Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Better than the original, Moriarty, Robert Downey, Jr.

Still not a great film

Movie Info

Movie Name: Sherlock Holmes:  A Game of Shadows

Studio: Silver Pictures

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

Release Date(s): December 16, 2011

MPAA Rating: PG-13


Hey, Watson…let’s speed this up!

Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) has met his match.  The mysterious Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris) has a plot that could bring world war, and he might just be smart enough to pull it off.  Though Holmes has always prided himself on his logic, Moriarty just may be smarter.  Holmes he and his newly married partner Dr. Watson (Jude Law) are pulled into Moriarty’s web along with a French Manouche fortune-teller named Madame Simza Heron (Noomi Rapace).  If Moriarty succeeds, the world will lose and even if Sherlock can beat him, it might mean his death.


Maybe I want you think what I think you want me to think…think so?

Directed by Guy Ritchie, Sherlock Holmes:  A Game of Shadows is the follow-up to Sherlock Holmes of 2009.  The movie was fairly well received and many critics debated if it was better than the first film.

I couldn’t get into Sherlock  Holmes…the cast and the look was good, but I did not enjoy it much and did not look forward to the sequel.  I had a similar problem with Sherlock Holmes:  A Game of Shadows, but I did enjoy it more than the original.

The movie is a real follow-up to Sherlock Holmes and continues the story…including scrapping the dead weight of Rachel McAdams who only cameos in the movie.  Once Adams is gone, the story kicks in.  Many of the concepts of the story are based on the Sir Arthur Conan Doyles’ The Final Solution including the ending.  The movie is a bit long and takes some unnecessary twists, but overall, it is a better than its predecessor.


You’ve got a tattoo of what on your back?

The cast continues to be strong.  Robert Downey, Jr. is a good Sherlock just in that he gets the oddness of the character.  I also think Downey works great with Jude Law who holds his own as Watson.  Sherlock is also joined by his brother this time played also eccentric by Stephen Fry.   The movie is greatly benefited by a a stronger villain in Mad Men’s Jared Harris as Professor Moriarty.  I didn’t like Rachel McAdams’ Irene Adler, and I don’t think Noomi Rapace really develops well in this film either, though I prefer The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo actress.


Let’s end this dance, Moriarty!

Like Sherlock Holmes, the movie does look good.  The visuals are lush and impressive, and Ritchie did tone back some of the “Sherlock-vision” of the first film which is a good thing.  The end visuals were a bit over the top with the Reichenbach Falls, but for the most part, the movie lends itself to the visuals.

Sherlock Holmes:  A Game of Shadows shows a slight improvement, but I still struggle with this series.  I like the players, so-so on the director, and positive for the visuals.  I want to like the movie more but still can’t commit to the series.  With a success at the box office, I still think Sherlock Holmes will return.

Related Links:

Sherlock Holmes (2009)

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.

Leave A Response