Sherlock Holmes, while a diverting enough night out, is both fun and numb, enjoyable and exhausting. It's a case of more adding up to less.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Neil Genzlinger - New York Times
Mike Hale - New York Times
It seems that an evil aristocrat, executed for a series of murders, returns from the dead to mobilize an ancient secret society that he may have time-traveled into a Dan Brown novel to learn about. Doesn't that sound fascinating? I thought not.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
[Guy Ritchie] has managed to steal hours of precious time belonging to cinemagoers everywhere for his latest silly escapade.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
It's a hollow attempt at modernisation, and quickly grows dull. Watson's big dilemma - whether to quit his life with Holmes for marriage to lovely Mary has, at heart, all the depth of a Wham! song.
Catherine Shoard - Guardian [UK]
Old London, achieved via superb visual effects, is breathtaking in its grimy verisimilitude. And Downey is charming. But his world is jarringly frenetic, in the manner of most Ritchie films.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
At times, Ritchie and company try so hard to make sure this isn't your father's Sherlock Holmes that it comes across as, well, cartoonish.
Michael O'Sullivan - Washington Post
Downey never winks -- hea(TM)s too much of a pro for that -- but like the man hea(TM)s playing, hea(TM)s much, much smarter than the movie hea(TM)s in.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
[Downey] brings a wry conviction to even the most hackneyed part or ridiculously written role.
J. Hoberman - Village Voice
Though purists may balk at Arthur Conan Doyle's literary world being manhandled into a blockbuster by never-subtle director Guy Ritchie, Downey has a winning take on Holmes: He's always on.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
The movie as a whole is clever, and conspicuously overwrought. But Mr. Downey's performance is elegantly wrought; he's as quick-witted as his legendary character.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
This is rip-roaring action-adventure of high order, a sometimes dizzying but ultimately thrilling display of showmanship on the part of the actors, director and screenwriters.
Joy Tipping - Dallas Morning News
It's all knotted together, then unraveled with brio, by Holmes and Watson. There are fisticuffs galore, fiery combustion aplenty, and, yes, my dear reader, clever deduction.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
"Sherlock Holmes" may feel a little too modern, more adrenaline than brain-power, more brash than British, but it's an all right action-pleasure if you don't mind that the game's more a-fist than afoot.
James Rocchi - MSN Movies
By now we've seen so many good, bad, and indifferent Sherlocks that it's almost a relief to get something different, however wrongheaded. And there's no such thing as too much Downey.
David Edelstein - New York Magazine
Downey and Law are terrific together. For me, watching them act is the movie's principal pleasure.
David Denby - New Yorker
The less I thought about Sherlock Holmes, the more I liked Sherlock Holmes.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
This spazzy, sour project is to every previous Holmes picture as the Stephen Sommers Mummy pictures are to the great 1932 creeper The Mummy.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
The very idea of handing him over to professional lad Guy Ritchie, to be played as a punch-throwing quipster by Robert Downey Jr., is so profoundly stupid one can only step back in dismay.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
The game is not afoot.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
This is a swashbuckling, pratfalling romp designed to make cerebral Holmes purists drop their monocles into their teacups.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
If Sherlock Holmes truly is the world's most keen detective, surely he would have sniffed out that this film was a stinker.
Adam Graham - Detroit News
Playing literature's greatest detective as a sort of self-loathing action hero, Downey has an absolute blast. And thanks to his performance in Sherlock Holmes, so do we.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
Mr. Ritchie is one of the worst bogus "directors" in film history. I just hoped he might have grown up enough to enlighten the world about the secret lives of two of my favorite mystery characters. Alas, they're both as cardboard as a Madonna lobby
Rex Reed - New York Observer
If you can get over the idea of Sherlock Holmes as an action hero -- and if, indeed, you want to -- then there is something to enjoy about this flagrant makeover of fiction's first modern detective into a man of brawn as much as brain.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
Who the deuce decided to filter Sherlock Holmes through Batman & Robin?
Kyle Smith - New York Post
This is not your great grandfather's Sherlock Holmes.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
It's good enough to just sit back and enjoy Downey and Law plays Holmes and Watson as Victorian versions of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
Despite a few laggard moments of slow going, Ritchie has pulled off an entertaining coup in giving us a Holmes for the 21st century by digging back to the 19th century original and adding a few bells and whistles.
