Rating: PG, for thematic elements, some disturbing images and incidental smoking.
This is a different take on the legacy of Sherlock Holmes, focusing on his later years in his remote farmhouse by the sea. Director Bill Condon’s film finds the world-famous detective (Ian McKellen), at age 93, struggling to recall the details of the case that ended up being his last. He has just returned from post-World War II Japan with a plant whose healing powers he hopes will restore his mental acuity, but he continues to deteriorate. Also living in the house are Holmes’ housekeeper (Laura Linney) and her young son (Milo Parker). Holmes reflects upon this final investigation, which involved the makings of a murder plot. While in Japan, he visited the remnants of Hiroshima and witnessed the devastating impact the bomb had on the city’s survivors. And the boy, whose inquisitive nature makes him a keen companion for Holmes, finds himself in serious physical danger when he helps tend to the detective’s prized bees. There’s also just the scary nature of the creeping effects of dementia. It’s rated PG, though, so for the most part it’s fine for kids around age 8 and older.