Mr. Holmes Review (Spoilers)

This review is going to be filled with SPOILERS! If you want to see my rating on the film, go straight to the bottom. Consider yourself warned.


Director: Bill Condon
Writer: Mitch Cullin (based on the novel by), Arthur Conan Doyle
Starring: Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Hiroyuki Sanada Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery

Synopsis: An aged, retired Sherlock Holmes looks back on his life, and grapples with an unsolved case involving a beautiful woman.


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Once again, this is going to be a spoiler review. AHHH, one warning is good is enough for me. Sherlock Holmes is a cinema and literature classic. I pretended to read it while in high school, but as I became older I gave it a shot. Just like everyone else, I fell in love with the material. The crimes and mysteries were intoxicating. How could you not like Sherlock Holmes? When I heard there was going to be another rendition, I was all in! However, when the trailer dropped I was completely out. The trailer did not captivate me because it did not feel as a movie. But, I still went to the screening and left my doubts on the curb. I came out of the screening and picked my doubts right back up. My biggest fear was that it was going to feel like a television special and it did! I like the movie, but it was lacking a genuine cinema experience.


I do not want to confuse anyone and give the conceived notion that Holmes was not a good movie. There were many good qualities.  Firstly was the running gag of Sherlock doing his “thing”, and everybody knows what his “thing” was. His “thing” gave him the ability to look at you and tell you what you ate, where you have been, and maybe, how you feeling at the time. I love that they kept that aspect and even made fun of it. Ian McKellen is f%#king amazing as always. I have not seen him in a bad flick yet, and I do not think I ever will. He plays two different types of Sherlock. He plays an older version of Holmes who we know and love, and an Alzheimer’s version of him. Yes, he has the Alzheimer’s disease (senile dementia) which is irony at its finest. McKellen plays both roles so well that I honestly could not see anyone else being the legendary Sherlock Holmes. Secondly, the movie’s little boy was not too shabby. I never saw him in anything, but he held down his own while performing alongside one of the best. He receives credit for that. He does well, especially during the scene where he gets disrespectful with his mother, the housekeeper of Holmes. The scene was full of raw emotion, that I even felt bad for her. Hell, even Holmes felt bad for her. Thirdly, I give kudos for them showing me a new instrument being a glass harmonica. If you have not seen it, google it right now. I will wait. It is okay to take your time. Okay, it is beautiful right?!


With every good comes the bad. The main thing wrong with this film was its weak storyline. YES! I could not believe a weak storyline passed as acceptable. What made it worst was the misleading trailer. The studio led you to believe that Holmes had one last unsolved case. But, guess what? He did solve it. Mind blown, is it not?


Audience: But, why would they the falsely advertise there being one mystery unsolved by the legendary Mr. Sherlock Homes?


Me: Why trick the audience? To get us into the got damn seats. Showing a forgetful Sherlock Holmes, who  take care of got damn bees as a pastime, does not really say a hundred million dollar film. To add further injury, let’s add the fact that there is no mystery to actually solve. So what do you do? Option A: the studio can put it on television (like it should have been) and make a few bucks; Or, follow Option B: do some fine tune editing and make a few million bucks. Hmm, which one do you think the studio opted for??? They did what absolutely grinds my gears. And, do you know what grinds my gears? What puts me over the edge, is sitting down, and watching a movie for an hour and a half and not getting what I came for. This was a BBC television film, and it upsets me to see them pass it off as something top notch.  Once again, do not get me wrong. I do not want to give the impression that there was not something solved. They solved the mystery of who stung the kid … Newsflash: the culprit was the wasp, and they tell you this within the first thirty seconds of the movie. The only thing worst than being tricked is realizing you been tricked halfway through a film.




If someone was to put a gun to your head and told you to guess what movie this was or at the very least try to guess the genre. You know what? You just got shot.


In a nutshell, this movie could have been improved significantly and just by changing a few things. Some minor things that could have made the movie better. Number one would have been finding a better screen writer. I know the writing was based on a book, but that never stopped writers before from being authentic and thinking outside of the book, while still being true to the material’s origin. Even, if this was the best they could do as the storyline stands currently, when you are watching the “mystery” unraveled, it is really short lived. I do wish that they could have stretched it out a lot more so I wouldn’t feel as cheated.

Overall, this film was not awful. It just should have never been promoted as a movie knowing god damn well, it was meant to be a television special. What you do get are great music that sets the tone really well and some beautiful shots. What hurt Mr. Holmes in the end from being a great film was a befitting storyline for the legendary crime and mystery solver as many have come to know and love through cinema and literary tales.  I do, however, highly recommend waiting until it comes out on BBC or renting the DVD, if that is still a thing. WARNING: do not be fooled like me.

T.V Score 8 out of 10

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  • 6.5/10
    I rate "Holmes" - 6.5/10

About Mo Baptiste

Mo Baptiste strives to change the way movie reviews are written. His goal is to become a staple in the film industry. Since Feb 2015 he's been knocking out movie reviews for The Movie Blog. In his own candor and somewhat unbiased ways he can get you to love and anticipate, or hate and avoid a movie in a few short paragraphs. Born and raised in New York City, his favorite pastime besides screening movies and writing, is reading science and comic books. In his free time he kills monsters and rides dragons with his son. Follow me on twitter @mbcinematics

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