Critics Consensus

Holmes & Watson Is a Clueless Comedy

Plus, Vice is flawed but intriguing and Destroyer is Certified Fresh.

by | December 27, 2018 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got daffy detectives (Holmes & Watson, starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly) and a ruthless veep (Vice, starring Christian Bale and Amy Adams). What are the critics saying?


Holmes and Watson (2018) 10%

One of the most enduring literary characters of all time, Sherlock Holmes has been portrayed on stage, television, and film hundreds of times by dozens of actors, from Basil Rathbone to Robert Downey Jr. to Benedict Cumberbatch. With this week’s Holmes & Watson, Will Ferrell adds his name to the list, appearing opposite Step Brothers co-star John C. Reilly as the iconic duo, whose talents are enlisted to help prevent the assassination of the Queen of England. Unfortunately, critics almost unanimously agree that this comedic take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary sleuth is an unfortunate misfire that squanders the talents of all involved, including a supporting cast that includes Ralph Fiennes, Rebecca Hall, Kelly Macdonald, and Rob Brydon. There are far better comedies showcasing the chemistry between Ferrell and Reilly, and the unwieldy mix of anachronistic references and potty humor on display here do little to reinforce their on-screen legacy.


Vice (2018) 66%

After directing a series of absurd comedies starring Will Ferrell like the Anchorman movies, Talladega Nights, and Step Brothers, Adam McKay took a soft turn into more adult territory with 2015’s The Big Short, an unusual and inventive look at the housing bubble that led to the 2008 financial crisis. This week marks the next step in his evolution, as he tackles the rise to power of former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney with similar storytelling panache in Vice, starring Christian Bale as the enigmatic veep, Amy Adams as his wife Lynne, Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld, and Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush. Critics say McKay’s irreverent tone sometimes feels like a mismatch for the serious material the film covers, but it’s nevertheless an ambitious undertaking that’s made better by strong performances from its A-list cast — especially Bale, who disappears into the role under eerily spot-on makeup and more than a few extra pounds. While it may not be as incisive or amusing as The Big Short, Vice is still worth a watch for a glimpse into the life of a famously unknowable man.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

Tag Cloud

Funimation Trivia miniseries Britbox PlayStation Spike Mindy Kaling A24 streaming FX on Hulu NBC versus Disney FX A&E films theme song sequel Year in Review OWN National Geographic Television Academy television Rom-Com YouTube Red chucky news See It Skip It spanish language foreign werewolf Rocky cooking Election Hallmark parents Cannes Tumblr halloween Pirates quibi golden globes vampires Pixar joker ABC movie Disney Plus Calendar facebook BBC America USA Network 2017 supernatural MTV Extras Universal APB Esquire screen actors guild Adult Swim Cosplay die hard FXX Polls and Games Film war binge Musical Showtime nature Vudu Hulu Action Mary Poppins Returns Creative Arts Emmys Marvel Music TCA Winter 2020 zombies YouTube Premium USA Ghostbusters asian-american The Walking Dead ABC Family dceu children's TV revenge festivals Tarantino Cartoon Network canceled casting VH1 justice league technology green book renewed TV shows Marvel Television CBS based on movie VICE Mary Tyler Moore Paramount social media Starz strong female leads Western transformers Interview GoT The CW Lifetime Trophy Talk name the review comics Shudder indie mockumentary PBS Film Festival breaking bad a nightmare on elm street Emmys zombie dc movies Avengers TCA 2017 Winners singing competition CNN Warner Bros. period drama christmas movies Teen game of thrones Sci-Fi Nominations 2019 spain TV PaleyFest LGBTQ cults Sony Pictures Shondaland Mudbound Hallmark Christmas movies Sundance Now Bravo Red Carpet Columbia Pictures Star Wars VOD documentary Amazon Prime Video Mystery dogs diversity Musicals OneApp Schedule TIFF Fox News X-Men BBC One First Reviews History Pop TV serial killer 20th Century Fox Reality Competition MCU sports tv talk blockbuster El Rey President Comic Book LGBT CBS All Access Nat Geo AMC Women's History Month BET what to watch Star Trek YA kids hist space Apple TV Plus Holiday crossover TBS Black History Month 24 frames Biopics Amazon Prime Lifetime Christmas movies Thanksgiving 2016 TV Land San Diego Comic-Con DC Comics cartoon Paramount Network crime spinoff Food Network Masterpiece Turner Classic Movies Comedy Central New York Comic Con FOX Amazon Studios discovery disaster crime drama Reality animated Sundance The Witch comiccon Box Office Turner Writers Guild of America Rocketman YouTube child's play boxoffice richard e. Grant Fall TV DirecTV cancelled TV series Winter TV Song of Ice and Fire Country toy story adaptation true crime dragons Summer The Arrangement Captain marvel Peacock criterion Best and Worst DC streaming service 71st Emmy Awards ITV slashers WGN sag awards romance psycho game show Awards Stephen King universal monsters TLC Spring TV SundanceTV indiana jones Holidays Character Guide Set visit historical drama police drama sitcom canceled TV shows Tubi Disney+ Disney Plus stand-up comedy Lionsgate crime thriller TCM cinemax best dramedy elevated horror spider-man GIFs blaxploitation SXSW Disney streaming service 45 video on demand science fiction Amazon travel 4/20 HBO Max Opinion Ellie Kemper Crunchyroll ghosts book critics screenings unscripted natural history Certified Fresh HBO dark GLAAD comedies WarnerMedia scary movies Mary poppins series BBC Premiere Dates ratings Comics on TV TCA Pop anime Awards Tour composers cancelled finale Toys Video Games RT History Super Bowl Sneak Peek The Purge Quiz Syfy Netflix Pet Sematary concert Netflix Christmas movies E! Dark Horse Comics American Society of Cinematographers Martial Arts DGA Epix TV renewals Marvel Studios Academy Awards latino TruTV Emmy Nominations Comedy Apple TV+ reviews free movies 21st Century Fox 2018 SDCC NYCC docudrama psychological thriller Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt cancelled television RT21 Superheroes Superheroe First Look cars Marathons Grammys Chernobyl Christmas Lucasfilm HBO Go Tomatazos mutant talk show Heroines Logo Walt Disney Pictures Disney Channel Acorn TV Trailer Apple Travel Channel batman mission: impossible Podcast BET Awards cancelled TV shows teaser BAFTA twilight stoner adventure Discovery Channel aliens Brie Larson anthology zero dark thirty Drama Valentine's Day CMT rotten movies we love all-time reboot Horror Kids & Family Arrowverse Freeform DC Universe CW Seed Baby Yoda witnail cops Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Anna Paquin cats video MSNBC satire ESPN independent award winner Animation south america IFC Films Hear Us Out Endgame 2015 007 Countdown spy thriller doctor who Photos Ovation politics Sundance TV romantic comedy E3 hispanic Family comic directors jamie lee curtis medical drama Watching Series Crackle Classic Film Fantasy documentaries robots Infographic IFC franchise TNT political drama Nickelodeon Pride Month biography Black Mirror harry potter Rock Elton John Binge Guide Spectrum Originals Oscars 2020 thriller