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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Reviews

Page 1 of 571

Super Reviewer

December 14, 2011
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.

Super Reviewer

March 9, 2013
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.

Super Reviewer

February 24, 2011
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.

Super Reviewer

February 22, 2011
I'm glad that I'm not the only one who thinks that this second movie didn't as good as the first one.. From the performance, Robert Downey Jr. has did it again with his character as Sherlock Holmes, even Dr. John Watson's performance by Jude Law really got a lot of improvement too.. But their performance didn't help a lot as the story of this movie got the audiences a little confusing even though I know it's quite brilliant to make some twist like that.. The other disappointment is Noomi Rapace's performance which is for me just like a sweetener because of the death of Irene Adler, but she's nowhere for replacing Irene Adler.. Overall, for me this sequel is a little disappointment but I must appreciate Guy Ritchie's work since he did his best in here so this rating is the best that I can give to this movie..

Super Reviewer

September 16, 2012
Guy Ritchie deduces well with Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.Detailed and requiring attention to follow, this 2 hour story ends up as a game of wits between the good and the bad. The film makes the most of its time thanks to a moderate pace, while unveiling the appropriate plot elements at appropriate times, and leaving enough mystery from start to end.The action is stylized with nice choreography and deduction skills from the Sherlock Holmes character. It easily blends in without overtaking the story in any way, shape, or form.Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law not only deliver great performances, but also have great chemistry together and that makes this film work. Jared Harris, Rachel McAdams, and Noomi Rapace fill out the rest of the cast.Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is as expected; entertaining and mildly humorous.

Super Reviewer

December 16, 2010
"I loved this movie! There is a lot of action and plenty of laughs. I think Robert and Jude are a great match. They have such strong chemistry together. At first I was a little disappointed at how little McAdams was in the film. But then comes Noomi and it's like McAdams was in the film? Oh that's right! Noomi is a great actress and demands your attention once she appears on the screen. I became a fan when I saw her performance in 'The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo'. I thought Stephen Fry was a lot of fun as Sherlocks brother. He had just enough quirkiness to make it believable. Jarred Harris played a good villian. The film is well made and everyone does a great job in the movie. I really enjoyed all the action scenes. Usually I am not one who enjoys all the slow motion action scenes. But I will admit that I quite enjoyed them in this film. It's a fanstastic sequel. You really can't say that a lot with most sequels. But this one really does outshine the first film. Well, at least for me it does. See it if you get the chance."
Dean !

Super Reviewer

September 18, 2010
A decent sequel that continues the chemistry between Downey Jr & Law. Plenty of action, more than the first film, lots of witty funny moments as well and cool SFX. Just felt the first film had a stronger story line.
Josh L

Super Reviewer

May 31, 2011
I actually enjoyed this one more than the first. It does away with all the silliness that plagued the original and made it feel like a "Da Vinci Code" rip-off and provides a nicely done chess game where you know the people behind it from the beginning, but can't stop them and have to figure out their motives. Robert Downey Jr. is just as good, if not better, in this one. The action sequences are really good too, with some nicely done set pieces and slow motion that doesn't feel overused. The forest scene is an absolute standout. This is just more fun and relaxed than the first one was and the franchise is all the better for it. I wasn't really on board with this the first go around, but I just hopped on the train.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

July 16, 2012
Definitely an improvement on the original from Guy Richie, Downy and Law are great in the two lead role and the inclusion of Stephen Fry as Holmes's brother is brilliant. I just don't like Guy Richie's direction, his style has a place but not in this kind of film, it cheapens it somewhat. I'm all for trying new things, new styles for different genres but here it is clear that Richie is a one trick pony and can't do anything else. It would be nice to see another director take over from here, as much as I don't like him as a director, I'd like to see Downy and Law reprise these roles. They do have some hounds to hunt after all!
Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

May 16, 2011
Hmmmm. Well, very well done. Rather entertaining...but the storyline just seemed to have way too much going on for me. Too complicated. Too chaotic. Not sure why they felt the need to do that. Not at all a bad movie. I guess that I was expecting a fun, entertaining movie, and got a movie that tested my attention span, instead.

