Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Sherlock Holmes Plays a Good Game

Plus, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol and Young Adult are Certified Fresh, while Chipwrecked is all wet.

by | December 15, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a brilliant detective (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law), secret agents (Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, starring Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg), singing rodents (Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, starring Jason Lee and David Cross), and a prodigal daughter (Young Adult, starring Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt). What do the critics have to say?



Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

59%

Purists griped about the first Sherlock Holmes, but audiences didn’t seem to mind the famously logical detective in full on action mode. Critics say you’ll get more of the same with A Game of Shadows, a muscular, bombastic adventure that benefits greatly from a strong cast. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are back as Holmes and Watson, and this time they face their most formidable opponent: the nefarious Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), who spins a conspiracy to profit from political chaos. The pundits say A Game of Shadows is bigger but not necessarily better than the first movie, but it looks terrific, and Downey and Law make for a splendid odd couple at the center. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down producer Joel Silver’s best-reviewed films, as well as our gallery of Sherlock Holmes movies through the years.)



Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

94%

It appears that Pixar wizard Brad Bird has done the impossible, or at least the unlikely: critics say Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol is not only the best entry in the franchise, it’s one of the finest blockbusters of the year, filled with exhilarating action sequences and memorable characters. The Impossible Missions Force has been falsely accused of bombing the Kremlin, so it’s up to Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his crew to go rogue and clear the organization of any wrongdoing — preferably while scaling skyscrapers in Dubai. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol is light on plot, but the stunning set pieces and brisk pacing more than compensate.



Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

12%

Another year, another Alvin and the Chipmunks movie — and critics say Chipwrecked is as middling as its two predecessors, though the wee ones probably won’t mind. This time out, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore join David Seville (Jason Lee) and the Chipettes on a luxury cruise, where they make enough mischief to get themselves shipwrecked on a desert island that’s not as empty as it first appears. The pundits say Chipwrecked is a reasonably safe bet for undiscriminating children, but parents are unlikely to find much amusement in this juvenilia.



Young Adult

80%

Four years after the whip-smart, quirky Juno, director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody are back with the pitch-black Young Adult, and critics say it’s a sharp and occasionally painfully astute comedy. Charlize Theron stars as a former high school queen bee who, now pushing 40, returns to her hometown to get back together with an old flame (Patrick Wilson). Unfortunately for her, he’s happily married, though our heroine does end up bonding with another former classmate (Patton Oswalt) — one she treated badly despite his massive crush on her. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Young Adult is an intelligent and often very funny character study, one that’s so honest that it may make you cringe from time to time.

