User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 506 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 29 out of 506

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  1. Mar 22, 2014
    8
    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
    7
    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
    10
    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.
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  4. Jul 18, 2013
    7
    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
    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.
  6. Jun 9, 2013
    8
    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.
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  7. Jun 1, 2013
    10
    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
    9
    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
    10
    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
    10
    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!
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  11. Mar 24, 2013
    10
    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
    0
    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
    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.
  14. Feb 23, 2013
    9
    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
    2
    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
    8
    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
    9
    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
    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 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.
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  19. Dec 30, 2012
    8
    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
    7
    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
    10
    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
    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 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
    8
    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
    9
    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) character....so 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 wink...my verdict:9/10 Expand
  25. Nov 7, 2012
    7
    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
    8
    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
    7
    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
    8
    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
    7
    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
    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.
  31. 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 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
  32. Jul 21, 2012
    8
    I'm no big fan of sherlock holmes and definitely not of guy ritchie (snatch apart) but this was a really entertaining movie. Perhaps the relatively low scores are in part due to the BBC's 'Sherlock' which is very british and this is just very american. As a brit, if i loved sherlock holmes i would probably hate this, but just judging the movie purely on its entertainment value, i have to say its a 'good un'. From the beginning, the film is well shot, well acted, with decent action set pieces and a fairly good story. Its well worth a watch whether you like 'holmes' or not. Expand
  33. Jul 18, 2012
    9
    "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" is a thrilling, suspenseful, and daring adventure that knows just when and where the characters should be and what they should be doing. This is much more fun than its predecessor.
  34. 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.
  35. Jul 10, 2012
    9
    What in gods name is wrong with our professional reviewers people? This film was an absolute masterpiece and almost tops the first film which is surprising. Robert Downey.Jr makes ample work as the role of the psychotic Mr Holmes set on his new fast paced adventure that will surely lead to the breakout of another war? With plenty of action and comedy, a great watch for all.
  36. Jul 2, 2012
    8
    I enjoyed this movie, it was thrilling and comical, moved along at a fair pace and had enough of a plot to maintain interest. the effects were well done, but the sound was a bit loud, at some times it was scary, i would have rated it M15+
  37. May 15, 2012
    10
    I give this movie a solid, easy 10. It was fast- paced and had a more compelling plot than the previous movie. I particularly like how this movie gave you all the clues in such a way that in the end, you had a fantastic moment of blissful realization when you saw how the whole puzzle fit together and saw Holmes' plan. I would definitely recommend it.
  38. May 14, 2012
    7
    Quite disappointed. Liked the first film but this was a let down. The film was like a world tour with not enough time spent in London (a big draw of the novels is Victorian London), too much rushing around, too many explosions, too many set pieces that weren't important to the plot (the whole train sequence), not enough detective work going on other than Sherlock being almost supernatural in being able to figure things out straight away. Not sure what the point of the gypsy woman was other than a bit of eye candy. The villain was disappointing - see the recent BBC TV version of Moriarty for a far more dangerous and chilling villain. Best part was the interplay between Holmes and Watson but there wasn't nearly enough of this. Just lots of travelling between exotic CGI locations and random battles. Expand
  39. May 4, 2012
    8
    SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS continues the tradition of the first film superbly, with the same brilliant chemistry between Watson and Holmes that made the original so enjoyable.
  40. May 1, 2012
    3
    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.
  41. Apr 22, 2012
    9
    This was a great followup to the 1st Sherlock movie. Costumes and locations shot are awesome. I don't understand how people can't be entertained by this movie. Every time there's a Sherlock vs Moriarty moment, the ambiance is over-saturated with snobbishness and the "I'm better than you" syndrome, which is so typical of a good Sherlock story.
  42. Apr 18, 2012
    9
    Had to write a comment seeing a ridiculous zero score by the SF Chronicle. I have seen so many bad movies lately (including some Oscar noms.) but this ain't one of them. What do critics expect Bergman? It started off a little shaky but soon had soon had me hooked. Robert Downey and Jude Law are great as usual, and loved the convoluted plot. And what a pleasure to see Noomi Rapace waltz through a marvelous role as a gypsy. All in all super fun all the way to the end. Hats off to Guy Ritchie for another winner. Expand
  43. 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
    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.
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  44. Apr 6, 2012
    10
    This was well worth seeing on the big screen! I really can't say a bad word about it: great acting, well developed actors and great surprises throughout the movie! I may even have to see it again.