Jonathan F. Richards - Film.com
I dug it.
Laremy Legel - Film.com
Guy Ritchie's Holmes reboot feels both too complicated and too elementary, dear Watson.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
It's hard to get too bent out of shape about Sherlock Holmes, partly because the actors seem to take so much pleasure in the act of giving us a crazy spectacle.
Stephanie Zacharek - Salon.com
Given a worthy story, Downey's Holmes might have been memorable. Here, he's an interesting character in search of a worthwhile story.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
The plot? Wish you hadn't asked.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
Ritchie piles on the excess. It serves him well in fashioning a dazzling, detailed version of 1880s London, with the pardon-our-dust construction of the landmark Tower Bridge a pivotal element.
David Germain - Associated Press
What is surprising is how bland the results are. The explosions and action sequences have an odd cheapness to them and the central plot is one of those dreary take-over-the-world routines.
Mary F. Pols - TIME Magazine
Ritchie is all about the whooshing and headbanging, leaving no space between Holmes' words to savor their meaning. Downey is irresistible. The movie, not so much.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Dazzling visuals and hipster dialogue, but a story that stays true to the original source material.
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
There's a mystery at the heart of Sherlock Holmes and it's not the one the great master of detection has been called on to solve. It's how a film that has so many good things going for it has turned out to be solid but not spectacular.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
There's plenty of fun and entertainment to be had from Guy Ritchie's take on the character for both fans of Doyle's work and for those just getting to know Holmes and Watson.
Jeff Beck - Examiner.com
Alonso Duralde - The Wrap
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out
... Bears the stamp of its director, Guy Ritchie, much more so than that of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ...
Greg Maki - Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
The plot races and roars through a deliciously grungy combination of real sets and CGI for all sorts of big-action scenes in and around turn-of-the-century London.
Neil Pond - American Profile
Ritchie provides big dumb fun, but it's hard to imagine worse casting than Bob Downey, Jr. Maybe Verne Troyer or RuPaul. Downey's self-important bluster and lousy accent ruin the film. But pleasing score from Hans Zimmer's team.
Gregory Weinkauf - UberCine
Proof that Guy Richie can still make good films, though it's not without flaws.
Martin Roberts - Fan The Fire
Mark Kermode - BBC Radio Five Live
Ultimately, it achieves what it sets out to do: to entertain.
Widgett Walls - Needcoffee.com
Although Ritchie's itchy camera finger causes confusion in the more kinetic action sequences, Downey and Law take the film far enough into buddy film territory to make the misfires easily forgotten
Matt Kelemen - Las Vegas CityLife
Sherlock Holmes has something for everybody; an accessible film is exactly what Guy Ritchie's been looking for.
Katina Vangopoulos - Cut Print Review
Katina Vangopoulos - Moviedex
In a year in which actioners featured robots with arthritis and sinking ice, Sherlock Holmes might as well be considered a work of genius.
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
Le film de Guy Ritchie livre la marchandise, meme s'il semble souvent pris entre deux epoques...
Jean-Francois Vandeuren - Panorama
Elementary, My dear readers. But not in a nice way.
Kamal 'The Diva' Larsuel - 3BlackChicks Review
Ritchie doesn't disappoint, and, if you go in with modest expectations, neither does Sherlock Holmes.
Ian Buckwalter - DCist
Like Ritchie's best films, this gets the job done as both an intriguing plot puzzle and a bouncy, entertaining romp.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
It's entertaining, but it's also a bit goofy -- Holmes here is a Victorian 007.
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
Sam Bathe - Fan The Fire
A character known for his supreme intelligence should not be trapped in such a dumbed-down plot.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Guy Ritchie's noisy steampunk mauling of Arthur Conan Doyle's character is great galloping fun if ultimately slighter and less nervy than we might have hoped. Still, Robert Downey Jr. is great fun to watch and Jude Law has a clue.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
The whole movie is kind of old-fashioned but also kind of modern at the same time, and I think that contrast is a big part of its appeal.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
Sherlock Holmes is neither a cookie-cutter blockbuster nor insulting to the source material.
Christian Toto - What Would Toto Watch?
