Sherlock Holmes (2009)

6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Robert Downey, Jr., good visuals

Dull story, dull villain, weak female lead

Movie Info

Movie Name: Sherlock Holmes

Studio: Silver Pictures

Genre(s): Action/Adventure/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s): December 25, 2009

MPAA Rating: PG-13


I think we got him!

Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Doctor John Watson (Jude Law) have just cracked a big case involving sacrifice which led to the execution of Lord Henry Blackwood (Mark Strong) for the crime.  Sherlock has a problem however.  Watson is moving out and has a new fiancée named Mary Morstan (Kelly Reilly)…threatening to break up the duo.  When Blackwood appears to somehow evaded death, Sherlock and Watson must determine what Blackwood’s plans are…and what the end game is.  Plus, professional criminal Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) seems to have a plan of her own, and who is her mysterious employer?


Not you’re father’s Sherlock Holmes!

Directed by Guy Ritchie, Sherlock Holmes was released to a strong showing at the box office.  The movie garnered positive reviews and Robert Downey, Jr. received a nomination for a Golden Globe for Best Actor on a Comedy, and the film earned Academy Award nominations for Best Original Score and Best Art Direction.

I find the character of Sherlock Holmes fun, and I enjoy Robert Downey, Jr.  I am not a fan of Guy Ritchie however, and that causes a struggle for me.  The movie is very stylized and despite an enjoyable cast, I just can’t get into it.


Well…At least I can pretend I’m interesting…

The plot for the movie feels a lot like a traditional Sherlock Holmes tale.  With a lot of twists and turns, the movie does a nice job “modernizing” the detective while still setting him in his traditional period.  Despite a decent mystery, I found the end of the story a bit disappointing though I did like the set-up for the next film with the great enemy Professor Moriarty.

The cast for the movie is however great.  Downey is a fantastic Sherlock.  He has the cockiness, the ability to think fast, and a great repritour with Law.  Law also is a fun Watson and it is played off as more of an Odd Couple relationship with Holmes constantly exasperating his “partner”.  I don’t feel Rachel McAdams is a very good Irene Adler because I don’t see her as someone really smart enough to be an interesting to Holmes (something the character was in the story A Scandal in Bohemia).  Lord Henry Blackwood was a weak enemy though Mark Strong played it well.


Irene…I really don’t find you interesting.

Guy Ritchie has always excelled at visuals, and Sherlock Holmes is a great showcase for this style.  The movie is slick and looks like Quentin Tarantino meets Tim Burton.  London is really great looking and I wish I could have seen even more of it.  I liked how Sherlock’s analytical state was shown (the fight breakdown), but I thought it was a bit over used.

Sherlock Holmes isn’t my favorite movie.  It isn’t a bad movie but I just can’t get into it.  I hoped that with its sequel, I would enjoy Sherlock Holmes more, but I still am not in love with the film.  Fortunately, the sequel did bump up the tention by a better enemy in Moriarty and it gets rid of the dead weight from Rachel McAdams.  Sherlock Holmes was followed by Sherlock Holmes:  A Game of Shadows in 2011.

Related Links:

Sherlock Holmes:  A Game of Shadows (2011)

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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