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Sherlock Holmes movie poster

Sherlock Holmes: Movie Review

Genre: Action, Adventure
Directed by: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong
Released by: Warner Bros. Pictures

In Short: The game’s afoot once again as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson return to the silver screen in this lively adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic crime-solving characters.

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The World’s Greatest Detective Returns to the Silver Screen

sherlock Holmes may have been portrayed in film and television more often than any other character in history. From his first appearance on celluloid in 1905 to director Guy Ritchie’s latest incarnation, the iconic detective has always held the world’s imagination. With Robert Downey, Jr., assaying the leading role, Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes” is a rock ‘em, sock ‘em kind of sleuth.

Which is just fine for those of us who have read all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books and short stories that feature Holmes, for despite some previous portrayals of him as an effete, cocaine-snorting wimp, the man in Doyle’s stories is both a brilliant mind and a seriously tough guy.

Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes

So when Holmes takes on an aristocratic murderer and cult leader, whose plan is to take over the rule of Britain in Ritchie’s newly imagined adventure, he’s ready and willing to use his fists as well as his brains to stop the bad guy from his nefarious plot. Downey dives into the role, complete with an English accent and a slightly superior air, while Jude Law admirably takes on Dr. Watson as the accomplished man he is in the original stories.

Rachel McAdams rounds out the main cast, as Irene Adler, the con woman who also happens to be Sherlock’s lifelong love; she looks fantastic in her bustle and gives a credible performance as the one woman who can match Sherlock’s much-vaunted intellect.

There’s much to enjoy in this beautifully rendered look at London in the late 1800’s, from fabulous costumes and incredible sets to the cleverly structured plot and fine performances. Add in some truly inspired action sequences and a finale that will leave you gasping, and the result is a new vision of “Sherlock Holmes” that is a welcome addition to the canon of the super sleuth.


Reviewed by Jenny Peters


(Updated: 12/15/11 CT)

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