User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 518 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 518

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  1. Aug 24, 2014
    9
    I'm not all that familiar with Sherlock Holmes, and there was very little if any introduction to the character in the beginning of the film, but that's okay.

    The actors were very good. Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes was witty and quirky, Jude Law as Watson was surprisingly good, and Mark Strong... (I honestly thought it was Andy Garcia for most of the film). His voice was awesome, though!


    The plot and the camerawork were very unique, in my opinion. The way they took us into Holmes' head every once in a while was funny and entertaining. The pace of the movie was steady, moving a bit chaotically at times, and there were very clever clues left all over the place to build the one final picture.

    I wholeheartedly recommend this for anyone to watch.
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  2. Mar 22, 2014
    9
    Sherlock Holmes is an electrifying, high-caliber entertainment experience at the movies. Downey, Jr. is great as Holmes, and Law's Watson is just as good. The two have chemistry and dominate the screen. The slow motion and creative use of cinematography just adds to the experience. If you plan on watching this movie, just be ready to use your deductive skills, because this is one complex story to figure out. Expand
  3. Jan 10, 2014
    10
    I love everything about this movie. The SLO-MO fight scenes, to Downey's humorous take on the classic character, this movie has it all. The story is amazing and so is the movie overall. This is definitely a good watch for anyone who enjoys a action comedy and a mystery, with a classical touch all packed in one!
  4. Jul 17, 2013
    9
    Robert Downey is brilliant. Love how people say this is nothing like Sherlock Holmes. Wonder if they know that in the books he was a Cocaine addict... oh and to all the people who said it was too "Grey"...Never Ever Ever go to London, you'll hate it.
  5. Mar 24, 2013
    10
    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 movie balanced action and wit pretty well. But I found myself at the edge of my seat much more this time, and it had a more intriguing plot. I liked it-
  6. Mar 13, 2013
    9
    This film sort of came out of the blue as an all-out action bonanza, a modern yet still classic tale on the eccentric detective, and I think Guy Ritchie has did an excellent job of bringing the character to life on the big screen, and leaves the opportunity for the audience to come along for the ride.
    A contemporary take on the timeless detective, we have a cold opening of Sherlock
    (Robert Downey Jr) sneaking out of a carriage and attempting to infiltrate a ritual killing at the hands of the films main villain, Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), but the films soon plays out as a mystery thriller.
    Jude Law takes the reigns as Dr. John Watson, and the chemistry between himself and Downey Jr is excellent, a true friendly bromance.
    The film scenes involving bullet time are some of the best of the film, when Sherlock analyses and anticipates what is about to happen, all done in a beautifully rendered set piece.
    The movie rarely slows down through its action-packed run, throwing many explosions and revelations at many turns to keep the viewer enticed as to what is happening.
    There is certainly many aspects of the historic character that Ritchie has stayed true to, the pipe, the violin and of course the martial arts rumours, but they perfectly blend in with the pace of the film, almost like a heroic mix of RocknRolla.
    The one thing that can be said which is little nerving is perhaps the over the top feel of everything, at times its maybe just a little too perfect for Holmes to figure out what is going on, but then agin that isn't what the film is about, it is there to shock and surprise with its epic set pieces that would put the best of the superhero films out there to shame.
    Downey Jr puts in a commanding performance as the detective and certainly introduces a different sort of character that we haven't necessarily seen before, combining his sparkling wit and charm to have plenty of comedic and memorable scenes with the expansive cast.
    There is a fantastic soundtrack with upbeat and catchy notes to engage the scenes, and with stellar talent here, also including Rachel McAdams as the devious Irene Adler, and a host of British talent including Eddie Marsan and Kelly Reilly, this is certainly a film that will be enjoyed by most.
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  7. Feb 7, 2013
    10
    The scenes between Holmes and Watson were witty and fun to watch. I've not read a lot of Sherlock Holmes, but I can tell the movie presented him to be a little too eccentric. Holmes and Watson excel in hand to hand combat, which I thought unlikely. Ironically, I can believe Watson to be great in fighting, given he's a seasoned soldier. The antagonist was brilliant, so was the plot and the mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Expand
  8. Jan 18, 2013
    9
    I like this movie a lot, Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. first together on the silver screen. Good Story and very good cast.One of the best movies of 2009.
  9. Aug 28, 2012
    9
    Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes; that's something worth watching. I loved his acting, obviously, because I am a huge Downey, Jr. fan. The plot involved more mystery and suspense, and that's the core fact I liked this film a lot. Guy Ritchie was able to deliver it properly. Well, to me, at least.
  10. Mar 31, 2012
    9
    First off, this is probably a 9.25 out of 10. This movie is great. Action sequences are great. Story is really good. Acting good. RD Jr. Does a good job, and so does Jude law. Score is good to. Cameraing as it slows down and does the same thing is kind of cool, and kind of pointless. Overall, this is a great movie that you should watch. Recommend completely.
  11. Jan 6, 2012
    9
    Action, Adventure, Mystery, Thriller, Crime............The movie fully succeeds in achieving success in all these genres and also adds an element of humor........All in all,its TOTAL ENTERTAINMENT...!!!
  12. Dec 28, 2011
    10
    I loved it. Great performances by the actors!
  13. Dec 21, 2011
    10
