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Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Rachel McAdams, Jared Harris ... see more see more... , Stephen Fry , Paul Anderson , Kelly Reilly , Geraldine James , Eddie Marsan , William Houston , Wolf Kahler , Iain Mitchell , Jack Laskey , Patricia Slater , Karima Adebibe , Richard Cunningham , Marcus Shakesheff , Mark Sheals , George Taylor , Michael Webber , Mike Grady , Alexandre Carril , Victor Carril , Thorston Manderlay , Ben Badra , Daniel Naprous , Lancelot Weaver , Vladimir Furdik , Jacques Senet Larson , Nicolas Senet Larson , Sebastian Senet Larson , Alexander Devrient , Fatima Adoum , Stanley Kaye , Thierry Neuvic , Martin Nelson , Mark Llewelyn-Evans , Anthony Inglis , Ian Wilson-Pope , Pamela Hay , Laurence Dobiesz , Peter Stark , Roman Jankovic , Frederick Ruth , Carsten Hayes , Jonathan Christie , James McNeill , Laurentiu Possa , Maitland Chandler , Joe Egan , Clive Russell

Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) has always been the smartest man in the room...until now. There is a new criminal mastermind at large-Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris)-and not only is he Holmes' i... read more read more...ntellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may actually give him an advantage over the renowned detective. When the Crown Prince of Austria is found dead, the evidence, as construed by Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsan), points to suicide. But Sherlock Holmes deduces that the prince has been the victim of murder-a murder that is only one piece of a larger and much more portentous puzzle, designed by Professor Moriarty. The cunning Moriarty is always one step ahead of Holmes as he spins a web of death and destruction-all part of a greater plan that, if he succeeds, will change the course of history. -- (C) Warner Bros

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77% liked it

164,790 ratings


60% liked it

203 critics

PG-13, 2 hr. 8 min.

Directed by: Guy Ritchie

Release Date: December 16, 2011

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DVD Release Date: June 12, 2012

Stats: 13,338 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (13,338)

  • March 28, 2014
    On the eve of his wedding day, Doctor Watson is persuaded by his erstwhile partner in crime to go head to head with arch nemesis Professor Moriarty in a game of international cat and mouse. The Victorian bromance continues as the bickering detectives cut a swathe across Europe in... read more pursuit of the nefarious Moriarty leaving a trail of computer generated carnage in their wake. Subtlety certainly takes a back seat as Game Of Shadows follows the usual blockbuster sequel formula of dumber and louder=better, with the homo-eroticism of the first film in particular ramped up to Carry On proportions. Unlike the Indiana Jones vibe of the previous film, the plot here is very much a James Bond-style tale of espionage full of tommy guns, explosions, disguises and international intrigue and it's all very episodic. The dialogue of double act Downey and Law is not as sparky or fresh this time around, but they are still very likeable and the breathless pace makes for an enjoyable romp that consistently entertains. As ever it is not the measure of the original, but as a piece of popular entertainment in its own right it's a lot of fun.
  • March 9, 2013
    Having heard many a negative review of this film I was pleasantly surprised and entertained by this 2nd offering of Downey Jr. as Conan Doyle's famous detective.

    It was established in the first film that Downey's Holmes is much more the action figure than the text intended, but ... read moreif you can forgive that, then this film, as the first, is solid and entertaining. Director Guy Ritchie as usual does tend to teeter into excess in his style over substance approach (he doesn't really give you the chance to be fully absorbed in the film... ie. Forgetting that you are watching a film - mainly due to his overuse of camera techniques; in particular the stop action/slow mo/fast mo that dates back to the Matrix films - especially in a overly long "escape" scene with the heroes running through the woods as bullets fly around them). It is this scene and a couple of others that could have used a bit of judicious editing to prevent the film from bogging down - but that being said, the chess match (real and metaphorical) between Holmes and arch villain Moriarty (a wonderful turn by Richard Harris' son Jared) certainly makes for compelling viewing.

