Enola Holmes Parent Guide
Enola Holmes was not created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes stories. Clearly, that was an oversight on his part.
Parent Movie Review
Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown) enjoys an idyllic childhood. Living in an ivy-covered country house with her eccentric widowed mother Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter), she benefits from an unconventional education and plenty of freedom. Eudoria refuses to raise Enola to become a typical Victorian wife, eschewing embroidery practice for martial arts, breaking ciphers, and reading radical feminist tomes. On her 16th birthday, Enola discovers that her mother has vanished, leaving painted floral cards as a parting message.
Enola is not Eudoria’s only child: she also has two sons, the uber-respectable Myrcoft (Sam Claflin) and brilliant detective Sherlock (Henry Cavill) who quickly come home. Sherlock is tasked with finding their mother and Mycroft is determined to “tame” his wild sister by sending her to a school that will transform her into marriage material. Rebelling against Mycroft’s plan and determined to track down her mother on her own, Enola flees in the middle of the night, only to stumble into a thorny problem involving a runaway viscount, a murderous plot, and a critical vote in the House of Lords…
It’s true that Enola Holmes is a non-canon character, never appearing in Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle’s original tales. All I can say is that it was clearly an oversight on his part. Enola is an intriguing character, and her portrayal by Millie Bobby Brown fills this story with life. Ms. Brown creates an authentic young woman who is by turns spunky, vulnerable, determined, loyal, brave, resilient, imaginative, and fiercely intelligent. Viewers in this century don’t need to be persuaded that women deserve equal rights, but if we did, Enola would be the person to do it. Her passionate individuality; her desire to chart the direction of her own life, will resonate with audiences of any age. Also powerful are the story’s themes of sacrificing to help others and protecting the vulnerable. Given its strong feminist message, this movie will be a hit with parents who are trying to encourage their daughters to celebrate their own gifts rather than absorbing toxic cultural messages.
The MPAA has rated Enola Holmes PG-13, but it can be watched by tweens with an interest in historical drama. The only significant content issue is violence, and there’s plenty of that with repeated murder attempts on teen characters as well as lots of physical combat. It’s all plot related and not gratuitous, but there is a bit of blood and a death on screen.
If you’re looking for an adventure film for family movie night, Enola Holmes could fit the bill. It has an interesting plot, solid acting, brisk pacing, and some droll comic moments (especially for Sherlock Holmes fans). It’s elementary, dear Watson. Enola Holmes is a fun addition to the family movie offerings on Netflix. (And about time too.)Directed by Harry Bradbeer. Starring Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, and Helena Bonham Carter. Running time: 123 minutes. Theatrical release September 23, 2020. Updated September 24, 2020
Watch the trailer for Enola Holmes
Rating & Content Info
Why is Enola Holmes rated PG-13? Enola Holmes is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some violence.
Violence: Animated scenes of boxing, fencing and fighting are shown. An adult slaps a minor in the face. A man tries to throw someone from a train. A character hits someone in the head with a stick. Characters jump off a moving train. People are shown performing martial arts. Bombs and dynamite are seen in a warehouse. A man tries to drown a teenager. Scenes of physical combat between teens and adults are shown: hitting, kicking, punching and tossing. A man stabs a young person. A character steals a car. Teens are shot at repeatedly. A character is hit in the head with the butt of a rifle; blood is shown. A man tries to strangle someone. A man dies on screen.
Sexual Content: A young woman is seen in a corset and petticoats. A young man and woman embrace each other. A man kisses a woman’s hand.
Profanity: There are a handful of profanities in the film including three terms of deity and two minor curse words.
Alcohol / Drug Use: There is occasional minor social drinking by adults
Page last updated September 24, 2020
Enola Holmes Parents' Guide
Why does Eudoria disappear? Do you think she’s doing the right thing? Does history vindicate her? Do you think she could love her daughter and still leave her?
The 1884 Reform Act featured in the movie was a real bill. For more information, click here. Why do you think extending the right to vote to everybody is important? How easy is it to vote where you live? What barriers stand in the way of voting? How can these be removed?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
This movie is based on The Case of the Missing Marquess which begins Nancy Springer’s Enola Holmes book series.
Sherry Thomas has imagined a world where Sherlock Holmes is an imaginary avatar for the real detective genius, Charlotte Holmes. Her adventures begin in A Study in Scarlet Women.
The descendants of Sherlock Holmes and his archenemy Moriarty, Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Moriarty, both end up at the same boarding school in A Study in Charlotte. As they work out their complicated relationship, they investigate mysterious attacks.
The stories of the detective who started it all can be found in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Collection.
Related home video titles:
Suffragette dramatizes the historic struggle of women to win the vote. It also features Helena Bonham Carter. He Named Me Malala tells the true story of a young woman determined to make education available to girls everywhere.
Literature’s most famous detective comes to the big screen in Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. An aging Sherlock obsesses over an unsolved case in Mr. Holmes, starring the legendary Ian McKellen.