Why trust us? We take expert advice, test, research and select products independently. If you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission read more.

Sherlock Holmes (2009) Movie Review & Summary

The most recent movie adaptation of the famed Ace Detective, Sherlock Holmes, follows the titular character and his partner, Dr. Watson, as he investigates a string of murders in London and deals with the occult forces behind them.

Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Nothing escapes him.

  • Genres: Action, adventure & mystery
  • Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law & Rachel McAdams
  • Director: Guy Ritchie


The movie has a strong start that just doesn’t want to stop, especially with the twist ending. It also shows an authentic yet strange side of London in its days in the Industrial Revolution. With Robert Downey’s spectacular portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, beautiful musical score from Hans Zimmer, and Guy Ritchie’s brawler-filled action-packed scenes, this movie should be on your watch list if you need something to stimulate the eyes, ears, and mind all at the same time.


  • A refreshing take on Sherlock Holmes
  • Outstanding performances from Robert Downey Jr. And Jude Law
  • Oscar-nominated music from Hans Zimmer


  • An insignificant plot hole in the story
  • Rachel McAdams’ subpar performance
Characters & Acting
Music & cinematography

The details


Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and Dr. John Watson (Jude Law) have just arrested the vile mastermind behind the death of at least five women in London, Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong). But when news of Blackwood’s resurrection days after he was hanged breaks out, Sherlock Holmes must follow the string of murders that ensues while simultaneously dealing with the possibility of no longer having his trusted partner by his side when Dr. Watson becomes engaged.

With the return of his former lover and world-class cat thief, Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams), Sherlock must put an end to whatever nefarious plans Lord Blackwood has from beyond the grave and the impending doom that precedes it.


If you like detective novels just as much as we do, then you are most certainly going to love Sherlock Holmes. The story is a treasure trove of misdirection, clues, and mystery with an enormous pay off at the end if you’ve been paying attention every second of the film. We’d even be confident to bet that no one will ever be expecting the surprise ending!

And even with the abundance of logically-titillating elements in the film, Sherlock Holmes (2009) also shows a grounded version of the legendary super sleuth, who has trouble dealing with people and explores friendship themes marvellously displayed with Sherlock’s relationship with Watson.

Sherlock Holmes (2009) is just simply the perfect blend of murder/mystery and manly bromance.


There are a couple of people with writing credits on this film. But special mentions go to Michael Robert Johnson and Anthony Peckham, who have written most of the script that delivers excellent lines in just the perfect pacing, which is definitely no easy task, especially with the critical acclaim of the original books penned by the great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

We found the film’s interesting tidbits to be lines taken from the actual books and used as actual dialogue in the movie. Our favorite is “Crime is common, logic is rare,” which pretty much sums up the entirety of what makes the Sherlock Holmes franchise an utter joy to experience centuries after its initial conception. The lines are cleverly written and will either be filled with wit and humor or poetic foreboding threats, which contrast quite well with each other.

Hats off to director Guy Ritchie, who was in his absolute prime in this flick; bringing us a gritty, strange, and palette-cleansing interpretation of Sherlock Holmes. There are scenes in the movie that display Sherlock Holme’s brilliant mind to a staggering level that made full use of slow-motion capture technology, and even a decade later, the scenes have yet to be replicated by any other movie.

With all that being said, we did find one major plot hole, but that’s only if you’re well-versed in the nuances of the politics in Industrial Age London. And it will include spoilers, so we won’t be mentioning it here. But we’re sure most watchers won’t even notice it unless vigorously researched on the internet, so don’t let that spoil your fun.

Characters and acting

Robert Downey Jr. And Jude Law have instant magnetic chemistry on-screen. So much so that we thought that there might be a possible romance between the two attractive leading men. Downey Jr. Had experienced a sort of a rebirth after his exceptional performances in films such as Iron man and Tropic Thunder; and this one was no exception. The talented Jude Law too did a great job with his portrayal of John Watson; truly a great pairing.

Other performances by actors such as Mark Strong and Kelly Reilly further added to the film and its brilliant character acting.

Music and cinematography

Sherlock Holmes (2009) has been nominated twice in the Oscars, one of the categories being “Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures.” Of course, this is nothing new for the multi-Oscar nominated composer Hans Zimmer, who won the Oscar for his work on 1994’s ‘The Lion King’.

Hans is absolutely on point in this film. Almost every scene in the movie is eloquently supported by Irish and English-inspired folk music that’ll either make you wanna get up, dance, and fight the nearest guy at the pub or shed a tear as you sing together the songs of your people. So be sure to use the best sound system in your home when you watch this movie (which you should!).

This is also one of the key flicks of Guy Ritchie’s career that will clearly be studied by art students alike for the next decade. Guy Ritchie expertly enhances the mood with proper lighting but somehow doesn’t manage to clog up the scene even though there are many people in the mean streets of London. His use of CGI effects was a marvel at the time and impressively holds up even when watching a decade later.

Final verdict

This movie is a must-see for watchers of all ages with its refreshing and relatable take on Sherlock Holmes, the gorgeous set pieces and shots from Director Guy Ritchie, the Oscar-nominated score of Hans Zimmerman, and of course, the overall joy of experiencing a good action-adventure movie. Now who doesn’t love that?

Become a member

Sign up for our newsletter to get exlusive new content and giveaways.

By continuing, you accept the privacy policy.
No spam. Unsubscribe any time!