    Ritchie also uses an interesting technique to let you "inside" Holmes' brain. Showing us how and why he will execute certain maneuvers and assessing their potential - and then showing us the action and the result in real time. This could be off-putting to some, but I found it a stroke of brilliance; especially at the film's climax when Holmes' "thoughts" are interrupted by Moriarty. A kind of "well, if you do this, then I'll do that" bit of sophistry akin to thinking 3 moves ahead on a chess board.

    This film, as was the case with its predecessor, has a fair amount of humor (the scene with Holmes aboard a pony was laugh out loud funny), and really - it's this insertion of humor that tells you that you are watching "entertainment" - that Ritchie knew going in that this was not something to be treated in utmost seriousness.

    There are a few other flaws that I tend to overlook - for example Jude Law's Watson overemphasizes his war wound limp at film's beginning... which of course totally disappears when the script needs him to transform into an action hero. There is also the rather hackneyed sentiments about Watson's wedding and how that will allegedly effect Holmes - you kind of role your eyes and move on to the meat of the matter - the sublime cat and mouse game between Holmes and Moriarty - ignore the rest and you will be totally entertained.
  • January 14, 2013
    Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are back! And this time, things get serious. Along with a gypsy, these two find themselves involved in a plot that could lead to a world war as the result of the death of the crown prince of Austria. Though this film has an original story, it is inf... read moreluenced by some of the source material, especially with the fact that the chief antagonist is none other than Holmes's arch nemesis Professor Moriarty.

    In a lot of ways, this really isn't all t hat different from the 2009 film. We get some of the same cast, some filmmakers, and the some kind of hyper-realistic style Guy Ritchie is known for. One of the best examples of the sweet slow-mo is the shooting in the woods. That scene is great.

    Jared Harris is a nice addition as Moriarty, though I suspect that the literary version is better. Still though, he's not bad. I also liked Stephen Fry as Sherlock's brother, and Noomi Rapace as the gypsy- a role she pretty much seems a natural fit for.

    Law and Downey Jr. continue to have great chemistry together, and the film blends the action and humor fairly well. It's not a masterpiece by any means, but it's nevertheless a fun way to pass a couple of hours.
  • December 30, 2012
    I'm glad that I'm not the only one who thinks that this second movie didn't as good as the first one.. From the performance, Robert Downey Jr. has did it again with his character as Sherlock Holmes, even Dr. John Watson's performance by Jude Law really got a lot of improvement to... read moreo.. But their performance didn't help a lot as the story of this movie got the audiences a little confusing even though I know it's quite brilliant to make some twist like that.. The other disappointment is Noomi Rapace's performance which is for me just like a sweetener because of the death of Irene Adler, but she's nowhere for replacing Irene Adler.. Overall, for me this sequel is a little disappointment but I must appreciate Guy Ritchie's work since he did his best in here so this rating is the best that I can give to this movie..
  • September 16, 2012
    Guy Ritchie deduces well with Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

    Detailed and requiring attention to follow, this 2 hour story ends up as a game of wits between the good and the bad. The film makes the most of its time thanks to a moderate pace, while unveiling the app

    ... read moreropriate plot elements at appropriate times, and leaving enough mystery from start to end.

    The action is stylized with nice choreography and deduction skills from the Sherlock Holmes character. It easily blends in without overtaking the story in any way, shape, or form.

    Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law not only deliver great performances, but also have great chemistry together and that makes this film work. Jared Harris, Rachel McAdams, and Noomi Rapace fill out the rest of the cast.

    Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is as expected; entertaining and mildly humorous.