Sherlock Holmes is ingenious and irreverent, flush with the attitude of unlikely director Guy Ritchie.
Annlee Ellingson - Moving Pictures Magazine
"The most pleasant surprise I've had at the movies since Star Trek."
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
What Ritchie and Downey do is embroider and magnify the traits Conan Doyle had already given the characters.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
Ritchie mounts some impressively exciting action sequences, then bathes everything in dingy browns and grays to achieve an unappealing Victorian griminess.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
Mas que un relato detectivesco (la trama "policial" es lo menos convincente e interesante de la pelicula) se trata de una entretenidisima comedia en la que Sherlock Holmes y John Watson son algo asi como Starsky y Hutch en el Londres victoriano.
Enrique Buchichio - Uruguay Total
A stylish, frisky film that sets up the franchise deftly
Richard Knight - Windy City Times
A re-thinking of the Sherlock Holmes character works for the most part thanks to Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law. The game is definitely afoot. Paul Chambers, CNN.
Paul Chambers - CNNRadio
Swashbuckling smarts and Downey, Jr. as the perfect super-sleuth.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
A loud, stupid film.
Michael W. Phillips, Jr. - Goatdog's Movies
...a sporadically amusing yet thoroughly tedious misfire of nigh disastrous proportions.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Hollywoody-ish-ist Sherlock ever. Downey Jr. and Law are magical though...
Emily Blunt - Blunt Review
Guy Ritchie's film arrives with the bristling, cocksure, indefatigable force of a movie preordained as a franchise-in-waiting. This is pop Hollywood filmmaking, but not something anyone should feel the need to think about, or see more than once.
Brent Simon - Shared Darkness
Fortunately, the film doesn't need to rely on its supporting cast too much, because its two leads are absolutely fantastic in their respective roles.
Jason Zingale - Bullz-Eye.com
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
The film called "Sherlock Holmes" that has been raking in the money at the box office this Christmas season does not really exist at all. It's an illusion. A Jedi Mind Trick.
Brian Holcomb - Kinetofilm
With his reckless attitude, Downey Jr may not be the refined Sherlock Holmes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's conjuring, but this feisty reimagining is strikingly impressive and cements Downey's standing as one of the best actors in Hollywood.
Dean Essner - Rip It Up
Intermittently snazzy entertainment
Fernando F. Croce - CinePassion
Ja era hora do ocupante da Baker Street 221B voltar a dar as caras nas telonas a fim de ser apresentado a uma nova geracao -- algo que o cineasta Guy Ritchie faz de maneira divertida e relativamente eficiente.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
Elementary, my dear -- as in, that's what Ritchie's spirited but superficial version of Arthur Conan Doyle's iconic detective ends up being.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
... Sherlock Holmes for the ADD generation, jerking and twitching like a crank freak itching for his next sniff.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
Guy Ritchie hit the big time with this flick but there is too much of the gangs of London and too little of the rumpled professor in the character of the famous detective.
Ron Wilkinson - Monsters and Critics
There is clear chemistry between the leads and watching them bicker is the film's strongest appeal.
Alex Zane - Sun Online
Nigh-on unforgivable. An all-fumbling, all-bumbling, all-trundling crock of crud, that's not so much Snatch in a Deerstalker as bum on a flagpole.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
Raucous, rough energy infuses this film from start to finish, carrying us along even when the slightly over-egged script starts to feel somewhat slender. And it's the terrific chemistry between Downey and Law that makes the film worth seeing.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Essentially, this is Lethal Weapon in ye olde worlde London, which will surely have the purists up in arms, but as buddy flicks go, it's a welcome twist. And certainly Ritchie's best film since Lock, Stock...
Dean Essner - Digital Spy
This balance of brain and brawn skews too far in the wrong direction, with a few too many mindless action sequences overcompensating for the shortcomings of a tedious story.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
It's a good-looking film that is fun and comic, with fine performances from Law, Downey and, especially, Strong.
Cosmo Landesman - Sunday Times (UK)
It's everything you want from a family holiday movie, but not worthy of the world's greatest detective.
Jon Williams - Little White Lies
Sherlock Holmes is never less than entertaining throughout however, and the marvellous chemistry between the leads practically demands a sequel.
