Murder by Decree - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Murder by Decree Reviews

Page 1 of 6
September 17, 2017
its a nice sherlock holmes mystery
½ January 18, 2016
Murder By Decree is an amazing movie. It is about Sherlock Holmes who investigates the murders commited by Jack the Ripper. Christopher Plummer and James Mason give incredible performances. The screenplay is well written. Bob Clark did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama and mystery.
January 3, 2016
This is a Sherlock Holmes film for those who are not wholly happy with Doyle's great creation. The film is buttressed by a stark atmosphere, which contrasts with Holmes and Watson, depicted here as close friends. Watson is particularly strong in this one; he is actually useful. The film shows many of the tropes of the 1970s films: a dark ending, with no one wholly satisfied, and Holmes having made one great tragic error. Yet, the political cynicism of the film left me cold, but I live in an age when politics is once again an earnest business and sides are chosen as if Armageddon was knocking at the door.
½ November 21, 2015
Canadian production from the future director of Porky's with Sherlock Holmes and Watson investigating a series of murders by Jack the Ripper.
July 2, 2015
I would think that a key element to making a successful Sherlock Holmes film would be to have it star Sherlock Holmes. What traits define the famous detective? His ingenuity and almost supernatural attention to detail combined with powerful deductive reasoning. This Holmes is essentially just an ordinary detective, easily swapped out for any other devoted investigator. So what's the point in having him as the lead? Why not just cast someone else in the role as From Hell (an immensely similar film) did twenty years later. It's not even that Plummer's bad in the role, he's just not Sherlock Holmes.
½ June 8, 2015
Well done. Good acting.

Not as fast paced as I would have liked it to be.
½ April 13, 2015
Intriguing take of Sherlock Holmes mystery has Holmes investigating the Jack the Ripper killings in late 19th century London. Distinguished Canadian/British cast and period production featuring Director Bob Clark, who sandwiched this one between BLACK CHRISTMAS and PORKY'S, making quite a diverse catalogue. Nominated for eight Genies and winning five.
½ March 2, 2015
Plummer and Mason together make one of cinema's most warmly felt Holmes-Watson teams. Ripperologists will be pleased by how faithful the script is to historical incidents and persons involved.
February 17, 2015
Its Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper in this Bob Clark directed suspense thriller. Bob Clark has a good eye for atmosphere and creepiness, as he also directed Black Christmas (1974). Christopher Plummer and James Mason play a good duo of Sherlock and Watson, but the movie is a tad slow at times, because its bogged down by political themes rather than stark cold thrills. Keeping the gore levels down in order to let the viewer's imagination take hold is a brilliant move, for a decent enough mashup of the world's greatest detective and the White Chapel slasher.
May 20, 2014
Christopher Plummer is Holmes and James Mason (looking old) is Watson in this reasonably lavish but sometimes ponderous outing for the famous duo. The story is an old chestnut: the still unsolved Jack the Ripper murders. To solve them, Holmes pieces together an elaborate conspiracy (although not all of the clues seem to be available to viewers). With 30 minutes edited out, a less bland Holmes and a less embarrassing Watson -- O'Toole and Olivier were apparently first choices - this could have been more gripping. As it stands, it isn't a complete waste of your time, it just doesn't rise to the occasion.
½ March 3, 2014
Though if meanders and eventually preaches by the end, the overall atmosphere is spot on. The chemistry between Holmes and Watson is prefect and Bob Clark gives The Ripper some very disturbing treatment without the excesses of horror.
March 1, 2014
a decently entertaining political Sherlock Holmes whodunit
November 20, 2013
With a feel reminiscent of the old Hammer films this co Canadian UK produced film does a good job of telling a Sherlock Holmes story. Christopher Plummer does a very good (though not my fave) portrayal of the master detective and while Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper are quite common and well known characters/stories, Murder by Decree does a decent job of keeping the story as fresh and new as possible.
Feeling more like a movie of the week (Hammer films often fit that bill afterall) Murder by Decree does not fill itself with sexual references or gory details which is both good and bad. While I would have liked a film with more visual stimuli, this Sherlock tale just shows that you don't need to show too much in order to tell a story... but the visceral portion of my pleasure center still wanted more.
Murder by Decree isn't for everyone. Younger audiences might find the film a tad bit slow and without the visual punch they're used to. Fans of Hammer studios on the other hand will find themselves right at home. Bob Clark manages to produce yet another underrated yet skilled outing that does justice to the Sherlock Holmes character.
November 17, 2013
Interesting and well made Holmes v Jack the Ripper mystery with a good cast, but in particular Christopher Plummer and James Mason who have great chemistry as Holmes and Watson. Frank Finlay, David Hemmings, Anthony Quayle, John Gielgud, Donald Sutherland and Genvieve Bujold also give good performances. This is a fairly sombre film, but there are touches of humour in particular the squashing of Watson's pea!!
August 6, 2013
Directed by Bob Clark (Black Christmas (1974), Porky's (1981) and A Christmas Story (1983)) and based on the book The Ripper File by Elwyn Jones and John Lloyd. This British-Canadian film is a good reimagining of the Jack the Ripper murders and also the best case Sherlock Holmes never handled. It has a good cast all giving lovely performances, and it's one of the best Holmes films, even if it's not based on any of Arthur Conan Doyle's stories. In Victorian London, an unknown serial killer is picking off prostitutes in Whitechapel, Sherlock Holmes (Christopher Plummer) and his loyal assistant Doctor Watson (James Mason) are assigned to this gruesome case by the Prime Minister (John Gielgud) and Inspector Lestrade (Frank Finlay). Holmes believes it's an open and shut case, but it's not that simple. Especially when he discovers links to the Freemasons. Holmes calls upon spiritualist Robert Lees (Donald Sutherland), and he leads them to Mary Kelly (Susan Clark), who claims to have slept with someone high up in the aristocracy, and if revealed, could bring down the monarchy and parliament. Plummer makes a brilliant Holmes, while Mason plays against type as Watson, it has some very good cinematography by Reginald H. Morris too. It's a shame Clark didn't make more films like this, considering the kinds of films he ended up making.
½ July 27, 2013
Fairly interesting Sherlock Holmes Vs. Jack the Ripper tale from underrated director, Bob Clark.
Super Reviewer
½ June 7, 2013
Decently exciting film for 1979. Christopher Plummer delivers a strong and subtle performance, but cannot hold a candle to Robert Downey, Jr.'s Holmes.
February 20, 2013
This movie is lackluster in every way. Deserves no place in the "Holmes" universe. Slipshod direction, production design, and nonsense plot that complete wastes one of the greatest characters in history.
½ February 2, 2013
Plummer and Mason turn in wonderful showings as Holmes and Watson. A satisfying film.
July 13, 2012
This movie sucked. 2 hours and 3 minutes of my life wasted. It is no wonder why Scotland Yard didn't call him. Sherlock was a buffoon who did more harm than good.
Page 1 of 6