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

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