  45. Mar 24, 2012
    9
    Fast-paced, excitingly action-packed, nicely acted, and full of humor, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is fun, brilliant movie that lives up to its equally funny and entertaining predecessor. 9/10.
  46. 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 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
  47. Feb 12, 2012
    8
    Complex story line. Decent acting. An amazing adventure, full of thrills at every corner. What more could you want?
  48. 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.
  49. 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. 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
  50. Feb 8, 2012
    9
    I enjoyed this film! I liked as much as the first one. It was also more simple to understand. And it was FUNNY. It was everything, comedy, action, drama, mystery (a little little little bit of romance). And the death of Irene was terrible, I liked how Sherlock was silently hurt.
  51. Feb 7, 2012
    9
    This movie is awesome, mind blowing, amazing, i don't know how else to describe it. The execution, sound effects, the atmosphere of the nineteenth century have been done most efficiently. The story has been conveyed very well to the audience throughout the film. I don't understand why the critics have insulted this beautiful piece of art by giving it a 48.
    I think, the only thing that kept
    me from giving this movie a 10, is that the conventional Sherlock Holmes approach was not there, and the story could have been a little more complicated for Sherlock Holmes.
    This movie can be watched how many ever times a person desires to.
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  52. 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.
  53. 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 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
  54. 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 saving grace of this movie. He manages to salvage something positive from this messy film. Expand
  55. 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
    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.*
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  56. Jan 24, 2012
    10
    I really liked the second installment of Sherlock Homes. I really enjoy Robert DJ as Sherlock, as well Jude makes a marvelous Watson. I really hope there will be another
  57. Jan 24, 2012
    8
    I actually thought this was very great and even better than the first one. This one had the action, comedy, Adams, and of course the best acting people who can work good together. I will actuall buy this one when it comes out. Please make a third one.
  58. Jan 23, 2012
    8
    Prefer the first movie but very enjoyable Christmas movie for grown-ups with great chemistry between Downey and Law and magnificent backdrops, just a tad too long
  59. 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
  60. Jan 16, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I really enjoyed viewing this second installment in the Sherlock Holmes franchise. The performances by Downey and Law were as fluid and enjoyable to watch, if not more, than their performances in the first film. The plot is as clever as ever and there is a nice blend of comedy, action, and drama that appeals to a wide audience. My only gripe is that I would have liked to seen some more of McAdam's character, Irene Adler, as her absent personality was evident, but one could argue that it helped separate the second from the first film. It definitely left Holmes with a motive and allowed him to concentrate more on ruining Moriarty. Expand
  61. Jan 16, 2012
    10
    This film was amazing.I enjoyed every part of it.It was very humorous at times and sometimes shocking. I would strongly recommend this film.I actually prefer this film rather than the first one!
  62. Jan 15, 2012
    7
    Good blockbuster fare but nothing too memorable. Lacks the surprise factor of the first and just a little too much slow-mo. There are worse ways to waste a couple of hours.
  63. Jan 13, 2012
    8
    While the story isn't as good as, say, the original books, the movie's still a load of fun. The acting is superb. The writing is dandy. The action is as chaotic and cerebral as ever. It's certainly a step above other action films, if a little low for Holmes's grand adventures.

    Still, a movie is a movie, and it's a damn good on.
  64. Jan 11, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I had high hopes for this as I liked the first film however I was wrong there is far to much going on and the film makes No sence the only good bit is the gun battle in the train where he chucks mrs Watson in to the river To sum up this is too long and to boring Expand
  65. Jan 11, 2012
    10
    I gets better than the first one. I really enjoy it. It is more funny, smarter and it has more action, which must say that it was some amazing, you can´t breathe int hose scenes, a very good film.
  66. 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 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
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  67. RSA
    Jan 8, 2012
    8
    Though not as brilliant as its prequel, 'Game of shadows' is pretty gripping in the later part. Especially, dialogues between the Sherlock and Moriarty duo, were top-class, and the way each try to outwit one other, is what that makes the plot pretty interesting. And especially the ending moments and the climax (THE END?) was brilliant!! As Guy-Ritchie said in his 'revolver', 'you play better playing a tougher opponent', this time Sherlock really gets better, playing Moriarty!! Hope Guy-Ritchie ends this series on a high note !!! Expand
  68. Jan 7, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. My expectations werent necessarily low, but I was very pleasantly surprised by how brilliantly written, meticulously directed and fantastically edited this better-than-the-original sequel was. Critic response hasnt been very positive, so I expected some level of disappointment, but I left disappointed in the lack of praise this movie has received. The cast is downright perfect, as it was the last time, but what improved this version over the extremely wonderful predecessor was the extensive insight into Sherlock's detective mind, something I considered lacking in the original. The relationship between Holmes and Watson was more deeply built, as was Holmes' relationship with his adversary. Moriarty was a perfect counterpart and a joy to finally see on screen. Other than the length, I have very, very little criticism of this intellectually stimulating, action-packed feast for the senses. The getaway scene from the armory was enough to praise Ritchie, and this is coming from a not-so-interested-in-action-movies kind of guy. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a masterpiece in a genere not often represented or respected. Expand
  69. Jan 7, 2012
    1
    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
  70. Jan 7, 2012
    2
    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.
