Sherlock holmes 2009 rotten tomatoes

Sherlock holmes 2009 rotten tomatoes DEFAULT

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critics consensus

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a good yarn thanks to its well-matched leading men but overall stumbles duplicating the well-oiled thrills of the original.Read critic reviews

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Photos

Movie Info

When Austria's crown prince is found dead, evidence seems to point to suicide. However, detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) deduces that the prince was murdered and that the crime is but a piece of a puzzle designed by an evil genius named Moriarty (Jared Harris). Holmes and his friend Dr. Watson (Jude Law), who are accompanied by a Gypsy (Noomi Rapace) whose life Holmes saved, chase Moriarty across Europe in the hope that they can thwart his plot before it can come to fruition.


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Sherlock Holmes Photos

Movie Info

Sherlock Holmes (John Barrymore) is a master at solving the most impenetrable mysteries, but he has his work cut out for him on his latest case. Prince Alexis (Reginald Denny) is accused of a theft that he insists he didn't commit. The evidence is stacked against him, but Holmes' trusted friend, Dr. Watson (Roland Young), vouches for the prince. As the famed detective investigates, he's brought face to face with his most devious adversary yet -- Professor Moriarty (Gustav von Seyffertitz).

Cast & Crew

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The Best Sherlock Holmes Movies and TV Shows (and the Worst)

Sherlock Holmes

(Photo by Warner Bros. Thumbnail: Netflix, BBC.)

Nearly 100 years after 1922’s Sherlock Holmes, the watershed movie that proved Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character a Hollywood leading man, the detective remains on the case! He’s been adapted to movies and TV countless times, and we’ve organized all of his works which got a Tomatometer score in chronological order. That includes films from Basil Rathbone’s defining decades-long run accessorized with the deerstalker hat, Robert Downey Jr.’s blockbuster take, and Sherlock‘s modern spin with Benedict Cumberbatch. To complete the picture, Holmes-adjacent works are included, including Gene Wilder’s The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother, Disney’s The Great Mouse Detective, and Netflix’s Enola Holmes, featuring Sherlock’s teenage sister as played by Millie Bobby Brown. Now let’s chase the thread through this study in scarlet tomatoes, as we reveal the best (and worst) Sherlock Holmes movies and series.


Adjusted Score: 78146%

Critics Consensus: Guy Ritchie's directorial style might not be quite the best fit for an update on the legendary detective, but Sherlock Holmes benefits from the elementary appeal of a strong performance by Robert Downey, Jr.

Synopsis: When a string of brutal murders terrorizes London, it doesn't take long for legendary detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.)... [More]

Starring:Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong

Directed By:Guy Ritchie


Adjusted Score: 94354%

Critics Consensus:Mr. Holmes focuses on the man behind the mysteries, and while it may lack Baker Street thrills, it more than compensates with tenderly wrought, well-acted drama.

Synopsis: Long-retired and near the end of his life, Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) grapples with an unreliable memory and must rely... [More]

Starring:Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Milo Parker, Hiroyuki Sanada

Directed By:Bill Condon


Adjusted Score: 14006%

Critics Consensus: The lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson than does Holmes and Watson.

Synopsis: Detective Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson join forces to investigate a mysterious murder at Buckingham Palace. It seems like... [More]

Starring:Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Rebecca Hall, Rob Brydon

Directed By:Etan Cohen


Adjusted Score: 104912%

Critics Consensus:Enola Holmes brings a breath of fresh air to Baker Street -- and leaves plenty of room for Millie Bobby Brown to put her effervescent stamp on a franchise in waiting.

Synopsis: While searching for her missing mother, intrepid teen Enola Holmes uses her sleuthing skills to outsmart big brother Sherlock and... [More]

Starring:Millie Bobby Brown, Sam Claflin, Henry Cavill, Helena Bonham Carter

Directed By:Harry Bradbeer

Sherlock Holmes - Original Theatrical Trailer

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

"A Game of Shadows" redirects here. For the Mannix episode, see A Game of Shadows (Mannix).

2011 film by Guy Ritchie

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a 2011 periodmysteryaction film directed by Guy Ritchie and produced by Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram, Susan Downey, and Dan Lin.[4] It is the sequel to the 2009 film Sherlock Holmes and features the Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The film's screenplay was written by Michele Mulroney and Kieran Mulroney. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law reprised their roles as Holmes and Watson, respectively, alongside Noomi Rapace as Simza, Stephen Fry as Mycroft Holmes, and Jared Harris as Professor Moriarty. Rachel McAdams reprised her role as Irene Adler in a cameo appearance. Although the film follows an original premise, it incorporates elements of Conan Doyle's short stories "The Final Problem" (1893) and "The Adventure of the Empty House" (1903).[5] In the film, Holmes and Watson travel across Europe with a Romani adventuress to foil an intricate plot by their cunning nemesis, Professor Moriarty, to instigate a war.

