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With: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong, Eddie Marsan, Robert Maillet, Geraldine James, Kelly Reilly, William Houston, Hans Matheson, James Fox, William Hope, Clive Russell, Oran Gurel, David Garrick
Written by: Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham, Simon Kinberg, based on a story by Lionel Wigram, Michael Robert Johnson
Directed by: Guy Ritchie
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some startling images and a scene of suggestive material
Running Time: 128
Date: 12/24/2009

Sherlock Holmes (2009)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Elementary Cool

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Robert Downey Jr. makes a perfect Sherlock Holmes. Not only can he do a flawless British accent, but he also understands Holmes from the inside; they're both exceedingly clever, and both so insatiably hungry for creative and intellectual input that they can behave in self-destructive ways. Likewise, Jude Law makes a great Watson; he's better as a second banana than as a leading man, and he and Downey have great chemistry.

This excellent heart and soul of Guy Ritche's Sherlock Holmes makes up for all the things it does badly. Firstly, it has one of the dullest Holmes villains of all time, Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), who sneers a lot and wishes to take over the world (yawn). It also goes on far too long (128 minutes), doesn't have much to do with Arthur Conan Doyle, and too much of old London is either demolished or blown to bits.

Rachel McAdams plays a modern-style badass Irene Adler, who is so awesome she scares even Holmes. It's all fairly ridiculous, but Ritchie knows how to play ridiculous, and the overall movie is a lot of fun.

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