Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Sherlock Holmes Plays a Good Game

Plus, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol and Young Adult are Certified Fresh, while Chipwrecked is all wet.

by | December 15, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a brilliant detective (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law), secret agents (Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, starring Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg), singing rodents (Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, starring Jason Lee and David Cross), and a prodigal daughter (Young Adult, starring Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt). What do the critics have to say?



Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

59%

Purists griped about the first Sherlock Holmes, but audiences didn’t seem to mind the famously logical detective in full on action mode. Critics say you’ll get more of the same with A Game of Shadows, a muscular, bombastic adventure that benefits greatly from a strong cast. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are back as Holmes and Watson, and this time they face their most formidable opponent: the nefarious Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), who spins a conspiracy to profit from political chaos. The pundits say A Game of Shadows is bigger but not necessarily better than the first movie, but it looks terrific, and Downey and Law make for a splendid odd couple at the center. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down producer Joel Silver’s best-reviewed films, as well as our gallery of Sherlock Holmes movies through the years.)



Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

93%

It appears that Pixar wizard Brad Bird has done the impossible, or at least the unlikely: critics say Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol is not only the best entry in the franchise, it’s one of the finest blockbusters of the year, filled with exhilarating action sequences and memorable characters. The Impossible Missions Force has been falsely accused of bombing the Kremlin, so it’s up to Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his crew to go rogue and clear the organization of any wrongdoing — preferably while scaling skyscrapers in Dubai. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol is light on plot, but the stunning set pieces and brisk pacing more than compensate.



Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

12%

Another year, another Alvin and the Chipmunks movie — and critics say Chipwrecked is as middling as its two predecessors, though the wee ones probably won’t mind. This time out, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore join David Seville (Jason Lee) and the Chipettes on a luxury cruise, where they make enough mischief to get themselves shipwrecked on a desert island that’s not as empty as it first appears. The pundits say Chipwrecked is a reasonably safe bet for undiscriminating children, but parents are unlikely to find much amusement in this juvenilia.



Young Adult

81%

Four years after the whip-smart, quirky Juno, director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody are back with the pitch-black Young Adult, and critics say it’s a sharp and occasionally painfully astute comedy. Charlize Theron stars as a former high school queen bee who, now pushing 40, returns to her hometown to get back together with an old flame (Patrick Wilson). Unfortunately for her, he’s happily married, though our heroine does end up bonding with another former classmate (Patton Oswalt) — one she treated badly despite his massive crush on her. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Young Adult is an intelligent and often very funny character study, one that’s so honest that it may make you cringe from time to time.

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

Mystery Tumblr Calendar Oscars A&E ESPN Schedule Superheroes 2016 The Arrangement ABC TV Land Warner Bros. Cosplay WGN Opinion Grammys GLAAD Fantasy crime drama Mindy Kaling E3 Syfy biography Reality Competition Musicals Star Trek Red Carpet 45 Extras Hulu based on movie Amazon Summer DC Universe GIFs psycho HBO cats Watching Series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt President Emmys ABC Family Trailer X-Men harry potter adventure Rocky Podcast diversity Cartoon Network Marathons Horror Freeform sitcom serial killer TBS IFC Disney Thanksgiving Premiere Dates dramedy Kids & Family Nat Geo Adult Swim singing competition RT History CBS All Access Crackle period drama ITV Rock docudrama crime Paramount what to watch Polls and Games First Look History cinemax political drama supernatural MTV Comic Book Musical Music Tomatazos Biopics BBC America Martial Arts 24 frames FX 2017 PaleyFest Box Office talk show Sundance cops comiccon Logo BBC war Universal Ellie Kemper Comedy Central GoT Lionsgate Rom-Com Holidays Photos TruTV Sneak Peek American Society of Cinematographers romance Drama VICE Star Wars science fiction Election Animation thriller zombie Valentine's Day MSNBC Mary Tyler Moore FXX Best and Worst Lifetime TIFF Reality TV Certified Fresh Character Guide Fox News technology 2015 Comedy TCA 2017 CBS Pirates TCA Writers Guild of America El Rey OWN composers cooking Countdown CNN TLC police drama APB NYCC Showtime TCM Bravo 007 SDCC TNT BET social media DirecTV crime thriller boxoffice Winter TV YA Spring TV Country transformers SundanceTV E! DC Comics Interview Disney Channel NBC Infographic Winners Nickelodeon The CW AMC Netflix Fall TV politics PBS Dark Horse Comics Pop USA discovery LGBTQ travel Food Network Starz VH1 Marvel Video Games Ghostbusters Set visit Teen FOX CMT sports aliens Awards Toys Trivia Masterpiece historical drama Super Bowl vampires Year in Review Action Esquire Sci-Fi Nominations