Mr. Holmes (2015)

mr holmes poster 2015 movie ian mckellen
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Good looking, good acting

Story was good but lacked something

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Mr. Holmes

Studio:  AI Film

Genre(s):  Drama

Release Date(s):  February 8, 2015 (Premiere)/June 19, 2015 (UK)/July 17, 2015 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG


Bees…what could go wrong?

Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) is at the end of his life.  His memory is failing and he’s retreated to Sussex where he is tended to by his housekeeper Mrs. Munro (Laura Linney) and her son Roger (Milo Parker).  As Mr. Holmes fight to recover his memories of the last mystery, he builds a bond with Roger…despite Roger’s mother’s objections.

Directed by Bill Condon, Mr. Holmes is an adaptation of Mitch Cullin’s 2005 novel A Slight Trick of the Mind.  The film was released to positive reviews and praise for Ian McKellen’s portrayal of Sherlock Holmes.


Holmes’ greatest failure?

I like Sherlock Holmes.  He’s an interesting character with a lot of depth.  He is both perfect and flawed at the same time and that is what Mr. Holmes examines.  While I do like the movie, I just wanted a bit more from the story.

The story really isn’t much of a mystery.  It does involve Holmes looking at his past and trying to recall his last “mystery”, but it mostly is a drama about aging and looking back at mistakes.  The script does allow Sherlock to “do his thing” which is always a highlight of Sherlock stories, but the emotional touchstone of the story probably is Sherlock’s relationship with Roger (as he looks back on the shattered relationship with a client).


You stay away from that nutty Holmes!

McKellen is great.  He plays both the slightly younger and quite feeble Sherlock who is slowly losing his great intellect.  You can see him hurting and in pain both physically and emotionally.  He’s back by a great supporting cast with Milo Parker being strong as his young friend and Laura Linney as the tired mother who feels the relationship is unhealthy.

The movie looks great and is shot with style.  I do like that the movie is also bright and light.  It would have been easy to make the movie dark and atmospheric, but instead, the filmmakers reversed it.  That is a nice touch to change things up from the typical Holmes movie (which this isn’t).

Mr. Holmes is a good film but I for some reason feel a bit unsatisfied by it.  Watching the movie, I want to see Ian McKellen solve crimes as Holmes in a more traditional story.  That doesn’t negate the merit of this movie, but it leaves you wishing you could see a great portrayal of Holmes in his classic setting.  Fans of Sherlock Holmes should seek out this movie, but don’t expect a great mystery…just a good movie.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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