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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

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

Director:

Guy Ritchie
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1,509 ( 216)
3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Downey Jr. ... Sherlock Holmes
Jude Law ... Dr. John Watson
Noomi Rapace ... Madam Simza Heron
Rachel McAdams ... Irene Adler
Jared Harris ... Professor James Moriarty
Stephen Fry ... Mycroft Holmes
Paul Anderson ... Colonel Sebastian Moran
Kelly Reilly ... Mary Watson
Geraldine James ... Mrs. Hudson
Eddie Marsan ... Inspector Lestrade
William Houston ... Constable Clark
Wolf Kahler ... Doctor Hoffmanstahl
Iain Mitchell Iain Mitchell ... Auctioneer
Jack Laskey ... Carruthers
Patricia Slater Patricia Slater ... Shush Club Maitre D'
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Storyline

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Italian | German | Romany

Release Date:

16 December 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes 2 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$125,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$39,637,079, 18 December 2011, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$186,848,418

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$545,448,418
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Datasat | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Morley and Stephen Fry have played Oscar Wilde and Mycroft Holmes. In the Gyles Brandreth books, where Oscar is a detective, his friend Sir Arthur Conan Doyle states that Oscar was the inspiration for Mycroft. See more »

Goofs

When Watson first goes to Holmes' flat, Mrs Hudson hints that she is concerned at Holmes' mental state but suggests a stay in a "sanatorium". This would instead imply he needed rest and treatment for tuberculosis, which is what was provided at a sanatorium. The word was only later, and especially in the USA rather than England, also used to describe a hospital for those with a mental illness. See more »

Quotes

[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.
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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 »


Soundtracks

And The Band Played On
(uncredited)
Lyrics by John F. Palmer
Music by Charles B. Ward
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Shadow of What It Should Have Been
24 December 2011 | by gary-444See all my reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed the first Sherlock Holmes and approached this sequel with optimistic anticipation- only to be very disappointed. A budget that had doubled, multiple locations, and the confidence of a well received first instalment should have proved a solid platform for further success. Sadly, Director Guy Ritchie lost his way.

As a pairing, Holmes, played by Robert Downey Jnr ,and Watson, by Jude Law, worked first time around. This time , Jude Law saves the pairing from disaster. I can run with Holmes as a cocaine snorting eccentric, but his eccentricities are so overwrought in this outing that his credibility as a formidable intelligence becomes unconvincing. Although I am happy to see historic capabilities rewritten and reinterpreted, his ability and acumen at street-fighting place an emphasis on the visceral, rather than cerebral which takes the character, for my tastes, far too close to Jean Claude Van Damme and Vin Diesel territory. Those thoughtful deductive powers eschewed in favour of occasional machine-gun analysis.

Rachel McAdams role is reduced to a bit part, and is a peripheral figure. Noomi Rapace instead supplies the glamour in a tentative performance as Gypsy Madam Heron which doesn't convince. The Villain, Prof Moriarty, is played , uneasily, by Jared Harris whose visual likeness to Richard Stilgoe does not help the cause. Yet all is not lost. Stephen fry is excellent as Sherlock's brother, Geraldine James has pitifully little screen time as housekeeper Mrs Hudson yet delights whenever she appears, and Kelly Reilly does well in an underwritten role as Dr Watson's new wife.

The plot is a noisy mess, and is largely threadbare. Swooping camera shots, fast editing and slow motion have their place but quickly the action becomes all, and the law of diminishing returns quickly comes into play. Which is a shame, because when Ritchie gets it right, it can be very good. This time an escape from an arms and munitions works shines as an ever escalating armoury of weapons is employed against them. Indeed it is such a good scene that the final reel, an attempted assassination, becomes an anti-climax.

In summary, the familiar Director's curse of too much money, too weak a script/story, and indiscipline, with no-one around to say "Guy, No!," strikes, which is a shame. Ritchie can write good, funny dialogue (see "Lock Stock, etc")but it is not much in evidence here, he can also handle a good action scene (the dry dock fight in the first film). But here he tries to reinvent the Holmes legend again, but only succeeds in losing the good bits and failing to improve with what he attempts in its place.


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