Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Reviews

Top Critic
Bruce Diones
New Yorker
January 16, 2012
It's complete trash and makes a mockery of Holmes's vaunted deductive reasoning.
Top Critic
Leonard Maltin
indieWIRE
December 25, 2011
The production is still needlessly overlong and overblown, a far cry from your father's (or even your cousin's) conception of the master detective. But it's certainly lively and has clever moments that involve Holmes' keen powers of observation...
Full Review | Original Score: 2.1/2
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Adam Graham
Detroit News
December 16, 2011
Downey's career is something of a game of shadows, but it's one still worth playing, for now.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
December 16, 2011
Downey and Law remain this presumptive franchise's draw.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
December 16, 2011
What this film really celebrates is crunch-and-thud video-game-style action, not especially well choreographed by director Guy Ritchie.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Bruce Demara
Toronto Star
December 16, 2011
It doesn't take a master of deduction to see that Ritchie has decided to play it too safe with this sequel.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
December 16, 2011
In an act of criminal negligence, Ritchie has wasted Robert Downey Jr. in a sequel that eliminates smarts in favor of relentless headbanging.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 16, 2011
Downey may think this interpretation is an insight, or funny, but it pushes what was already a rude rewriting of the classic characters into eye-rolling camp. And it throws everything off balance.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
December 16, 2011
I was let down by this loud and flashy but utterly empty sequel.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.0/5
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
December 16, 2011
This movie wants to be a horse but, even measured in box-office millions, it's just another nag.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
December 16, 2011
Something of an overlong, overblown, disorganized mess, despite being slightly better than its predecessor.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
December 16, 2011
Ritchie's franchise - 7% classic formula, 93% adrenaline - is smart in a showoffy way that flatters its star as well as its audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
December 16, 2011
The skill level in the script is elementary school, my dear Watson.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Mark Jenkins
Washington Post
December 16, 2011
It's a modest improvement on bad-boy director Guy Ritchie's first tweaking of Arthur Conan Doyle's iconic detective.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 15, 2011
There's nothing here but wreckage. "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" is so ineptly made that the story is advanced solely through announcements.
Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
December 15, 2011
As Johnny Depp has done so brilliantly with his devilish Jack Sparrow, Downey has made this sly sardonic Sherlock stylistically all his own. Case closed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Charlie McCollum
San Jose Mercury News
December 15, 2011
The game is now afoot with Holmes' arch-nemesis, Professor James Moriarity -- and that makes a notable difference. This time, Holmes is up against an equal, and it's elementary indeed that muscle and firepower alone won't carry the day.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Joy Tipping
Dallas Morning News
December 15, 2011
This new outing matches the original Sherlock in wit, action and the bromance between Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 15, 2011
The chemistry between Watson and Holmes is spotty, and their banter grows tedious.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
December 15, 2011
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows doesn't rip enough yarn.
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 15, 2011
"Diminishing returns" is a description that applies to many film series. "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" is a delicious exception.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 15, 2011
Virtually every set-up and set-piece in this extravagantly tedious adventure is misleading, or worse, irrelevant.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 15, 2011
Can a movie be hyperactive and lazy at the same time? Clever and idiotic? If the director is Guy Ritchie, the questions answer themselves.
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 15, 2011
There's ... a desire for coherence and humanity in movies. This one doesn't feed it.
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
December 15, 2011
This is Bob Downey, simultaneously playing the fool and pulling your leg, and even at his dumbest he's semi-irresistible.
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
December 15, 2011
The shadow in this game is the imposing penumbra of Ritchie's very satisfying 2009 film. It's overt and overwhelming.
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
December 15, 2011
"What do you see?'' the gypsy girl asks him. "Everything,'' Holmes replies. "That is my curse.'' If Downey has a curse, it'll be called "Sherlock Holmes 3.''
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
December 15, 2011
Here, as before, part of the movie's perversely cheeky design is that it throws away its own cleverness.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
December 15, 2011
As big, loud moviemaking goes it's not quite as devoid of charm as it could have been, and things being as they are these days, that's saying something.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 15, 2011
Even at its worst the movie is redeemed by the presence of two fine British character actors playing Conan Doyle regulars: Stephen Fry as Holmes's waggish older brother, Mycroft, and Jared Harris as the fiendish Dr. Moriarty.
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
December 15, 2011
Is "Game of Shadows" the most pandering picture of the year? Fo' shizzle, Sherlock.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
December 15, 2011
You may ponder: Would this movie actually be less aggravating with Adam Sandler in it, playing twins?
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 15, 2011
Sometimes a sequel is simply a second helping: more of the same, and not quite as appetizing as the first round.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Keith Phipps
AV Club
December 15, 2011
Aims lower than its predecessor's modest ambition, and still misses the mark.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 15, 2011
The thing to do, I suppose, is to set aside your memories of the Conan Doyle stories, save them to savor on a night this winter and enjoy this movie as a high-caliber entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
December 14, 2011
Time and again, the film assaults the eyes with cartoonish visual trickery and deflates the story with its obvious artificiality.
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
December 14, 2011
What seemed clever and novel the first time around now feels stale and tired; a lot of that has to do with the grimy, gray color scheme, which smothers everything in a dreary, suffocating sameness and saps the film of any real tension or thrills.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
December 14, 2011
Robert Downey Jr. is back as Holmes and Jude Law returns as Dr. Watson. They retain the winning chemistry from the first, superior film, and that's enough to make you soldier on through the overly stylized action.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
David Fear
Time Out
December 13, 2011
How Ritchie can expertly construct such set pieces as a train-bound assault, then thoroughly ruin every other action sequence with his signature self-indulgent slo-mo fetish and gratuitously stuttery editing, is an unsolvable mystery.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
December 13, 2011
Lackluster screenwriting and the absence of actorly communion are breezed past with monotonous banter, as is the fleetingly visible plot.
Top Critic
Tom Huddleston
Time Out
December 13, 2011
A fitfully amusing but largely unsurprising and uninvolving action-movie-by-numbers: elementary, and not in a good way.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 13, 2011
A Game of Shadows is a stronger, better realized movie that builds upon the strengths of the original and jettisons some of the weaknesses.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
December 8, 2011
The wardrobe foolishness comes off fine thanks to Downey's deadpan unashamedness, while the action stuff, perhaps arresting the first couple of times you see it, already seems hackneyed, mannered and overworked, an affectation of diminishing returns.
Top Critic
Brian Lowry
Variety
December 8, 2011
While director Guy Ritchie's excesses and modern concessions -- among them a lot of explosions -- remain intact, the parts of this second Sherlock Holmes are considerably more rewarding.