Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Out Now On-Demand

Guy Ritchie's much anticipated sequel to Sherlock Holmes (2009), with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law reprising their roles.

The smartest man in the room, Sherlock (Downey Jnr.), meets his match with criminal mastermind - the evil, depraved Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris, Mad Men). When Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsan) construes the death of the Crown Prince of Austria as suicide, Sherlock points to murder and a piece of a larger and much more portentous puzzle, designed by Moriarty. Holmes and Watson (Law) are on the case, tracking the Professor's web of death and destruction which involves bombings in Strasbourg and Vienna.

The film also brings in Noomi Rapace (from the excellent Millennium trilogy) in her first English-speaking role, and Stephen Fry, playing Sherlock's older, peculiar brother, Mycroft.


Directed by

Written by

Action, Adaptation, Mystery


Rating: M contains violence


Official Site

The shadow cast over Guy Ritchie's Sherlock sequel isn't Harris's malevolent Moriarty, but rather the BBC's recent excellent contemporary take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional detective. Whilst notionally set in 1891, this frenetic, kinetic action-flick doesn't really believe in historic authenticity as a selling point, despite its wardrobe commitments.

Starting with a bang and ending with the Napoleon of Crime potentially meeting his Waterloo at some familiar Swiss falls, Ritchie's tale fair whips along and allows him to deliver trademark visual flair with both barrels this time (a train-set set-piece is a highlight).

Whilst the film delivers action, however, those expecting something more cerebral will be deeply disappointed. Instead of Cumberbatch's slightly aspergic and acerbic genius, Downey Jnr plays Holmes as a substance-enhanced martial artist; a cross between Pirates' Jack Sparrow and Mission: Impossible’s Ethan Hunt. And whilst Harris strikes an imposing figure, he's revealed too early and portrayed like a Bond villain meets the mad Irish bombers of 1990s Hollywood (think Blown Away or The Devil's Own). Female characters are either thrown off trains, cast aside or left floundering, while an underused Stephen Fry offers the most disturbing nude scene since Kathy Bates headed for the hot tub in About Schmidt.

A.V. Club (USA)


Ritchie has made a film that's so busy, it starts to become boring.

Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)


Set aside your memories of the Conan Doyle stories, save them to savor on a night this winter and enjoy this movie as a high-caliber entertainment.

Empire (UK)


A sequel confident in what it's about - bigger, better, funnier, without stretching the joke.

Guardian (UK)


A Game of Shadows assures us that escapism is good, that mischief must be celebrated. Holmes and Watson are happy and their escapades play out with such grace and brio that the fun is infectious.

Hollywood Reporter


After quite a few tedious detours and distractions, when the film finally gets down to the business of a climax at a gathering of elite European diplomats in a precariously perched Swiss mountain castle, it becomes not half-bad.

Los Angeles Times


A few shades brighter than its predecessor, and the action bits certainly closer to the full-throttle "Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels" mode director Guy Ritchie didn't quite capture the first time.

New York Times


There is a plot, but no real intrigue, mystery or suspense, and no inkling of anything at stake beyond a childish and belligerent idea of fun.

Total Film (UK)


Faster, funnier and even more bromantic than the original, this far from stately Holmes delivers piping hot entertainment at a furious lick.

Variety (USA)


While director Guy Ritchie's excesses and modern concessions -- among them a lot of explosions -- remain intact, the parts of this second "Sherlock Holmes" are considerably more rewarding.

Clearly just a money-spinner

In short, it's (of course) not as good as the BBC series, and not even as good as the first one in this franchise - the style seems a bit stale, the jokes lacked punch, Noomi Rapace was totally wasted with minimal lines or screentime, and the plot meandered a bit too much. While I can totally understand how this could be great entertainment for the masses, even for light entertainment this seemed to be lacking. If they're thinking of making a third, let's hope they bring back some of the magic of the first one or leave it altogether!

This Second Holmes Comes In 2nd

This movie is just one crisis after crisis after crisis.There was a story in there somewhere,but not much.It is mainly made up of fluff and nonsense.The script was written and delivered with rapid fire effect.The special effects were good but of no real importance.After seeing the first Holmes this one let me down a lot.

