Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows parents guide

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Parent Guide

There's no question Downey and Law are having as much fun in this production as they did in the first. This edgier and darker depiction is fashioned for older fans of Sherlock Holmes.

Overall C+

Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as Sherlock Holmes in this action-enhanced adaptation of Sir Arthur Conon Doyle's super sleuth. With Dr. Watson (Jude Law) by his side, they track the infamous Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), whom they believe is responsible for the assassination of the Crown Prince of Austria.

Release date December 16, 2011

Violence C-
Sexual Content B-
Profanity B
Substance Use C-

Why is Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and some drug material.

Run Time: 128 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

One has to wonder what Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would think of Director Guy Ritchie’s interpretation of Sherlock Holmes. Certainly Robert Downey Jr.‘s portrayal is scrappier and more action oriented than Matt Frewer’s depiction in the Hallmark movies The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Sign of Four. (Other famous actors to take on this literary persona include Roger Moore, Charlton Heston, Leonard Nimoy, Peter O’Toole, Christopher Plummer, Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett.)

Back in the director’s chair, Richie’s second adventure finds Sherlock Holmes with his right-hand man Dr. Watson (Jude Law) confronting the nefarious Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris), a villain who is amassing a military arsenal. The two intellectual equals, Holmes and Moriarty, become pitted in a game of wits that has them both as mentally engaged as a pair of chess masters. But Watson, on his first night of marriage, is drawn into the fray as well.

Most of the action centers around the three main characters although Sherlock’s brother (Stephen Fry), Watson’s new bride (Kelly Reilly) and the detective’s love interest (Rachel McAdams) all appear on the sidelines, along with another new character, Madam Simza Heron (Noomi Rapace).

Many of the fistfights, explosions and shooting scenes are shown in slow motion action with Holmes and Moriarty outlining afore (to the audience) what they will do. But this sequel also parades several graphic scenes across the screen. Captured by Moriarty, Holmes is impaled with a meat hook and hung from the ceiling. Another character commits suicide in front of the detective and his friends.

However there’s no question Downey and Law are having as much fun in this production as they did in the first. Their dry wit and the deadpan delivery of jokes (often involving sexual innuendo or alcohol consumption) help lessen the impact of the violence. So does Sherlock’s penchant for disguise. Still this edgier and darker depiction of the adept and calculating investigator is fashioned for older fans of the fictional hero.

Directed by Guy Ritchie. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Jared Harris. Running time: 128 minutes. Theatrical release December 16, 2011. Updated

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Rating & Content Info

Why is Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows rated PG-13? Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense sequences of violence and action, and some drug material.

Violence: Frequent scenes of fistfights, explosions and beatings occur. Dead and bloody bodies are shown following explosions in public venues. Numerous characters suffer from bloody gunshot and other weapon-induced injuries. Weapons include brass knuckles, knives, guns, tanks, missiles and darts. Characters are drugged or poisoned. Others are pushed out of windows or off of moving trains. A man attacks and attempts to kill a woman. A person is infected with a deadly disease. A man commits suicide with a gun. Men prepare chemical warfare. A man is impaled with a meat hook and hung from a ceiling with a rope. Later he has a piece of wood shrapnel removed from his leg. A man is revived from death with an adrenaline injection. Characters discuss the results of surgical experimentation. Others plunge over the wall to their apparent deaths. A man receives a packaged bomb.

Sexual Content: A man wears long underwear. Another character walks around his house naked (only partial male buttock nudity is seen). A naked statue is on display. A married couple kisses and the woman makes a suggestive remark to her husband. A couple kisses. Men dance together. One male dresses in drag.

Language: The script includes a handful of profanities and some sexual innuendo including negative terms for males and veiled homosexual jokes.

Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters drink frequently. One man consumes formaldehyde. Some individuals appear to be drunk or highly agitated. References are made to a man’s drug use. Characters smoke pipes, cigars and cigarettes on numerous occasions.

Page last updated

More parents' guide for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows after the break...

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Parents' Guide

Why does Holmes refer to marriage as eternal purgatory? Why is he so upset with Watson’s wedding?

What does Moriarty mean when he says Holmes is fighting the human condition? How does the Professor plan to act as a catalyst for war? How does he expect to benefit from battle?

How does this interpretation of Sherlock Holmes differ from the book or from other film adaptations? Why do you think these characters appeal to many audience members? How does the element of action differ in this movie from more thoughtful depictions?

Click here to learn more about Sir Arthur Conon Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes.

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows movie is June 12, 2012. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Release Date: 12 June 2012

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Ultraviolet Digital Copy) with the following bonus extras:

- Seven behind-the-scenes featurettes

- Maximum Movie Mode viewing option hosted by Robert Downey

Related home video titles:

Robert Downey Jr. first played the famous detective in the movie Sherlock Holmes. Actor Matt Frewer brings the literary legend to life in The Hound of the Baskervilles, with Kenneth Walsh playing Watson.

Related news about Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Are Movie Ratings Going Up in Smoke?

Are Movie Ratings Going Up in Smoke?

"Just as kids shouldn't be watching extreme violence or extreme sex, they shouldn't be watching smoking."