Though the film received mixed reviews from critics, it was commercially successful, with a worldwide gross of over $545 million. A third film was originally set for release on December 22, 2021, with Downey and Law set to return, although its status is uncertain.


In 1891, Irene Adler delivers a package to Dr. Hoffmanstahl, payment for a letter he was to deliver. Hoffmanstahl opens the package, triggering a bomb that is prevented from detonating by Sherlock Holmes. Holmes takes the letter while Adler and Hoffmanstahl escape. Holmes later finds Hoffmanstahl assassinated. Adler meets with Professor Moriarty to explain the events, but Moriarty, deeming her compromised, poisons and kills her.

Dr. Watson arrives at 221B Baker Street, where Holmes discloses that he is investigating seemingly unrelated murders, terrorist attacks and business acquisitions that he has connected to Moriarty. After meeting with his brother Mycroft at Watson's bachelor party, Holmes meets with a Roma fortune-teller named Madame Simza, the intended recipient of the letter he took from Adler, sent by her brother René. Holmes defeats an assassin sent to kill Simza, but she flees before Holmes can question her. After the wedding of Watson and Mary Morstan, Holmes meets Moriarty for the first time. Moriarty indicates he will kill Watson and Mary if Holmes interferes. Moriarty taunts Holmes about murdering Adler, and Holmes swears revenge.

Moriarty's men attack Watson and Mary on a train to their honeymoon. Holmes throws Mary from the train into a river, where she is rescued by Mycroft. After defeating Moriarty's men, Holmes and Watson travel to Paris and locate Simza. Holmes tells Simza that she has been targeted because René is working for Moriarty and may have told her his plans. Simza takes the pair to the headquarters of an anarchist group to which she and René belonged; the anarchists have been forced to plant bombs for Moriarty.

The trio follow Holmes' deduction that the bomb is in the Paris Opera. However, the bomb is in a nearby hotel; its explosion kills a number of businessmen. The bomb was a cover for the assassination of Alfred Meinhard by Moriarty's henchman, Sebastian Moran. Meinhard's death grants Moriarty ownership of Meinhard's arms factory in Germany. Holmes spies on Moriarty, learning he is travelling to Germany. The trio follow him there.

At the factory, Moriarty captures, interrogates, and tortures Holmes while Watson fights Moran. Holmes spells out Moriarty's plot, revealing that the Professor acquired shares in multiple war profiteering companies and intends to instigate a world war to make himself a fortune. Watson uses the cannon he was hiding behind to destroy the watchtower in which Moran is concealed. The structure collapses into the warehouse where Moriarty is holding Holmes captive. Watson, Simza, and an injured Holmes reunite and Holmes deduces that Moriarty's final target will be a peace summit in Switzerland, creating an international incident.

At the summit, Holmes deduces that René is the assassin and is disguised as one of the ambassadors, having been given radical reconstructive surgery by Hoffmanstahl. Holmes and Moriarty meet on a balcony to discuss their plans over a game of chess. Watson and Simza stop René's assassination attempt; René is then killed by Moran. Despite his war being averted, Moriarty remains confident in his victory, warning Holmes that the nations of Europe will go to war with one another regardless of Moriarty's manipulations. Holmes reveals that, while being tortured by Moriarty, he replaced the professor's personal diary that contained his plans and financing with a duplicate. The original was sent to Mary, who decrypted the code using a book Holmes had noticed in Moriarty's office, before passing the information to Inspector Lestrade, who seizes Moriarty's assets and donates his fortune to anti-war charities. Holmes and Moriarty anticipate a fight, and both realise that Moriarty will win due to Holmes' injured shoulder. Out of options and with Moriarty vowing to kill Watson and Mary, Holmes grabs Moriarty and lunges backwards over the balcony and into the Reichenbach Falls below. Both are presumed dead.

Following Holmes' funeral, Watson and Mary prepare to have their belated honeymoon when Watson receives a package containing a breathing device of Mycroft's that Holmes expressed a liking for before the summit. Realizing that Holmes may still be alive, Watson leaves his office to find the delivery man. Holmes, having concealed himself in Watson's office, reads Watson's memoirs on the typewriter and adds a question mark after the words "The End".



