Skip to main content

'Enola Holmes': Movie Review

Movieguide Magazine


Share This article

ENOLA HOLMES, an original Netflix movie, follows Sherlock Holmes’ teenage sister, Enola, another clever detective, who looks for answers to her mother’s sudden, mysterious disappearance. ENOLA HOLMES is fun and adventurous, with great performances from all actors, but the movie’s Romantic, feminist worldview is a bit politically correct, contains some fighting involving a teenage girl and warrants extreme caution.

A Netflix original movie, ENOLA HOLMES opens with Enola telling the audience about her life as a child. Enola explains that her father died when she was young, and her older brothers, Mycroft and the iconic detective Sherlock, both left soon after that. Now, it’s just Enola and her mother.

Enola’s mother taught her all about reading, self-defense, how Enola could be anything she wanted, and word games, something her mother loved. In fact, Enola’s name spelled backwards is alone, she points out, which will come in handy later. Enola says she and her mother had a nice life in the country by themselves, but her mother loved her privacy.

On the morning of her 16th birthday, Enola wakes up to a quiet house. Enola’s mother has left her all alone, but she does leave Enola a present that the maid gives her. It’s a box of cards that has flowers and different sayings on them, as well as a bag of letters for deciphering. The gift comes with instructions. Enola just has to figure out what they are, because she knows her mother would never leave her on purpose.

Later that day, Enola goes to pick up her estranged brothers from the train station. Mycroft and Sherlock are shocked at how tomboyish their younger sister has become. They have no idea what they were getting themselves into with her. Enola takes them home, only for them to be more shocked at how their mother let the house fall apart. Mycroft is disgusted that Enola hasn’t had any formal education or learned any ladylike manners, but Sherlock is indifferent about it.

Mycroft decides that, since Enola is now his responsibility, he will send her to finishing school. However, all Enola is worried about is finding her mother, and she knows that Sherlock will be able to help. Enola watches Sherlock inspect her mother’s room. Later that night, Enola herself begins to unlock the secret instructions her mother left her in her birthday present. Enola finds the clues in her mother’s room that were left for her and knows she has to follow them.

The next morning, Enola leaves home intent on finding out what happened to her mother. Mycroft doesn’t discover Enola is gone until he goes to fetch her to catch the carriage to her new school. Mycroft is furious and will do everything he can to find Enola, while Sherlock is impressed by his younger sister. Sherlock now has to find out where Enola’s run off too while he also searches for his mother.

Enola sets off on her journey to London to find her mother. However, she has no idea of the twists and turns that await her when she boards the train for London.

ENOLA HOLMES is a fun, adventurous tale that focuses on detective Sherlock Holmes’ sister. It keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. Millie Bobby Brown is brilliant in the role of the clever, strong-willed, smart Enola. Brown is joined by veteran actors Helena Bonham Carter, Henry Cavill and Sam Claflin, who also shine in their respective roles. The vibrant, upbeat music adds to the exciting mystery unfolding before the viewer.

However, ENOLA HOLMES has a strong Romantic, politically correct, feminist worldview. The movie teaches that the title character’s future is all up to her, that her life is her own, and that she can find out who she is as a person without her family. No one, especially a man, can tell her what to do. Viewers learn that Enola’s mother is secretly fighting for women’s rights (a subplot apparently involves a proposal to Parliament to expand voting rights). The movie also involves some fight scenes involving the teenage heroine. The politically correct worldview and violence in ENOLA HOLMES are mitigated by some Christian, moral elements, but MOVIEGUIDE® still advises extreme caution.

Share This article

About The Author

MOVIEGUIDE® was founded in 1985 by Dr. Ted Baehr, past president of the Episcopal Radio & Television Foundation and former director of the Television Center at the City University of New York. MOVIEGUIDE® is affiliated with the Christian Film & Television Commission® ministry (CFTVC). Both MOVIEGUIDE® and CFTVC are dedicated to redeeming the values of the entertainment industry, according to biblical principles, by influencing industry executives and artists and by informing and educating the public about the influence of the entertainment media and about how to train their families to become