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Reviews & Ratings for
Sherlock Holmes More at IMDbPro »

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Seems to be based on non-Sherlock Holmes material

5/10
Author: ravenosa from United States
10 June 2010

Where to start? My main problem with the film was there being NO Sherlock Holmes or Watson characters, and NO mystery plot. Seemed more like some strange action/fantasy hybrid.

I have a feeling we'll find out where there going with this in the sequel. Perhaps Jude Law is actually playing Sherlock Holmes? I think Robert Downey may be covering for him, as Jude seemed to be the one more likely to be the Sherlock type.

Other than the lack of plot and characters, I had a major problem with the ridiculous action scenes. I guess I should have been ready for them from seeing the trailers/commercials but there's more ridiculous action than I could tolerate. Especially for a film labeled as a Sherlock Holmes film.

1/10. Can't recommend it for any reason.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Insipid and boring

3/10
Author: oarch from e.g. London, England
6 April 2010

Maybe I'm getting old, but maybe this movie is just stupid.

Most of the time various people just run around like headless chicken. Any B-movie from the 80s had a more solid plot than this waste of celluloid.

The only difference is the production, but not even that is very impressive.

I guess this is the way Hollywood movies are made these days, but I think when our kids see this in 20 years time they will think "how could you watch this junk willingly?" I could forgive over the top acting, I could forgive over the top everything else, but I can't forgive that they forgot to conceive a plot for this.

It's one of those movies that you struggle to remember whether you've seen it or you've just seen the trailer and someone warned you not to waste time with it. Well, I've seen it and I warn you not to waste time with it.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Not quite that bad, but...

4/10
Author: doobleg from Australia
24 May 2010

... this really is just 'Wild Wild West' without the spider.

Out of time techno-gadgets are used to usurp the lawful government, and only two dedicated men and a woman with questionable allegiances can save the day... sound familiar?

Factor in the lack of chemistry between the male leads and the awfully staged and completely unnecessary action set-pieces, and you've got yourself Will Smith's lamest ever outing in film (only with British accents).

Guy Ritchie... what happened to you, man?

Gregg

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Even worse than Wild, Wild West

2/10
Author: ddelamaide from United States
14 May 2010

I thought it would be hard for a remake to be worse than Wild, Wild West but this version of Sherlock Holmes managed to do it. And that was just on old TV series, while Sherlock Holmes founded a whole literary genre.

It's not surprising that this anachronistic action thriller on steroids is popular -- the budget, the production values, the actors all saw to that. What's surprising is that those who claim to have read the stories by Arthur Conan Doyle still maintain that this Victorian James Bond has anything to do with him. This hodgepodge borrows everything, from Indiana Jones in the opening scene to James Bond apocalypses -- everything that is except the original works by Doyle.

What Robert Downey does on the screen may be entertaining, but it has nothing to do with acting. Jude Law is his usual insipid self. Rachel McAdams is her usual glowing self, though totally miscast in what may be the worst-written role in a pathetic script.

Hollywood has truly abandoned any pretense to making quality films in its pursuit of the adolescent audience it thinks will save it. Good luck with that.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Lavish production packed with action , intrigue , suspense and amusement

7/10
Author: ma-cortes
5 February 2010

It's a good film inspired on splendid novels about Sherlock Holmes character written by Arthur Conan Doyle , including two first-range nasties with malignant aims as Mark Strong as Blackwood and Doctor Moriarty , furthermore one woman , Rachel McAdams , as a suspicious young with mysterious purports .