  • August 24, 2012
    "I loved this movie! There is a lot of action and plenty of laughs. I think Robert and Jude are a great match. They have such strong chemistry together. At first I was a little disappointed at how little McAdams was in the film. But then comes Noomi and it's like McAdams was in t... read morehe film? Oh that's right! Noomi is a great actress and demands your attention once she appears on the screen. I became a fan when I saw her performance in 'The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo'. I thought Stephen Fry was a lot of fun as Sherlocks brother. He had just enough quirkiness to make it believable. Jarred Harris played a good villian. The film is well made and everyone does a great job in the movie. I really enjoyed all the action scenes. Usually I am not one who enjoys all the slow motion action scenes. But I will admit that I quite enjoyed them in this film. It's a fanstastic sequel. You really can't say that a lot with most sequels. But this one really does outshine the first film. Well, at least for me it does. See it if you get the chance."
  • August 6, 2012
    A decent sequel that continues the chemistry between Downey Jr & Law. Plenty of action, more than the first film, lots of witty funny moments as well and cool SFX. Just felt the first film had a stronger story line.
  • August 2, 2012
    I actually enjoyed this one more than the first. It does away with all the silliness that plagued the original and made it feel like a "Da Vinci Code" rip-off and provides a nicely done chess game where you know the people behind it from the beginning, but can't stop them and hav... read moree to figure out their motives. Robert Downey Jr. is just as good, if not better, in this one. The action sequences are really good too, with some nicely done set pieces and slow motion that doesn't feel overused. The forest scene is an absolute standout. This is just more fun and relaxed than the first one was and the franchise is all the better for it. I wasn't really on board with this the first go around, but I just hopped on the train.
  • July 16, 2012
    Definitely an improvement on the original from Guy Richie, Downy and Law are great in the two lead role and the inclusion of Stephen Fry as Holmes's brother is brilliant. I just don't like Guy Richie's direction, his style has a place but not in this kind of film, it cheapens it ... read moresomewhat. I'm all for trying new things, new styles for different genres but here it is clear that Richie is a one trick pony and can't do anything else. It would be nice to see another director take over from here, as much as I don't like him as a director, I'd like to see Downy and Law reprise these roles. They do have some hounds to hunt after all!
  • July 15, 2012
    Hmmmm. Well, very well done. Rather entertaining...but the storyline just seemed to have way too much going on for me. Too complicated. Too chaotic. Not sure why they felt the need to do that. Not at all a bad movie. I guess that I was expecting a fun, entertaining movie, and got... read more a movie that tested my attention span, instead.

Critic Reviews

Bruce Diones
January 16, 2012
Bruce Diones, New Yorker

It's complete trash and makes a mockery of Holmes's vaunted deductive reasoning. Full Review

Adam Graham
December 16, 2011
Adam Graham, Detroit News

Downey's career is something of a game of shadows, but it's one still worth playing, for now. Full Review

Lisa Kennedy
December 16, 2011
Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

Downey and Law remain this presumptive franchise's draw. Full Review

Peter Rainer
December 16, 2011
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

What this film really celebrates is crunch-and-thud video-game-style action, not especially well choreographed by director Guy Ritchie. Full Review

Bruce Demara
December 16, 2011
Bruce Demara, Toronto Star

It doesn't take a master of deduction to see that Ritchie has decided to play it too safe with this sequel. Full Review

Peter Travers
December 16, 2011
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

In an act of criminal negligence, Ritchie has wasted Robert Downey Jr. in a sequel that eliminates smarts in favor of relentless headbanging. Full Review

Stephen Whitty
December 16, 2011
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger

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

Richard Roeper
December 16, 2011
Richard Roeper, Richard

I was let down by this loud and flashy but utterly empty sequel. Full Review

Rick Groen
December 16, 2011
Rick Groen, Globe and Mail

This movie wants to be a horse but, even measured in box-office millions, it's just another nag. Full Review

Connie Ogle
December 16, 2011
Connie Ogle, Miami Herald

Something of an overlong, overblown, disorganized mess, despite being slightly better than its predecessor. Full Review

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    • Sherlock Holmes: It's so overt, it's covert
    • Professor James Moriarty: Your clock is ticking.
    • Sherlock Holmes: It's so's covert.
    • Madam Simza Heron: A wagon is too slow. Can't you ride?
    • Dr. John Watson: It's not that he can't ride. How is it that you put it, Holmes?
    • Sherlock Holmes: [horses] They're dangerous at both ends and crafty in the middle. Why would I want anything with a mind of its own bobbing about between my legs?
    • Professor James Moriarty: Let's not waste anymore of one another's time. We both know how this ends.
    • Sherlock Holmes: Lie down with me, Watson.
    • Dr. John Watson: Why?!
    • Sherlock Holmes: I insist.
    • Dr. John Watson: You... What are we doing down here?
    • Sherlock Holmes: We are waiting. I am smoking.

Sherlock Holmes: ... : Watch Free on TV

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