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

CMT Song of Ice and Fire scary movies 007 Mary Tyler Moore cooking Character Guide free movies Western medical drama National Geographic Travel Channel Ellie Kemper aliens Drama richard e. Grant renewed TV shows comedies Marvel cats Reality Turner TCA 2017 A24 tv talk FX YouTube TV CBS All Access cancelled television Nickelodeon directors Britbox Tomatazos BBC One sitcom true crime VH1 Trailer slashers The Purge Watching Series DC Universe Logo Stephen King Red Carpet golden globes A&E television romance Rocky romantic comedy Anna Paquin AMC hollywood ESPN New York Comic Con Marathons Adult Swim Countdown witnail cinemax Cannes crime drama dceu crime DGA adventure IFC Films concert Marvel Television cancelled TV series Sundance kids Lifetime game show criterion nature DirecTV jamie lee curtis parents HBO classics south america Warner Bros. NYCC 24 frames Pop TV dramedy chucky hist Action Esquire 2017 Mary poppins Starz documentary ratings Comics on TV toronto doctor who 2018 anime supernatural Certified Fresh stop motion The Witch sports facebook superhero Martial Arts based on movie Awards Fall TV Election USA 71st Emmy Awards independent TruTV Columbia Pictures TV Land strong female leads Showtime werewolf comics Funimation BET BAFTA Photos Podcast Oscars Sundance TV boxoffice Marvel Studios sequels Spring TV HBO Max rotten movies we love Heroines SXSW zero dark thirty worst Women's History Month fast and furious cartoon screen actors guild die hard Emmy Nominations Comic Book Disney+ Disney Plus Sundance Now Disney Channel asian-american unscripted Sneak Peek Box Office Ghostbusters Premiere Dates Black History Month zombies GLAAD IFC spinoff Film Festival zombie Discovery Channel MCU films cops Cosplay Superheroes WGN blaxploitation finale Tubi TCA Awards stoner Year in Review nfl PaleyFest latino animated technology what to watch spanish language OWN Pixar politics foreign American Society of Cinematographers venice TLC The CW PBS 2019 psychological thriller dc natural history Sci-Fi movies indie biography The Walking Dead Best and Worst name the review book dogs Nat Geo Pop transformers joker Television Critics Association Rocketman Cartoon Network Fantasy BET Awards Toys child's play The Arrangement Avengers emmy awards Disney Plus christmas movies SDCC Infographic 20th Century Fox science fiction RT21 Turner Classic Movies reviews blockbuster Lifetime Christmas movies Elton John GIFs documentaries toy story Hulu HBO Go YouTube Red obituary ghosts critics Tarantino DC streaming service Extras Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Shudder TCA award winner BBC Rock Hallmark Christmas movies Polls and Games Apple TV Plus dark cars SundanceTV Mary Poppins Returns stand-up comedy halloween laika Disney streaming service Paramount Superheroe Music 45 APB Vudu Arrowverse BBC America Dark Horse Comics binge FOX NBC See It Skip It Film disaster Captain marvel psycho quibi Set visit batman Valentine's Day VICE President video Comedy Mindy Kaling Awards Tour sequel historical drama USA Network Brie Larson Holidays justice league Walt Disney Pictures crossover History First Look 2015 TV renewals discovery period drama 72 Emmy Awards Peacock Biopics remakes cancelled docudrama ABC Family Freeform Rom-Com Mystery Pet Sematary travel video on demand Kids & Family Winners elevated horror best children's TV Star Wars Musicals game of thrones Television Academy Fox News spider-man Teen CBS Apple TV+ TBS TIFF Netflix news Pirates crime thriller Super Bowl Binge Guide Lionsgate Food Network Winter TV Ovation FX on Hulu green book Hear Us Out teaser miniseries festival Schedule Hallmark Thanksgiving CW Seed Endgame reboot comiccon TCM Shondaland Academy Awards indiana jones Lucasfilm mission: impossible RT History canceled TV shows Family anthology Amazon Prime Video Quiz Amazon Studios Amazon Prime YA theme song Trivia spy thriller E3 political drama Summer Christmas casting festivals Crackle revenge a nightmare on elm street WarnerMedia FXX cancelled TV shows rotten mockumentary Amazon comic adaptation dragons Holiday franchise Creative Arts Emmys MSNBC vampires Horror Acorn TV robots versus police drama streaming Chernobyl OneApp Tumblr Opinion Pride Month Netflix Christmas movies scorecard football CNN Star Trek Interview nbcuniversal social media canceled worst movies cults movie YouTube Premium Sony Pictures Animation Nominations Masterpiece breaking bad screenings Disney universal monsters DC Comics series LGBT San Diego Comic-Con Crunchyroll Bravo El Rey thriller space hispanic Grammys Apple Video Games VOD talk show war 2020 Writers Guild of America harry potter 21st Century Fox MTV Comedy Central LGBTQ Reality Competition Paramount Network Syfy Universal ABC Mudbound Black Mirror Musical spain Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt diversity 2016 First Reviews all-time ITV Spike Emmys singing competition serial killer Baby Yoda twilight Epix composers Spectrum Originals GoT sag awards Classic Film E! PlayStation Country X-Men Trophy Talk Calendar TNT 4/20 satire TCA Winter 2020 mutant