In the flick appears the usual of the Arthur Conan Doyle's novels : Dr.Moriarty , Mistress Hudson (Geraldine James), Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsan) and of course Doctor Watson (Jude Law) , the perfect counterpart to Holmes . Holmes along Watson will solve unanswered mysteries and Sherlock undergoes some risked experiences to resolve the cases using even his habitual disguise . It's a nice Holmes film with gripping London and sensational setting . A genuine ripping yarn very intriguing . The movie blends suspense , thriller , detective action , cloak and dagger , mystery and is pretty interesting . It packs an exciting amount of surprises with great lots of entertainment . This is a classy and effective romp with a strongly casting . Robert Downey Jr.'s interpretation is magnificent , he's a Sherlock for modern times , of course very different to Basil Rathbone considered the best Holmes in the cinema , likeness to Peter Cushing and Jeremy Brett in television. Robert Downey as Holmes plays in a clever , broody and impetuous manner , as whimsical detective is top notch , he's in cracking form acting as a two-fisted fighter . He makes an unique perspective on his life revealing a complex personality . He's finely matched in battle of wits with Blackwood-Mark Strong . The stars have a splendid fight towards the end on the Tower of London , plus Holmes tries to battle against his arch-enemy Moriarty but with an amazing final surprise . Although Basil Rathbone will be forever identified as Holmes , however Sherlock is also played by Robert Downey as an intelligent , cunning , broody and impetuous pipesmoking sleuth but addicted to the cocaine . Dr. Watson here isn't a bumbling and botcher pal generally represented by Nigel Bruce but an clever and astute partner perfectly incarnated by Jude Law . The film has a creepy atmosphere , it's in glimmer color with lights and shades that originate strange setting . Set design is of first rate , the movie is very atmospheric , the dark , shady and dirty slums of London are very well designed but with excessive use of computer generator images. Screenwriter Michael Johnson provides the original plot , creating the basis for this particularly storyline . The film boasts a beautifully cinematography by Philippe Rousselot and a haunting score by Hans Zimmer in John Barry style . This big budgeted production by Joel Silver sparkles with polish and wit and the ending is as exciting as moving and being well directed by Guy Ritchie .

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Boring, bubbles in the think tank, flash in the pan

1/10
Author: inkslayer from United States
28 August 2010

It took three guys to write this mess? I've quoted him before, I'll quote him again, director Vincent Sherman: "More writers doesn't necessarily mean a better script. It usually means just the opposite." And so, Sherlock Holmes doesn't know what kind of screenplay it should be. An action flick? A buddy movie? A rip off of a TV forensic drama? One thing for sure, as a result of not answering the crucial question when writing a screenplay, "What is it about?" Guy Ritchie gives us a boring, bubbles in the think tank, flash in the pan.

I can just imagine the yackety-yack over drinks: "If we can get Law and Downey, then it'll be commercial! Oh, oh, and make sure Law and Downey whine and bicker like two women during their menses, because audiences love when men complain in unmanly ways. And don't forget to tell the camera guys to work it like CSI. And, and, make sure Bobby looks buff because astute men can't just be shrewd, they have to look manly, otherwise the bare-chested fight scene, which really has nothing to do with anything, won't work."

Be forewarned, Mr. Ritchie's plot revolving around a villain, who may or may not be dead, has been done already. So, the storyline is not fresh. In addition, Mr. Ritchie shows and tells us things not once, but twice. Does he think audiences are dead from the neck up? Then why waste precious plot time? Mr. Downey mumbles when his English accent gets lower. The CGI is painfully evident. Holmes and Watson as super heroes are just plain out of character and dumb.

If you can't tell a well-written screenplay from bestselling ones, then this is the bird-cage liner for you.

If, on the other hand you haven't forgotten how to open a book and you're not acquainted with Doyle's novels and anthologies, then get reading. It's fun to create your own little mind-movie and interpret fiction yourself rather than enabling Mr. Ritchie to get richer and offend the masses in the name of "entertainment."

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Do you feel fortuitous, tramp?

3/10
Author: Steve from Sweden
7 April 2010

Sherlock Holmes the action hero is here. This is a film made for people who have not had any but the most fleeting contact with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic hero. Unfortunately, everything that makes Doyle's Sherlock interesting (his dedication to cold logic, self-destructive nature and absolute need for puzzles to solve in order to keep his dark side busy) is all but gone, mostly replaced with less disturbing traits. Instead of an intellectual character who defeats his enemies with his mind, the Sherlock in this film is more likely to employ his fists and weapons. Just being smart simply isn't sexy, so Holmes gets to be a Victorian Dirty Harry instead.