Chris Tilly - IGN Movies UK
The franchise has got itself two cracking characters and one enticing setting. Now all it needs is a half-decent story to go with them.
Nicholas Barber - Independent on Sunday
The views of Victorian London are just as seductive as Downey Jr, who exudes an aura of troubled genius, though that's all the information you're likely to retain, as there's rarely a moment to think between all the fights and explosions.
Stella Papamichael - Radio Times
This Sherlock Holmes refuses to take himself seriously. Brilliant, because it allows to RDJ and Ritchie to let rip with their non-traditionalist revamp. Not so great because super-sleuthing loses out to bone-crunching. Either way, the brio is infectious.
Matt Mueller - Total Film
There is also far too much violence (both slow-motion and speeded-up) and too many frenetic chases. Unendearing, then, but not unentertaining.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
What was the thinking behind all this?
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
Worst of all, this Sherlock Holmes isn't fun.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
This new Sherlock Holmes movie asks the question, "What if Sherlock Holmes belonged to Fight Club?"
James O'Ehley - fantastiqueZINE
No, the problem isn't that the movie makes the Holmes character more of an action hero than Doyle ever intended. It's that it sticks Holmes and Watson into one of the dumbest, most boring stories imaginable.
Stephen Silver - The Trend
Funnels Ritchie's visual gifts into an engaging reawakening of the world-famous consulting detective, bringing the iconic sleuth to a new generation of filmgoers by way of fisticuffs, homoerotic tension, and cunning star power.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
while it is tempting to see Downey's portrayal and Ritchie's amped-up aesthetic approach to the material as revisionism for an attention-addled generation, in many ways it is closer in spirit and tone to Doyle's eccentric character
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
One of the sourest experiences of my movie year, not a mindless sequel, but...the needless dumbing-down, almost gleeful sacralizing, and generic homogenizing of an established property so that it can yield mindless sequels.
Nick Davis - Nick's Flick Picks
More indebted to Ritchie's particular brand of stylistically exhausting action-adventure than to Conan Doyle's elegant prose and intensely intellectual anti-hero.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
One for this modern age of non-thinking action-packed blockbuster movies.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Make no mistake, Sherlock Holmes is every inch a Guy Ritchie picture -- only it's a Guy Ritchie picture about Sherlock Holmes.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
For the most part, quirky British filmmaker Guy Ritchie has managed to take the character out of mothballs without desecrating Conan Doyle's original vision.
Dan Lybarger - eFilmCritic.com
The film does what it sets out to do, re-establish Holmes as a cinematic hero worth knowing and watching.
Dan Jardine - Apollo Guide
This is a hip interpretation of the source material but give me Basil Rathbone any day as Holmes.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
While a fish rots from its head down, a film suffers from the screenplay up -- which is where Sherlock Homes stinks.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
It's great fun watching Robert Downey Jr. sink his teeth -- and everything else -- into the role of a brainy, brawny Sherlock Holmes.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Downey's a joy but, personally, I'll take more Arthur Conan Doyle and less Guy Ritchie.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
Strahovi da %u0107e Ritchiejev tretman slavnog detektiva predstavljati jo%u0161 jedno holivudsko silovanje kulturne ba%u0161tine uglavnom nisu bili opravdani
Dragan Antulov - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Downey continues his hot streak of performances %u2014 which by itself is worth the price of admission %u2014 and there's a lot to love about this big screen interpretation of Holmes. Case closed.
Jeffrey Lyles - Gazette (MD)
In this adaptation, the Arthur Conan Doyle character is turned into a slightly crazed superhero, an autistic detective savant, in an action movie.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
A first-rate action adventure movie that provides a near perfect example of how to redress an aging genre franchise for a new audience.
Mark Pollard - Kung Fu Cinema
Purists may bemoan its modern slant but those just looking for action and thrills will be entertained
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
Sherlock Holmes is a solid, enjoyable film with a fun score, a great use of sound and environment, and a trio of confederates you will want to know more of.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
A miracle: a film in the National Treasure format actually worth a damn.
Rob Humanick - Projection Booth
This latest Holmes -- frequently stripped down to suspenders and pantaloons, the better for bareknuckle brawling -- may displease Arthur Conan Doyle purists but should find favor with audiences eager for a fun, witty action movie.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
The delight of Downey and Law in combination proves you don't have to feature a great villain or a complete story if you've got two super heroes.