After the success of the 2009 film Sherlock Holmes, a sequel was fast-tracked by Warner Bros. with director Guy Ritchie dropping out of an adaptation of Lobo and Robert Downey Jr. leaving Cowboys & Aliens.[6] It was unclear if Rachel McAdams would appear in the film; McAdams said, "If I do, it won't be a very big thing. It's not a lead part."[7] Warner Bros. later confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that McAdams would play a part in the sequel but that it would be a cameo.[8] The female lead role was played by Noomi Rapace. Joel Silver, the film's producer, has said that "we always intended to have a different kind of girl for each movie" in the vein of Bond girls.[9] He found it "complicated" to persuade McAdams to return in a smaller role: "She loved being with us, but she hoped to have a bigger role."[9]

The film, then under the working title of Sherlock Holmes 2, was reported to be influenced by Conan Doyle's "The Final Problem".[5] While the film took place a year after the events of the first film,[5]Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows was intended to be a stand-alone film that did not require knowledge of the previous movie.[5]

In October 2010, the steamship PS Waverley was chartered on the English Channel for filming, and a large green screen was erected at Didcot Railway Centre, where a large action scene was filmed the following month.[10] In late November, a scene was filmed at Victoria Bridge in Worcestershire, England. In January 2011, scenes were also filmed at Hampton Court Palace and areas in Oxford University. [11]

In early February 2011, principal photography moved for two days to Strasbourg, France. Shooting took place on, around, and inside Strasbourg Cathedral. The scene was said at the time to be the opening scene of the film, as it covered an assassination and bombing in a German-speaking town.[12]

The production also filmed at several locations in Kent including Fort Amherst, Knole, and The Historic Dockyard Chatham.[13]The White Cliffs of Dover are also briefly featured in the movie, as is the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. Several scenes were also filmed at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire.[14][15][16]


Main article: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (soundtrack)

Hans Zimmer composed the film's score. In addition to featuring existing works by Johann Strauss II, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ennio Morricone, and Franz Schubert, Zimmer included elements from authentic Romani music. Zimmer, accompanied by director Guy Ritchie and some of Zimmer's musicians, traveled to France, Italy, and Slovakia to research the local music firsthand and to "listen to as many musicians as we could." Deeply impressed, Zimmer arranged for 13 of the local musicians—with their personal violins and accordions—to join him in Vienna at a studio for a recording session. Zimmer incorporated this Romani music into the score for the film. It was reported a portion of proceeds from the soundtrack would be given to the impoverished Romani villages to help pay for necessities, such as water and heat.[17][18]


Jude Lawin January 2012 at the film's French premiere in Paris.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows was released on 16 December 2011 in Canada, Mexico, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom; on 25 December 2011 in most other countries; and on 5 January 2012 in Australia, Poland, and Spain.[19]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 12 June 2012 for Region 1[20][21] and 14 May 2012 for Region 2[22][23] and Region 4.[24]


Box office[edit]

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows earned $186.8 million in North America as well as $357 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $543.4 million.[3] It was the 12th highest-grossing film of 2011 worldwide.[25]

In North America, it topped the box office on its opening day with $14.6 million,[26][27] down from the opening-day gross of the previous film, $24.6 million.[28] During the weekend, it grossed $39.6 million, leading the box office but earning approximately two-thirds as much as its predecessor on its opening weekend.[29] By the end of its theatrical run, it became the 9th highest-grossing film of 2011 in the US.[30]

Outside North America, the film earned $14.6 million on its opening weekend, finishing in third place.[31] It topped the overseas box office during three consecutive weekends in January 2012.[32][33][34] It eventually surpassed its predecessor's foreign total of $315 million. In the UK, Ireland, and Malta, its highest-grossing market after North America, the film achieved a first-place opening of £3.83 million[35] ($5.95 million)[36] over a three-day period, compared to the £3.08 million earned in two days by the original film.[37] It earned $42.2 million in total in this market. In the Commonwealth of Independent States and in Italy, the film earned $28.4 million and $24.5 million, respectively.[38]

Critical response[edit]

Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports an approval rating of 59% based on 229 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads, "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a good yarn thanks to its well-matched leading men but overall stumbles duplicating the well-oiled thrills of the original."[39]Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average rating to reviews, gives the film a score of 48 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[40] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of A− on an A+ to F scale—polls of the film's predecessor received a B on the same scale.[41]

