Film Review: MR. HOLMES

Mr. HolmesMr. Holmes
Director: Bill Condon
Writing: Mitch Cullin (Novel “A Slight Trick Of The Mind”) | Jeffrey Hatcher (Screenplay)
Starring: Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Milo Parker

Now in his nineties. Sherlock Holmes is mostly focused on the care and study of bees in his home in Cornwall. Bees, and the two cases that came late in his life and that he regards as failures. Oh, and a little boy that shares his aptitude and interest. Most of the people from his youthful years have dispersed or died and he is a lonely man, increasingly showing signs of frailty and dementia. If time and his mind allow, he would like to solve these final cases.

This film is light years away from the fast-paced current film series with Robert Downey Jr. or the TV version with Benedict Cumberbatch. However, it is well suited to the aged Holmes. McKellen does a brilliant job of making Holmes seem sympathetic yet true to the personality traits we have come to associate with him. It is beautifully filmed. Laura Linney is perfectly cast as his dotage years housekeeper and Milo Parker is terrific as his son. The plot, although not brilliant, is serviceable for what is basically a character study. Maybe not the Sherlock Holmes you’ve come to know, but one worth spending some time with. Recommended.

Patti Abbott
In addition to being the Crimespree Senior Film Critic, Patti has penned numerous short stories and her debut novel, CONCRETE ANGEL, is in stores now. She hosts a look at Forgotten Books every Friday with readers, writers and reviewers at She hopes you’ll join in