Sherlock Holmes: a Game of Shadows

  • 12
  • Guy Ritchie (2011)
  • US
  • 123 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Robert Downey Jr adopts the mantle of Britain's most famous fictional detective once again, although, as in his previous outing, it is more comic book than Conan Doyle. His Holmes is as physical as he is cerebral and the film relies heavily on Downey Jr's natural charm and comic timing. It's 1891 and Holmes and Dr Watson (Jude Law) are required to travel across western Europe to stop evil genius Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris) from starting the First World War early. The plot affords the opportunity for Downey to take his top off again and to dress up as a woman and wrestle on a couch with Watson. It also provides Stephen Fry, as Holmes's smarter brother Mycroft, with his own nude scene, played for comic effect rather than as competition to Downey Jr's Iron Man torso. The sets are spectacular and many of the characterisations highly entertaining, though the actual detective work is visualised in fast-forward as if it were an MTV video. The comedy also dilutes any sense of jeopardy but the sheer gusto of the cast at least means this romp is a watchable one.

Plot Summary

The detective investigates a series of seemingly unconnected crimes all around the world, and becomes convinced one man is behind them all - the elusive Professor Moriarty. He sets forth on an international journey to bring the evil mastermind to justice, but finds he is dealing with a foe who is his intellectual equal. Detective thriller sequel, starring Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Noomi Rapace and Jared Harris.

Cast and crew


Sherlock Holmes
Robert Downey Jr
Dr John Watson
Jude Law
Madam Simza Heron
Noomi Rapace
Professor James Moriarty
Jared Harris
Irene Adler
Rachel McAdams
Mycroft Holmes
Stephen Fry
Colonel Sebastian Moran
Paul Anderson (2)
Inspector Lestrade
Eddie Marsan
Mary Watson
Kelly Reilly
Mrs Hudson
Geraldine James
Doctor Hoffmanstahl
Wolf Kahler
Captain Tanner
Clive Russell


Guy Ritchie

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Warner Bros
Violence and brief nudity.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 16 Dec 2011
Certificate 12