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

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

pirates of the caribbean Amazon sports Spike Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Alien The CW cancelled PaleyFest blaxploitation worst comedies Hallmark Binge Guide Valentine's Day rotten movies we love facebook Set visit justice league elevated horror doctor who Musical Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt MTV TV Land docudrama Bravo TCA Toys die hard boxoffice Disney Plus cars Character Guide TV renewals streaming rom-coms FOX Lifetime PlayStation war New York Comic Con boxing Christmas adventure Creative Arts Emmys halloween politics Rocketman versus 2019 2016 WarnerMedia Biopics Best and Worst scary movies Chernobyl RT History LGBT werewolf AMC Apple TV Plus renewed TV shows Oscars The Walt Disney Company Dark Horse Comics Hallmark Christmas movies crime drama BBC America discovery Ghostbusters child's play First Look TBS television casting children's TV zombies Syfy Cosplay movie Turner psychological thriller movies robots Certified Fresh Sneak Peek Infographic anthology obituary Avengers animated Paramount Plus Heroines comics 007 Nat Geo GLAAD zero dark thirty Warner Bros. football Winners Endgame Lifetime Christmas movies spain Box Office President stoner Superheroes Star Trek ABC Family mission: impossible Acorn TV indiana jones Countdown james bond Horror cinemax anime 45 rt archives Drama CBS All Access Cartoon Network Sundance TV green book Trivia 2017 remakes sequels Pixar criterion Watching Series Quiz NYCC romance science fiction CW Seed Walt Disney Pictures Thanksgiving Trophy Talk fresh based on movie ABC Signature game show thriller Rocky italian dragons Super Bowl composers NBC Schedule cops parents sitcom game of thrones Animation joker Nickelodeon IFC tv talk Paramount A24 TNT Ovation TV One indie finale name the review Music nbcuniversal harry potter FX spy thriller CBS toy story Disney Channel Writers Guild of America independent 4/20 VOD El Rey all-time richard e. Grant Tubi travel sag awards romantic comedy Opinion stand-up comedy Reality Competition Elton John canceled TV shows Summer Superheroe japanese dramedy Mudbound Mindy Kaling foreign OneApp National Geographic Britbox WGN dark reboot spanish documentaries Mary poppins talk show TCA Awards Sundance Now Shudder Fall TV Academy Awards zombie fast and furious political drama rotten Awards Tour Amazon Studios E3 2020 Interview Spectrum Originals TruTV TIFF a nightmare on elm street MSNBC Brie Larson disaster HBO Rom-Com CMT toronto hollywood PBS video on demand south america laika aliens Premiere Dates DC Comics CNN directors golden globes mutant TV Star Wars Arrowverse Country 72 Emmy Awards ViacomCBS Spring TV twilight reviews Mary Tyler Moore Tomatazos BET Awards Pirates Podcast classics crossover cancelled TV series social media true crime BBC One kids Disney streaming service 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards E! diversity vampires women ratings Year in Review DGA hist Reality Comedy Central Hulu Marvel Comics on TV best Marathons Lionsgate batman Family superhero Awards screen actors guild Emmy Nominations Western spider-man Black Mirror Trailer free movies unscripted dceu X-Men 24 frames natural history book DC streaming service YouTube Premium series FX on Hulu screenings Polls and Games Disney+ Disney Plus Disney HBO Go Food Network A&E spinoff Rock The Purge Stephen King HBO Max LGBTQ ghosts Black History Month strong female leads The Walking Dead dc transformers franchise Comic Book french ID YouTube BBC MCU what to watch Action Captain marvel Peacock Amazon Prime See It Skip It emmy awards golden globe awards Pop TV cartoon Shondaland cats VH1 nfl Nominations San Diego Comic-Con Columbia Pictures USA ABC Teen BET comic binge revenge Freeform venice Holidays news Holiday SundanceTV christmas movies Red Carpet Logo The Academy 2018 DirecTV Showtime Crunchyroll space technology Extras Amazon Prime Video TLC breaking bad Pop cults 2015 SXSW 99% Television Academy USA Network festival Election Baby Yoda police drama ESPN Fox Searchlight Vudu Photos psycho Film Festival universal monsters Mystery award winner 20th Century Fox GIFs Netflix Christmas movies Apple TV+ GoT teaser Musicals Turner Classic Movies YA serial killer supernatural APB Funimation YouTube Red medical drama BAFTA Netflix Pet Sematary halloween tv period drama quibi Mary Poppins Returns ITV Martial Arts crime FXX Adult Swim scorecard DC Universe adaptation VICE miniseries First Reviews Ellie Kemper black cancelled TV shows worst movies slashers sequel singing competition Classic Film theme song australia 21st Century Fox blockbuster Travel Channel American Society of Cinematographers The Arrangement comic books dogs crime thriller deadpool Calendar TCA 2017 Winter TV archives Fantasy Hear Us Out Tarantino Apple Starz Comedy nature cancelled television jurassic park Masterpiece video Kids & Family Epix documentary IFC Films witnail festivals Pride Month Sony Pictures trailers Tumblr Anna Paquin Universal Paramount Network Fox News Television Critics Association asian-american Esquire The Witch Lucasfilm biography hispanic Grammys chucky mockumentary TCA Winter 2020 Sci-Fi Video Games Sundance critics historical drama latino canceled SDCC OWN concert Emmys Cannes TCM Song of Ice and Fire Women's History Month cooking Marvel Studios Marvel Television 71st Emmy Awards jamie lee curtis Film Discovery Channel Crackle History stop motion RT21 spanish language comiccon films satire