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

11%

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

binge The CW Valentine's Day crossover Paramount Network Sundance Interview Spring TV singing competition cinemax diversity social media Warner Bros. TV Land what to watch romance Trailer TCM Mary Tyler Moore IFC thriller cooking Musical Christmas VICE Summer period drama 007 sitcom harry potter Musicals CMT Comic Book Extras TLC crime drama Year in Review vampires Reality Competition Comedy Central HBO BBC America RT History Starz Hulu travel dc 2017 Podcast Grammys Country Trivia Star Wars Video Games E! Disney NBC WGN Comedy GoT Rom-Com Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Character Guide Universal adventure transformers BET Super Bowl serial killer Adult Swim supernatural based on movie Marvel war political drama Cartoon Network festivals LGBTQ Paramount Superheroes GIFs Sony Pictures Holidays VH1 BBC TIFF composers discovery zombie technology Pixar golden globes FOX Horror Creative Arts Emmys psycho ABC Family cults Nat Geo DC Comics Election Animation biography Esquire zombies AMC 2016 Sundance Now Fox News ESPN TCA 2017 DC Universe TNT Infographic Rocky Pop Western PaleyFest Fantasy talk show TV Premiere Dates Cosplay USA Network spy thriller Watching Series justice league Schedule robots Best and Worst APB Marathons Opinion ratings NYCC Showtime Emmys cats FX Mystery politics 21st Century Fox hist police drama Lucasfilm 2015 crime Spike IFC Films President Toys TCA Polls and Games SundanceTV See It Skip It CNN Box Office boxoffice Disney Channel MTV YA sports Nickelodeon Calendar Superheroe finale Fall TV Lionsgate docudrama TBS The Arrangement Britbox El Rey Syfy Martial Arts History Writers Guild of America Acorn TV 24 frames Sneak Peek Red Carpet ABC Reality Countdown Dark Horse Comics Winners dceu Mindy Kaling unscripted ITV 20th Century Fox First Look Teen American Society of Cinematographers Action X-Men TruTV Kids & Family Star Trek CW Seed YouTube Red aliens Set visit CBS All Access comiccon Ghostbusters Nominations DirecTV Awards science fiction Pirates cops Tomatazos Music Winter TV FXX historical drama Drama Crackle Netflix SDCC Photos Food Network USA Amazon Shondaland dramedy Ellie Kemper DC streaming service crime thriller SXSW MSNBC CBS Masterpiece Sci-Fi Lifetime National Geographic GLAAD Certified Fresh Freeform Tumblr PBS Biopics Logo 45 Oscars Thanksgiving Bravo medical drama Rock E3 A&E OWN