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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime  |  16 December 2011 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 307,251 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 405 user | 375 critic | 38 from

Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson join forces to outwit and bring down their fiercest adversary, Professor Moriarty.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sherlock Holmes
Wolf Kahler ...
Doctor Hoffmanstahl
Iain Mitchell ...
Patricia Slater ...
Shush Club Maitre D'


Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his longtime trusted associate, Doctor Watson (Jude Law), take on their arch-nemesis, Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), with the help of Holmes' older brother Mycroft Holmes (Stephen Fry) and a gypsy named Simza (Noomi Rapace). Written by ABID NAZIR

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and some drug material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| | | |

Release Date:

16 December 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes 2  »

Box Office


$125,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$39,637,079 (USA) (16 December 2011)


$186,830,669 (USA) (30 March 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Leslie S. Klinger, author of "The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes" and a consultant on this film, said in an interview that he suggested "Sherlock Holmes: The Grand Game" as a title. See more »


In the Arms Factory Scene, Col. Moran introduced the c96 Mauser pistol as a 'machine pistol, self-repeating'. Machine pistols are automatic firearms which fires burst of bullets when the trigger is held. Even if the c96 was available (which actually wasn't until 1896), it was a semi-automatic pistol at that time, firing one round when triggered. The c96 was first converted into a automatic variant in 1932, designated M712 Schnellfeuer. See more »


[first lines]
Dr. John Watson: [voice-over] The year was 1891. Storm clouds were brewing over Europe. France and Germany were at each other's throats, the result of a series of bombings. Some said it was the Nationalists. Others, the anarchists. But as usual, my friend Sherlock Holmes, had a different theory entirely.
See more »

Crazy Credits

SPOILER: The closing title "THE END" appears as part of Dr. Watson's manuscript; Holmes corrects the manuscript to make it "THE END?" See more »


Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.23 (2011) See more »


Larking Around
Written by Adam Summerhayes
Performed by Adam Summerhayes & Emil Chakalov
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

What a relief! The trailers lied--it was awesome. :)
16 December 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

We just got back from the earliest showing we could get a sitter for. I can say with confidence that my fears about this movie were totally unfounded, and I now hold Guy Ritchie and these writers in the highest regard. Without going into spoilers, here are the three concerns that were put entirely to rest: 1) After seeing the trailer, my biggest worry was the use of "bullet-time" type photography during a Victorian-era movie. I thought it would be completely anachronistic and pointless. However, they'd already established in this movie and the previous one that Holmes is hyper-aware of his surroundings. The bullet-time was used to convey how traumatic a couple of scenes were to someone with that type of awareness, and it worked beautifully.

2) Jared Harris looked so vanilla and soft in the promo pics and trailers that I couldn't imagine him as a fearsome adversary for Holmes. However, his Moriarty is so devious and cunning, and at one time downright sadistic, that I don't think they could have made a better choice. A couple of times I felt like he was channeling his father (the outstanding Richard Harris) without the warmth and empathy that the late actor conveyed. Can you imagine Richard Harris as a cunning, calculating perfectionist that's totally devoid of concern for human life? You won't have to after watching his son. It's freaky. And he sings.

3) Holmes' relationship with Watson (and in a small way, Irene Adler) is fantastically developed. Saying any more than that would be too spoilery.

So, watching this w/ my husband(who is a die-hard Sherlock fan, and used to read Sherlock Holmes aloud to me every rainy night, complete w/ voices) was a fabulous experience. We can't wait to see it again, and own it.

182 of 277 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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How has this movie got a 7+ rating? It's utter trollop. worxpace
Sherlock Holmes 3 is most likely dead in the water John_Ax
Sherlock Holmes Vs The Baman ares7714
I really hope someone can answer this... ooagentmm
Is moriarty really dead? I think not... Franklyfilms
I really liked it. mbphilly79

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