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

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