OK for kids 14+
Master sleuth returns in entertaining but violent adventure.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, like its predecessor, this entertaining Sherlock Holmes adventure is filled with several scenes of action violence and mayhem. Though the fight scenes are very choreographed and stylized, they're bone-crunching and often brutal. And the slo-mo effects sometimes make the anticipation of the impact almost worse than the impact itself. Knives, guns, and bombs are all in use; there's also one scene of torture and a suicide. There's also a fair bit of innuendo, one scene of a naked man from behind, some mild language ("bastard" and "damn), pipe smoking, and social drinking. Holmes (again played by Robert Downey Jr.) dons women's clothing in one sequence.
- Families can talk about how the new Sherlock Holmes movies' take on the famous detective compares to previous ones. Why do you think the filmmakers decided to up the action and violence in these films?
- Why does Watson put up with Holmes' shenanigans, especially when they interfere with his relationship to his betrothed?
- How does this film handle its good-versus-evil theme? Are the good and bad sides always clearly defined? Is that important?
The good stuff
Messages: There's lots of iffy stuff going on here, but Holmes and Watson's friendship is a powerful example of loyalty. Also, Holmes continues to remind audiences to pay attention to even the smallest of details because the answers to our questions, big and small, lie in them.
Role models: Holmes' sharp mind continues to be admirable, his eccentricities notwithstanding. And Watson remains straightforward and forthright. The friends always fight for good, even if their methods are sometimes iffy. Watson's wife, Mary, has a bigger role in this film, proving herself equal to the task of crime-fighting.
What to watch for
Violence: The film is filled with highly choreographed fights and lots of other action violence. Bare hands, brass knuckles, poison arrows, knives, guns, bombs -- you name it, it's here. Holmes is also tortured in one scene, and there's a suicide. Some scenes are almost balletic because of how directed and maneuvered they are, but they're still bone-crunching and (sometimes) bloody -- and the slow-mo shots can sometimes make the anticipation of the impact even worse.
Sex: Lots of innuendo (much of which is likely to go over younger kids' head) and suggestive banter, flirting, and a kiss. In a scene that's intended to be comic, a man is shown naked from behind as he casually exposes himself to a woman.
Language: Swearing includes "damn," "hell," "bastard," and "my God" (as an exclamation).
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: A man smokes a pipe (accurate for the era). References to how one character is hopped up on coca leaves. Social drinking -- Holmes likes his liquor.
Fan Reviews provided by
PAY ATTENTION! (though you may need to see it again to catch everything) by sak473
As with the first Holmes movie, you have to pay attention to the dialog and clues when you watch this movie. Even then, you're likely to miss thngs (and if you're like my wife and me, you'll have to plan on seeing it again). Don't even think about getting up to go to the bathroom because you're going to miss something important. The plot takes a while to develop so you'll need to be patient. However, it's worth the time and effort as the movie is very entertaining. If you liked the first Holmes movie, you should plan on seeing this one.
Smart, funny, visually stunning by englishmonster
Why aren't more movies made with this wonderful combination of wit, action, and comedy? The acting was absolutely on the mark and the story was gripping. Go see it!
Best movie sequel! by sumhorns
I loved the first Sherlock Holmes, but this one was EVEN BETTER! Lots of action, suspense, intrigue and comedy, set in a well-done staging and effects... great actors, great storyline, lots of moving parts, I will own this one when it comes out! :) GO SEE IT!
It Was Pretty Good by atltwiggz247
It started off a little uninteresting, but it got better. I thought it was pretty good. I saw the midnight show, so earlier that day I watched the first movie again. I think that may have helped incase you didn't remember Rachel McAdams working for a faceless guy in the first movie. So he's still her employer.
So the plot was interesting enough, the script was...the typical clever banter you expected, and the opening and closing credits used the same photo to sketchbook effects. But my favorite aspect of this movie was the effects and cinematography. It was great! The action scenes were good, but made even better with slowmotion and intense focus on characters faces and movements as they happened. Alot of zoom ins on the inworkings of gunfire, sparks, triggers. The sound was awesome, hearing deep breathing, clicks, all that stuff that makes you feel like you can hear every movement and action, canceling out other noise and focusing in on specifics.
So it was a pretty good movie.
Everything I Hoped For and More by ss_michael
After seeing the original Sherlock Holmes, I said, "That movie was great! Even if they don't make a sequel, it wouldn't both me." Today, I find myself saying the same thing about A Game of Shadows.
The personalities of Holmes and Watson again worked well together, and the overall story was well-crafted and entertaining. Also, the plot worked on a much broader scale than the original, so you don't feel like it's just a re-hash of the original.
The new canon characters that are introduced or expanded upon brought more life to the movie and created a much closer version of the original Doyle works.
If I had to nitpick, the only thing I felt seemed out of place was the much-increased use of slow motion. Don't get me wrong, I thought it was a great cinematic effect every time it was used, but in a few places I wondered if it was necessary.
Overall the best movie I've seen this year, and I recommend it to everyone, even if you haven't read the books.
Sherlock Holmes - Great Movie!! by Babee46
I laughed and was enthralled at different times in the movie. I even almost cried at one point but you'll have to go see if for yourself to figure out where....lol
I'll definitely go and see it again.
Full of nonstop action and comedy! by sjoyforever
This film, like the others, is witty and fun-full of twists and turns and suspense. It will keep you laughing while on the edge of your seat. If you want to be entertained then go see this movie!
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows: B by MattH306
It took a little too long for the movie to develop.
Familiarity Breeds The Opposite Truth by whatlight
I went in thinking 'this is only a sequel.' I left yearning for the next one. SHII plunges us back into the now well established characters, who we suddenly love and appreciate for their eccentricities. To bring this out, there is far less of the fantastical magic scenes that dominated its predecessor, and far more of Holmes? deductive reasoning. We also appreciate how Holmes and Watson are a hand and glove team, each with an amazing, split-second appreciation of the next save-the-day-move that simply must be done, and is done. Apparently the producers finally realized that these are precisely the skills that gave the detective series its enduring following. As to the evil guy, the movie concentrates on his driving greed. This was believable. He positioned himself to become a war-profiteer, and did his best to ignite WWI - early. This was far easier to grasp and appreciate than the earlier version, where it seemed to be some crazy desire for evil domination.
Bully ho ho!
Shadows and mystery by haber1
This movie will keep you at the edge of your seat and watching closely. I thought that the story was good and the special effects fantastic. A must see!