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Mr. Holmes

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

After a pair of Twilight movies, director Bill Condon returns to the territory of his best movie Gods and Monsters with this thoughtful, low-key movie about the mysteries of memory and storytelling. Mr. Holmes may disappoint viewers by not actually being a Sherlock Holmes mystery (nor is it an explosion movie like Guy Ritche's Sherlock Holmes), but it's a great movie, an absolutely brilliant rumination on the delicate nature of human memory and the way we need to tell stories, not just for entertainment, but to live. At age 93, the real-life Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen, aided by an extraordinary makeup job) is retired, living by the seaside and tending bees. A grumpy housekeeper, Mrs. Munro (Laura Linney), helps to take care of him. He travels to Japan to obtain a medicine called "prickly ash" to jog his memory. More...

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