A star rating of 3 out of 5.

In 2020, Netflix released the first Enola Holmes film into a world bouncing between lockdowns. It was a fun introduction to Sherlock’s teenage sister, adapted from the books by Nancy Springer, and we were all in dire need of its charming, fourth-wall-breaking wonderment.


This surely accounts for its huge success on the streaming service, with around 76 million households watching the film in its first four weeks alone. The sequel, happily, at least gets the honour of a cinema run before hitting streaming; and none of that charm or wonder has been misplaced over the past two years. Indeed, with Enola Holmes 2, returning screenwriter Jack Thorne and director Harry Bradbeer have improved upon their original with a sharper, more cohesive film.

We rejoin Millie Bobby Brown’s determined Enola as she sets up her own detective agency in 1880s London. Unfortunately most potential clients are put off by both her young age and her gender, let alone the fact they’d rather be talking to her more famous brother. It seems that Enola’s career might be over before it begins... until she receives a visit from a child named Bess (an endearing Serrana Su-Ling Bliss). Her older sister Sarah (Hannah Dodd) has gone missing after being accused of thievery at her workplace, a local match factory.

Taking the case, Enola infiltrates the factory and discovers pages have been mysteriously torn from the company’s logs – presumably by Sarah. It’s not long before her suspicious Holmesian nose has sniffed out a huge conspiracy. However, once the local police become involved – led by David Thewlis’s extraordinarily threatening Inspector Grail – even our capable heroine finds she needs a little help from Sherlock (Henry Cavill, on superb, floppy-haired form) and her elusive Suffragette mother Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter).

Less successful are scenes with Enola’s potential love interest from her first adventure, Lord Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge), which repeatedly screech the film to a halt. He’s such wet blanket it’s hard to imagine anyone as sparky and filled with life as Enola giving him a second glance.

More like this

What’s heartwarming about this sequel is that the filmmakers have responded to audiences’ love of Cavill and, of course, Sherlock himself by giving the character more screen time, but not at the expense of Brown’s infinitely watchable Enola. The script beautifully juggles both Holmes siblings to ensure we get our fill of both, with Sherlock often baffled by the skills of his little sister and Enola giving good eye-roll as she realises Sherlock is a bit of a mess.

“Don’t turn into me,” he tells Enola at one point, and thankfully she doesn’t, remaining her own singular force of nature. The increase in Sherlock’s presence does suggest that perhaps one day he’ll receive a solo outing of his own, although Cavill’s recent announcement that he’s returning to make Superman films may slow this down.

A portion of the film’s plot, concerning an outbreak of typhus, is based on a true story that some viewers may recognise. Others may wonder why related twists are signposted so awkwardly early. There’s also the unavoidable fact that anyone familiar with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s canon and its many adaptations – most recognisably the BBC’s Sherlock – might guess at a few more plot twists long before they rear their heads.

Whether you figure out the finale or not, there are still enough well-directed carriage chases, stirring fight scenes and dynamic sleuthing to keep the blood pumping. And Millie Bobby Brown is, as always, an absolute pleasure to watch.

Enola Holmes will be available to stream on Netflix from 4th November 2022. Sign up for Netflix from £6.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide or visit our Film hub for all the latest news.


The latest issue of Radio Times is on sale now – subscribe now to get each issue delivered to your door. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times View From My Sofa podcast.