Roger Ebert, who gave the first film three stars, was even more positive in his review for the sequel, awarding it three-and-a-half stars and calling it "high-caliber entertainment" that "add[s] a degree of refinement and invention" to the formula. He also said the writers "wisely devote some of their best scenes to one-on-ones between Holmes and Moriarty."[42]James Berardinelli gave the film three stars out of four, writing, "A Game of Shadows is a stronger, better-realized movie that builds upon the strengths of the original and jettisons some of the weaknesses."[43] Conversely, Keith Phipps of The A.V. Club felt the film "aims lower than its predecessor's modest ambition and still misses the mark."[44] Several critics felt that McAdams was underused. Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal felt "she vanishes all too soon in this overproduced, self-enchanted sequel, and so does the spirit of bright invention that made the previous film such a pleasant surprise."[45] Scott Mendelson of The Huffington Post remarked that she "exhibits far more personality and roguish charm in her few moments here than she did in all of the previous film. Freed from the constraints of being the de-facto love interest, McAdams relishes the chance to go full-villain."[46]



Potential sequel[edit]

Warner Bros. Pictures announced in October 2011 that the first draft for Sherlock Holmes 3 was being produced with screenwriter Drew Pearce writing the script;[50] he was later replaced by Justin Haythe.[51] Jude Law commented on the project in late 2013, "We had a meeting earlier this year, the three of us, and I think it's being written now. Warner Bros. have still got to agree to pay for it... I think they want to!"[52] He also said of the delay in getting into production, "I think Warner Bros. wants it, and there's a lot of want from us as a team. We want it to be better than the other two. We want to make sure it's smarter and cleverer, but in the same realm. It's a slow process. We're all busy. So getting us together to try to nail that has taken a little bit longer than we had hoped... I hate celebrating anything I've done, but I'm so proud of those films. I think it was Joel Silver who said, 'Take it out of that dusty room and put it on the street'."[53]

In October 2014, Susan Downey stated that a third film was in development: "There's an idea, there's an outline, there is not a script yet. Trust me, the studio would love there to be a script. But our feeling is, we gotta get it right." When asked whether the film would realistically be out within the "next few years", she expressed confidence that it would be, saying, "Yeah. At a certain point it's going to be too long— we've waited too long. We're working as fast and responsibly as we can to get a great script."[54] In May 2015, when asked of the progress of the third film in an interview, Law stated: "There is apparently still a will [to do it], there is a script being written, but I'm not sure."[55]

In August 2015, while promoting Ritchie's film The Man from U.N.C.L.E., producer Lionel Wigram said that a script for a third film was still being written. Wigram also claimed that both Downey Jr. and Law would reprise their roles from the first two films.[56] In April 2016, Downey confirmed that the film would begin shooting later in the year.[57] That same month, it was announced that James Coyne was hired to rewrite the script.[58] Silver, who will produce the sequel, stated that he hoped it would begin filming in the fall, and that there may be more sequels.[59]

In October 2016, Warner Bros., Village Roadshow and Team Downey had put together a writers' room with several top names, including Nicole Perlman, Justin Malen, Gary Whitta, Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Kieran Fitzgerald.[60]

In May 2017, Wigram claimed that shooting may start in late 2018, saying, "It's closer to happening than it's been for a while. With any luck we'll be making it at the end of next year. I hope, we'll see. Fingers crossed."[61] In May 2018, Warner Bros. confirmed a third film was scheduled for release on December 25, 2020, with Downey, Law, and Anderson reprising their roles and Chris Brancato writing the script.[62]

In March 2019, Warner Bros. announced that the release date had been changed to December 22, 2021.[63] In July 2019, Dexter Fletcher was announced as the film's director.[64] That same month, the film was approved a $20.9 million tax break by the California Film Commission, against a projected production budget of $107.8 million.[65] In October 2020, Fletcher said the film was on the "back burner".[66]


By October 2020, Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey announced plans to expand the film series into a franchise. Team Downey is working on installments including additional films, spin-offs, television series for HBO Max, and other media in a shared universe. Though they do not intend to copy the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the pair acknowledged that they felt that working with Marvel Studios taught them much with regards to world building.[67]


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  3. ^ abSherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Box Office Mojo
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  8. ^Bierly, Mandi (February 4, 2011). "Rachel McAdams cameo confirmed for 'Sherlock Holmes' sequel". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
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  12. ^"Explosions au coeur de Strasbourg… (Explosions in the heart of Strasbourg…)". Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace (in French). February 4, 2011. Retrieved February 4, 2011.
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  37. ^"'Chipmunks' beats 'Avatar' at UK BO". Digital Spy. December 30, 2009.
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  51. ^"The Baker Street Babes : NEW news about the third "Sherlock Holmes" movie! ..."Baker Street Babes.
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  53. ^"Jude Law Says 'Sherlock Holmes 3′ Is Slowly Moving Forward". Screen Rant.
  54. ^"Susan Downey Talks The Judge, Sherlock Holmes 3, Pinocchio, Yucatan and More". Collider.
  55. ^"Sherlock 3 may or may not be happening". May 28, 2015.
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External links[edit]


2009 tomatoes holmes sherlock rotten


Dec 25, 2011

The production is still needlessly overlong and overblown, a far cry from your father's (or even your cousin's) conception of the master detective. But it's certainly lively and has clever moments that involve Holmes' keen powers of observation...

