Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Reason for the Rating: For intense sequences of violence and action, and some drug material
Plot Summary: The intelligent and crafty Sherlock Holmes must figure out how to subvert the plans of the evil Dr. Moriarty
PopFam Recommends: Put on your overcoat and see who can figure out the clues
Guy Ritchie has done it again, bringing to life Sherlock Holmes, the idiosyncratic and brilliant detective who solves mysteries in the most outlandish fashion. As he did in the 2009 movie Sherlock Holmes, Ritchie beautifully marries action, wit, and plot to create a moviefeast for the eyes and entertainment for the mind.
A Game of Shadows begins at some point after the first movie, with Sherlock (Robert Downey, Jr.) following Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams), who is up to her old tricks. While trailing Irene, Sherlock stumbles across some clues and information that cause him to become embroiled in another grand mystery. This time, he crosses wits with Dr. Moriarty (Jared Harris), a great mathematician whose intellectual skill and foresight equal that of Sherlock. When the Dr. threatens the life of the recently married Dr. Watson (Jude Law), Sherlock inserts himself into Watson's honeymoon to save Watson and his wife from death.
Reluctantly, Watson joins Holmes on an adventure that takes them from England to Germany and back, dressed as women, gypsies, telegraph officers, and even furniture in an effort to gain information and subvert the enemy. Along the way they team up with Simza (Naomi Rapace), a gypsy whose brother has disappeared after spending time with a group of Anarchists tied to Dr. Moriarty. With her help they are able to follow the clues and discover what Dr. Moriarty has planned for the world.
Interestingly, of all the characters and relationships in the movie, the one I found the most interesting was that between Sherlock and Dr. Moriarty. They are of equal intelligence and foresight, so it's as if they are playing a big game of chess, with each trying to figure out what the other's next move might be and how to counter-act it. Just when you think one has the upper hand, you find yourself wrong. Which made the movie less predictable and more fun to watch.
There are few movies made like Sherlock Holmes. Although there are a lot of characters and names to remember (one difficult aspect of the movie), A Game of Shadows draws you in via action (which there is a lot of), wit, and suspense. The cinematography is unusual at times (similar to the 2009 release), but fits with the feel of the movie. Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law have perfect chemistry as Sherlock and Watson, and Jared Harris is the ideal evil villain. What more could you ask for...great writing and plot, actors that fit the part, and comedic relief.
As this is a PG-13 movie, I would not recommend taking younger children to watch A Game of Shadows. While there isn't any sex or profanity, there is a suicide and another scene that includes torture. Be aware that these could be shocking for young viewers.
Overall, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is just a fun movie that shouldn't be missed.
Let’s Talk About It
Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:
• Sherlock is good at chess, but bad at being social. Name something you are good. At what could you improve?
• If you could re-name this movie, what would you call it?
• Sherlock sees the details and is very intentional about every little thing. How could being intentional about your relationships with your family or God change you? How might it change your relationships?
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