Michael Smith - Tulsa World
[Downey's] more masculine interpretation of the character is never anything less than startling, fresh, and altogether entertaining.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary sleuth gets a cinematic adrenaline shot for this wildly entertaining and action-packed mystery.
Tyler Hanley - Palo Alto Weekly
The title of this picture should be changed immediately to "Robert Downey Jr."
Kurt Loder - MTV
Sherlock Holmes is back. I wish I could say this is the thrill ride of the season. But it's just--a ride of the season.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
Not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, director Guy Ritchie's full-speed-ahead effort still qualifies as decent holiday-season fare.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Sherlock Holmes is certainly entertaining but the Jerry Bruckheimer-type action is too constant, and I didn't feel a consistent flow in the movie.
Diana Saenger - ReviewExpress.com
This is one Ugly, cheap looking movie. While Holmes is good in small doses, 2 hours of him is a bit much, even if it's Robert Downey Jr. whom I have mad love for.
Michelle Alexandria - Eclipse Magazine
Instead of relying of high-tech gadgetry and big-budget Hollywood CGI, Guy Ritchie's gritty Sherlock Holmes does what major films often don't: delivers big-payoff action sequences merely utilizing the body and mind.
Adam Fendelman - HollywoodChicago.com
A decent action movie that goes down like fast food would often be enough to recommend, but generations of Holmes fans and those who have come to expect more from actors this talented may be disappointed that it's not closer to filet mignon.
Brian Tallerico - Movie Retriever
Downey Jr. plays the brainiac detective like an overheating machine -- what cools him off is a puzzle.
Amy Nicholson - I.E. Weekly
If you can get past the hyperactivity of the film, you should have a good time.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
To make Holmes palatable to technology addicted, everything's gotta-go-fast moviegoers throw Indiana Jones and Harry Potter themes at the screen and see what sticks.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
Downey Jr. puts a perfect spin on the character in Guy Ritchie's comeback film which contains the greatest slow-motion explosion scene I have ever seen.
Kevin McCarthy - BDK Reviews
The obvious millions pumped into the film's CGI effects, set design and star salaries are smothered by its piercingly loud music and sound effects, choppy, confusing editing, and heavy handed use of both slow and fast motion.
Steve Crum - Video-Reviewmaster.com
The purists may cringe but those willing to accept this as simply another in a long line of reinterpretations of the Holmes and Watson stories will find much to enjoy,
Daniel M. Kimmel - New England Movies Weekly
If you can get with a funny, jumpy, modern re-invention of these characters then you're going to have a great time.
Dave White - Movies.com
Ritchie's 'Sherlock Holmes' is 'Brokeback Mountain' without the sex and depth of emotion.
Rossiter Drake - San Francisco Examiner
Gritty, action-packed take on famous sleuth's adventures.
S. Jhoanna Robledo - Common Sense Media
I enjoyed the hell out of Sherlock Holmes.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
The people who made Did You Hear About The Morgans? probably wish they cast Downey and Law instead of Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Despite some arresting visual flourishes and Downey's inherent likeability, it's nearly incoherent both as cinema and as story.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
Retains the spirit and a surprising number of details from the original source material. A sequel seems elementary.
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
Dour, slow, and with little to stimulate the mind or the emotions, Sherlock Holmes is a big bust.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
It's one of the more fun, big-budgeted, big-studio films to come around of late.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Serves notice that Baker Street's most famous inhabitant will be with us well into the new millennium.
Rob Vaux - Mania.com
A visually stylish rush of adrenaline with an amusing, engaging performance by Robert Downey, Jr., but there's too much nauseating action and not enough palpable excitement while the mystery itself lacks intrigue and suspense.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
In Sherlock Holmes, Robert Downey Jr. cracks 'The Case of the Perfect Actor.'
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
A brutal jackhammer of a movie that's more Jerry Bruckheimer than Sherlock Holmes.
John Wirt - Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
As the new and implausible Sherlock Holmes, Robert Downey Jr. again lends his eccentric charms and complexly freighted persona to a role that doesn't deserve them.
