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

60%

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

94%

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

80%

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

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