Mr. Holmes




Director: Bill Condon
Writers:  Mitch Cullin (novel "A Slight Trick of the Mind"), Jeffrey Hatcher (screenplay), Arthur Conan Doyle (created by)

Cast: Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Milo Parker, David Foxxe, Nicholas Rowe, Hattie Morahan, Roger Allam, Frances Barber, Frances de la Tour, Eileen Davies, Patrick Kennedy, Hiroyuki Sanada, Kit Connor, Sarah Crowden, Michael Culkin, John Sessions, Phil Davis...

Formats:  DVD, Blu-ray
Running time: 1h 43m
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA): PG 

Genre(s): Mystery, Suspense, Drama



Reviewed by Cherie Jung
(November, 2020)


An aged Sherlock Holmes is living in self-imposed isolation in the countryside, away from London, with only his housekeeper and her young son. His only joy seems to be his tending his apiary. His dear friend and biographer, Dr. John Watson, is dead.

At 93 years of age, Holmes’ mental faculties are waning. He is haunted by his final case, the results of which elude him in detail, but he is certain that he failed to properly solve the case.

He knows that Watson’s written description of that final case is inaccurate because Watson always tended to romanticize and embellish each story as he wrote it for publication.

Holmes is frustrated by his frailty yet determined to try to recall and write down the true and unvarnished events that occurred in his final case – the one that caused him to retire from his sleuthing profession.


I was wary of another Sherlock Holmes movie, partly because the British Sherlock Holmes TV series featuring Jeremy Brett seemed to me, to have captured the essence of Holmes. Not to say that I haven’t enjoyed other Sherlock Holmes portrayals by other actors in other movies but I couldn’t imagine anyone out Holmes-ing Jeremy Brett. I was wrong. Ian McKellen’s portrayal of a frail, senile Sherlock Holmes immediately captured my imagination and my empathy.

The story unfolds slowly. There is no rush to solve a murder. There is Sherlock Holmes battling with his own recollections, trying to unravel a mystery from the past that seems frustratingly just out of reach from his muddled mind.

It is an endearing story that will enchant Sherlock Holmes fans.

It is such an enjoyable film that when the final credits rolled, I wanted to start over and watch it again.

Copyright 2020 Cherie Jung. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of the author is prohibited. OMDB! and OMDB! logos are trademarks of Over My Dead Body!

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