Michelle Orange - Movieline
Fueled by director Guy Ritchie's fast-paced action and Robert Downey Jr.'s uncanny skill at inventing his own unique spin on his characters, Sherlock Holmes thoroughly entertains from beginning to end.
Kit Bowen - The Movie Kit
...the supremely talented Robert Downey Jr. is in danger of becoming a brand now, even if he can still milk a laugh with a well timed toss off...
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Robert Downey Jr. makes a perfect Sherlock Holmes.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Dean Essner - National Post
Guy Ritchie is the worst screenwriter in the world, but, to be fair, he is not the worst director. He is only the worst director of the people who actually get to make movies.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Holmes and Watson are reinvented as action-movie stars in this infectiously entertaining, rollicking good yarn.
Thomas Leupp - Hollywood.com
As a Christmas diversion, it will work for some. As a tribute and effort to introduce Sherlock Holmes to a new generation, it's a notable disappointment.
Bill Clark - FromTheBalcony
Sean O'Connell - Filmcritic.com
Rollicking, irreverent, and yet true to the spirit, if not the letter, of the Holmsian canon, this is a version of Holmes that finds the perfect balance between cerebral and spectacle
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
Sherlock Holmes is a noisy, brutish film that, while forgettable, is at least an entertaining romp.
Brandon Fibbs - BrandonFibbs.com
If you want to finish 2009 with a fun, entertaining movie %u2013 go see Sherlock Holmes.
Vic Holtreman - ScreenRant
Parental Content Review
Jim Judy - Screen It!
Guy Ritchie's frenzied, over-long "reimagining" of the much-adapted Conan Doyle character isn't quite the blasphemy you'd think, thanks to a solid cast and Robert Downey Jr's inherent likability as the title.
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
Downey Jr. and Law are so good, they make up for the weak mystery.
Bob Grimm - Tucson Weekly
Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
Kevin Williamson - Jam! Movies
Downey conveys the almost compulsive, almost Aspergers aspects of the Holmes character.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
A yarn that at times feels like a throwback to the mega-actioners of the '80s, when leads could get away with being incorrigible cards as long as they had someone by their side to keep them grounded.
Justin Strout - Orlando Weekly
The modern irony coursing through 'Sherlock Holmes' meshes well with its charms as an old-fashioned, Saturday afternoon serial.
John P. McCarthy - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Yes, this Holmes is leaner and meaner, and Watson (Jude Law) is nearly his equal. But there's still something fussy about the result, as if bobbies had broken up the party at 11:59.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
As the title character, Downey, Jr. shines...
Michael A. Smith - Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Charmless and shapeless, larded down with nonsensical action scenes, witless repartee and a "plot" stitched together by a committee of writers who've watched "The Da Vinci Code" too many times.
Matt Soergel - Florida Times-Union
Downey, playing the cerebral Holmes as a cleanliness-impaired action hero, and Jude Law, as Dr. Watson, make one yearn fondly for Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.
Tony Medley - tonymedley.com
...just a single casting decision away from being another brilliant update. Instead, it's just a wonderful, if flawed, entertainment.
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
...didn't entirely click for me, yet there is something to be said for the fact that I'm not dreading the inevitable sequel.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
Pop culture's most enduring sleuth gets a welcome, modernized makeover in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes.
Ryan Stewart - Slant Magazine
Put away your period-movie expectations and you just might have a lot of fun. What makes this movie work is actually something very old-fashioned: movie-star chemistry.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary bloodhound of justice given a less than awesome makeover.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
It's a story with more potential than your typical big-event, action-hero movie, but unfortunately the way it plays out is less than satisfactory.
Luke Y. Thompson - E! Online
The whole film doesn't feel so much like Holmes as a strange and unwanted sequel to Will Smith's Wild Wild West.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
Holmes is primarily about a very small handful of things: men's fashions, Victorian clutter, fistfights and explosions, and "period detail," London at its soot-blackened, Industrial Age grimiest, foul with spilled gin and rotting meat.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
Ritchie's accomplished the feat of resurrecting his career as a pulp stylist (London's Tarantino--you could be called worse)...
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
Ritchie's new school take on an old school icon is respectful without being overly reverential, loud and fun without becoming dumb and hollow, talky but never slow.