  71. Jan 7, 2012
    10
    The movie was brilliant and the actors were even more brilliant! I really enjoyed this movie: in my opinion the people who don't like it actually don't understand it.
  72. Jan 6, 2012
    2
    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.
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  73. Jan 6, 2012
    0
    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
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  74. Jan 6, 2012
    10
    This movie does what you expect...it has action, adventure and sexy men! What more do you want out of a movie that is billed as nothing less. If you expect this to be the Sherlock Holmes of literature, it's not and never was meant to be. Enjoy it for what it is!
  75. 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.
  76. Jan 6, 2012
    9
    More witty, humorous and action packed than the first one,it also had one of THE BEST endings you ever likely to see in any movie of any genre....!!!
  77. Jan 6, 2012
    9
    This movie was extremely funny and creative, the thought into RD Jr. thought proccess into how he operates is just histarical you never expect anything to come out the way it does in these movies, pretty damn good movie!
  78. Jan 5, 2012
    9
    I liked the first of these movies and loved this one. I really enjoyed the dialogue, the humor and the pacing. Gorgeous detail in the costuming and machinery enhanced the feel of the film. I enjoy the rougher feel to the Victorian age that these films capture as I believe it is closer to the reality of London in this era. You do need to pay attention if you want to solve the mystery with Sherlock Holmes as the film progresses but that is part of the attraction for me. Definitely recommend this film, a great combination of plot twists, humour and action. Expand
  79. Jan 5, 2012
    3
    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
  80. Jan 4, 2012
    7
    While perhaps not as taught as the first movie, and sad to see some major characters being killed off, I thought this movie was a fun romp. There were definitely uneven points in the plot, but on the whole I laughed pretty hard at the interactions between Holmes and Watson and enjoyed the stylized Guy Ritchie action scenes. I've heard some complaints about the choice of actor for Professor Moriarty, but he was definitely creepy and intelligent enough to pull it off. I just wish Noomi Rapace hadn't been so underutilized. Expand
  81. Jan 4, 2012
    9
    Terrific adventure with fine acting from the stars, and plot twists that will have you leaning half out of your chair. One of the best characters is Moriarty; the actor does a perfect job of communicating both the man's intelligence and his coldness as a sociopath. The movie is also very funny, with Mycroft and the butler providing good supporting roles. There's a lot of comedy in the film, only a few confusing points but very tense plot twists. Fans of mystery will have a lot to enjoy in this film. Expand
  82. Jan 4, 2012
    8
    Robert Downey Jr is best as always. The slow motion scenes are just Awesome.I will say it is better than the previous one. Amazing film everyone should watch it once.
  83. Jan 3, 2012
    8
    The first few scenes of the movie confirmed my fears that it was a bit of a departure from the atmosphere of the first. The action is consistently high instead of masterfully ebb and flow, the setting is a bit unrealistically global (though with good reason) instead of meaningfully localized, and lengthy gunfights have replaced most of the proper beat-downs. What surprised me is that every scene thereafter completely justifies it. Sherlock is already deep into this mystery by the time the movie begins and by the time you catch up to what he's figured out about Moriarty's intention's, it'd have been ridiculous for him not to have brought along as many bullets as possible. All in all, I dare say that I'm more pleased than I probably would have been with a "more of the same" sequel. Like it's predecessor, the scenery is beautiful, the acting is great, the soundtrack's superb, the special effects well exceeded my expectations and the sets, costumes, and casting make it all work perfectly. Unfortunately, my high praise likely hinges on the condition that they don't make a third movie. As much as I'd love to see more, I'm afraid there's nowhere left to go but down. Expand
  84. Jan 2, 2012
    8
    If you enjoyed the first one, then this one is worth the time to see. I would not say better than the first, but very close. Downey and Law deliver solid performances.
