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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 307,486 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?


Both Jude Law (Watson) and Stephen Fry (Mycroft) starred together in the 1997 film Wilde (1997). See more »


Holmes follows Moriarty's lecturing tour across Europe and mentions Oslo, Norway. However, as of 1891, Oslo had been called Christiania since the mid-1600s. It was not called Oslo again until the 1920s. 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 »


Referenced in Special Collector's Edition: Amor inmortal (2012) See more »


L'Ultima Prova
from "Don Giovanni"
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Not enough notes orchestration by Matthew Margeson
Performed by Regina Schorg, Bo Skovhus & Renato Girolami with Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia' (as the Nicolaus Esterhazy Sinfonia)
Conducted by Michael Halász (as Michael Halasz)
Courtesy of Naxos Right International Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Elementary Holmes
16 December 2011 | by (Columbus, Ohio) – See all my reviews

Professor Moriarty: Are you sure you want to play this game? Sherlock Holmes: I'm afraid you'd lose.

In Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, my mind turns two ways: The first half is guns, gunpowder, and gymnastics. Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Dr. Watson (Jude Law) contend with the salvation of civilization mostly through athletics, aided by director Guy Ritchie's considerable skill with the camera and graphics.

But in the second half, when the duo moves swiftly but intellectually to confront the arch villain Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris), my mind is at equilibrium, renewing my love of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original brainy, eccentric sleuth. The chess game is a marvel of strategy, replete with revenge, intrigue, and just plain ingenuity. Director Guy Ritchie's visuals include delightful Downey disguises and lively speed ramping in a forest bombarded by bullets. Hans Zimmer's music leans heavily on the fiddle to lighten the load of a difficult plot.

Watson's marriage, rather than taking away from the bromance, adds unexpected color and creativity. So Ritchie has ramped up the intellectual content and at least balanced it with the athletic, which was a strength of his 2009 version, Sherlock Holmes. With Inspector Lastrade just a memory and Holmes's love, Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams), appearing briefly, we are left to enjoy not so much the interaction of Holmes and Watson but the explosiveness of Holmes and Moriarty.

After a first half of explosions, the second half satisfies traditionalists like me for the chess game of life and death—and that's the suspenseful fate of the world in those pieces. Director Guy Ritchie has improved on his 2009 version.

127 of 194 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
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I really liked it. mbphilly79

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