Sherlock Holmes

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: +2

Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong, Kelly Reilly. Action/Adventure Mystery. Written by Michael Johnson, Anthony Peckham, Guy Ritchie. Directed by Guy Ritchie.

FILM SYNOPSIS: In a dynamic new portrayal of Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous characters, Sherlock Holmes sends Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson on their latest challenge. Revealing fighting skills as lethal as his legendary intellect, Holmes will battle as never before to bring down a new nemesis and unravel a deadly plot that could destroy the country.

PREVIEW REVIEW: This isn’t your grandfather’s Sherlock Holmes. Times have changed and even detective mysterious have to be loaded with CGI effects and things that go boom in order to hold the attention of present day moviegoers. Such is the case with this new adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s sleuthing genius.

For purists like myself, there is one Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller), one James Bond (Sean Connery), one Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne) and one Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone). Until now. Yes, there is the usual amount of graphic kicks and punches, shootings and explosions to keep things lively for audiences no longer content with story and character development, but fortunately, along with an interesting retooling of the two main characters, there is also humorous wit and stylish execution.

Here Holmes is more like a messy version of Adrian Monk and Watson has become an adventurer, who along with being a devout friend, is also able to defend himself proficiently. They bicker like an old married couple, but deep down share a respect and brotherly love for one another. The two actors ably handle both the wit and athletics needed to aid director Guy Ritchie’s flashy twist on an age old genre.

Long, the film is bloated with action sequences, but, overall, it’s lively-paced, contains award-worthy art and set designs, and is fun and involving.

So does this mean there’s room for a new interpretation of True Grit’s Rooster Cogburn? That’ll be the day, Pilgrim.

Please read the content to decide if the film is suitable for your viewing. And for those truly adventurous, try going back in time when Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce were the foremost interpreters of Holmes and Watson. In 1939, they did there two best (out of 14 films): The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Warner Bros. Pictures/Village Roadshow Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: One brief crude comment about a woman’s past.

Obscene Language: I caught none.

Profanity: None

Violence: People are shot, stabbed, drowned, set on fire and blown up; plus there are a couple of pugilistic bouts set in slow motion in order for us to see the debilitating punches in close up; a young woman is about to be sacrificed on an alter, presumably to Satan; the villain claims to have magical powers, taken from witchcraft; we see a corpse with worms crawling over its face. Blood: Some blood when people are beaten-up.

Sex: An implied sexual encounter.

Nudity: A woman’s bare back as she dresses.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Some drinking and Holmes is a pipe smoker.

Other: After a demonic villain seems to have risen from the grave, Downey’s delivery of the line “And on the third day…” sounds almost blasphemous.

Running Time: 130 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Up

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