Jim Vejvoda - IGN Movies
[N]erdy enough to be respectful to the beloved source material but geeky enough to express its affection the only way geeks know how: with winking snark and post-postmodern metacommentary...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Precisely the sort of mindlessly revved-up, high-octane thing one expects from Guy Ritchie...a desecration rather than an updating.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Full of new revelations about the old British sleuth whose exploits were based on the great Encyclopedia Brown.
Phil Villarreal - OK! Magazine
Like other Ritchie movies, it's violence with an impish sense of humor, and he may have found the perfect imp in Downey Jr.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
It's a pretty darn good time, and easily the best movie Ritchie's made in years.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
Watching [the] tough, sarcastic Holmes chase the many carrots the film dangles for him is the chief pleasure in this crafty tangle of little clues and tightly wound action.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
This new take on the classic story proves to be a snappy, fast-paced, albeit confusing, action comedy that's smarter than the average fare.
Rebecca Murray - About.com
It's not that I would call Sherlock Holmes 'smart,' as I don't think it ever truly is, but rather 'not stupid.'
Devin Faraci - CHUD
It's a highly entertaining example of the form, directed with just the right amount of panache by Guy Ritchie, whose showmanship finally finds the right side of self-indulgence.
Keith Phipps - AV Club
For all the film's wit and zing, there's no momentum -- we get a series of stirring, entertaining scenes, but they never add up to a complete story. It's a series of desserts with no main course.
Alonso Duralde - IFC.com
Despite being overlong and losing much of its steam halfway through, the film comes out ahead thanks to Downey and Law.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
This Sherlock Holmes combines dark arts and action, wit and tongue-in-cheek mirth, to feel like a great film adaptation of a comic book version of Holmes.
Giles Hardie - smh.com.au
a ripping good time at the movies
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
You'd need a special magnifying glass to identify any elements of Doyle's original literary source material that lends the title character his name.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Belongs on a shelf next to the Will Smith Wild Wild West: a remake that seems more excreted than created... too long, too generic and not nearly as clever as it seems to think.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
This 21st century re-imagining of Scotland Yard's supersleuth is less Arthur Conan Doyle and more Guy Ritchie. It's elementary that some "game's afoot."
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
So grim and unappealing it sours the movie-watching experience.
Armond White - New York Press
Guy's flaky Sherlock on acid slapstick yarn mixes the mystical and macabre, with its own insane inner logic that might be a headscratcher even for Holmes. So best to just savor Downey's cartoonish conspiracy theorist and Victorian busybody gumshoe.
Prairie Miller - NewsBlaze
Not even Sherlock Holmes could make much sense out of the overplotted, murky mess that is Sherlock Holmes, although Arthur Conan Doyle's legendarily brainy detective would probably never buy a ticket to a movie as elephant-footed as this one...
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
Guy Ritchie's best movie, and maybe Robert Downey, Jr.'s too.
Fred Topel - Sci Fi Wire
The good news is that Ritchie, even as he packs in the explosions and last-minute rescues for the schoolkids, doesn't ignore the shank meat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's concept -- the esprit enjoyed by Holmes and Dr. Watson as thinking Englishmen.
Michael Atkinson - Boston Phoenix
Something tells me the only good deduction likely to come from this Sherlock Holmes is a tax deduction for Warner Bros.
Mark Ramsey - MovieJuice!
It's the mad genius of Holmes that Downey Jr. taps into so well. And from that mischievous gleam in the eyes to the unkempt appearance, he's a joy to behold. The same can be said for Law.
Randy Myers - Contra Costa Times
Whiplash quick and twice as exciting.
Nick Schager - Lessons of Darkness
Usually more laid-back chaps, Sherlock Holmes and sidekick Watson are now action heroes in a tale stripped of modulations, intelligence and finesse.
Doris Toumarkine - Film Journal International
Guy Ritchie combines his kinetic direction with the limitless charms of Downey Jr and Jude Law to come up with terrific entertainment that's equal parts brains and brawn.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
It's not going to rock your world, but Guy Ritchie's take on the classic detective series has got a lot going for it. Most notably, of course, it's got Robert Downey, Jr. and that's just fine with me.
Joanna Langfield - The Movie Minute
A fun, action-packed reintroduction to Conan Doyle's classic characters. Part Two should provide more in the way of scope.
