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Generally favorable reviews- based on 504 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 29 out of 504

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  1. Mar 22, 2014
    The second installment in the Sherlock Holmes series is almost just as amazing as the first one. All the familiar elements that its predecessor did are brought back, and the product is still something to watch. Another great story with another great performance by Downey, Jr. and one by Law, too, A Game of Shadows is epic.
  2. Mar 8, 2014
    Just as good as the first, or perhaps, even better. This sequel proves to be intelligent, funny, action-packed and thrilling. There were a few scenes when you wished the pace would pick up a bit, but it's for sure, not a disappointment.
  3. Jul 23, 2013
    There is clever sleight of hand and easy on the eye set pieces which make the second outing of the stylised Sherlcok Holmes equally as enjoyable but more rich in bells and whistles to please fans of Guy Ritchie's interpretation, its best to forget what you know about Arthur Conan Doyle creation, this is very much a build on the person Robert Downey Jr brought to life in the first outing, not a bad thing at all.
    The elements of the book have been maintained, as Downey Jr takes the coveted role of the brilliant but erratic detective, joined again by soon to be married John Watson (Jude Law), and they are now faced with the most infamous of villains, Moriarty, played with elegance and encapsulating style by Jared Harris. Holmes and Watson embark on quite the round trip as they attempt to put a halt to a range of atrocities, all pointing to Moriarty, who remains in low profile and is able to cover his tracks without anyone ever suspecting him, until Sherlock Holmes comes along.
    Accompanying the film are the beautiful and groundbreaking slow-motion effects of the first, where we see various scenes up close and all that can be done is to sit back and admire. The set pieces are magnificent and satisfying to watch unfold, especially a spectacular train scene that oozes excitement and comedy in every way imaginable. In terms of the story, while there is plenty of explosive action, enough time is spared and used wisely to create some very memorable scenes between Holmes and Moriarty, with Downey Jr and Harris doing stellar jobs of showing the equal wit and intellectual prowess of the two characters, but also giving them their own personality separate from the countless other interpretations.
    While it may be brimming with these intelligent lines and excellent writing, its the cast who make it look good, with Stephen Fry taking on the role of Mycroft, the rich and comedic brother of Sherlock, while Noomi Rapace plays Madame Simza, a fortune teller who gets tangled in the complex web of Holmes and his enemies.
    A rapturous second outing for this updated take on the classic detective series, with a powerful cast who each give brilliant performances, combine that with a witty, unpredictable and edgy script that is careful to remain true to its roots, but also leave director Guy Ritchie with plenty of room to breathe, its along show but certainly worth each minute that always feels important.
  4. Jul 18, 2013
    This film is much like the first film in style and action: but Downey Jr. improved here so I can hear everything he said! The story was once again difficult to follow, but it was entertaining none the less. Entertaining film, but not a perfect one.
  5. 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.
  6. Jun 9, 2013
    I like this film, albeit in it the Sherlock Holmes is not that one I read in words of Doyle’s; yet they have common traits. Some say that this Sherlock is a foreseer of the future, and for it they detested the film, but indeed I think not so. I’d like to riddle the narrow chance that favors Downey in final victory, on the one hand to be the revealing of a perilous state in coping with Professor Moriarty that has built a kingdom of his own, and the rare gifts and expertise Sherlock Holmes has on the other hand, which the directors try to present to the audience.
    Dr. Watson in this movie is quite funny, with some mischievous mark, completely not that honest one in the book.
  7. Jun 1, 2013
    If I were to make a "top ten" of my all-time favorite movies, "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" would take the top spot, followed by 2009's prequel "Sherlock Holmes". From the action scenes to the plot, this movie is spotless. It's undeniably amusing and incredibly addictive.
  8. May 11, 2013
    I thought this movie would be quite boring but when I watched it I was quite impressed. The music the acting and the story were all good just like the first one.
  9. May 8, 2013
    The complex plot, the characters more developed than ever, and perfect performances from Downey Jr and Jude Law, this sequel far surpasses the predecessor to present a political plot that is the envy of many other films of the genre, and those beautifull scenes action in slow motion to make this Melor adaption of a book by Conan Doyle.
  10. May 7, 2013
    even if i have 600 American movies at home ,and love them true I can't let you hurt this movie
    why tell so many lies about a movie you just don't get ?
    a movie you couldn't have made in the U-S ?
    the 19 th century 's Europe was so civilized and SHerlock will never be the usual "american primal cop"
    and this movie is far too brilliant to be compared to the regular U-S
    "entertainment" 's productions
    if any big movie was half as good ,I would definitely shut up!
  11. Mar 24, 2013
    Great movie. Very entertaining new Sherlock Holmes interpretation by Guy Richie, one of my favorite film directors. Why not? The critics, again, are very wrong.
  12. 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.
  13. Mar 9, 2013
    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.
  14. Feb 23, 2013
    This is an amazing sequel to the original Sherlock Holmes. I highly recommend you to watch both movies because they both are quite a masterpiece. A graded movies.
  15. 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.
