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Sherlock Holmes (2009 movie)

A 2009 film adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional character of the same name

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Through all the grime and soot of old London towne, Holmes found that clue.

  • Jan 2, 2010
Rating:
+3
It's probably a good thing that I've never read a Sherlock Holmes story as I might have only gone into this movie with a laundry list of facts and tidbits and leaving the theater annoyed at how much was spat on if in fact it was.

With what I know about Sherlock Holmes, being an urbane, professional, intellectual with his cap on his head and calabash in mouth, it was odd to see him a sweaty, dirty, fussy and unshaven pit fighting brawler with a dinky little pipe.  Seeing Sherlock however in such a dirty state means it did occur to me that this is how he gets to learn things by meeting all sorts of people, examine more behavior and get his hands on more interesting tidbits.

Robert Downey Jr here plays Sherlock Holmes wonderfully within the context as I mentioned above, not afraid to get dirty and subject himself to filth to find those important leads and is also willing to shut himself off from the outside world to follow an experimentation or invention when he becomes inspired.  His latest case has led him to a black magic practicioner named Blackwood who is about to be executed after Holmes helped aprehend him.  Not long afterword, Blackwood is seemingly resserected and is committing more chaos and Holmes and the loyal Dr Watson are on the case to investigate Blackwoods followers and his plans for toppling Englands government with his dark arts.

Theres plenty in the story that will assure you that no matter how deep Holmes gets himself in, you know that some piece of the movie having him sniffing around some crime scene will come into play later on and in that it kills some of the tension knowing that no matter what happens he may already have a way out or an explanation for something that we saw happen but cannot explain ourselves.  It's not so much an awful case of deus ex machina in extremis as it is paying attention to crime scenes and Holmes actions and reactions to things.  Holmes keeps things to himself until something is needed and will then let explain to us what we saw and why it's important.

Theres also action.  Not as much as the TV spots or trailers will leave us to believe but like I said, I never saw Holmes as a down and dirty fighter who will sport revolvers and fisticuffs so the action comes here and there to remind me that Holmes is brains and brawn.  Not as brawny as one of the heavies we see in the movie, but enough to take on most any kind of riff raff.

If there was anything that really annoyed me it's that director Guy Ritchie has a cute habit of putting that stupid raven in the background whenever anything scary is about to happen.

I can't really say much else.  I went in thinking it looked good, came out enjoying myself and will look forward to the next one who already has a villain set up, a more popular villain that even I knew about and I know is a famous foe of Holmes.  The sequel is already looking good.

Seriously.
Through all the grime and soot of old London towne, Holmes found that clue. Through all the grime and soot of old London towne, Holmes found that clue.

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January 07, 2010
impressive write up! I see we rated this about the same.
January 07, 2010
Right on. As I just told chiligirlz2, I actually want to see this again and it could even be better a second time around.
January 07, 2010
the acting was superb albeit Rachel didn't exactly do much except as a minor device. Yeh, I may see it again as a rental.
 
January 07, 2010
Well written.... I agree for the most part. I found the movie good, but not great. But it did have many of the qualities of entertainment and good acting.
January 07, 2010
It's strange but the more I think about this movie, the more I kinda want to see it again.  Thank you.
 
January 03, 2010
I've read Holmes front to back, back to front and side to side at least six times over ... but I still have no doubt that I'll enjoy this version of Holmes as a more rough and tumble character. Great review.
January 03, 2010
Out of curiosity, being a Holmes fan what did you think of Nicholas Meyers books, The Seven Per-Cent Solution, The West End Horror and The Canary Trainer?
January 03, 2010
I've only read the first two and that was some time ago. I remember enjoying them but I also don't remember any particular details or any special reason to say that they were outstanding.
January 03, 2010
RIght on, thank you.
 
January 03, 2010
Good review. I thought the raven was because of Blackstone's mystic charm wanting death to occur rather quickly. I'm not familiar with other Ritchie movies -- does he do the raven in others also? I liked this film, gave it a four.
January 03, 2010
None of his other movies come to mind that I've seen but that raven was such an obvious giveaway like a sign that says "SCARY THINGS ARE ABOUT TO HAPPEN!!" It's not that subtle. Thanks
January 03, 2010
Sure. I also just watched Benjamin Button on a rental. A hummingbird is the bird that appears there, though not so obvious.
 
January 03, 2010
Ha, I never read a Sherlock Holmes book either (I was more of a Nancy Drew kid), yet, I was also surprised to see those posters of an unkempt Holmes instead of a tan detective suit and hat.  Great review, John! :)
January 03, 2010
Thank you. I liked it more then I thought I would but was surprised it was such a filthy movie full of blacks and dirts. It's almost as if Anton Furst designed the sets.
January 03, 2010
Holmes neighborhood was dirty and grimy, or at least that was the impression I got. :)
January 03, 2010
D, you might watch videos of Sherlock Holmes; they're much more intellectually based. I suggest the Jeremy Brett ones made by PBS; get them on www.hulu.com for free. Still, I loved Robert Downey in this one.
January 03, 2010
I might. Thank you.
 