It is well made with good acting by all.

"Well done, Holmes! Bloody well done!"

The quote is not from the current film but from "The 7 Percent Solution" way back around 1974/5. Watson cheering Holmes on whilst swordfighting atop a fast moving train. It came to me while watching the train sequence in "Game of Shadows" and prompted me to wonder; which of the two films was the better? I have to say, the earlier was superior on a number of levels but this latest outing is a great romp. Funny, fast and tense where it needed to be. Casting was excellent - hilarious cameo from Stephen Fry. And while Downey's Holmes may not be to everyone's liking, he doesn't in fact, stray too far from the original character. Doyle didn't dwell on the mania that must have accompanied Sherlock's substance and cocaine abuse, but the hints were there. Updated, we have what could be a fair interpretation. Love the nod to the Joker! Anyone else notice? Action was well done throughout and the music hall sequence was a minor joy. It would have benefited from a bit more depth, it's true. That would have made it a better film and maybe ten minutes longer. But as a fun night out? Top marks to all involved!

Different from first one but better

This is more about Holmes and Watson than anything else. London is dirty and old. The chase scene in the forest is amazing. Holmes is genius in disguise and taking drugs. It's a real laugh. I give it 4 beers out of 3

Another Stunning Holmes Adventure!

I have no idea how this film could have possibly received a single bad review, because honestly? This was a brilliant film to the very last second. Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law kept a tight hold of their magic chemistry from the 2009 film, and the cinematography was just SUPERB. The woods scene... perfection. The plotline was, in truth, less complicated than the 2009 film story, but it was no less marvellous. Stephen Fry was an epic cameo - I'm sure no one will forget it! And I reckon that could be said for the entire film. I'm a massive fan of BBC's Sherlock as well, but you can't compare the two, as they truly are completely different entities - and both honourable tributes to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary creation.


Went and saw this movie yesterday. Had hopes of a great movie and I would have to say they were well meet. This is definitely one of the best sequels of the year.If you are after a movie with a lot of action but funny at the same time then this is a must for you.

Again again!

I'm a HUGE Robert Downey Jr fan so have been waiting for the sequel to SH for a long time. I loved it right from the start. RDJ and Jude Law are as fabulous in their roles as ever and the film is action packed and exciting. Go see it!

Downey Junior & Law rocked!

The second Sherlock Holmes was a very enjoyable adventure ride with lots of suspense and unexpected twists and turns. I thought that Robert Downey Junior & Jude Law were awesome in their roles as was the actor playing the evil Moriarty. I haven't read the Sherlock Holmes books, and I understand that the films are a long way from the book. However, if you can ignore that and just enjoy the film as it is, it's a great couple of hours of entertainment.

A Really Good Sequel

This was a enjoyable Sequel it was such fun and a fantastic cast like the first movie Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law have such good chemistry you can see it on screen and they are so funny. Their was also Stephen Fry playing Holmes Brother which was really good to see because i haven't seen him in the past years in anything. Just so much fun cant wait to see the next movie.

Sherlock Holmes... again

Okay - the first film was fun in a Lock Stock and Two Camp Charaters kinda way. I love Downey Jnr in anything because... well, he's Robert f@#$&* Downey Jnr dude! But let's face it, like IRON MAN 2, this Sherlock sequel was just a tired re-tread of the first. So, if you enjoyed the first, you'll love this. A fast, fun and frantic revisioning of Holmes as action hero rather than cerebal detective... Pretty much what happened to Batman - who went from Detective Comic hero to all-out action hero. Ritchie ups the ante of the slow-mo explosion scene from the first movie - this time amidst some trees - and amps up the homo-erotic Brokeback Detectives banter of the first installment. All-in-all fun - but a shame the villain wasn't more villanous and that sexism excludes women in all but the most James Bondian way... All the same, a fun popcorn movie that delivers exactly what it says on the tin: Sherlock Holmes... again. Big up Gladstone the dog!