William Thomas - Empire Magazine
There is a synergistic relationship here in this movie between Director Guy Ritchie and Robert Downey Jr. that works in a grand way.
Danny Minton - Fort Bend Sun
Daft but fun.
Mark Adams - Daily Mirror [UK]
Sherlock Holmes represents not a radical reinterpretation of the character, but instead a nearly revolutionary return to the genuine pulp roots of what Doyle originally envisioned.
Drew McWeeny - HitFix
The movie is alive with cinematic magic, played out in an expertly-recreated capital full of grime, grubbiness and occasional grandeur.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
The plot is frequently incomprehensible, and Rachel McAdams's poorly photographed femme fatale could be edited out of the picture without making much difference. Most of the time, I hadn't a clue what she was doing, and she didn't seem to either.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes is a riot. The director takes on a British institution with a swagger and a wink and the result is boisterous and unabashed fun.
Wendy Ide - Times [UK]
At two-hours plus, it goes on a bit but Ritchie appears in his element working from someone else's script and Downey Jr brings real verve to role previously known for its starch and conformity.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
Sherlock Holmes is a surprisingly enjoyable action / adventure romp that deserves the sequel it's obviously hoping for.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
For with time running out on 2009, it's wonderful that one of the old year's last gifts should be a reminder of the superb possibilities of blockbuster cinema.
Richard Luck - Film4
Arthur Conan Doyle's iconic Sherlock Holmes, the British detective with extraordinary deductive powers in the hands of director Guy Ritchie will disappoint many, including me.
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
Ritchie is all at sea because he has no grasp of language as something comic, a problem intensified by the thin overlay of "period".
Anthony Quinn - Independent
The script here is a pretext for fatuous action pyrotechnics, misfiring comedy, the inevitable star from Central Crumpet Casting and CG jiggery-pokery evoking Ye Olde London. In short: Doc, Sh'lock and Every Scraped Barrel.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
Guy Ritchie gets a lot right and a lot wrong in his supposed 'back to the source' Sherlock Holmes, which might be called 'the case of too much attitude'.
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
A handsome, entertaining romp of a film that they really should have called Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Pipes.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
While Downey Jr provides his usual devil-may-care charm, this Sherlock Holmes ultimately feels like an excuse for high-energy action sequences rather than an attempt to breathe new life into a dusty literary icon.
Tim Grierson - Screen International
The film is Ritchie's most coherent bit of storytelling. The tone is light but not facetious and the pace would be hectic if there weren't so many humdrum lacunae.
Nick Curtis - This is London
Ritchie's 'Sherlock Holmes' is effective as a caricatured comedy adventure and shows some fidelity to Arthur Conan Doyle, especially in Downey Jr's portrayal of the eccentric but cold-hearted Holmes.
Dave Calhoun - Time Out
Into Sherlock Holmes' digitized 1891 London steps Downey, who peps up his performance with so much attitude that you wish the whole schlocky movie spinning around him would just calm down and take notice.
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out New York
The pace rarely slackens throughout, the set pieces are explosive, the score relentlessly thunderous. Victorian London is recreated - relying on copious use of computer effects - with an eye for the grimy reality.
Tim Robey - Daily Telegraph
Ritchie, Downey Jr and Law have done just about as good a job at reimagining the great sleuth for the modern audiences as one could have hoped.
Simon Foster - sbs.com.au
Robert Downey Jr.'s vigorously athletic, charming turn fits well into Guy Ritchie's briskly light and entertaining but not too deep conception of the iconic detective as an action star for our times.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
The film never recovers the head of steam from the opening ... but the Holmes-Watson duo fizzes to the end. On this showing, they deserve another case.
David Hayles - Times [UK]
Great, energetic fun! Guy Ritchie is back and delivers a strong, gay romance. Entire production excellent.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
Brisk and brainy reworking of the legendary detective's mythos makes the delightful Robert Downey Jr. into a rumpled, complicated and alternately swashbuckling and pratfalling Holmes for our time.
Ray Greene - Boxoffice Magazine
At last, Guy Ritchie has found the perfect vessel for his sugar-rush, hyper-kinetic style of filmmaking.
Gabe Leibowitz - Film and Felt