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Sherlock Holmes (2009)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime  |  25 December 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 445,557 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 613 user | 408 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

Detective Sherlock Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson engage in a battle of wits and brawn with a nemesis whose plot is a threat to all of England.



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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:


After finally catching serial killer and occult "sorcerer" Lord Blackwood, legendary sleuth Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr. Watson can close yet another successful case. But when Blackwood mysteriously returns from the grave and resumes his killing spree, Holmes must take up the hunt once again. Contending with his partner's new fiancée and the dimwitted head of Scotland Yard, the dauntless detective must unravel the clues that will lead him into a twisted web of murder, deceit, and black magic - and the deadly embrace of temptress Irene Adler. Written by The Massie Twins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Jude Law is Watson See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some startling images and a scene of suggestive material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

25 December 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Шерлок Холмс  »

Box Office


$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£3,081,072 (UK) (25 December 2009)


$209,019,489 (USA) (23 April 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Attempting to escape the clutches of wearing a tight corset every morning, Rachel McAdams would trick the costumers by pushing her stomach out or eating a big breakfast of oatmeal before being laced up. However, they eventually caught on to her ruse. See more »


When Holmes is in the boxing ring, he spots the handkerchief on the railing. While he is looking around the ring to spot the owner of it, he takes a hay maker to the head and goes down. As he is dropping, the handkerchief disappears entirely then reappears as he is coming up again. It should be noted as well that the handkerchief in question is visible prior to Holmes spotting it. See more »


[first lines]
Sherlock Holmes: [voice-over] Head cocked to the left, partial deafness in ear: first point of attack. Two: throat; paralyze vocal chords, stop scream. Three: got to be a heavy drinker, floating rib to the liver. Four: finally, drag in left leg, fist to patella. Summary prognosis: unconscious in ninety seconds, martial efficacy quarter of an hour at best. Full faculty recovery: unlikely.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Scenes from the film become illustrations over the end credits. See more »


Spoofed in Oggy and the Cockroaches: The Movie (2013) See more »


Adagio from String Quartet Opus 1 No. 3 In D Major
Written by Joseph Haydn
Arranged by Rick Wentworth
Performed by The Isobel Griffiths Ensemble
Courtesy of Pathé Productions Limited
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

'Sherlock Holmes' is a Fast-Paced Whirlwind Adventure
23 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

-----It came as a surprise when Guy Ritchie was chosen as the Director of 'Sherlock Holmes.' Known primarily for his work on indie crime films, such as 'Snatch' or last year's 'RocknRolla,' Ritchie had never taken on a mainstream franchise film, the likes of which 'Sherlock Holmes' promised to be. Thankfully, Ritchie was able to mesh the two genres on some level, with his trademark style of film-making ever present in his latest outing. The result is a film that will surely prove the most popular take on the character outside of Conan Doyle's original novels, and will also likely spawn a franchise.

-----Sherlock Holmes and his partner Dr. Watson have been successfully solving cases throughout England for years. Their most recent case was that of Lord Blackwood, a man who murdered in the name of his black magic. Finally hanged for his crimes, it comes as an unpleasant surprise when he literally rises from his grave. And so it is up to Holmes and Watson to find him and stop him before his killing spree devours the whole of England.

-----Robert Downey Jr. is right at home in the role of the infamous detective. Swapping out futuristic armor for a pipe and fiddle, he plays another character with the wit and confidence of his Tony Stark persona in 'Iron Man.' This makes sense because, to some degree, what is 'Sherlock Holmes' if not merely the Tony Stark character set back about a hundred years? Regardless, Downey Jr. is excellent, providing an effervescent wit and supreme charm to his latest role. Jude Law plays his right hand man, Dr. John Watson, in a role much smarter than past incarnations of the Watson character. The two are more equals than hero and sidekick, and their chemistry is indelible. Even when the narrative becomes a bit erratic, the pleasure of seeing the two stars' continuous verbal quarrels is worth the price of admission alone. Together they inspire numerous laughs and clever rebuttals to an unrelenting degree, allowing many of the jokes to pass unrealized, saved for the treat of a second viewing.

-----'Sherlock Holmes' has a method completely reminiscent of Director Guy Ritchie's earlier films. In the style of show first-explain later, Ritchie has effectively applied his trademark fast cuts to the mind of his lead protagonist. Much as Watson is often catching up to Holmes' various schemes, so must the audience sit in question for a large portion of the film, waiting for Holmes to reveal his motivations. Particularly similar to his work on last year's entertaining 'RocknRolla,' along with many of his other films, Ritchie takes the first hour of his endeavors laying out the dots to be connected in his lengthy but fast-paced crescendo throughout the second half of the film. With 'Holmes,' he has compromised nothing, rather managed to find a better balance between build up and climax. With various fistfight intervals dissecting the chaotic mystery, Ritchie keeps the audience entertained even when they're unsure about the direction of the plot. That being said, many viewers will begin to question their purchase throughout the films first half hour, as the story puzzles more than entertains. But rest assured, a satisfying finale follows, with so many pieces coming together that a second viewing is a necessity to begin dissecting the intricacies of the case being solved, if that only means better understanding Holmes' course of action.

-----Visually Ritchie has constructed a film in the shadows, only occasionally getting out into spanning shots of daylight England. This, like the rest of the film, settles into place as the film develops. His infamous lightning cuts allow no slow moments, even when the pace would typically meander in the hands of a lesser Director. Holmes also riddles off explanations so rapidly that audiences can hardly pick up on all of what he is saying, or all of the nuanced humor during the interplay between Watson and him. Unfortunately much of the laugh-out-loud humor as been divulged in the trailer, but a film should not be penalized for the faults of its advertising campaign. The musical score is supplemental to the frantic convolutions of the film's earlier scenes, providing a spirited tune that rides the energy of fiddling and poses as anything but generic. The locations are likewise smart, the costumes are admirable, and the effects are gritty, proving to be another benefit of having an indie Director helm an event film. Ultimately there are no blatant shortcuts in the way of computer generation, only clever sets and a brilliant Art Direction.

-----'Sherlock Holmes' is refreshingly less conventional than one might guess, even if some viewers may find themselves a bit lost by Ritchie's unforgiving cuts and unrelenting energy. It jumps right into the tale, no origins told and no flashbacks necessary, relying on Holmes renowned history. Furthermore, many subtle elements of the various characters' past interactions are left for the audience to deduce in the fashion of Sherlock Holmes himself. And while the film may not be the grand epic some may have hoped for, its sheer entertainment value is undeniable. From the moment the credits roll it's apparent that 'Sherlock Holmes' cannot be full appreciated in one screening, and will likely grow in favor upon further viewings. It further presents itself as a gem of home entertainment in the long run, as a film that can be enjoyed on any occasion in any company, even with its hefty two-hour-plus runtime. This is a byproduct of the wonderfully gritty action Ritchie brings to the tale, and the uncompromising portrayal of the classic characters by the films superb leads. 'Sherlock Holmes' won't be quite what you expect, and you may even be dismayed by the films feisty narrative style, but more often than not you'll be completely entertained by the characters on screen in this fun addition to the loaded Holiday season.

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What's with all the negativity? Franklyfilms
What the hell was all that 'magic' *beep* Lightbrand
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