Full Review | Original Score: 2.1/2

Dec 16, 2011

As one who couldn't stand the first Guy Ritchie-Robert Downey, Jr. Sherlock Holmes movie, I didn't mind this one so much. For one thing, I knew what I was in for...

Full Review | Original Score: 2.1/2

Dec 16, 2011

It doesn't take a master of deduction to see that Ritchie has decided to play it too safe with this sequel.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4

Dec 16, 2011

In an act of criminal negligence, Ritchie has wasted Robert Downey Jr. in a sequel that eliminates smarts in favor of relentless headbanging.

Original Score: 2/4

Dec 16, 2011

Downey may think this interpretation is an insight, or funny, but it pushes what was already a rude rewriting of the classic characters into eye-rolling camp. And it throws everything off balance.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4

Dec 16, 2011

He's found a style that works, and he indulges it. The results are occasionally uninspired, but good-natured fun all the same.

Full Review

Dec 16, 2011

Something of an overlong, overblown, disorganized mess, despite being slightly better than its predecessor.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4

Dec 16, 2011

Ritchie's franchise - 7% classic formula, 93% adrenaline - is smart in a showoffy way that flatters its star as well as its audience.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5

Dec 16, 2011

It's a modest improvement on bad-boy director Guy Ritchie's first tweaking of Arthur Conan Doyle's iconic detective.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4

Dec 15, 2011

Like the first film, what holds our interest is Downey, whose vision of Holmes, if not what Conan Doyle had in mind, is arresting.

Full Review | Original Score: B

Sherlock Holmes (2009) - Meat or Potatoes? Scene (5/10) - Movieclips

Sherlock Holmes (2009 film)

2009 film by Guy Ritchie

Sherlock Holmes is a 2009 periodmysteryaction film based on the character of the same name created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The film was directed by Guy Ritchie and produced by Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram, Susan Downey, and Dan Lin. The screenplay, by Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham, and Simon Kinberg, was developed from a story by Wigram and Johnson. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law portray Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, respectively. In 1890, eccentric detective Holmes and his companion Watson are hired by a secret society to foil a mysticist's plot to gain control of Britain by seemingly supernatural means. Rachel McAdams stars as their former adversary Irene Adler and Mark Strong portrays villain Lord Henry Blackwood.

The film was widely released in North America on 25 December 2009, and on 26 December 2009 in the UK, Ireland, the Pacific and the Atlantic. Sherlock Holmes received mostly positive critical reaction. Downey won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy. The film was also nominated for two Academy Awards, Best Original Score and Best Art Direction. A sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, was released on 16 December 2011, with a third film scheduled for release in 2021, to be directed by Dexter Fletcher.[3]


In 1890 London, private detective Sherlock Holmes and his partner Dr. John Watson prevent the ritualistic murder of a woman by Lord Henry Blackwood, who has killed five other young women in a similar manner. Inspector Lestrade and the police arrest Blackwood. Three months later, Watson is engaged to Mary Morstan and moving out of 221B Baker Street; while he enjoys their adventures together, Watson looks forward to not having to deal with Holmes' eccentricities. Meanwhile, Blackwood, who claims to have supernatural powers, has been sentenced to death and requests to see Holmes, warning him of three more unstoppable deaths that will cause great changes to the world. Blackwood is subsequently hanged.

Holmes is visited by Irene Adler, a former adversary who asks him to find a missing man named Luke Reordan. After her departure, Holmes follows her as she meets with her secret employer, and only learns that the man is a professor and that he intimidates Adler. Meanwhile, sightings of a living Blackwood and the discovery of his empty tomb convince the authorities that Blackwood has risen from his grave. Reordan is found dead inside Blackwood's coffin. Following a series of clues from the body, Holmes and Watson find Reordan's hideout and discover experiments attempting to merge science with magic. After they survive a battle with Blackwood's men when they try to torch the lab, Holmes is taken to the Temple of the Four Orders, a secret magical fraternity with considerable political influence. The leaders — Lord Chief Justice Sir Thomas Rotheram, U.S. Ambassador Standish, and Home Secretary Lord Coward — ask Holmes to stop Blackwood, a former member of the society and Sir Thomas's secret illegitimate son.