  85. Jan 2, 2012
    10
    This movie was very thought provoking. I loved it, but I can see how other people would classify this as boring. It was a long movie. Don't go in expecting it to be like the first one, it's not in more ways than a few. Most of the battles in this are mental. Didn't really care for the fire fights, but even with the gun battles, there was always an underlined theme.
  86. Jan 1, 2012
    7
    First things first..... I loved the movie. For all the fans of the detective from Arthur Canon Doyle's book, this version of Holmes is blasphemous. For all those who got the first taste of the great detective after watching the first installment, this movie is one hell of a joyride... Take your pick. For the original Sherlock Holmes fans.... Sherlock Holmes, the great detective, does not deduce anything in the movie. There is no mystery to solve here,no clues, no surprise elements.While the first part had not one but many puzzles to solve, this time around, the story is plain vanilla.
    Here, Holmes is on a mission to stop Prof. James Moriarty from committing a dastardly act (no spoilers this time).

    In the movie, Holmes is more of a brawler, master of disguise, cross-dresser & thief than a detective. There is precious little to "deduce". The script requires him to speak wittily, fire guns, run on rooftops,trains & woods and dress weirdly. He does what Ethan Hunt and James bond do (but for the dressing weirdly bit). What he does not do in the movie is not anything like what he does in the novels / stories ( 4 long & 56 short stories).

    To read further, please check into - http://filtercoffeechronicles.blogspot.com/2012/01/sherlock-holmes-end.html
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  87. Jan 1, 2012
    0
    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
  88. Jan 1, 2012
    0
    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.
  89. 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 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
  90. Dec 31, 2011
    10
    Phenomenal movie! Intense action, amazing filmography, good plot, great acting. A must see. Witty and filled with clever British humor. Keeps you on your toes.
  91. Dec 31, 2011
    7
    This movie is good,not great good the first movie was fresh fast funny and the best thing that IT WAS SMART,this movie deffer,as the lead RDJ is great as ever he just own Holmes i really want to see him in more movie's but back to the movie it's slow it's spread like butter on too much bread all the fun thing's in the first movie are stretched so far it's killing it, but the cast save it by some funny moments, and the movie has very few smart moment's in it the whole movie is more action oriented than mystery ,of course the first movie had some action but it was smart action this movie goes like "Call Of Duty" action sequence in.....i'm gonna be honest i happens quite a lot so yeah if there were more : There were never any..........You put............and then...........and that's all and less : sniper............mortar's.........bam bam bang bang...so yeah if you liked the 1st Sherlock Holmes you owe it to yourself to watch the 2nd it's not that great but it's worth...but i recommend as a movie of this season : Mission Impossible : Ghost Protocol Expand
  92. Dec 30, 2011
    10
    I have got to say, the critics AND users were a little harsh on this VERY SLIGHTLY flawed diamond. this movie was entertaining and very action packed. harsh critics rate it bad and only say they fell asleep, giving no backing to why is was terrible. I see no justification in that. Now the reasons why I said the movie was slightly flawed are't even worth mentioning. if you get a chance to watch it, please, watch it. Expand
  93. 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 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. Expand
  94. Dec 29, 2011
    9
    The ones who give this movie a low score are nuts and they are morons. This is perfect movie for who is not familiar with Sherlock Holmes. When the movie starts you feel a intense feeling in yourself when yet another bomb attack is produced. I come from Holland and in he cinemas here there are much good reviews and reactions. So if you found it a worst movie from Sherlock Holmes, i think you should go to the glasses salesman ore the optician. Expand
  95. Dec 28, 2011
    6
    Even though there are now two films in Guy Ritchieâ
  96. 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.
  97. Dec 28, 2011
    7
    A Game of Shadows didn't have quite the same appeal as the first as there's a bit too much unnecessary talking, and started to drag a little towards the end (numb ass and a bit of shuffling in my seat...), but was still enjoyable to watch. The fight scene breakdowns are back and are really good, especially the last! Best section by far though is the forest run (seen in the trailer), the slow motion, fast spins and explosions were great!

    If you liked the first, you'll probably like this too, but prepare to be a little let down I think.
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  98. Dec 28, 2011
    10
    I thought the movie was great fun. As long as you do not expect to see the classic Sherlock Holmes in the books I think you will be pleasantly surprised. The whole theatre was laughing and enjoying the movie and I was too.
  99. Dec 27, 2011
    10
    This was the most pleasant movie experience I have had in 2 years, after having seen the previews I feared this would be Sherlock Holmes on speed. Instead the movie augmented what was good from the first movie, and generally just surprised the hell out of me with a great plot, great acting, and the perfect balance between action and real acting.
  100. 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.
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.