  16. Feb 12, 2013
    Like most sequels, the plot was over the top. There are way too many end-of-the-world movies coming out. I don't understand why filmmakers feel that they have to have an outrageous story line in order to keep people's interest in a franchise. James Moriarty, the only villain who has ever managed to off Holmes's game, was cast brilliantly. But I think they could have reserved him for a third movie. Holmes and Watson looked like super spies who go undercover and foil a conspiracy to prevent the destruction of multiple countries. This is not what Sherlock Holmes was about. I may be a purist but the movie was still entertaining enough, if you're willing to imagine that the Holmes that you're watching is a 19th century Ethan Hunt. If they had gone with the 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' story which was simple at heart yet mind boggling and involved a self contained mystery, I would have respected Guy Ritchie more. Expand
  17. Jan 18, 2013
    This is one of the best downey-movies i've ever seen. Its a good cast and a very good story. I really like this movie because i'm fan of the first one but I found these one the best.
  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. Dec 30, 2012
    Lots of action, a fair smattering of comedy and a thrilling plot go together to make up this film. Most of it works pretty well, however there is a bit of a weak link and that is the part of the story involving the character played by the, woefully underused, Noomi Rapace. I thought it was a little weak and didn
  20. Dec 20, 2012
    It's not a perfect movie. It's not a bad movie. It's not even amazing, but it is GOOD. Enjoy it. Much better than the first one! Slow motion was great. It is an artistic film, and as such, some may not undertand the usage of slow motion and precise shots- doesn't matter. A good movie to cuddle up with someone on a rainy day.
  21. Dec 11, 2012
    Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows has a lot of skilfully action. I very like the part when Holmes thought how to beat someone. there are just 3 words for this movie: WOW
  22. Nov 29, 2012
    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 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
  23. Nov 28, 2012
    It's distinctly messier than the first one, but "Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows" still remains an almost unrelentingly fun thrill ride, with two charismatic lead characters.
  24. Nov 23, 2012
    What's up with the hate from metacritic? A 48 from reviewers...yet they love Prometheus...that shows you that people love pretty effects over a really good...entertaining & cohesive story! While Prometheus leaves the audience wondering why the character's constantly do unscientific yet incredibly stupid things James martyarty seems to not only challenge homles wit but the viewers as well because he's always ahead by two steps! He extremely smart..devious & fun to watch! Holmes is just as great as he was in the first movie as is Watson(r.i.p blackwood you were awesome) I like how they focus a little more on Holmes preemptive strikes(sorry haters but if you watched the 1st one you know that he doesn't believe in magic) as he out thinks his attackers which is brilliant! The story is much improved over the first Holmes movies so I wont give it away but I have to say that I hated they killed off Irene saddler(Rachel Adams) early then replaced her with a gypsy(noomi rapace) who really just stands out like a black sheep! Her character doesn't bond well with Holmes or Watson & I assume shes just there for the presents of a female character! That aside...the action is great & feels like your watching pirates of the Caribbean sometimes(the assassin) but not the last pirates movie though! And now for the ending..I guess people hate good endings? Although they didn't PHYSICALLY fight...the ending was a representation of the MENTAL battle between them throughout the entire movie which is genius since Holmes & martyarty are both....well...geniuses so some people might dislike that well implemented scene!! Hopefully guy Richie will make a third movie because it deserves it for being good at keeping people interested in the story without over use of special effects....wink Prometheus verdict:9/10 Expand
  25. Nov 7, 2012
    At times, the plot is absurd, but, nevertheless, we roll with it. Why? Because Downey and Law have such great chemistry and play their characters with such ease that we can't help but be entertained.
  26. Aug 31, 2012
    A very enjoyable movie just like the first, so if you liked that one you will like this one as well. Great action, the acting is once again fantastic, and it was funny. I recommend this, and hope there will be sequels to it.
  27. Aug 28, 2012
    This film was not as good as the first one, lacked mystery and suspense, and also involved unnecessary talking. However, I really did like Downey, Jr.'s performance but this film was not able to impress me that much, or it is also possible that I was expecting it to be more mysterious. Whatever was the case, this film was good, not too great, but Sherlock Holmes is Sherlock Holmes, you can't miss it especially when Downey, Jr. is playing the role and he is playing it very well. I am giving it a 7 for a good plot because it was too hard to understand (and I liked it) and great performances by Downey, Jr., Jude Law and Jared Harris. Expand
  28. Aug 27, 2012
    Great movie. Great intriguing plot and amazing acting. If there is one thing that bothered me, it was the fact that most of Sherlock Holmes' wit took a backseat to the more favoured action sequences which are not staple of Holmes. The first movie balanced action and wit pretty well, here not so much. But I found myself at the edge of my seat much more this time, and it had a more intriguing plot.
  29. Aug 18, 2012
    Somewhat better than the first one. The story introduces Professor Moriarty with which Holmes and Watson play a game of wits. There are plenty of action scenes with the trademark super-slomo explosions and fistfights Guy Ritchie likes so much. It all looks great and the VFX are pretty good too. At 130 mins it's maybe a bit longer than it should have been but otherwise nice popcorn entertainment.
  30. Aug 14, 2012
    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.

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.