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

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

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