7.5/10
399,559
427 user 386 critic

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

Trailer
2:32 | Trailer
Detective Sherlock Holmes is on the trail of criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty, who is carrying out a string of random crimes across Europe.

Director:

Guy Ritchie
Reviews
Popularity
1,772 ( 301)
3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Detective Sherlock Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson engage in a battle of wits and brawn with a nemesis whose plot is a threat to all of England.

Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.

Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander
Due Date (2010)
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

High-strung father-to-be Peter Highman is forced to hitch a ride with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay on a road trip in order to make it to his child's birth on time.

Director: Todd Phillips
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan
Action | Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Through a series of freak occurrences, a group of actors shooting a big-budget war movie are forced to become the soldiers they are portraying.

Director: Ben Stiller
Stars: Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr.
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Robbed of his birthright, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy - whether he likes it or not.

Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Jude Law
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too.

Director: Rob Marshall
Stars: Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Ian McShane
The Hangover (2009)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Three buddies wake up from a bachelor party in Las Vegas, with no memory of the previous night and the bachelor missing. They make their way around the city in order to find their friend before his wedding.

Director: Todd Phillips
Stars: Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Justin Bartha
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Jack Sparrow races to recover the heart of Davy Jones to avoid enslaving his soul to Jones' service, as other friends and foes seek the heart for their own agenda as well.

Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Blacksmith Will Turner teams up with eccentric pirate "Captain" Jack Sparrow to save his love, the governor's daughter, from Jack's former pirate allies, who are now undead.

Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom
Skyfall (2012)
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Bond's loyalty to M is tested when her past comes back to haunt her. When MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.

Director: Sam Mendes
Stars: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The IMF is shut down when it's implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization's name.

Director: Brad Bird
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Captain Barbossa, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann must sail off the edge of the map, navigate treachery and betrayal, find Jack Sparrow, and make their final alliances for one last decisive battle.

Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Downey Jr. ... Sherlock Holmes
Jude Law ... Dr. John Watson
Noomi Rapace ... Madam Simza Heron
Rachel McAdams ... Irene Adler
Jared Harris ... Professor James Moriarty
Stephen Fry ... Mycroft Holmes
Paul Anderson ... Colonel Sebastian Moran
Kelly Reilly ... Mary Watson
Geraldine James ... Mrs. Hudson
Eddie Marsan ... Inspector Lestrade
William Houston ... Constable Clark
Wolf Kahler ... Doctor Hoffmanstahl
Iain Mitchell Iain Mitchell ... Auctioneer
Jack Laskey ... Carruthers
Patricia Slater Patricia Slater ... Shush Club Maitre D'
Edit

Storyline

Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his longtime trusted associate, Doctor Watson (Jude Law), take on their arch-nemesis, Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), with the help of Holmes' older brother Mycroft Holmes (Stephen Fry) and a gypsy named Simza (Noomi Rapace). Written by ABID NAZIR

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and some drug material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | French | Italian | German | Romany

Release Date:

16 December 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes 2 See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$125,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$39,637,079, 18 December 2011

Gross USA:

$186,848,418

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$543,848,418
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Datasat | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

At the end of the train sequence, Watson says to Holmes, "Once more unto the breach". This is a line from a speech in Henry V by William Shakespeare. Much later in the play's speech, Henry V also exclaims, "The game is afoot", which Holmes used as a catchphrase in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories. See more »

Goofs

War factory is fully electrified despite fact that Schneider's company started selling electricity in Germany only in year 1892. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. John Watson: [voice-over] The year was 1891. Storm clouds were brewing over Europe. France and Germany were at each other's throats, the result of a series of bombings. Some said it was the Nationalists. Others, the anarchists. But as usual, my friend Sherlock Holmes, had a different theory entirely.
See more »

Crazy Credits

SPOILER: The closing title "THE END" appears as part of Dr. Watson's manuscript; Holmes corrects the manuscript to make it "THE END?" See more »


Soundtracks

Two Mules for Sister Sara - Main Title
Written by Ennio Morricone
Performed by Movie Screen Orchestra
Courtesy of One Media
By arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Entertaining and a lot more fun than the original outing
15 December 2011 | by DonFishiesSee all my reviews

As much as I loved the character interactions and insane chemistry between Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, I was very much let down by Sherlock Holmes when I first saw it a few years ago. It was a really stylish and well-made film, but the storyline bored me to tears. I came in incredibly excited to see it, and left wishing it had ended sooner. With the obvious sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows upon us, I figured I would go in with much lower expectations and brace for something along the same lines.

