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) 11%

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) 67%

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

natural history YA supernatural talk show Western boxoffice science fiction 24 frames 2018 Marvel TCA 2017 Universal DirecTV spy thriller Netflix dragons AMC blaxploitation Superheroe 2017 Horror witnail Cosplay adaptation APB mutant GLAAD Cartoon Network streaming NYCC Paramount Network war Comedy Central 2019 mockumentary USA Network Nickelodeon anthology comiccon Star Trek RT21 Shondaland Mary Tyler Moore Summer Super Bowl Country Pirates facebook justice league YouTube Red Disney Dark Horse Comics TV Land Best and Worst Certified Fresh Photos technology Women's History Month crime Reality Competition Warner Bros. Nominations sports Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Mystery adventure Valentine's Day serial killer harry potter Logo 20th Century Fox Ghostbusters E! Grammys RT History BET VICE Polls and Games Awards Tour Comic Book Mary poppins DC streaming service Trivia Shudder nature crime drama Pet Sematary ITV X-Men GIFs dramedy American Society of Cinematographers El Rey GoT period drama NBC travel Christmas Emmys Watching Series SXSW Acorn TV Ellie Kemper Lionsgate Animation Musical Britbox Rocketman Drama police drama dceu politics festivals ESPN Tumblr comic SundanceTV aliens Fox News LGBTQ The Arrangement zombies Adult Swim award winner Esquire Writers Guild of America Quiz what to watch docudrama See It Skip It Video Games Pop PaleyFest SDCC Trophy Talk The Witch disaster Nat Geo Superheroes Star Wars BBC psychological thriller Sundance Pixar Rock Vudu binge Interview FOX cats jamie lee curtis romance TLC Tomatazos Character Guide HBO Teen Reality green book Year in Review political drama ratings TCM Premiere Dates Tarantino TV Schedule Food Network Oscars true crime cooking Captain marvel 007 TBS Fall TV Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Spike cults 2016 Song of Ice and Fire Walt Disney Pictures First Look Musicals zero dark thirty Music 45 2015 Paramount A&E Bravo BBC America Ovation casting anime miniseries Podcast IFC FX Mary Poppins Returns Rom-Com DC Comics E3 Cannes Film Festival Awards Starz spider-man sequel Action Spring TV Spectrum Originals Infographic composers crossover History Winter TV Elton John Lucasfilm elevated horror Kids & Family FXX TNT Crackle Syfy diversity Hulu ABC space IFC Films dc Lifetime Stephen King Sneak Peek New York Comic Con social media Thanksgiving medical drama Countdown Mindy Kaling discovery Red Carpet Anna Paquin ABC Family Comedy Epix Amazon Prime TCA strong female leads 21st Century Fox Sundance Now robots Marathons Biopics zombie Showtime unscripted CBS All Access transformers Extras Winners TIFF Columbia Pictures TruTV theme song Martial Arts hist Fantasy golden globes WGN finale teaser Creative Arts Emmys YouTube Premium VH1 CW Seed MTV Sony Pictures President Brie Larson National Geographic PBS Holidays Rocky biography Box Office vampires psycho Amazon Trailer television Disney Channel cops OWN doctor who Election richard e. Grant Heroines DC Universe MSNBC Comics on TV Opinion historical drama MCU Set visit DGA thriller based on movie USA Toys crime thriller CNN singing competition Freeform sitcom cinemax The CW Calendar CBS Apple Masterpiece Mudbound San Diego Comic-Con Black Mirror CMT Sci-Fi