Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 494 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Sherlock Holmes has made his reputation finding the truth at the heart of the most complex mysteries. With the aid of Dr. John Watson, his trusted ally, the renowned "consulting detective" is unequaled in his pursuit of criminals of every stripe, whether relying on his singular powers of observation, his remarkable deductive skills, or the blunt force of his fists. But now a storm is gathering over London, a threat unlike anything that Holmes has ever confronted...and just the challenge he's looking for. (Warner Bros.) Expand
  • Director: Guy Ritchie
  • Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Mystery, Thriller, Crime
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Runtime: 128 min
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 34
  2. Negative: 4 out of 34
  1. Downey has a winning take on Holmes: He's always on.
  2. 75
    This is very much a Sherlock Holmes movie for the blockbuster era.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    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.
  4. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    In short, Ritchie's come up with precisely what you'd expect of him — a pumped-up, anachronistically modern Sherlock Holmes designed for the ADD crowd. Expect a sequel. Or six.
  5. 50
    Not even Sherlock Holmes could make much sense out of the overplotted, murky mess that is "Sherlock Holmes," although Arthur Conan Doyle's legendarily brainy detective would probably never buy a ticket to a movie as elephant-footed as this one.
  6. 50
    Despite some arresting visual flourishes and Downey’s inherent likeability, it’s nearly incoherent both as cinema and as story. No, this isn’t your grandfather’s or your father’s Sherlock Holmes, but if theirs featured Basil Rathbone or Jeremy Brett in the lead, it was better by miles.
  7. 30
    The very idea of handing him over to professional lad Guy Ritchie (who directed Snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels), to be played as a punch-throwing quipster by Robert Downey Jr., is so profoundly stupid one can only step back in dismay.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 190
  1. Sep 6, 2010
    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.
  2. Dec 21, 2011
    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.
  3. Mar 13, 2013
    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.
  4. May 29, 2011
    This film has received much negative criticism from numerous sources. They say its too "thuggish", too "brutish" and that its a crude imitation of what sherlock holmes should be. Yet there is one thing niggling at me.
    It seems that had it not been called sherlock holmes, then the film would have received much better reviews. All these people have it in their heads that because it is holmes then it MUST be this or that.
    To this I say, what a load of..... The film is very good. There is a fantastic balance of mystery, action and clever details. Some of which you may not notice at first. The acting throughout is superb, from all those involved. The plot and story development is well thought out and ends with a brilliantly executed scene which reveals all to the audience.
    All round it was a very good film, well worth the money for a cinema ticket or DVD. Don't listen to these prejudiced fools who tell you it can't be good just because it isn't like the sherlock of old. This is an outstanding adaptation of the classic tales.
  5. Jul 7, 2013
    this new adaptation of Sherlock Holmes is very well directed .
    Guy Ritchie has mixed the old adaptation and a new who is a bit modern
    the cast play very well
    good job Guy
  6. Oct 22, 2010
    Why this film is getting the bad reviews I've seen is beyond me. Great actors, great scenes, good direction and a pretty good story. What the hell is wrong with you people? /rant. Expand
  7. JYT
    Jun 10, 2012
    Little fidelity to the orignal character, very little homework on the history and the period the story took place. This movie is a commercial enterprise to lure bored youngster or people with low reading skills so that they can sit and turn the brain off as usual sitting on the moive theater seat eating some popcorn. Jude Law cannot make a Watson as he does not look at all like a rugby player. Robert Downety Junior would actually make a good Moriarty and Mark Strong should have been the Sherlock Holmes. They have good the cast inverted. Expand

See all 190 User Reviews


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