Europe is at the brink of war, with many little seemingly unconnected events occurring across the nations. Sherlock Holmes (Downey Jr.) believes it to be the work of the brilliant Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris). He enlists the help of his sidekick, Watson (Law), to help him uncover the truth, before it is too late.

With less of a focus on the occult, a stronger plot and a significantly more interesting villain, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows outdoes its predecessor in many respects. It ups the thrills and the action, continues the fun, and delivers one of the better sequel going experiences this year.

Even though the story is a bit wonky in certain respects (more on that in a moment), I feel A Game of Shadows manages to feel a lot more grounded than the original. There is a clear storyline, and an even clearer path of where the film wants to go. It stalls here and there, as I imagined it would, but it never lingers like the original did. The art direction is just as incredible as it was, and the special effects seem to have been improved greatly. Where the first film flopped around, this film picks up the slack.

While Downey Jr. and Law are just as impeccable and well matched as they were the first time round, the film benefits greatly from the addition of Harris as Moriarty. The character's presence was felt throughout the first film, but the film noticeable lost its edge by simply referring to him in passing and hinting at what a sequel could have had in store. Bringing him into the fold, he immediately is tenfold better than Mark Strong ever could have hoped to be. Watching Harris match wits with Downey is simply astounding, and makes for the most wildly enjoyable parts of the film. There is never a dull moment when he is around, and instead of making the film drone on, he invigorates it with an immense amount of energy. Harris knows exactly how to look deceptive, even with a wide grin and dialogue that does not even hint at ulterior motives. His looks are downright terrifying in a lot of instances. This is his first major film role, and I can only hope filmmakers continue using his dastardly skills for antiheroes and villains alike.

I think the film's biggest hurtle, and the one that hurts it the most, is that there are simply too many characters and too many of them did not need to appear in the first place. Rapace's character is nothing more than a plot device, used to connect certain sections together and forgotten almost entirely all too often. The practically blink-and-you- will-miss them moments for Rachel McAdams and Eddie Marsan feel more like Richie peddling to the fans, as opposed to actually serving a real point to the film. It is fun seeing them show up again, but considering they have little to no effect on the plot, they could have easily just never showed up at all. But the far worst offender of not serving any purpose is Stephen Fry as Mycroft Holmes. He brings a ridiculous amount of humour to the film, and he is a welcome addition on the onset. But as the film progresses, it becomes clear he is merely there simply to make the film even more ludicrous and silly than Downey Jr. makes it. When the inevitable third film drops, I hope they actually use him effectively, instead of making his appearance feel like a mere tease.

What also hurts the film is Richie's incessant need to use slow motion in every action sequence. While it works insanely and surprisingly well for the film's centrepiece involving a foot chase through a forest, it feels like overkill in almost every other instance. We understand from the first film that Holmes likes to evaluate the moves of both his adversaries and himself before he makes them, but watching him plot it out helps drag the film out longer than it needs to be. It is fun and worthwhile when it is used sparingly, or used to draw attention to something specific. But when Richie is one-upping Zack Snyder in the worst possible way, it begs the question of whether he learned any mistakes from the first film or not. At just under 130 minutes, I feel like a good fifteen minutes of slow motion could have been sped up, and would have looked just as great. Hell, Richie potentially could have shown off a bit of his own style too, instead of just what he cribbed from everyone else.

While the film still has its problems, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is an enjoyable ride from start to finish. It maintained my interest, where the first film had me counting the excruciating minutes before it would end. Richie still has a lot to learn about as a filmmaker (and even more as a man who creates his own style instead of Tarantino-ing from others), he does know how to make a crafty film. Now if he can stop hinting at future installments and just give us a film that sticks to being about the story at hand, then maybe we might just get the perfect rendition of this legendary detective.

8/10.


108 of 199 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 427 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed