Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)



Critic 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.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) has always been the smartest man in the room...until now. There is a new criminal mastermind at large-Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris)-and not only is he Holmes' intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may actually give him an advantage over the renowned detective. When the Crown Prince of Austria is found dead, the evidence, as construed by Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsan), points to suicide. But Sherlock Holmes deduces that the prince has been the victim of murder-a murder that is only one piece of a larger and much more portentous puzzle, designed by Professor Moriarty. The cunning Moriarty is always one step ahead of Holmes as he spins a web of death and destruction-all part of a greater plan that, if he succeeds, will change the course of history. -- (C) Warner Brosmore
Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and action, and some drug material)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: Kieran Mulroney, Michele Mulroney
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 12, 2012
Box Office: $186.8M
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site


Robert Downey Jr.
as Sherlock Holmes
Jude Law
as Dr. John Watson
Noomi Rapace
as Madam Simza Heron
Rachel McAdams
as Irene Adler
Jared Harris
as Professor James Mori...
Stephen Fry
as Mycroft Holmes
Paul Anderson
as Col. Sebastian Moran
Kelly Reilly
as Mary Watson
Geraldine James
as Mrs. Hudson
Eddie Marsan
as Inspector Lestrade
William Houston
as Constable Clark
Wolf Kahler
as Doctor Hoffmanstahl
Iain Mitchell
as Auctioneer
Jack Laskey
as Carruthers
Patricia Slater
as Shush Club Maitre D
Karima Adebibe
as Shush Club Maitre D
Richard Cunningham
as Businessman
Mark Sheals
as Cock Fight Referee
George Taylor
as University Student
Mike Grady
as Train Conductor
Thorston Manderlay
as Alfred Meinhard
Ben Badra
as Tamas
Stanley Kaye
as Stanley
Thierry Neuvic
as Claude Ravache
Martin Nelson
as Commendatore
Mark Llewelyn-Evans
as Don Giovanni
Anthony Inglis
as Conductor
Ian Wilson-Pope
as Leporello
Pamela Hay
as Elvira
Peter Stark
as German Officer
Roman Jankovic
as German Officer
Frederick Ruth
as Ballroom Attendant
Carsten Hayes
as Ballroom Photographe...
James McNeill
as Diplomat
Laurentiu Possa
as Rene Heron
Joe Egan
as Big Joe
Clive Russell
as Captain Tanner
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Critic Reviews for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

All Critics (204) | Top Critics (43)

It's complete trash and makes a mockery of Holmes's vaunted deductive reasoning.

Full Review… | January 16, 2012
New Yorker
Top Critic

It's all bigger and louder and so much less.

Full Review… | May 3, 2015
Philadelphia Weekly

The second installment in the series, churns like a lump of moldy dough sitting in the pit of your stomach, trying ever so hard to be digested.

Full Review… | September 25, 2013

A welcome return for the World's Greatest Detective Other Than Batman, and a sequel that impressively conspires to be more challenging than its predecessor.

Full Review… | September 25, 2012

As it stands, with its engrossing-yet-obscured-by-over-the-top-CGI plot, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is little more than elementary, my dear moviegoer.

Full Review… | September 15, 2012
We Got This Covered

The truth about this Game of Shadows and its predecessor is that neither has a story worthy of its hero. The story is not only often improbable, it is often simply impossible to follow.

Full Review… | June 26, 2012

Audience Reviews for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows


On the eve of his wedding day, Doctor Watson is persuaded by his erstwhile partner in crime to go head to head with arch nemesis Professor Moriarty in a game of international cat and mouse. The Victorian bromance continues as the bickering detectives cut a swathe across Europe in pursuit of the nefarious Moriarty leaving a trail of computer generated carnage in their wake. Subtlety certainly takes a back seat as Game Of Shadows follows the usual blockbuster sequel formula of dumber and louder=better, with the homo-eroticism of the first film in particular ramped up to Carry On proportions. Unlike the Indiana Jones vibe of the previous film, the plot here is very much a James Bond-style tale of espionage full of tommy guns, explosions, disguises and international intrigue and it's all very episodic. The dialogue of double act Downey and Law is not as sparky or fresh this time around, but they are still very likeable and the breathless pace makes for an enjoyable romp that consistently entertains. As ever it is not the measure of the original, but as a piece of popular entertainment in its own right it's a lot of fun.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer


Having heard many a negative review of this film I was pleasantly surprised and entertained by this 2nd offering of Downey Jr. as Conan Doyle's famous detective.

It was established in the first film that Downey's Holmes is much more the action figure than the text intended, but if you can forgive that, then this film, as the first, is solid and entertaining. Director Guy Ritchie as usual does tend to teeter into excess in his style over substance approach (he doesn't really give you the chance to be fully absorbed in the film... ie. Forgetting that you are watching a film - mainly due to his overuse of camera techniques; in particular the stop action/slow mo/fast mo that dates back to the Matrix films - especially in a overly long "escape" scene with the heroes running through the woods as bullets fly around them). It is this scene and a couple of others that could have used a bit of judicious editing to prevent the film from bogging down - but that being said, the chess match (real and metaphorical) between Holmes and arch villain Moriarty (a wonderful turn by Richard Harris' son Jared) certainly makes for compelling viewing.

Ritchie also uses an interesting technique to let you "inside" Holmes' brain. Showing us how and why he will execute certain maneuvers and assessing their potential - and then showing us the action and the result in real time. This could be off-putting to some, but I found it a stroke of brilliance; especially at the film's climax when Holmes' "thoughts" are interrupted by Moriarty. A kind of "well, if you do this, then I'll do that" bit of sophistry akin to thinking 3 moves ahead on a chess board.

This film, as was the case with its predecessor, has a fair amount of humor (the scene with Holmes aboard a pony was laugh out loud funny), and really - it's this insertion of humor that tells you that you are watching "entertainment" - that Ritchie knew going in that this was not something to be treated in utmost seriousness.

There are a few other flaws that I tend to overlook - for example Jude Law's Watson overemphasizes his war wound limp at film's beginning... which of course totally disappears when the script needs him to transform into an action hero. There is also the rather hackneyed sentiments about Watson's wedding and how that will allegedly effect Holmes - you kind of role your eyes and move on to the meat of the matter - the sublime cat and mouse game between Holmes and Moriarty - ignore the rest and you will be totally entertained.

paul sandberg

Super Reviewer


Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are back! And this time, things get serious. Along with a gypsy, these two find themselves involved in a plot that could lead to a world war as the result of the death of the crown prince of Austria. Though this film has an original story, it is influenced by some of the source material, especially with the fact that the chief antagonist is none other than Holmes's arch nemesis Professor Moriarty.

In a lot of ways, this really isn't all t hat different from the 2009 film. We get some of the same cast, some filmmakers, and the some kind of hyper-realistic style Guy Ritchie is known for. One of the best examples of the sweet slow-mo is the shooting in the woods. That scene is great.

Jared Harris is a nice addition as Moriarty, though I suspect that the literary version is better. Still though, he's not bad. I also liked Stephen Fry as Sherlock's brother, and Noomi Rapace as the gypsy- a role she pretty much seems a natural fit for.

Law and Downey Jr. continue to have great chemistry together, and the film blends the action and humor fairly well. It's not a masterpiece by any means, but it's nevertheless a fun way to pass a couple of hours.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Quotes

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