That night, Sir Thomas drowns in his bath as Blackwood watches, and the next night Lord Coward calls a meeting of the Order. He nominates Blackwood to take command in place of Sir Thomas and Blackwood reveals himself to the group, explaining his intention to seize control of the British Empire and reconquer the United States. Standish attempts to shoot Blackwood but bursts into flames when he pulls the trigger of his gun, falling out a window to his death. Lord Coward issues an arrest warrant for Holmes, causing him to go into hiding. Holmes studies the rituals of the Order and recognizes their symbols in Blackwood's staging of the murders; from this, he deduces that the targets of the final murder are every elected member of Parliament. With the aid of Lestrade, Holmes fakes his arrest and is taken to see Coward, where he uses evidence on Coward's clothes to deduce Blackwood has conducted a ceremony in the sewers beneath the Palace of Westminster.

Holmes escapes and he, Watson, and Adler find Blackwood's men in the sewers guarding a device based on Reordan's experiments, designed to release cyanide gas into the Parliament chambers and kill all but Blackwood's supporters, to whom he has secretly given an antidote. Blackwood comes before Parliament and announces their impending deaths, then attempts to activate the cyanide device by remote control; Adler is able to deactivate it with a controlled explosion. Blackwood flees Parliament and sees Holmes chasing Adler, who has taken canisters of cyanide from the device, through the sewers, and pursues both to the top of the incomplete Tower Bridge. Blackwood subdues Adler and fights Holmes, as the latter deduces how all of Blackwood's supposed supernatural feats were the work of science and trickery. Blackwood plummets off the bridge and falls entangled in a noose of chains, the chain wrapping around his neck hanging him for good.

Adler explains to Holmes that her employer is Professor Moriarty, and she warns that Moriarty is not to be underestimated. As Watson moves out of 221B, the police report to him and Holmes that a dead officer was found near Blackwood's device. Moriarty used the confrontations with Adler and Blackwood as a diversion while he took a key component, based on the infant science of radio, from the machine. Holmes looks forward to the new case and his new adversary.


  • Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes, a bohemian scientist and eccentric detective-for-hire who becomes a wanted fugitive in his hunt for Lord Blackwood while constantly being followed by the presence of Professor Moriarty. Downey was visiting Joel Silver's offices with his wife, producer Susan Downey, when he learned about the project.[4] Ritchie initially felt Downey was too old for the role because he wanted the film to show a younger Holmes on a learning curve like Batman Begins.[5] Ritchie decided to take a chance on casting him in the role, and Downey told the BBC that "I think me and Guy are well-suited to working together. The more I look into the books, the more fantastic it becomes. Holmes is such a weirdo".[6] Downey also revealed what his wife had to say: "that when you read the description of the guy  — quirky and kind of nuts — it could be a description of me".[7] Downey intended to focus more on Holmes' patriotic side and his bohemianism, and felt that his work on Chaplin had prepared him for an English accent.[8] Ritchie feels his accent is "flawless".[9] Both Downey and Ritchie are martial arts enthusiasts, and have been inspired by the Baritsu mentioned in the 1901 story The Adventure of the Empty House.[10] Downey lost weight for the part, because during a chat he had with Chris Martin, Martin recommended that Holmes look "gaunt" and "skinny".[11][12]
  • Jude Law as Dr. John Watson, Holmes' companion and close friend who is also a surgeon and a veteran of the Second Afghan War. Law's Watson is more like the original character, who was more of a colleague, rather than the bumbling fool that actor Nigel Bruce popularised in the 1930s–40s films.[13] Law previously appeared in the Granada Television series The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, in an episode based on The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place. Being a Holmes fan, Law recognised there was material unexplored in other adaptations and was intrigued by Downey's casting; Law was cast because he had a positive meeting with Downey and concurred the film would have to explore Holmes and Watson's friendship. Downey believed by emphasizing Watson's qualities as a former soldier, a doctor, a womanizer and a gambler, it would make for a more interesting foil for Holmes.[14] Law made a notebook of phrases from the stories to improvise into his dialogue.[15] Ritchie originally envisioned Russell Crowe in the role.[16]
  • Mark Strong as Lord Henry Blackwood, an aristocraticserial killer dabbling in the occult to compel others to do his bidding. Having returned after his execution, Blackwood concocts a plan to gain control of Britain. He is given many supernatural elements to his character, and his presence is usually accompanied by a menacing crow. Strong worked with director Ritchie for the third time and said he appreciates the director's lack of ego and how easy he is to work with.[17][18]
  • Rachel McAdams as Irene Adler, an American femme fatale from New Jersey who outwitted Holmes twice, as chronicled in Doyle's story A Scandal in Bohemia.[13] In the film, Adler is no longer married to Godfrey Norton and needs Holmes' help for the case.[14] Downey convinced Ritchie to cast McAdams, arguing she would not look too young to be his love interest.[19] In this aspect the film considerably departs from Doyle's original, where Holmes never met Adler again after the one occasion where she outwitted (and greatly impressed) him; the film conversely implies that the two of them met many times later and had an intermittent, hotly consummated love affair.
  • Kelly Reilly as Mary Morstan, a governess whom Watson wishes to marry, causing a conflict with Holmes.[7]
  • Eddie Marsan as Inspector Lestrade, an investigator from Scotland Yard who hires Holmes to look into the murders. Unlike in many previous adaptations, Lestrade is not portrayed as a bumbling inspector, but is shown to be a rather competent officer (though he is relatively fed up with Holmes).[20]
  • Hans Matheson as Lord Coward, the Home Secretary who is Blackwood's right-hand man and assisted Blackwood in all his murders and was one of the few of his allies aware of Blackwood's usage of technology to feign magical powers.
  • Geraldine James as Mrs. Hudson, Sherlock Holmes' landlady. This is James' second Holmes film. She had also portrayed Dr. Mortimer's wife in the 2002 adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles.
  • James Fox as Sir Thomas Rotheram, biological father of Lord Blackwood and Head of the Four Orders.
  • William Hope as American Ambassador Standish.
  • Robert Maillet as Dredger, a 7-foot (2.14 meter), French-speaking henchman working for Blackwood.[21]
  • William Houston as Constable Clark

