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 & 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

theme song Warner Bros. 73rd Emmy Awards Creative Arts Emmys GoT travel Christmas Watching Series Paramount Plus crime drama Pop TV Valentine's Day First Reviews A24 vs. New York Comic Con South by Southwest Film Festival Pop 21st Century Fox Apple TV Plus 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards deadpool Holiday HBO Fall TV leaderboard Ghostbusters south america Opinion Song of Ice and Fire Tarantino Funimation Nominations DirecTV Rom-Com BET Awards binge 45 dc 99% dark Extras WarnerMedia toronto Marathons 4/20 Lifetime science fiction TCM Tumblr GLAAD crossover Spike Discovery Channel police drama social media Mudbound 93rd Oscars Paramount Pictures high school Marvel stoner mission: impossible SDCC Schedule E! cars gangster Classic Film know your critic Crackle Horror NBC Mary Poppins Returns Adult Swim psycho Trailer finale reboot Pacific Islander The Academy Best Picture action-comedy Winners king arthur legend GIFs facebook Emmy Nominations posters MGM TV Land Dark Horse Comics women series The CW cops 2016 Super Bowl Alien Lucasfilm cancelled sitcom boxoffice spanish language Exclusive Video golden globe awards based on movie PaleyFest classics Shudder Star Wars TV renewals football Anna Paquin olympics TV One politics TLC a nightmare on elm street mockumentary Crunchyroll Fargo cancelled TV shows telelvision A&E wonder woman new star wars movies Nat Geo Paramount Masterpiece Polls and Games Starz international boxing ghosts Set visit franchise The Arrangement Western justice league VICE Cartoon Network news book adaptation Stephen King Wes Anderson singing competition Sony Pictures ID jurassic park National Geographic renewed TV shows spain Binge Guide 2017 king kong spy thriller Biopics romance 94th Oscars TCA Awards TNT LGBTQ Podcast Premiere Dates stop motion Image Comics latino richard e. Grant TCA 2017 Character Guide Marvel Studios Arrowverse foreign 90s new york 24 frames Freeform VOD TV elevated horror Prime Video scene in color Neflix USA Network BAFTA stand-up comedy debate directors broadcast Countdown scene in color series SXSW 2022 cancelled television versus OWN video Black History Month Photos CNN psychological thriller scene in color film series animated young adult name the review Academy Awards BBC One IMDb TV rom-coms all-time APB japanese dramedy scorecard Star Wars Celebration CBS All Access Superheroes critic resources blockbuster dceu tv talk spinoff discovery Geeked Week target scene in color reviews cooking USA spanish Tags: Comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt LGBT quibi hidden camera Pirates christmas movies Disney+ Disney Plus Emmys HBO Go slashers CMT unscripted Logo Sundance TV slasher festival serial killer cartoon asian-american PBS Baby Yoda Box Office Martial Arts adventure comic book movies transformers BBC America breaking bad Pixar 2020 Elton John teaser Shondaland FXX genre Family ABC Signature canceled Apple halloween tv kids Television Critics Association political drama television obituary RT21 italian true crime satire festivals target cats Apple TV+ doctor who indiana jones twilight kaiju worst movies 2018 indie Bravo nature aapi Peacock basketball sag awards BBC trailers dreamworks Calendar godzilla Endgame TCA Grammys archives movies screenings Rock biography blaxploitation TV movies Tubi The Walking Dead E3 DGA critics Showtime french Epix Amazon Prime Video lord of the rings 2015 scary witnail interviews natural history comic Oscar Thanksgiving children's TV The Witch Women's History Month art house RT History IFC DC Universe dexter cinemax Mindy Kaling Comic-Con@Home 2021 Year in Review diversity Television Academy independent Musicals award winner golden globes Hallmark Christmas movies razzies First Look YouTube Heroines obi wan Amazon Musical zombies Vudu San Diego Comic-Con Food Network live action Certified Fresh Britbox MSNBC docudrama VH1 Mary poppins Ellie Kemper 71st Emmy Awards adaptation Red Carpet ESPN Summer anime Reality Competition Spring TV Kids & Family ViacomCBS MTV Drama Hollywood Foreign Press Association comics Country documentary Sundance Action documentaries TIFF halloween Infographic batman mcc See It Skip It 20th Century Fox Writers Guild of America Election worst Broadway Best Director films Music space japan comiccon sopranos zero dark thirty crime Awards Tour Netflix Christmas movies dogs Lionsgate period drama ABC Family Teen strong female leads Comic Book black HBO Max historical drama Rocky 72 Emmy Awards rt labs Mystery 007 Walt Disney Pictures docuseries free movies Hallmark summer TV preview game of thrones Trivia australia suspense ratings nfl MCU comic books canceled TV shows blockbusters video on demand superman streaming CBS NYCC movie Star Trek criterion prank die hard Pet Sematary Syfy Rocketman hist Fantasy Sundance Now Tomatazos 79th Golden Globes Awards screen actors guild Native royal family hollywood Lifetime Christmas movies feel good NBA Nickelodeon what to watch Cosplay child's play Avengers El Rey President Film Festival laika harry potter spider-verse American Society of Cinematographers Comedy Central summer preview summer TV PlayStation Esquire 2019 ABC ITV Spectrum Originals SXSW Awards trophy streamig Universal Pictures rt archives disaster Superheroe Trophy Talk Ovation kong spider-man Cannes Disney best mob Video Games Interview black comedy Focus Features FX FOX Comics on TV Chernobyl Film X-Men robots technology Reality rt labs critics edition composers toy story Travel Channel medical drama nbcuniversal vampires parents The Walt Disney Company Marvel Television mutant war TCA Winter 2020 Turner hispanic heritage month Amazon Studios aliens Fox News Best Actress Disney Channel comic book movie chucky marvel comics Mary Tyler Moore TruTV BET Turner Classic Movies Sneak Peek cancelled TV series monster movies Oscars 2021 Captain marvel new zealand Paramount Network pirates of the caribbean superhero emmy awards Indigenous revenge popular biopic game show Black Mirror Disney streaming service DC Comics WGN Hear Us Out Animation Pride Month cults marvel cinematic universe Toys DC streaming service Instagram Live jamie lee curtis james bond book streaming movies concert remakes sequel Hulu fast and furious SundanceTV hispanic YouTube Red Legendary Fox Searchlight rotten movies we love Universal CW Seed 1990s YA Amazon Prime live event dragons Acorn TV scary movies saw IFC Films Tokyo Olympics Winter TV universal monsters FX on Hulu Chilling Adventures of Sabrina talk show Holidays Sony crime thriller Best Actor Best and Worst supernatural romantic comedy History comedies Sci-Fi werewolf The Purge heist movie Brie Larson rotten YouTube Premium Comedy casting TBS AMC Plus Columbia Pictures venice green book anthology Netflix thriller sequels Disney Plus zombie sports Quiz adenture fresh HFPA AMC OneApp joker miniseries