    Since this is based on an inspiring part of historical literature, people have come at it with their all, and what I'm mostly hearing is that it has turned much into an action movie and that they were 'getting tired of people being beaten up'. What might have been missed is the intellect that was deduced by Holmes, and that people may more have noticed the significant amount of violence because of it being seen on screen, and you have to look closer in order to pick up the lesser significant and more unnoticed details. Sherlock Holmes may have had violence and explosions in it, but it showed Holmes as an experienced person that didn't just go around injuring people for the fun of it. He looked for clues, he came to conclusions, he used logic. Ritchie may have spiced up this new Holmes a little more than people expected, but it added to the fun of the movie. It didn't show him in a new light, it just showed us his capabilities and his strength for his environment. People might not have picked up on this, and the fact it might have been 'too complicated and boring' means that they probably weren't focusing on it as such to figure it out for themselves. You might have expected what was going to happen, seeing as it was based on a piece of famous literature, but Sherlock Holmes of course is opened to interpretation. Then why go in there and see it, not bother to focus on the finer details, at least enjoy the film, and beforehand think you're going to expect something completely different? It's confusing how people thought this film would happen, and how it was going to turn out. With all these production teams and crews designing and creating this imaginative piece of media, why think you're going to get a tame bunch of people solving mysteries without any spice like the book says?
    I, myself, loved the performance by Robert Downey Jr., who seemed to fit into the role like a glove. Why bother with any other actor when you've got him around to play a bohemian detective who performs experiments on animals (O.K, a little out of touch there)? Although he's American, that was not a barrier to him when he spoke in a brilliant Victorian English accent. It's harder than you think trying to cast these people, and what better way than such a famous star? Not to mention the good-looking British actor Jude Law, who, fair to say, did a superb job as Dr. Watson. Not bad picking an actor who lives on the opposite side of the pond, as they say.
    As I said, I think many people missed out on the joyfulness and intellect of the film, because there was so much in there to look for. The characters themselves were not on a 'clown caper' or some unimportant journey as such, but I think there was more to them than people actually thought. Although films are for entertainment, you can also see the difference between this and what Conan Doyle wrote. It's a free country when it comes to this kind of interpretation, as Ritchie did nothing to harm one of the most famous fictional characters in history. The darkness of it did not put me off at all, it merely added to the climax, and it was extremely useful in aiding the referencing of the character's next worst scheming supervillain, Professor Moriarty. Since when can films like these pull of darkness, action, mystery and suspense, comedy and adventure without screwing up? And here we have it, a solid gold take on the famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. You can't get much better interpretation than this - there is no equal in this war - as this, my friends, is king.
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  14. Aug 5, 2011
    10
    I wouldn't call this a classic but a must watch for some action, suspense and thrill. Both Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law portrayed their characters very well. I am waiting for the sequel !!
  15. Feb 19, 2011
    10
    I went to see this movie with a friend, and was expecting a great movie. Ultimately it didn't live up to the expectations of a Sherlock Holmes movie. However, it was extremely entertaining. I enjoyed the mixture of deduction and modern technology. The plot was interesting, but I was able to figure it out a good twenty minutes in. Overall, it was really entertaining, but would have been better if they made up a new character instead of Sherlock Holmes. Expand
  16. Dec 3, 2010
    9
    I thought this film was great. Great performances all around, very atmospheric. It also manages to be authentically Holmes, although the action's on a slightly larger scale. But how could anyone not enjoying watching Holmes work out how to take down his opponents in more unique ways.
  17. Sep 19, 2010
    9
    Although the trailers only had me moderately interested, I guess they were a good manager of expectations because this move was PHENOMENAL! Robert Downey Jr is superb as the intellectual detective Sherlock Holmes. Jude Law is perfectly cast as his partner, Dr. Watson. Even though the trailers are full of the witty quips that run rampant in this flick, they don't do justice in showing just how intelligently this story is delivered. The script is near flawless. The story is intoxicating from the first minute. The acting is immensely entertaining. The sets were exquisite. The directing was surgically executed. Like Batman Begins, the story is almost nonstop, even up to the very end when the sequel is teased. Except instead of the Joker, we learn that Professor Moriarty will be the next villain! Expand
  18. Sep 6, 2010
    10
    I'm loving the reviews here, the stupidity within the statements: "It was too rational" and "It was too complicated and boring" are reminding me once again that most movie-goers prefer to have their hand held throughout an entire movie rather than use their deductive skills. Too rational? are you kidding? you actually need 'magic' to enjoy something? Sherlock Holmes is ALL about the mystery being solved, everything being presented and known. If you don't like that then why did you even bother to go watch? @the Sherlock Holmes purists, every other hero of some of the oldest stories in time have transitioned into numerous changes like this one(batman, being a man without powers, being a sort of detective on his own, was changed a lot over the years). The picture of however you imagined Sherlock to be might not be the same as the next person beside you. Its open to interpretation, unless you seek to extinguish everyone's creativity due to your close mindedness. The characters weren't empty, their relationship was fully realized (Sherlock and Watson, two detectives fighting over small, inconsequential things, Watson being tired of Sherlock's antics, and yet what unifies them is the mystery for the time being. Sherlock feeling stuck in his life, feeling as though he is being abandoned, trying to pull his old friend back into the game so he wont be the only one who's trapped and alone, his character develops from there but I wont spoil it) and it was very much apparent that they cared deeply about each other, but most would rather that their emotions surface in a much more obvious way. Its ridiculous to give this movie a bad review just because you didn't bother paying attention.