Andrew Jack provided the voice of Professor Moriarty,[22] although director Guy Ritchie initially declined to identify him.[23]Jared Harris, who played Moriarty in the sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, re-dubbed Jack's lines for later home media releases and television broadcasts of the film.



"A lot of the action that Conan Doyle refers to was actually made manifest in our film. Very often, Sherlock Holmes will say things like, 'If I hadn't been such an expert short [single] stick person, I would have died in that' or he would refer to a fight off screen. We're putting those fights on screen."

—Producer/co-writer Lionel Wigram[24]

Producer Lionel Wigram remarked that for around ten years, he had been thinking of new ways to depict Sherlock Holmes. "I realized the images I was seeing in my head [when reading the stories] were different to the images I'd seen in previous films." He imagined "a much more modern, more bohemian character, who dresses more like an artist or a poet", namely Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. After leaving his position as executive for Warner Bros. in 2006,[5] Wigram sought a larger scope to the story so it could attract a large audience, and amalgamated various Holmes stories to flesh it out further.[7] Some sequences in the movie were more than suggested by uncredited incidents found in a 1979 novel Enter the Lion: A Posthumous Memoir of Mycroft Holmes. Lord Blackwood's character was developed as a nod to Victorian interests in spiritualism and the later influence of Aleister Crowley.[24] The producer felt he was "almost clever" pitting Holmes, who has an almost supernatural ability to solve crimes, against a supposedly supernatural villain. The plot point, moreover, nods to the Holmesian tale of The Hound of the Baskervilles, where a string of seemingly supernatural events is finally explained through intuitive reasoning and scientific savvy. Wigram wrote and John Watkiss drew a 25-page comic book about Holmes in place of a spec script.[24] Professor Moriarty was included in the script to set up the sequels.[25]

In March 2007, Warner Bros. chose to produce, seeing similarities in the concept with Batman Begins. Arthur Conan Doyle's estate had some involvement in sorting out legal issues, although the stories are in the public domain in the United States.[citation needed]Neil Marshall was set to direct,[26] but Guy Ritchie signed on to direct in June 2008.[27] When a child at boarding school, Ritchie and other pupils listened to the Holmes stories through dormitory loudspeakers. "Holmes used to talk me to sleep every night when I was seven years old," he said.[28] Therefore, his image of Holmes differed from the films. He wanted to make his film more "authentic" to Doyle,[8] explaining, "There's quite a lot of intense action sequences in the stories, [and] sometimes that hasn't been reflected in the movies."[29] Holmes' "brilliance will percolate into the action", and the film will show that his "intellect was as much of a curse as it was a blessing".[9] Ritchie sought to make Sherlock Holmes a "very contemporary film as far as the tone and texture", because it has been "a relatively long time since there's been a film version that people embraced".[29]


Geometric staircase at St. Paul's Cathedral was used for the opening sequence of the film.

