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


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


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


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


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

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