Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 23
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 23
  3. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. 100
    Sherlock (and Sherlock [the show]) is that good, we do forgive his callousness, and yeah, we'll wait for two years for his return and never let our fervor flag. In exchange, when the miracle happens and he (and the show) come back, he's as good or maybe better than ever.
  2. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jan 17, 2014
    100
    Three episodes are never enough to satisfy our appetite for the dazzling BBC/Masterpiece Mystery! version of Sherlock, which thanks to its stars' busy movie careers, made us wait two long years for the latest trilogy of 90-minute delights. Was it worth the wait? The answer is (to borrow the title of TV's other enjoyable contemporary Holmes series) elementary: Did you ever doubt it?
  3. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Jan 16, 2014
    100
    The PBS series is more marvelous, and thrilling, than ever.
  4. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Jan 16, 2014
    100
    The fuss is justified. Sunday's return of the Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss-created series is a triumphant one, and should easily establish Sherlock among TV's finest series.
  5. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jan 14, 2014
    100
    The performances are even better than in previous years, with brand new but fully credible sides of Holmes’ and Watson’s characters. And the writing, by Moffat and Gatiss, is in a league by itself.
  6. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Jan 14, 2014
    100
    Overall, co-creator Steven Moffat and writer-actor Mark Gatiss have delivered a whip-smart follow-up.
  7. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jan 3, 2014
    100
    Sherlock is back as brilliant as ever and there’s joy and entertainment and superb craftsmanship abounding in this first episode (you might feel like clapping in appreciation when it ends), but there’s also the promise of more goodness ahead.
  8. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Feb 20, 2014
    90
    The writing is still incredibly crisp, so smart, and never boring, and the deeper focus on relatable emotion, particularly in the definition of the relationship between Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Watson (Martin Freeman), could even bring in new fans to this international phenomenon.
  9. Reviewed by: Laurel Brown
    Jan 17, 2014
    90
    The British detective series remains one of the best shows on television. Cumberbatch and co-star Martin Freeman have only grown more comfortable in their respective roles of Holmes and Watson. The scripts, meanwhile, understand these men, what makes them tick and why they gravitate toward each other.
  10. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Jan 17, 2014
    90
    The third season is looser, funnier, more emotional and also significantly less logical than what has come before.
  11. Reviewed by: Mark Dawidziak
    Jan 17, 2014
    90
    This trio of tales uses plot elements from the original stories in wonderfully inventive and deliciously brilliant ways. In other words, knock the dust off of 221B Baker Street.
  12. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jan 15, 2014
    90
    Mostly, the show deserves to do well because it’s so bloody good--smart, whimsical and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, finding fresh, distinctive avenues into this venerable character, even with multiple incarnations currently in circulation.
  13. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jan 17, 2014
    88
    There's still fun to be had in the visual manifestations of Sherlock's thought process, for example, but there are times when you fear what they're really doing is filling time. Yet thanks to the stars, the wit of the writing and a few clever tricks, the show remains a joy.
  14. Reviewed by: Ted Pigeon
    Jan 15, 2014
    88
    [Sherlock's third season] at last settles into its own assured rhythm, simultaneously honoring the swift escapist roots of Doyle's writing while also mounting a heady meditation on friendship and brotherhood.
  15. Reviewed by: Myles McNutt
    Jan 17, 2014
    83
    The season risks feeling like an epilogue to season two and a prologue to season four, but as both a sequel and a prequel Sherlock’s third season ultimately makes the series’ world richer, and a stronger foundation for more stories to come.
  16. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    Jan 10, 2014
    83
    Watching these two friends bond anew--and meeting a more empathetic. vulnerable Holmes--makes for warm and witty fun. [17 Jan 2014, p.61]
  17. Reviewed by: Emily Nussbaum
    Jan 22, 2014
    80
    The show is at its best in such moments, these sequences that capture the semi-virtual, semi-real ways that we think, and feel, and meet, and connect today. It’s a rare attempt to make visible something that we take for granted: a new kind of cognition, inflected by passion, that allows strangers to think out loud, solving mysteries together.
  18. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Jan 21, 2014
    80
    The alien Doctor is something of a Sherlock Holmes, and Sherlock Holmes is something of an alien. This is played often for laughs, in the series' funniest, and goofiest, year yet.
  19. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jan 17, 2014
    80
    Though it’s not the series’ strongest script, the two fine actors can still extract every nuance from it.
  20. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jan 17, 2014
    80
    t's an entertaining episode that doesn't fall into the pacing trap so often seen in "Sherlock" where there's not enough story to hold the show up through its 90-minute running time. (Episode two fares worse in this regard, although it's still an entertaining outing.)
  21. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Jan 8, 2014
    80
    Benedict Cumberbatch is alive and well and in fine form.... Purists may find the fancy graphics distracting but creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss use the high-tech touches sparingly.
  22. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Jan 21, 2014
    75
    When you're smart men writing about the smartest man of all, you may feel the need to demonstrate your smarts in every possible way, with every beat of the story. But Holmes and Watson are such enduring characters, and these versions written and played so well, that they don't always require such elaborate mental gymnastics.
  23. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Jan 17, 2014
    70
    Sherlock moves swiftly and intelligently but also a little too coldly, like a long commercial for better WiFi..... Cumberbatch’s take on Holmes’s narcissism can come off as skeevishly robotic. If not for Freeman’s deeper, more human work as Watson, the style would soon go sterile.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 494 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 53
  2. Negative: 10 out of 53
  1. Jan 22, 2014
    3
    I am compelled to write this as I feel there is nothing worse than a series which starts good, becomes great and falls so far from grace its unreal. For me its classic BBC. Like Luther, the popularity becomes such that it feels its untouchable and it can get away with the quirky and the overdramatic. Sherlock season 3 is a disorganised nose dive from season 2. For me Scandal in Belgravia was one of the finest episodes of any series ever - the series started to show its bbc quirkyness with the introduction of the camp moriarty and the gay innuendo between Watson and Sherlock which is completely out of place and adds nothing to the story. Season 3 was simply forgettable in every sense. The explication of Sherlocks return was handled appallingly. His media stardom and the silly detectives Empty hearse group just seems so far from reality and the show loses all credibility thereafter. Without trying to spoil the 'twist' at the end of ther series - cheap ....is the only way i can describe it. "did you miss me" does anyone care???? Full Review »
  2. Jan 19, 2014
    5
    First episode was okay, second episode was cringe-inducing but pretty solid, and the third episode was weirdness that ended with sherlock being cool when no one else would. There's some parts that are stupid, and they slather a ton of jokes over it all to cover up where there's plot nonsense. It comes out alright.

    I couldn't help but think of it as "Sherlock Holmes and The Hobbit" this whole season.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 20, 2014
    0
    I hate this show, I know I'm alone on an island but the term style over substance fits it perfectly. Super close up shots of Sherlock's eyes, camera work to induce travel sickness, texts on screen and at least a dozen slow motion or film in rewind shot, the one thing it lacks is a story. What made Sherlock Holmes so popular was the writing of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the cases were superb with a incredible depiction of Victorian London. This has none of that its a mess and Professor Moriarty is the one of the worst casting decision in the history of television. If people want to watch the Sherlock Holmes try ITVs version staring Jeremy Brett at least a hundred time better than this pile of modern crap. Full Review »