1
More Sherlock Holmes (2009 movie) reviews
review by . December 13, 2010
Lord Blackwood, serial killer and black occultist, has finally been brought to justice. Returning from the grave only gives more weight to his already potent reputation, as well as his ominous predictions of what is to yet to come. Yet, Sherlock Holmes seems too preoccupied with the imminent loss of his life-long bachelor friend and valued assistant, Dr. Watson, to act effectively against Blackwood's schemes.      Love seems to be the only thing to truly confound and successfully …
review by . August 17, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****    Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes" stylistically reverses the intentions that we are to expect from both cinematic and non-cinematic outings starring everyone's favorite titular sleuth. While we're used to an intelligent, perplexing labyrinth of a mystery; Ritchie's attempted "update" on the character and the "Sherlock Holmes" universe itself presents us with a mystery that is almost decidedly simplistic yet creatively drawn out for a larger, more modern and mainstream …
review by . December 29, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
FUN, Nicely Acted But the Screenplay is Very
   Sherlock Holmes was created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and this character has clearly become a household name in the books of detective thrillers. Once again, Hollywood intends to re-imagine/revive/ re-issue the beloved detective under Guy Ritchie’s direction in 2009’s “SHERLOCK HOLMES”. Many folks would describe this movie as entertaining, fun and a piece of diversion. Diversion is such a loose word to use to describe a movie; after all even a shitty movie can …
review by . December 30, 2009
 ... while spinning in his urn, most likely. Robert Downey Jr once again proves himself to be the best actor of his generation and without him this movie would limp along, and its inconsequential paper-thin plot would be much more grating. Perhaps the biggest crime in the film is that Holmes - as a 2-dimensional vehicle for awesomely-intriguing detective tricks - is given a really lousy case that relies on some massive leaps of logic and an almost physic predictive ability.      …
review by . May 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
FUN FILM THAT LACKS A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA
SHERLOCK HOLMES       I wanted to see this movie so bad because I have always been a fan of Holmes and of course of Robert Downey Jr. So I was a bit disappointed when I missed it in the theaters and had to wait for the DVD/Blu Ray release and all that. So as I waited some things went down but eventually it was released. So naturally I went out and had to own this even without seeing it. Still that didn't matter we all wanted to see it so off we went to view the new Holmes movie. …
review by . March 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
  Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his assistant Dr. John Watson (Jude Law) have just closed another case by capturing Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) who has dealt with murder, and been very involved with black magic. Lord Blackwood is hanged for his crimes; however, after several months rumors begin to spread that he is in fact still alive, by apparently using more magic to keep himself from dying. When Blackwood's coffin is opened, it is found that another man is there, and Blackwood's …
review by . March 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Several years ago my brother introduced me to the films of Guy Ritchie. Fun stories, insane amounts of gun fire and some serious profanity. I remember getting my first taste of Jason Statham and not being able to contain my excitement when a fight was about to break out on screen and he was in the scene. Sherlock Holmes brings elements of past Ritchie films and incorporates the style with a classic Holmes story. And just as I yelled for blood during his previous movies, I did the same watching Holmes …
review by . January 02, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
As 2009 came to a close there were two movies in particular that were released that people had their eye on.  The first was Avatar, James Cameron's amazing visual spectacle.  The other was Sherlock Holmes, which dropped just after Christmas.  When it came to Sherlock Holmes it was hard to say what to think of it.            I rarely delight in movie previews and it's even rarer that I look at a preview and think to myself, "There's …
review by . January 05, 2010
A thoroughly entertaining take on Sherlock Holmes. A lot of UK critics seemed to have a downer on it, saying it runs out of steam, or the bromance elements of the Holmes/Watson relationship got tired, but I don't agree. The story for the most part cracks along, and Downey Jr and Law maintain the odd couple thing ably.       Plus, some fans may be miffed at how the Holmes character is portrayed as a brawling, dirty scruffbag. As I understand it though, …
Quick Tip by . December 29, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A little slow and boring to start but it gets better and has a very good and unexpected ending. Worth the watch for sure.
About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #5
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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Sherlock Holmes
is a film starring Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law and Rachel McAdams.  The film will be released on Christmas Day 2009.

Sherlock Holmes is a 2009 film adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional character of the same name. The film was directed by Guy Ritchie and produced by Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram, Susan Downey and Dan Lin. The screenplay by Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham and Simon Kinberg is based on Lionel Wigram's story and Doyle's characters. Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law respectively portray Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. The film was released in the United States on December 25, 2009 and on December 26, 2009 in the UK and the Pacific.


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Details

Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: December 25, 2009
Studio: Warner Bros Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures
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