Sherlock Jr.

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 17


Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,880
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Movie Info

This film is one of Buster Keaton's funniest and most technically innovative features. He plays the floor sweeper and projectionist of a small-town movie theater who in his free time studies to be a detective.

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Buster Keaton
as Projectionist/Sherlock, Jr.
Ward Crane
as The Rival
Joe Keaton
as The Girl's Father/Man on Film Screen
Erwin Connelly
as The Hired Man/The Butler
Horace Morgan
as Conspirator
Ford West
as Theater Manager/Gillette
George Davis
as Conspirator
John Patrick
as Conspirator
Ruth Holly
as Candy Store Woman
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Critic Reviews for Sherlock Jr.

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (7)

  • Keaton's appreciation of the formal paradoxes of the medium is astounding; his observations on the relationship between film and the subconscious are groundbreaking and profound. And it's a laugh riot, too.

    May 29, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Keaton's third feature under his own steam is an incredible technical accomplishment, but also an almost Pirandellian exploration of the nature of cinematic reality.

    May 29, 2015 | Full Review…

    Tom Milne

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • A master of movement and stillness, Keaton developed a comedy style that was as intellectual as it was physical, and this small gem shows us why he's as purely American a film genius as the motion pictures have produced.

    May 29, 2015 | Full Review…
  • The unexpected, fantastic dream situations lend themselves to some remarkable trick effects, including one in which Buster walks right out of an audience and into a picture on the screen.

    May 29, 2015 | Full Review…
    TIME Magazine
    Top Critic
  • Sherlock Jr. is notable for a series of scintillating, near-inexplicable stunts, Keaton's characteristically dexterous and deadpan performance, as well as for its fat-free rattling-good storytelling and witty intertitles.

    May 29, 2015
  • There is an extremely good comedy which will give you plenty of amusement, so long as you permit Mr. Keaton to glide into his work with his usual deliberation.

    May 29, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Sherlock Jr.

  • Aug 31, 2018
    Simply a marvel of ideas and execution, Keaton's imagination alone is a bullet ride across The Twilight Zone and The Wizard Of Oz at the same time. Breathtaking work. That it's a comedy is only the cherry on top.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 18, 2014
    A great movie all the more remarkable due to the technique employed and how Keaton could pull off a number of risky stunts without getting killed - and his huge care is evident in a hilarious billiard scene and a fabulous moment in which he dodges many dangers on a motorcycle.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 28, 2014
    Sherlock Jr. is only the third silent film I've seen and the first from Buster Keaton. All that's going to change though because this movie has made me see the different types of humor that the silence offers, as well as other cool things that can be done when talking isn't involved. A young projectionist, who is also studying to be a detective is accused of stealing from the family of the girl he is trying to marry when a rival suitor frames him. He falls asleep while running a movie and dreams himself onto the screen where he becomes Sherlock Jr., the greatest detective in the world. I loved pretty much everything about this movie and the influence it had over future movies is almost unparalleled. It was one of the first films ever to employ the usage of multiple story lines and also introduced the notion of escaping from ones life into the movies. A story which has been used many times over the years. Sherlock Jr. is a masterpiece of early filmmaking from one of the most revered silent comedian and director of the silent era. The technical concepts he uses in this film are quite astounding for his time and watching them now, over 90 years later, it astounds me to see a masterpiece like Sherlock Jr.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 07, 2013
    Incredible film that is still impressive 80 years on.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer

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