Super Reviewer

July 15, 2012
Overly fussy hash that takes far far too long to tell a story that isn't that interesting to begin with. The director is obviously in love with slow motion photography and so over uses it to the point of annoyance. Has absolutely nothing to do with the great Doyle stories other than the names. If you want clever mysteries watch the old, concise Basil Rathbone versions this is just flashy junk.

Super Reviewer

April 21, 2011
The movie was awesome but not completely flawless and not better than the first one. I've to point out one thing that kinda bothered me was how poorly Sherlock Holmes disguised himself. The Chinese beggar or whatever he was trying to be and the lady in the train. He was supposed to be master at this. Noomi Rapace was great and Rachel's thing was saddening.

Super Reviewer

August 6, 2011
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is the rare sequel that is just as good as the first one. Guy Ritchie, director of the first directs this thrilling, action packed film. One thing that really stood out for me was Jared Harris as the villain James Moriarty; I felt he was a much more compelling villain than Lord Blackwood. Jared Harris brilliantly delivered in the role and he made the film truly exciting. This film is lots of fun from start to finish, and the action is plentiful. Guy Ritchie also includes a lot of suspense, as Sherlock Holmes battles his arch enemy. These scenes stand out this is a terrific cat and mouse action film that is sure to please viewers of the first. A Game of Shadows is simply put a great sequel that is just as good. However, what makes this film more interesting is Jared Harris as criminal mastermind James Moriarty, like I stated, he's really the best villain. I really enjoyed the film and I thought it was a great action film filled with light comedy at times to put the audience a bit at ease with the serious plot. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law still have that great chemistry from the first. This is a must see film for fans of the first, and it's truly engaging story is what makes such a solid sequel. Guy Ritchie delivers yet again. A Game of Shadows doesn't deserve all the flack it received, as this is a well constructed, elaborate film that will certainly keep you on the edge of your seat till the unforgettable climax. This is definitely one sequel that delivered the thrills and built upon what the first one started. Lots of fun from start to finish. Hopefully they'll conclude the series with an even more exciting third film. As of now, A Game of Shadows is enough to satisfy the wait. Definitely a well directed sequel with a great story and with every good element that made the first one a fun experience to watch.
Stuart B

Super Reviewer

May 25, 2012
Watch the trailer and you have seen the movie. Very poor sequel. If you like Holmes, stick to the BBC series, that has wit, intelligence and good acting. This pile of rubbish was more like Carry on Sherlocking than a real crime movie.
Tired of Previews
Tired of Previews

Super Reviewer

January 11, 2012
Directed by Guy Ritchie, Warner Bros, 2011.

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Stephen Fry, Jared Harris, Noomi Rapace and Rachel McAdams.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime

Question: How often does a sequel come out as good as or better than the first? It's rare, I know, but Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows might have just done it.

I really enjoyed Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes (2009), so much so that I have probably seen it a half a dozen times. Sure, it may have been for Robert Downey Jr., but he's worth it, right? And that is probably why I saw the sequel. However, it wasn't just Robert Downey Jr. and his portrayal as the world's most famous "consulting detective" that brought me to the theatre this time. It was one of the first movies in a long time, it seems, that wasn't offered in 3D. Finally. It might have helped that A Game of Shadows was in D-BOX though. This was only my second movie viewing in the motion activated seats, and it won't be my last. Anyway...

One thing that a lot of film-makers do when writing and making a follow-up to a blockbuster: adding in way too much of what worked the first time. It's usually the jokes, special effects, or quirky aspects, which are used sparingly, that help make the original a treat and leave us wanting more; but sequels usually get saturated with these details. It happens ALL THE TIME and it, in my opinion, ruins the sequel. Well, not this time.

A Game of Shadows appears to start off relatively soon after where the previous story ended; and I wasn't sure I was going to like it. In fact, I thought it might be trying too hard by what I first witnessed. To be honest there was one aspect of the first film where I thought it was a bit on the hokey side, and I feared it was going down that path again or where the film-makers thought they had grabbed that elusive brass ring. Luckily, the story took a turn or did something I wasn't expecting at all. It was a shock, actually. Although I kept thinking that, "No, they didn't just do that", and that lingered in my head throughout the rest of the movie until I fully believed it. Nice one! I relaxed - well, as best I could in the ever-moving seats.

