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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 313,347 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 406 user | 376 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

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


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2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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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:





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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?


Both Robert Downey Jr. (Holmes) and Jared Harris (Moriarty) had acted in the Oliver Stone film Natural Born Killers (1994). See more »


When Holmes succumbs to his wounds as they make their escape on the train, Watson performs chest compressions and precordial thumps. Compressions were not utilized until 1960, and the thump was not instituted until over ten years later. 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

During the ending credits, excerpts from the Doyle story "The Final Problem" are shown. ("The Final Problem" was the basis for the movie.) See more »


Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.22 (2011) See more »


Accelerationen, Op. 234/Wiener Blut (Vienna Blood)
Written by Johann Strauss (as Johann Strauss II)
Re-Orchestration by Aleksey Igudesman & Dominic Lewis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A more action-packed Holmes
16 December 2011 | by (Maineville, Ohio) – See all my reviews

"Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadow" picks up where the prequel left off; Holmes is tracking down Professor Moriarty, a man he believes is responsible for a series of bombings and mysterious deaths around world. With the help of his pal Watson (off to be married soon), and a gang of gypsies, which includes The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's Noomi Rapace, set out on a game of cat-and-mouse to find the schemes of the sinister Professor.

Though there is an element of mystery in this film, it is not as in-depth as the first film. Rather the focus is on the action sequences and clever humor. This is not necessarily a bad thing though; in fact it helps move the plot along. The first film suffered because the story was slow. In this Holmes though, there is not one second that drags. The story itself is not special, but its pace is what counts. Walking out of the theater, I felt refreshed and glad that I saw this movie.

Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are once again a true treat to watch as Holmes and Watson. Their chemistry and interactions are perfect; it's easy to tell that both had fun with the script and with each other. Jared Harris as Professor Moriarty gives a solid performance, as a cold, manipulative, power hungry villain. Unlike Mark Strong in the first film, he is a believable antagonist. Noomi Rapace is a nice flavor as Madam Sim.

The set and costume designs are exquisite, bringing to life of what Europe was like in the late 1800s. I smell Oscar for these departments. The sound and editing is crisply done, and the music is top-notched—Hans, you're truly the best. The visual effects are mostly good, but some scenes were a bit over the top and borderline ridiculous. One of many examples include a woman being thrown from a fast moving train into a river, without sustaining injury or even dying. This is impossible. Then again, it's Hollywood. The filmmakers aren't doing their job if a sense of the ridiculous is not thrown into an action flick from time to time.

"Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadow" delivers as a great, action-packed, and a rather humorous, popcorn loving flick. Note: the dog dies again.

136 of 232 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Sherlock Holmes 3 is most likely dead in the water John_Ax
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Is moriarty really dead? I think not... Franklyfilms
I really liked it. mbphilly79

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