Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows


Guy Ritchie's much anticipated sequel to Sherlock Holmes (2009), with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law reprising their roles.... More

The smartest man in the room, Sherlock (Downey Jnr.), meets his match with criminal mastermind - the evil, depraved Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris, Mad Men). When Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsan) construes the death of the Crown Prince of Austria as suicide, Sherlock points to murder and a piece of a larger and much more portentous puzzle, designed by Moriarty. Holmes and Watson (Law) are on the case, tracking the Professor's web of death and destruction which involves bombings in Strasbourg and Vienna.

The film also brings in Noomi Rapace (from the excellent Millennium trilogy) in her first English-speaking role, and Stephen Fry, playing Sherlock's older, peculiar brother, Mycroft.Hide

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Flicks Review

The shadow cast over Guy Ritchie's Sherlock sequel isn't Harris's malevolent Moriarty, but rather the BBC's recent excellent contemporary take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional detective. Whilst notionally set in 1891, this frenetic, kinetic action-flick doesn't really believe in historic authenticity as a selling point, despite its wardrobe commitments.... More

Starting with a bang and ending with the Napoleon of Crime potentially meeting his Waterloo at some familiar Swiss falls, Ritchie's tale fair whips along and allows him to deliver trademark visual flair with both barrels this time (a train-set set-piece is a highlight).

Whilst the film delivers action, however, those expecting something more cerebral will be deeply disappointed. Instead of Cumberbatch's slightly aspergic and acerbic genius, Downey Jnr plays Holmes as a substance-enhanced martial artist; a cross between Pirates' Jack Sparrow and Mission: Impossible’s Ethan Hunt. And whilst Harris strikes an imposing figure, he's revealed too early and portrayed like a Bond villain meets the mad Irish bombers of 1990s Hollywood (think Blown Away or The Devil's Own). Female characters are either thrown off trains, cast aside or left floundering, while an underused Stephen Fry offers the most disturbing nude scene since Kathy Bates headed for the hot tub in About Schmidt.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 14 ratings, 14 reviews
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BY clararar superstar

In short, it's (of course) not as good as the BBC series, and not even as good as the first one in this franchise - the style seems a bit stale, the jokes lacked punch, Noomi Rapace was totally wasted with minimal lines or screentime, and the plot meandered a bit too much. While I can totally understand how this could be great entertainment for the masses, even for light entertainment this seemed to be lacking. If they're thinking of making a third, let's hope they bring back some of the magic... More of the first one or leave it altogether!Hide

BY GrahamP superstar

This movie is just one crisis after crisis after crisis.There was a story in there somewhere,but not much.It is mainly made up of fluff and nonsense.The script was written and delivered with rapid fire effect.The special effects were good but of no real importance.After seeing the first Holmes this one let me down a lot.
It is well made with good acting by all.

BY RexH superstar

The quote is not from the current film but from "The 7 Percent Solution" way back around 1974/5. Watson cheering Holmes on whilst swordfighting atop a fast moving train. It came to me while watching the train sequence in "Game of Shadows" and prompted me to wonder; which of the two films was the better? I have to say, the earlier was superior on a number of levels but this latest outing is a great romp. Funny, fast and tense where it needed to be. Casting was excellent -... More hilarious cameo from Stephen Fry. And while Downey's Holmes may not be to everyone's liking, he doesn't in fact, stray too far from the original character. Doyle didn't dwell on the mania that must have accompanied Sherlock's substance and cocaine abuse, but the hints were there. Updated, we have what could be a fair interpretation. Love the nod to the Joker! Anyone else notice? Action was well done throughout and the music hall sequence was a minor joy. It would have benefited from a bit more depth, it's true. That would have made it a better film and maybe ten minutes longer. But as a fun night out? Top marks to all involved!Hide

BY Ken-Burns superstar

This is more about Holmes and Watson than anything else. London is dirty and old. The chase scene in the forest is amazing. Holmes is genius in disguise and taking drugs. It's a real laugh. I give it 4 beers out of 3

BY BrionyJae superstar

I have no idea how this film could have possibly received a single bad review, because honestly? This was a brilliant film to the very last second. Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law kept a tight hold of their magic chemistry from the 2009 film, and the cinematography was just SUPERB. The woods scene... perfection. The plotline was, in truth, less complicated than the 2009 film story, but it was no less marvellous. Stephen Fry was an epic cameo - I'm sure no one will forget it! And I reckon that... More could be said for the entire film. I'm a massive fan of BBC's Sherlock as well, but you can't compare the two, as they truly are completely different entities - and both honourable tributes to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary creation.Hide

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The Press Reviews

60% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Ritchie has made a film that's so busy, it starts to become boring. Full Review

  • Set aside your memories of the Conan Doyle stories, save them to savor on a night this winter and enjoy this movie as a high-caliber entertainment. Full Review

  • A sequel confident in what it's about - bigger, better, funnier, without stretching the joke. Full Review

  • A Game of Shadows assures us that escapism is good, that mischief must be celebrated. Holmes and Watson are happy and their escapades play out with such grace and brio that the fun is infectious. Full Review

  • After quite a few tedious detours and distractions, when the film finally gets down to the business of a climax at a gathering of elite European diplomats in a precariously perched Swiss mountain castle, it becomes not half-bad. Full Review

  • A few shades brighter than its predecessor, and the action bits certainly closer to the full-throttle "Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels" mode director Guy Ritchie didn't quite capture the first time. Full Review

  • There is a plot, but no real intrigue, mystery or suspense, and no inkling of anything at stake beyond a childish and belligerent idea of fun. Full Review

  • Faster, funnier and even more bromantic than the original, this far from stately Holmes delivers piping hot entertainment at a furious lick. Full Review

  • While director Guy Ritchie's excesses and modern concessions -- among them a lot of explosions -- remain intact, the parts of this second "Sherlock Holmes" are considerably more rewarding. Full Review

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