Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

Young Sherlock Holmes Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 11+

Exquisite idea, mediocre result, but OK for older kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that perils in this young-adult Sherlock Holmes dramainclude threats of the heroine being sacrificially turned into anEgyptian-style mummy, and kids being strangled and run through with swords. There's some potential nightmare imagery for young viewers -- scenes of demonic entitiesand rotting zombies; it's made clear that these are only hallucinations, butthe chills are still vividly rendered. Young Watson tries tobacco smoking.

  • Families can talk about the idea of Sherlock Holmes as a boy. How well is itdone here? This movie suggests that Holmes' intellect and penchant forcrime-solving backfired -- when he busted his own father for some unspecifiedoffense. Is being this brilliant a help or a hindrance for a kid? You mightcompare Young Sherlock Holmes to other stories that portray youthfulmystery-solvers, including the "Encyclopedia Brown" series, and Eye of the Crow, Death in the Air, and other recent YA novels byShane Peacock that try to depict (in far more depth than this film) thetroubled childhood of Conan Doyle's great sleuth.

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Holmes is ever polite and fearless seeker of justice (even though it harmedhis own family; only the sketchiest details given). He and Watson (whoovereats and tries to smoke a pipe) are shown to be consistently smarter than theadults, who are either oblivious (especially Lestrade of Scotland Yard) ortreacherous villains in disguise. The "exotic" depiction of Arab-Egyptianculture (emphasis on the "cult" part) is pretty cartoony.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: More PG than PG-13. One fatal shooting. Characters "mummified" non-explicitlyby hot wax. Mild wounds from sword-thrusts. Hand-to-hand fighting,strangulation. Bloodless, hallucination-inspired mayhem and death include onecharacter who stabs himself in the chest, another getting run over by acarriage, another besieged by rotting skeletons, another imagining littlemonsters pecking and biting at him.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not an issue

  • language false1

    Language: "Hell" and "damn," just about one time each.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Pipe-smoking by the young Watson and Holmes. Social drinking (but not byunderage characters).