If you have only a vague idea of who Sherlock Holmes is then you'll probably love this film. Production value is high, the acting mostly good, the rendering of London wonderful. Anyone who ever read one of Doyle's books, however, should stay well away.

Of course we have Sherlock Holmes 2 to look forward to as well. Where, no doubt, more bad guys will taste Holmes fists of fury. Do you feel fortuitous, tramp?

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12 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Ghosts in the Machine

Author: tedg (tedg@filmsfolded.com) from Virginia Beach
26 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Two really good things here, and one bad.

The bad is that though there are some good components, the thing never gels. Richie has only one formula for humor, and it doesn't work here — probably because illogically we want to think this is real. In his earlier works, Richie depended on his ability to create an alternative universe on top of movie clichés. Here he must build on something more fundamental and fails.

One good thing is how the writers mined what was behind the Sherlock phenomenon. At the time the stories appeared, there was a huge battle on for the hearts of the London street. It was — dare I say — where we are today with the Cairo street. Darwin had presented his theory, and a rush of other scientific discoveries were being made. It really seemed to many that the world was amenable to logic and that at some point logical deduction should come to understand human behavior.

Criminal behavior was seen as some sort of deviance from the healthy and this potentially easier to grasp. So within Londo (and Paris) a strong backlash of spiritualism grew. Magic was the antidote to science, pure and simple. The irony was that the creator of Sherlock was himself the most prominent of the champions of spiritualism. His fictional character was created as something of a cartoon joke. But Sherlock became so popular that Doyle found it impossible to kill him off — and write about more "real" things.

The failure of logic to describe human behavior continues to the present in our AI disappointments. (A smaller percentage of Americans believe the science of evolution than did the Londoners of 120 years ago.) So the story here is apt and shows both an understanding of this audience and that of the past. People really want to believe in magical stuff.

The more interesting thing is from a cinematic perspective. Suppose you understood the Sherlock stories, and you understood that they were centered on stringing causal agency so that it makes sense. Suppose you wanted to translate this to film: what is essentially a mental process. How would you do it? The standard for the last 75 years was to wait until the end where the detective's though processes were explained. As he or she would recount the reasoning process, scenes that you have already seen would be replayed so that they "made sense."

Here we have the first improvement on this in a mainstream film. We do see this standard device at the end. But we see variations on it all through the movie, including several times the "working out" what to do next. There are some sideways episodes as well, like the replay of how he stalked his lover in disguise — through a circus! This is really intelligent cinematic thinking. Hooray for Guy! This is enough for me to recommend this. But don't expect a successful film.

Downey is great, as always. Rachel McAdams has a strange role to play. Her character really does appear in the original stories as a love interest, but she seems too manipulatable here.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.

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26 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

Downey Jr. helps "Holmes" entertain in a livelier, more modern way

7/10
Author: Movie_Muse_Reviews from IL, USA
25 December 2009

The grandfather of the mystery genre -- and film's most adapted character -- is none other than the great detective Sherlock Holmes, so if one were to apply Holmes' own deductive reasoning skills, a modern reinvention was a matter of time. English Director Guy Ritchie ("Snatch," "RocknRolla") applies his witty and gritty crime thriller style to the first mainstream 21st Century version of Holmes, one that will likely appeal to a younger crowd and those less familiar with previous incarnations of the iconic sleuth.

The reason is the new "Holmes" is much less concerned with the quality of the mystery and more focused on breathing a new quirkiness and style into the character and his top-notch detective work. The script hopes you'll be hooked on the reveal of how Holmes figures everything out and not so much the crime/mystery itself. In other words our new "Holmes" is about creating an entertaining diversion in the form of clever logic, high-brow humor and old-school science -- it uses mystery conventions but to a showier end. Wisely, Warner Bros. has trusted the responsibility of delivering this amusement to one of the best and hottest comedians out there in Robert Downey Jr.

Downey Jr. continues to impress in his turn as Holmes, managing to employ his same wit and charms while creating a unique character that makes you feel as if you're watching Holmes, not RDJ with yet another accent. This Holmes is not merely a wise detective of old, but the quirky type, suggesting some insanity behind the genius. RDJ makes him much more colorful and entertaining and takes attention away from an okay storyline.

