Enola Holmes 2 Parent Guide
With a fast moving, exciting plot and appealing characters, this is a fun choice for teens and their parents.
Parent Movie Review
Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown) is on the case. A desperate little girl (Serrana Su-Ling Bliss) has sought her help in finding her missing sister, Sarah (Hannah Dodd), who has been accused of theft by the match factory where both are employed. As Enola navigates the dark world of London’s 19th century slums and factories, she soon finds herself entangled in a web of crime, corruption, and murder.
The introductory story of Sherlock Holmes’s little sister made its debut on Netflix in 2020 and this sequel is a welcome addition to what I hope will be an ongoing film series. Enola is an engaging character, intelligent, fiercely independent, and guided by a strong personal ethic. She has an unbending commitment to standing up for the weak, fighting for underdogs, and seeking the truth at any cost. If parents are looking for female role models who aren’t clad in spandex and endowed with superpowers, Enola can be a good place to start. In a real plus, Enola is not only brilliant; she is also a unique, distinctive personality. Seeing that kind of teenage girl celebrated on screen is a big win for girls who don’t feel like they fit into prevailing social norms. Enola doesn’t succeed despite her unusual attributes; she succeeds because of them and that’s a message all parents hope their tweens and teens will internalize.
There’s a lesson for Enola in this story as well. Although she solved her first case largely single-handed, in this one she receives help from her two staunchest allies, her brother Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and her friend, Lord Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge). Her mother wisely advises her to “Find your allies. Work with them and you will become more than you are.” The reminder that cooperation doesn’t just make us more successful, it makes us more well-rounded, is timely for kids – and their parents.
As with the first film, the biggest negative issue here is violence, as there are frequent scenes of brutal combat scattered throughout the film. There are also two murders, of which the immediate bloody aftermath of one is shown on screen. And it’s not just the violence that’s problematic; it’s the celebratory attitude that surrounds it. Characters are repeatedly praised for their ability to fight (and set off explosives) and in one triumphal scene, Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” plays as three women decimate a group of men. Also of concern in this episode is a scene where a character is portrayed as being very drunk. On the bright side, there is no sexual content aside from a brief kiss and only a single term of deity. The PG-13 rating is fair, but the movie could be enjoyed by younger viewers. If they’re not deterred by the violence found in superhero flicks and have an interest in mysteries and period settings, tweens might find this an exciting whodunit.
It’s not often that I get excited about films, but I really appreciate what the Enola Holmes movies have to offer family audiences. There’s non-stop action, a decent plot, intriguing characters, historical detail, and some dry wit. In this outing, Enola Holmes broadens its perspective to include a look at a true historic evil and the people who fought to bring it to an end. Kudos to director Harry Bradbeer for managing to add an educational component to his fast-moving entertainment while giving audiences a jolly good time.
Directed by Harry Bradbeer. Starring Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Helena Bonham Carter. Running time: 129 minutes. Theatrical release November 4, 2022. Updated November 3, 2022
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Enola Holmes 2
Rating & Content Info
Why is Enola Holmes 2 rated PG-13? Enola Holmes 2 is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some violence and bloody images.
Violence: There are frequent scenes of personal combat which involve punching, kicking, throwing, and head-butting. Men have a swordfight. People are stabbed with knives and shot at with firearms. An adult holds a knife to a child’s throat. A person puts explosives inside a mailbox which blows up; in another scene explosives are thrown at a horse-drawn wagon. A wall is blown apart by an explosive device. A woman dies on screen after she’s been stabbed: there is bloody detail. A character kicks a man in the groin. A man grabs a girl by the throat and throws her against the wall. An explosion blows open a wall. A murdered man’s body is seen with little injury detail.
Sexual Content: A young man and woman kiss.
Profanity: There is a single term of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults drink alcohol in a social context. A main character is seen intoxicated.
Page last updated November 3, 2022
Enola Holmes 2 Parents' Guide
Sarah Chapman was a real person and a key contributor to the improvement of working conditions for women in match factories. You can read more about her below:
Wikipedia: Sarah Chapman
East End Women’s Museum: Sarah Chapman: Matchgirl Strike Leader and TUC Delegate
In the film, the factory claims that the employees are dying of typhus but the real culprit was a chemically induced ailment known as “phossy jaw”. You can learn more about this terrible problem below:
ATI: Inside “Phossy jaw”, The Deadly Condition That Plagued 19th Century Matchstick Girls
Wikipedia: Phossy jaw
It can be shocking for modern viewers to see young children at work in the match factory. Sadly, this was not unusual. You can read the articles below for more information about child labor in 19th century England.
Victorian Children: Victorian Child Labor and the Conditions They Worked In
Economic History Association: Child Labor during the British Industrial Revolution
Loved this movie? Try these books…
There is an entire book series featuring Enola Holmes written by Nancy Springer. It begins with Enola Holmes: The Case of the Missing Marquess.
The issue of “phossy jaw” is a key element in Anne Perry’s Victorian murder mystery, The Silent Cry.
Related home video titles:
You can catch up on Enola’s backstory in the original film, Enola Holmes.
In this film Helena Bonham Carter plays Eudora Holmes, Enola’s mother and a determined suffragette. She plays a rather less flamboyant advocate for women’s rights in the movie Suffragette.
Another film about workers taking collective action against their employer is the musical Newsies.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly mystery film but don’t want a lot of violence, you can check out Miss Willoughby and the Haunted Bookshop.