Director Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters and Kinsey) gives us a riveting character study of the man behind the mysteries.
Did the world need another version of Sherlock Holmes? Maybe or maybe not, but Hollywood gave it to us anyway. Apologies to Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch, but Mr. McKellen swooped in and gave us one of the best performances of the man who lives on Baker Street to this date. McKellen does Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional detective proud, by tenderly transforming into the private eye at age 76.
Mr. Holmes focuses on the oldest version the world has ever seen of the detective, now 93, retired Sherlock Holmes looks back on his life and struggles with an unsolved case involving a beautiful woman from his past. While also being handicapped by Alzheimer's disease, Holmes will use every fiber in his being to remember where the case went wrong so many years ago. Holmes now lives on Sussex farm; where he tends his bees, relies on a widowed cook (Laura Linney) and her 14-year-old son, Roger (Milo Parker). Roger is fascinated by Mr. Holmes’ stories from the past and wants help him crack the case.
This slow burning film superbly shows a more unique version of our beloved detective and is backed by an outstanding performance by the man himself, Mr. McKellen. Not only does Mr. Holmes prove to be a grand summer treat, it also proves to be one of the best pictures of the year. Condon beautifully crafts the film to lead the audience down a delightful and heartfelt treat. Yes, the world may not of needed another on screen version of Sherlock Holmes, but this one is a defiant keeper and a must see!
Mr. Holmes is rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned). For thematic elements, some disturbing images and incidental smoking.