The mystery surrounds Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), who appears to have supernatural abilities derived from an ancient magic. He creates terror in London appearing to have risen from the grave and committed a couple murders. Holmes and his dear friend Dr. Watson (Jude Law) are on the verge of ending their partnership because Watson has plans to settle down and marry when the crafty Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) gets them deep into the Blackwood case.

The supernatural angle didn't work well for the latest Indiana Jones film and it doesn't exactly do well here. "Sherlock Holmes" Ver. 2009 is a little more Dan Brown "Angels & Demons" and a little less "Se7en." This is fine for those who can look to Holmes for a more mainstream romp than what an older crowd might hope to be a rigorous exercise in fine mystery and logic. Again, the fewer the expectations, the better.

As for the lean and mean Guy Ritchie depiction of Holmes, it's not entirely unfounded. The script creatively draws the connection between Holmes' intellectual prowess and how he might use it in a physical bout. It adds another dimension and ups the entertainment factor of the character. It might feel like it's giving a character steroids to put on more of a show, but the appeal would be too narrow if Holmes were straight-laced. Credit, however, has to go to Downey Jr. for making this vision work. His banter with Watson and ability to use classic Holmes logic to a comic effect is infinitely enjoyable.

It does take a bit of settling in to understand exactly what direction this new Holmes is going in, but it works thanks to RDJ and picks up as the mystery thickens and Holmes' limits are tested. McAdams' character lacks enough strength to stay memorable and as much as I like Strong, his character lacks dimension too. But the rebirth of Holmes will be a nice Holiday escape for the modern audience and those willing to keep an open mind. It's not your grandfather's "Sherlock Holmes" but can you think of any reason why it should be?

~Steven C

Visit my site at moviemusereviews.com

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

19th century Ace Ventura with less energy

4/10
Author: breakdownthatfilm-blogspot-com from United States
21 July 2012

Although Sherlock Holmes is undeniably the best detective to be universally known, I should have known the updated film version would not have been as entertaining. I wanted it to be, the casting seemed to have picked the right actors, but instead the result was disheartening.

Robert Downey Jr. stars as the observant detective in a race to discover the plan of the evil Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong). No doubt does Downey Jr. give a convincing performance as Holmes but his execution is frustrating if not unconventional. Holmes' powers of deduction are quite impressive just like Ace Ventura, how he can ramble out various illustrations to how certain acts were performed but his means of communication are not what you would call crystal clear. Instead of hearing what Holmes had to say, I heard deep raspy monotone whispering with no change in pitch or annunciations. What did he say? Seriously.

The same goes for Downey's co-star Jude Law who plays Dr. John Watson. I did enjoy some of their exchanges but much of them were just based upon their facial expressions. Half the time I couldn't even tell what they were mumbling about. Another person that didn't really fit into place was Rachel McAdam's character of Irene Adler. The audience is told that she was once a love interest of Holmes. Okay,...so what happened? Why is she acting currently as a mole? What made her become the thing she is in this movie? No explanations were given.

The set designs were not that much of an eye-grabber either. I couldn't believe how colorless every scene looked. Grey, black, brown, some dark yellow, blue and red shades were the only things I caught a glimpse of. For the adventures Sherlock Holmes is known for, this adventure was not very colorful at all. And although this is an adventure film of some sort, I did not really appreciate for the action scenes. How could Sherlock Holmes, a man of the 1800s, receive martial arts training and no one else seem to know of it?

One of the few scenes I actually got a kick out of was when Holmes, Adler, and Watson were in the slaughterhouse. That was an intense moment but for the element of danger, not action. Lastly, the movie soundtrack is the most foreign I have ever heard of. Hans Zimmer, a well-known composer, I thought would have created music with little more panache but all I got instead was a bunch of weird guitar playing. Not cool Zimmer. Pretty lame if you ask me.

There's nothing wrong with the plot here, Robert Downey Jr. does have some good lines but it's hard to understand him half the time. It doesn't help that both the action and music are weird too.

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