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) 65%

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

Action aliens die hard television See It Skip It 2019 festivals Disney+ Disney Plus BET Vudu Mary Tyler Moore adaptation VH1 Holiday spanish Elton John Paramount Brie Larson Nickelodeon Toys know your critic festival Nat Geo 72 Emmy Awards thriller theme song BET Awards Box Office discovery El Rey all-time Teen stop motion DC streaming service Image Comics documentary Spike tv talk zombies international Comics on TV New York Comic Con cults crime thriller miniseries monster movies Women's History Month Crunchyroll stand-up comedy Bravo Mudbound Star Trek Cosplay scene in color Photos ABC Family VICE biography cars The Walking Dead video joker crossover period drama Mary poppins Video Games emmy awards binge Holidays reboot sitcom breaking bad Tomatazos Amazon rotten children's TV Cartoon Network psychological thriller 007 Lifetime Christmas movies criterion CBS X-Men obituary golden globes popular Broadway Marvel comiccon BBC America Valentine's Day National Geographic justice league new star wars movies latino Lifetime Sci-Fi harry potter halloween Musical WarnerMedia free movies Fox Searchlight hollywood Superheroes American Society of Cinematographers natural history Warner Bros. south america worst Nominations Pirates A24 Certified Fresh historical drama blockbuster critics YouTube Red saw Hulu strong female leads 20th Century Fox ABC Signature YA Podcast PaleyFest superman Film A&E based on movie Mary Poppins Returns italian Reality Kids & Family science fiction Stephen King Awards Tour TV Britbox LGBT Ellie Kemper razzies what to watch Year in Review Television Critics Association docuseries medical drama Super Bowl Quiz ViacomCBS indie ESPN Music Turner FX Baby Yoda Emmys DC Universe Sundance TV trailers satire mutant FOX series Binge Guide Oscars cinemax 24 frames Family high school Pacific Islander Rock Netflix universal monsters IFC Films hidden camera green book kaiju Adult Swim Amazon Studios Avengers documentaries docudrama VOD Pet Sematary First Look Superheroe Thanksgiving child's play Hear Us Out Epix Election DC Comics directors Fox News renewed TV shows TLC TBS asian-american Starz 2015 WGN GLAAD franchise Paramount Plus indiana jones TV renewals MTV BAFTA CMT GoT doctor who Infographic TCA Awards History cancelled television stoner romantic comedy animated classics streaming movies Polls and Games police drama ID Ovation Grammys Netflix Christmas movies Walt Disney Pictures heist movie ABC sequels archives kids Black Mirror Disney Channel Chilling Adventures of Sabrina serial killer NBC CNN Comedy IFC mission: impossible Apple TV+ laika Writers Guild of America TV movies transformers movies TCM blockbusters Premiere Dates TIFF Sundance Now cancelled TV shows nbcuniversal pirates of the caribbean Universal DirecTV Sony Pictures spanish language Rocketman boxoffice Alien Legendary Food Network Television Academy OneApp Paramount Network vampires 45 scary movies Schedule remakes independent anthology Spectrum Originals TNT E3 james bond zero dark thirty video on demand spy thriller SDCC parents japanese PBS Animation SundanceTV Pixar President 2020 blaxploitation Tubi halloween tv Star Wars APB Fantasy SXSW Travel Channel rom-coms nfl Exclusive Video Disney streaming service Freeform book adaptation The Purge CBS All Access ghosts Drama fast and furious Comic Book Columbia Pictures Apple TV Plus psycho San Diego Comic-Con telelvision godzilla war Biopics ratings cops Disney Plus jurassic park Set visit robots DGA PlayStation Lionsgate Comedy Central book Shondaland Creative Arts Emmys Turner Classic Movies casting concert Dark Horse Comics Acorn TV Christmas Martial Arts Sneak Peek Marathons Extras christmas movies politics Hallmark The Witch Awards football spain award winner Amazon Prime Video sag awards Tumblr elevated horror Funimation Emmy Nominations TCA 2017 rt archives nature Ghostbusters canceled TV shows Discovery Channel canceled cartoon TV One Captain marvel Calendar MCU Pride Month werewolf kong RT History Cannes Black History Month Opinion 21st Century Fox Marvel Studios Rom-Com Trivia Fall TV movie golden globe awards richard e. Grant screenings cooking venice facebook Showtime Hallmark Christmas movies Logo prank mockumentary chucky NYCC romance Pop Trophy Talk king kong dramedy TCA new zealand Arrowverse crime drama streaming E! news black dc Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt superhero versus First Reviews Best and Worst slashers disaster target sports technology Esquire Apple dceu anime space 4/20 HBO spinoff YouTube Premium TruTV quibi Countdown finale 2017 99% dogs 2021 Red Carpet Country Shudder name the review unscripted Interview rotten movies we love ITV The Academy Watching Series GIFs Pop TV talk show Marvel Television adventure aapi true crime HBO Go USA TCA Winter 2020 Masterpiece cats comic Character Guide Crackle french The CW game show Academy Awards Endgame Lucasfilm comic books Sundance crime toronto Anna Paquin TV Land travel lord of the rings hist 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards comedies best The Arrangement diversity witnail cancelled TV series HBO Max Winners jamie lee curtis LGBTQ composers a nightmare on elm street films 2018 batman CW Seed Trailer sequel Tarantino Western YouTube The Walt Disney Company Classic Film worst movies FX on Hulu Amazon Prime political drama 93rd Oscars comics marvel cinematic universe Rocky 71st Emmy Awards women AMC Chernobyl social media deadpool game of thrones USA Network dark Musicals Reality Competition screen actors guild Film Festival australia revenge teaser BBC OWN singing competition foreign spider-man live action Summer Winter TV 2016 boxing supernatural reviews Mindy Kaling RT21 cancelled twilight Horror FXX Syfy hispanic Disney BBC One dragons Peacock toy story fresh scorecard Mystery zombie Song of Ice and Fire MSNBC Heroines new york Spring TV