce of a swapped identity.) In the face of that the old trick fails to avail for the second time, the ace is that a gay-implied two-player eclipses all the rest of the film (I cannot bring to my mind whatâ
    Expand
  31. Jan 25, 2012
    5
    'Observancy is a dying art.'

    So sayeth the late, great Stanley Kubrick regarding the self-perceived genius of his final film. He was talking about the tiny details inserted into every scene of Eyes Wide Shut, leaving the sharp-eyed viewer with more questions than answers with every viewing. Sherlock Holmes' ability to notice these fine points, and the camera's ability to linger on them
    'Observancy is a dying art.'

    So sayeth the late, great Stanley Kubrick regarding the self-perceived genius of his final film. He was talking about the tiny details inserted into every scene of Eyes Wide Shut, leaving the sharp-eyed viewer with more questions than answers with every viewing. Sherlock Holmes' ability to notice these fine points, and the camera's ability to linger on them just long enough to give you a fighting chance of solving the problem before he does, is one of the few quality aspects of this film. As for the rest of it, A Game of Shadows adheres to the typical conventions of a sequel. That is, bigger, louder and more ambitious, but ends up being nowhere near as fun as its predecessor.

    With Dr. Watson (Jude Law) happy to have the events of the past behind him, he makes plans for his long-overdue marriage. That is until news spreads regarding a series of mysterious bombings in and around London. Never one to work alone, Watson is again dragged into the deep end by the crafty Holmes (Robert Downey Jnr.). And so, with the help of Holmes' highly inappropriate brother Mycroft (Stephen Fry) and Simza the gypsy (Noomi Rapace), they are led to Holmes' greatest adversary, the evil but equally cunning Moriarty (Jared Harris).

    If that sounds more like a trailer blurb than a synopsis, it is because attempting to explain this plot in detail would only result in digging a deeper hole. One of the strengths of the first instalment (trying to steer away from the word 'original' here) was a plot that was balanced enough to keep the viewer's attention without seeming too simple, and allowing for some enjoyable interplay between the utterly immersive Holmes and Watson. This time around, however, director Guy Ritchie substitutes substance for style, placing great importance on keeping the film moving from place to place to place with very little deduction in between. These efforts to keep the audience's mind occupied actually end up having negative effects, as the film degrades into more of a visual spectacle, and less of a romping mystery, with every passing scene. In fact, from the absurd set piece involving a firefight on a train halfway through the film, the rest of the story seems to almost give up on anything that could even be considered rational or believable. Suspension of disbelief is a key requirement when watching films like this, sure, but Shadows takes things to new levels of foolishness, wasting the chance to deliver a fresh, clever sequel.

    Despite these occasionally over-the-top moments, the action is mostly well directed, albeit with a tendency to overuse slow motion and crash zooms at key moments. Holmes' re-imagining as an expert martial artist is still fun to watch, and his methods of predicting his opponent's entire move set before the fight has even begun are more refined in this film. His prior planning to prevent poor performance meets its match during the climax when we see Moriarty studying Holmes in the same way, resulting in the film's best moment by a long margin.

    Speaking of our hero's arch-nemesis, Moriarty's presence is disappointingly underwhelming. The best villains are able to invoke a feeling of dread even when off-screen, but it seems this much-lauded mastermind is content to be the office general; watching the good guys fight off hordes of faceless henchmen while he sits in his swivel chair, stroking his cat and practicing his best 'I've been expecting you.' Again, this is not the actor's fault- the character simply suffers from inadequate screen time to develop a truly menacing persona, while other insignificant side characters clog up the scenery (not including Rapace's Simza, who has the whole hippie-gypsy dread thing going on to great effect).

    But, for all its pitfalls, it would be unfair to give this film anything less than a straight average score, particularly in the light of almost all other blockbuster franchises still alive today. Yes, RDJ's characterisation has regressed from 'charmingly pompous' to 'borderline psychopath' in the last two years, but he and Law still try their darndest to make it work.

    *There's nothing I love more than a bit of feedback, good or bad. So drop me a line on jnatsis@iprimus.com.au and let me know what you thought of my review.*
    Expand
  32. Jan 21, 2012
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Great movie, right until the ending. The fact that he survived a fall of hundreds of meters into a river and didn't die from the impact is just too far fetched. And Irene Adler is an unnecessary character. She gets 10 minutes of screen time then dies. It was pretty good the rest of the time Expand
  33. Jan 28, 2012
    6
    To summarize my review in a sentence, this is a simple, fun movie that you wouldn't regret seeing. It has good pacing, hilarious moments, and the actors are clearly having fun with their roles too. Some people might be turned off by the length of this movie, but you never have dull moment where you sit back and ask "how much longer is this movie going take?" It's not a movie that is goingTo summarize my review in a sentence, this is a simple, fun movie that you wouldn't regret seeing. It has good pacing, hilarious moments, and the actors are clearly having fun with their roles too. Some people might be turned off by the length of this movie, but you never have dull moment where you sit back and ask "how much longer is this movie going take?" It's not a movie that is going to make you think, it's not going to awe you with it's cinematography, and it's probably not really going to evoke any strong emotions. But it is a movie that you can drop $10+ to go see, have a fun time, and talk about it with your friends afterwards. Expand
  34. Jul 24, 2012
    4
    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 actionGame 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
  35. Aug 17, 2015
    6
    Featuring a similar style to the first Sherlock Holmes, A Game of Shadows struggles due to a poor story and my general lack of amusement from Robert Downey Jr.'s antics as the famed private investigator. However, the villain is compelling and the cat-and-mouse game does provide entertainment. The real star here for me is certainly the costume and production design, as well as the stylishFeaturing a similar style to the first Sherlock Holmes, A Game of Shadows struggles due to a poor story and my general lack of amusement from Robert Downey Jr.'s antics as the famed private investigator. However, the villain is compelling and the cat-and-mouse game does provide entertainment. The real star here for me is certainly the costume and production design, as well as the stylish way it is shot. Jude Law is great, as is Noomi Rapace. Guy Ritchie does pretty well in the director's chair as though I did not think the story was nearly as good as that of the first film, it is told well. Yet, the reason why I got any enjoyment out of this one was the aesthetic elements that I mentioned before. Downey does not do it for me, but luckily, the way this one truly captures the time period and makes it come to life is what really appeals to me. Overall, this one falls short of the original, but every film would be improved if it had this set. Expand
  36. Aug 14, 2012
    6
    Eh, it's kind of a mixed bag for me. The chemistry between Holmes and Watson isn't nearly as interesting as it was the first time around. The story felt more jumbled around and this caused me to lose track of who the villain was and what his intentions were. Downey Jr. boasts another solid performance and the action sequences are solid enough, but everything else is meh.
  37. Mar 9, 2013
    6
    Well thought out movie I must say. Takes you into an adventure in a different time, but it`s not really my type of movie. It was worth watching, but I can`t say I enjoyed all of it. At times I just did not care what was going on.
Metascore
48

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
    50
    Something of an overlong, overblown, disorganized mess, despite being slightly better than its predecessor.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Dec 16, 2011
    42
    What this film really celebrates is crunch-and-thud video-game-style action, not especially well choreographed by director Guy Ritchie.