Yesterday, we braved long lines at our local multiplex to take in the new Sherlock Holmes film starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. Let me say up front that the film is rated PG-13 and classified as A-III – adults by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, making this film completely inappropriate for kids and young teens — I wish the woman in line in front of me had heeded that review prior to dragging her two year old into the film!
Realizing then that this film is for mature viewing audiences only, I have to say I completely loved it. The chemistry between Downey Jr.’s Holmes and Jude Law’s Dr. Watson was palpable. Their friendship and partnership was a central component of the film’s plot and truly worked for me. Being a lover of London, I found the movie to be lavishly filmed and beautiful to watch. Most incredible for me was the intelligent way in which the story played out, with Holmes’ incredible attention to even the most minute of details as a key to his success in unlocking the mystery at hand.
Satanic activity and the occult are a key part of the mystery here, and I don’t want to spoil the ending for you. But I will say that the film in no way glorifies the occult, and that the movie’s conclusion removes any doubt that the dark arts hold absolutely no real power. But there’s a lot of sleuthing work that leads to this conclusion, and keeping up with Holmes’ intuitive skills can be mentally challenging. This is not an easy film — expect to put a little brain power into figuring out the twists and turns along the way. I could easily watch the film again, since I’m sure I missed some key pieces of evidence that didn’t get past Sherlock.
The film earns its ratings for some intense action scenes that had me squirming and covering my eyes, but the violence never seemed overly gratuitous and in fact could likely have gone farther. There is one scene in the film which is sexually suggestive, but as a whole adult themes are relatively minor. It’s likely that this film could have taken a few more liberties and easily earned an R rating, so I was pleased that it was a film I could share with my older teens.
If you would like to read a complete, professional review by written from a Catholic perspective, I recommend this one by John Mulderig of the USCCB. As for this mom, I enjoyed the movie immensely and would definitely recommend it to adults who love a good mystery and don’t mind a fight scene or two thrown in. I’ll share the film’s trailer below and would love to hear from you about your take on what you thought if you’ve seen the movie for yourself. No spoilers please!