Filming began in October 2008.[30] The crew shot at Freemasons' Hall and St Paul's Cathedral.[25][31]

Filming was conducted in Manchester's Northern Quarter. Manchester Town Hall was extensively used for numerous scenes with some minor CGI modifications. The interior courtyard was used for a fight scene, the Great Hall doubled as the House of Lords and numerous areas such as the landing were used as a backdrop.[32]

They shot the opening scene for three days at St Bartholomew-the-Great church in London,[24] and shot on the river Thames at Wapping for a scene involving a steamboat on 7 November.[33] Filming continued at Stanley Dock and Clarence Dock in Liverpool[34] and The Historic Dockyard, Chatham.[35] Street scenes were filmed in cobbled alleyways in Chatham and Manchester. Brompton Cemetery in London was used for a key scene, and the palatial 19th-century interior of the Reform Club stood in for the Café Royal. Scenes from the interior of 221B Baker Street were shot on a sound stage at Leavesden Studios.[36]

In late November 2008, actor Robert Maillet, who played Dredger, was filming a fight scene at Chatham Dockyard in Kent, and accidentally punched Robert Downey Jr. in the face, causing Downey to be bloodied and knocked down, but not knocked unconscious as originally reported.[21]

When filming at St John's Street in December, the schedule had to be shortened from 13 to nine days because locals complained about how they would always have to park cars elsewhere during the shoot.[37] In January 2009, filming moved to Brooklyn.[38]

Ritchie wanted his Holmes' costume to play against the popular image of the character, joking "there is only one person in history who ever wore a deerstalker". Downey selected the character's hat, a beat-up fedora. The director kept to the tradition of making Holmes and Watson's apartment quite messy, and had it decorated with artifacts and scientific objects from the continents they would have visited.[16]


Main article: Sherlock Holmes (soundtrack)

The soundtrack for the film was composed by Hans Zimmer. It was released on 12 January 2010.[39] Zimmer purchased an out-of-tune piano for 200 dollars and used it throughout the scoring process because of its "quirkiness".[40]


The film had its world premiere on 14 December 2009, in London and was subsequently released worldwide on 25 December 2009 (26 December, Boxing Day in the UK and Ireland), after being pushed from a November release date.[41] An advance charity screening was held in select locations in Belgium on 10 December 2009.[42]

Home media[edit]

Sherlock Holmes was released on DVD and Blu-ray/DVD/digital on 30 March 2010 in the United States.[43] The film has since grossed $44,908,336 in DVD sales.[44]


Box office[edit]

The film opened to an estimated $62.4 million in its first weekend in America alone, placing in second at the US box office to Avatar, which grossed $75.6 million. The film earned a strong per-theater average of $18,031 from its 3,626 theaters. Its one-day Christmas sales broke records. Sherlock Holmes grossed $209 million in North America and $524 million worldwide[2] making it Guy Ritchie's biggest box-office success yet,[45] and the 8th highest grossing film of 2009 worldwide, and domestically. On the domestic charts, it is the fifth highest-grossing film to never hit No. 1 in the weekend box office, behind Sing, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, fellow Christmas opener Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, and said film's predecessor.[46] Worldwide, it is the fourth highest in this category, behind Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Casino Royale, and The Day After Tomorrow.

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 69% based on 248 reviews, with a rating average of 6.25/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Guy Ritchie's directorial style might not be quite the best fit for an update on the legendary detective, but Sherlock Holmes benefits from the elementary appeal of a strong performance by Robert Downey, Jr."[47] On Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average to reviews, the film has a score of 57 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[48] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.[49]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three out of four stars and highlighted the film's strong characters, visuals and action-packed plot;[50] the characters were also praised by Jake Tomlinson of Shave Magazine, who believed that Downey Jr. and Law were "perfect together" and that Strong was "a convincing and creepy villain".[51]

A. O. Scott of the New York Times noted that the director's approach to films was "to make cool movies about cool guys with cool stuff" and that Sherlock Holmes was essentially "a series of poses and stunts" which was "intermittently diverting" at best.[52]

David Stratton of The Australian disliked the film's interpretation of the original Holmes stories and concluded, "The makers of this film are mainly interested in action; that, they believe, is all that gets young audiences into cinemas today. They may be right, but they have ridden roughshod over one of literature's greatest creations in the process." Despite this, he praised the production design and score.[53]


Other films[edit]

Main article: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

The sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, with Downey and Law returning, was released on 16 December 2011.[54] A third film is scheduled for release on 2022, with Downey and Law reprising their roles, but with a new director in Dexter Fletcher, and Chris Brancato writing the script.[3]


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  49. ^"Cinemascore". Archived from the original on 20 December 2018.
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External links[edit]


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