What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that director Guy Ritchie's take on the Sherlock Holmes legend -- which stars Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, and Rachel McAdams -- presents an earthier, brawnier, and glossier version of the famous literary/cinematic detective than most of us are used to ... which is exactly why teens will love it. Gritty, late-1800s London is the movie's backdrop, and there's no shortage of action -- from brutal, slo-mo fistfight scenes (most with blood and broken bones) to gunplay and big explosions. There are also some fairly gory crime scenes (including shots of dead bodies, one with a few wriggling maggots), a brief scene of a naked (aside from a strategically placed pillow) Holmes handcuffed to a bed, references to the dark rituals of occult secret societies, smoking, and drinking. But there's no swearing to speak of, and the movie ultimately celebrates Holmes and Watson's close friendship.
- Families can talk about how this movie's take on Sherlock Holmes compares to previous ones. Why do you think the filmmakers decided to up the action and violence? How does that change the impact and appeal of the story?
- How does Holmes arrive at his conclusions? Can you really deduct that much information from simple (albeit thorough) observation? Can you think of characters in current TV shows or movies who perform similar deductions?
- What makes a good and lasting friendship? Are Holmes and Watson on an even level, or is Watson simply an assistant to Holmes?