I would love to go into detail about the story but if I did, I would just ruin it. Even though Sherlock Holmes is probably the only one who can receive this little amount of information and have the ending all figured out before he takes his next breath, I am stopping here anyway. But rest assured this story is worth seeing. It's more complex and ominous than the first; and I believe it might be best seen on the large screen. The very slow-motion scenes that occurred in Sherlock Holmes (2009) showed up here. No, I am not going to complain about that because I really enjoyed this specific effect. Plus, it was used just enough. And without a doubt, one slow-motion scene that takes place in a forest made the price of the ticket worth it - D-BOX or not.

Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. Watson, once again, made a great pairing in the sequel, and I can't wait to see them in another one. (Fingers crossed) Watching those two actors play off each other was almost like watching Fred and Ginger dance. I particularly enjoyed the banter back and forth between the two men. I wouldn't be surprised if there was even a little improv in their dialogue. A Game of Shadows shows a greater friendship, collaboration and balancing act that kept this film from being not just another action/adventure sequel.

If you didn't see Sherlock Holmes (2009), it's no big deal (although I recommend seeing it, just the same). There is only one aspect from the first, a specific character: Professor Moriarity, who was mentioned but how they started the story in A Game of Shadows catches you up quickly. In addition, there are new characters introduced here - played by Noomi Rapace (From the Swedish version of the Stieg Larsson's trilogy) and Stephen Fry, who I hope is in the next one more, albeit more fully clothed. Yep, that's all I am going to say about that piece.

My favorite thing: Robert Downey Jr. - of course.

My least favorite: That the seats didn't move more. D-BOX helps you delve deeper into the story that you almost want it moving the entire time, no matter what's going on in the film. So. Much. Fun.

Rating: PG-13
Length: 129 minutes

Review: 8 out of 10
Crash E

Super Reviewer

January 20, 2012
The perfect combination of action, comedy, mystery and adventure, plus effect's were amazing, wonderful directing,.. so ... as expected this movie was just as EPIC as the prequel perhaps even more.

Super Reviewer

January 16, 2011
Its an entertaining movie thats enjoyable to watch! I loved Stephen Fry he was brilliant as usual.
Its visually stunning again with Downey Jr being Funny as ever.
Not sure how i feel about the storyline but to be honest it is thoroughly enjoyable that is worth a watch!
Funny, entertaining and a great cast so worth a watch.
familiar s

Super Reviewer

April 28, 2012
It's cruel to tax an almost nonexistent brain, all the more when it's already tensed. When Sherlock says "timing", that should have cautioned me. Not that the movie is extremely complex, but I just couldn't get most of it because I was yawning. Bad timing. Not that I'd have grasped the whole movie had I been not so sleepy, but I wouldn't have had a hard time understanding what's going on. The movie isn't that good, nonetheless. First one was way better than this one. Having seen it, I can fairly understand why many wrote it off. Acting is first-rate, and the same goes for action sequences. However, the plot is too weak, and its executed likewise. Also lacks witty dialogues. All in all, quite watchable if you're not feeling sleepy and are sober enough. And if you're having other commendable options at hand, this one need not be a priority.
Al S

Super Reviewer

October 20, 2010
A spectacular, brilliant and wickedly cool edge of your seat action-packed adventure thrill-ride that packs more smarts, more thrills and more humor than the first. It`s better than the original. A superbly crafted and dazzlingly well-performend flick. An explosively hilarious and furiously enjoyable movie that sizzles with suspense that knocks your socks off. It`s loads of fun from start to finish. The perfect combination of action, comedy, mystery and adventure. A highly addictive cocktail of enjoyment. A pulse-pounding and tremendosuly entertaining movie. Director, Guy Ritchie returns to the directots chair of this wonderful film and brings great wit and style to the piece as well as keep its compelling characters intact. A non-stop joy-ride as well as a thrill-ride. Robery Downey Jr. and Jude Law are at their best, the are extreamly funny and loveable. They have the best chemsitry and continue to dazzle in every way. Downy Jr. proves to be as charasmatic as ever with another awesome performance. Jared Harris is brilliant as the infamous villian Moriarty. An instant classic. A Game Of Shadows is a true roller-coaster of fun.
Joe M

Super Reviewer

April 15, 2012
As usual Robert Downey Jr saves an otherwise terrible script.
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