    As for the science and the technology in this movie, it wasn't a copout. All of this was at their disposal back then. Sherlock Holmes, whatever version you prefer of him, was above all else a man of science. Also it goes without saying that in the books and in the cartoon or live action series on tv, things did go slower and there was less action. However in movie format things have to be sped up a bit in order to fit everything in, otherwise the movie would wind up being 3-4 hours and coming wayyy over their estimated budget. Its impractical, and to say otherwise means most of you don't have a clear grasp on what making a movie entails, including the reviewers of these magazines. Besides it all works out in the end, and I found the pacing to be especially stimulating, kept me at attention the entire time.

    I understand that you have to pump out these reviews almost everyday, but it doesn't mean you have to rush them like this. Hating a movie like this one while its successful doesn't make you a good critic, it just makes an idiot, especially when you assume this was made for a younger generation or for the "ADD crowd". Branding them the ADD crowd while skipping over the fountain of medical terms used in the proper way(for once in a mainstream movie, no pseudo-science, no **** spells or rituals), the witty jokes and all of the deductions and experiments Holmes made all tied together in one neat conspiracy(Which given a little thought, wasn't all that complicated to those who said it was) just makes you look like your the one who deserves the label.

    Also what was mentioned was the exaggerated scenarios. They were pretty lucky to survive I will admit, but one thing I found realistic was the part when they lost a whole night's sleep after the fight. This is something I rarely see in movies, usually the fight is over, hero carries on like a good soldier. This humanized them, and it wasn't the only occasion in the movie where they did this.

    One last comment before I leave this review to those whom aren't as gullible as the rest, the hand to hand combat wasn't as uninspired as some claim it to be. While being as intelligent as Holmes with the reflexes he possessed, its not hard to observe the fact that every hit he made was calculated beforehand, as displayed in the very beginning of the movie. When he didn't have time to calculate his every movement he used things like the electricity conductor or chains or guns etc to gain an advantage. I honestly don't get how all of this could have been missed by so many reviewers, but that's fine. I hope that if you've read this you've decided to rent or buy this movie. Whatever you decide, its definitely worth the look.
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  19. Aug 17, 2010
    10
    I don't understand why this movie got such bad ratings, I thought it was BRILLIANT!!! Robert Downey Jr. was perfect for Holmes, he was funny, yet serious at the same time. I thought it was an amazing movie for the holidays, it totally made me happy after seeing it. I must say though, it was a little unreal when they knocked down some of the bad guys.... But good must always win!!!


    Enjoy the movie!!
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Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 34
  2. Negative: 4 out of 34
  1. Sherlock Holmes goes wrong in many ways except for one -- at the boxoffice.
  2. This is the ultimate sin of the film, generically helmed by lad-auteur Guy Ritchie: Logic seems to be thrown out the window in order to make room for clashes on a partially completed Tower Bridge. It’s way too elementary.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    70
    Ritchie has never worked on a scale anything approaching this before and, while some of the directorial affectations are distracting, he keeps the action humming.