Mr. Holmes

After over 250 appearances on screen, is there a point to telling yet another Sherlock Holmes story? Yes, there sure is.
Mr. Holmes
Image: Giles Keyte / Miramax
Ian McKellen in 'Mr. Holmes'
Mr. Holmes
Our Rating
3 Stars - Good
Average Rating
 
(2 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
PG (For thematic elements, some disturbing images and incidental smoking.)
Directed By
Bill Condon
Run Time
1 hour 44 minutes
Cast
Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Milo Parker, Hiroyuki Sanada
Theatre Release
July 24, 2015 by Miramax

Critics love to point to the film industry’s love affair with remakes, reboots, and sequels to demonstrate how awful today’s movies are. They’re not entirely wrong; take a look at our reviews of Terminator Genisysand Pitch Perfect 2, for example.

Mr. Holmes isn’t a remake, per se, but it is the latest in the record-holding line of cinematic adaptations. At 254 appearances as of 2012, Sherlock Holmes is the most-portrayed onscreen character of all time. After that many iterations, becoming formulaic isn’t just a concern, it’s pretty much expected.

So what then is the point of another Sherlock Holmes movie? Haven’t we seen everything that can be done to this story, from superfluous steampunk fanservice—yes, I went there, A Game of Shadows—to almost forcibly relevant modernizations? (I feel obligated to note, however, that both the BBC’s Sherlock and CBS’s Elementary are fantastic and you should watch them.)

The answer is yes, we probably have seen every version of Sherlock Holmes we can. And we’ll undoubtedly see more, because ultimately the point of yet another Sherlock Holmes movie is to prove how much audiences can still love a good character paired with a good story. We don’t have to abandon all hope for remake movies yet.

Director Bill Condon does an excellent job balancing the familiar with the intriguing in Mr. Holmes. Ian McKellen plays Sherlock to perfection as exactly the type of old man we’d expect the detective to become: quick-witted, a bit cantankerous, slightly sentimental, and just as sharp as ever. He’s grown domesticated over his thirty years of retirement, spending his final years in the countryside, investigating ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
Browse All Music Reviews By:
December
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Christianity Today
Mr. Holmes
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

July 2015

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.