Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

December 16th 2011
  • Action/Adventure,
  • PG-13,
  • 129 min,
  • Warner Bros. Pictures
  • Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace, Stephen Fry, Jared Harris, Kelly Reilly, Eddie Marsan, Geraldine James, Paul Anderson, William Houston, Affif Ben Badra, Thorston Manderlay, Wolf Kahler, Daniel Naprous, Lancelot Weaver, Jack Laskey, Vladimir 'Furdo' Furdik, Marcus Shakesheff, Michael Webber, Alexandre Carril, Victor Carril, Mark Sheals, Iain Mitchell, Mike Grady
  • Director: Guy Ritchie
  • Writers: Kieran Mulroney, Michele Mulroney, Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Producers: Susan Downey, Gary Goetzman, Dan Lin, Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram
  • Co Producer: Steve Clark-Hall
  • Executive Producers: Gary Goetzman, Scott Rudin
  • Art Direction: Niall Moroney
  • Casting: Reg Poerscout-Edgerton
  • Costume Design: Jenny Beavan
  • D.O.P.: Philippe Rousselot
  • Editor: James Herbert
  • Makeup: Charmaine Fuller
  • Music: Hans Zimmer
  • Production Design: Sarah Greenwood
  • Set Decorations: Alison Harvey, Katie Spencer


Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) has always been the smartest man in the room... until now. There is a new criminal mastermind at large—Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris)—and not only is he Holmes' intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may actually give him an advantage over the renowned detective.

When the Crown Prince of Austria is found dead, the evidence, as construed by Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsan), points to suicide.

But Sherlock Holmes deduces that the prince has been the victim of murder—a murder that is only one piece of a larger and much more portentous puzzle, designed by Professor Moriarty.

The cunning Moriarty is always one step ahead of Holmes as he spins a web of death and destruction—all part of a greater plan that, if he succeeds, will change the course of history.

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Filming Locations: Hertfordshire, UK; London, UK; Strasbourg, France; Surry, UK; Triengen, Switzerland
  • MPAA Warning: Intense sequences of violence and action, and some drug material
  • Production Budget: $140 million
  • Production Companies: Legendary Pictures, Playtone Productions, Playtone, Village Roadshow Pictures, Lin Pictures, Silver Pictures
  • Production Schedule: October 2010 - March 2011

Featured Articles


2011 Guide Analysis: "Though not as unanimously adored as the first "Pirates of the Caribbean" for example, reviews were still generally quite strong for Guy Ritichie's blockbuster-toned reinvention of literature's greatest detective. Some cried foul at the action hijinks, usually those unaware that Doyle's original books were themselves more pulp-ish and adventure driven than most of the 'classical literature' genre it gets saddled alongside.

With so many Holmes adaptations over the years and something like a hundred actors having played him on film and television, you'd think people would've been more forgiving for some variation of the formula. I thoroughly enjoy numerous interpretations of the character from Ian Richardson's sagely take in two TV movies, Jeremy Brett's classical style in the Granada TV series, Ritchie's more crowd-pleasing antics with Downey, and Steven Moffat's recent and quite brilliant contemporary day reinvention for the BBC with Benedict Cumberbatch.

Ritchie certainly got some of the more important things right. Though Downey did mumble a bit too much, he and Law shared a truly stellar on-screen chemistry. The production values were top of their game with a truly spectacular score, superb costume design, and very strong art direction.

The central mystery, which wasn't based on a Doyle story, didn't work as well as it should have, yet the script otherwise got many of the character details just right. Rachel McAdams' role was ultimately useless, but the rest of the supporting cast was excellent and certainly this was a film that begged a sequel.

Shot for a cost-effective $90 million, the first 'Holmes' raked in over half a billion dollars at the worldwide box-office which understandably lead to the quick green lighting of a sequel. As production got underway, the reasons to get excited about this have only grown in number.

The casting additions are very welcome including Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, who herself has become one of the most in demand European actresses of the moment thanks to her great performances in the Swedish language "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" trilogy. While McAdams will make a cameo, Rapace serves as this outing's female lead and seems more suited to the material.

British national treasure Stephen Fry as Mycroft Holmes simply couldn't be more perfect casting. Mycroft, the more arrogant and politically self-serving but just as astute and clever (if not more so) brother of Sherlock, is a very welcome addition to this universe and will likely be a highlight.

The big talk however revolves around Holmes' arch nemesis Moriarty. Though only actually appearing in one of the original stories and mentioned a few times in others, most still perceive the character as one of the great super villains. So when Jared Harris was hired over more famous names linked to the part like Brad Pitt and Daniel Day-Lewis, the shockwaves of surprise certainly shook the blogosphere. Harris himself is an excellent character actor and should be great in the part, though one wonders what kind of direction Ritchie will take with the character.

Having only recently completed shooting in the UK and France, the film is on target to hit cinemas exactly two years after the first film. The story details are being kept under wraps but will shy away from the false supernatural shenanigans of the previous film in favor of a cross-Europe action/chase movie. Personally, I can't wait."

Trailers & Clips

Watch this films trailers

Worldwide Release Dates

  • 14 December 2011: Hong Kong
  • 15 December 2011: Netherlands
  • 16 December 2011: Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Turkey, UK
  • 22 December 2011: Germany, Israel, Singapore, Slovenia, Thailand
  • 23 December 2011: Finland, Taiwan
  • 25 December 2011: Denmark, Norway
  • 28 December 2011: Belgium
  • 29 December 2011: Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Russia
  • 30 December 2011: Estonia, India, Lithuania, South Africa
  • 3 January 2012: Armenia
  • 5 January 2012: Australia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Portugal, Spain
  • 6 January 2012: Poland
  • 13 January 2012: Brazil
  • 25 January 2012: France