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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. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Long-retired and near the end of his life, Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) grapples with an unreliable memory and must rely on his housekeeper's son as he revisits the still-unsolved case that led to his retirement.

Cast & Crew

Ian McKellen
Sherlock Holmes
Laura Linney
Mrs. Munro
Patrick Kennedy
Thomas Kelmot
Roger Allam
Dr. Barrie
Philip Davis
Inspector Gilbert
Frances De La Tour
Madame Schirmer
Takako Akashi
Maya Umezaki
Jeffrey Hatcher
Screenwriter
Aviv Giladi
Executive Producer
Len Blavatnik
Executive Producer
Christine Langan
Executive Producer
Amy Nauiokas
Executive Producer
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Critic Reviews for Mr. Holmes

All Critics (187) | Top Critics (55) | Fresh (164) | Rotten (23)

  • Suspense and sleuthing are a backstory to this elegant tale of regret, rectification and humility.

    August 15, 2019 | Full Review…
  • What a pleasure it is to be in the presence of Ian McKellen, who dominates the screen in Mr. Holmes.

    July 24, 2015 | Full Review…
  • As someone who neither hungers for yet another incarnation of this character nor understands why anyone would, I watched in subdued bafflement.

    July 22, 2015 | Full Review…
  • The mystery subplot lacks the ingenuity of the greatest Holmes stories, but McKellen excels, switching effortlessly between the reclusive beekeeper with a faltering memory and the elegant younger detective at the height of his powers.

    July 21, 2015 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • It's a gripping little tale, to be sure, but it's more than that. Somewhere in its tangle of timelines, false starts, and red herrings is a great truth about the unsolvable mystery of the human soul.

    July 19, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Even those who've read the book can be startled by what happens in Mr. Holmes, while they're being moved by McKellen in a role he's come to late, but with his customary elegance.

    July 17, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Mr. Holmes

  • Aug 26, 2016
    Of course McKellen is fantastic. So are his costars. Charming story. Worthwhile for any Holmes fan. Others will enjoy a well made film.
    Morris N Super Reviewer
  • Mar 18, 2016
    Brilliant in its subtlety.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 09, 2016
    An intriguing crime-drama, Mr. Holmes explores the elderly years of the world's most famous detective. Ian McKellen stars as an infirmed Sherlock Holmes who's retired to the countryside and is working on a memoir about his last case. McKellen's performance is rather interesting, and is quite different from the usually portrayals of the Holmes character. However the storytelling is rather weak, with a lot of nonlinear flashbacks that make the mystery kind of hard to follow. And the mystery itself doesn't seem to pose that much of a challenge or to be of any series importance. Somewhat of a subdued thriller, Mr. Holmes is a daring new interpretation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's beloved character but it's not very engaging.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 30, 2015
    Sherlock Holmes battles his failing memory as he tries to solve his last case, which still haunts him. The highlight of this film is the masterful work by Ian McKellen, whose take on an aging Holmes brings to mind the thesis of A Beautiful Mind: that intelligence can outwit the infirmities of the body. Despite his failing memory, Holmes attempts to retrain his brain to renew his deductive capacities, and yet in the lines of McKellen's face, we see the emotional toll these additional intellectual acrobatics work on him. The mystery plot is pedestrian, with a payoff that does not rival some of the classic Holmes mysteries, but in fairness, the film is about age and its ravages, not necessarily a typical whodunit. Overall, I like this take on Holmes, though I pray that they don't take it too far with an uninspired sequel.
    Jim H Super Reviewer

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