Sherlock Holmes - Catholic Mom Movie Review


lh_holmes_reviewYesterday, 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!


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Lisa M. Hendey is the founder of, a bestselling author and an international speaker. A frequent radio and television guest, Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and communications. Visit Lisa at or on social media @LisaHendey for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish, school or organization. Find Lisa’s books on her Amazon author page.


  1. My biggest fear of this movie is the fact that I am a big Holmes fan (read all the original works in 5th grade some 2 decades ago and have watched many of the earlier television incarnations and I have a particular image of Holmes and his personality. I will just say that it doesn’t scream Robert Downey Jr but I am wanting to see this rendition.

  2. Matthew, you may be on to something, as I’ll admit to never having read the books – I will say though that seeing the film has made me interested in doing so. My teen, who is a fan of the books, liked the film but said it had nothing to do with the original work.

  3. I’m with Matthew having read all the books when i was young and then again later the trailer did not give me much hope in it being authentic in any way.

    I will wait for it to come out on Blu-Ray and try to crush my inner Holmes from critiquing it and enjoying it at another level

    Glad to hear though that it did not go overboard sex-wise.

  4. Nancy and I saw the movie tonight. While the screenplay was clearly not written in the spirit of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, we thoroughly enjoyed the movie and would like to see subsequent sequels.

  5. My opinion differs …while the action sequences, etc. were great, here we go again, … secret Mason like society … occult practices …. satanic symbols …. sacrificial “virgin” …. Sherlock trying out a spell – was that meant to imply this logical, pragmatic detective was a believer? … was all that really necessary? it’s either pandering to perceived enjoyment, or simply a way to deaden our senses against real threats??? … who knows? … but after sitting through the previews, it looks like Hollywood & the movie industry is intent upon assaulting us with similar themes for a while!!! It’s trite and rather depressing’m sorry I went!

  6. Larry, so glad you shared your review here. I felt as though the movie ultimately showed that the whole satanic thing was a hoax, smoke and mirrors and nothing to believe in. My teenage son and I had a long talk after the movie about this topic too. Thanks for expressing your concerns!

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