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Mr. Holmes: Movie Review

Movieguide Magazine


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Mr. Holmes is a mystery drama based on the popular fictional character, Sherlock Holmes. It takes a new twist on a classic tale telling a story about Mr. Holmes after retirement, with a strong moral worldview.

Set in 1947, Sherlock Holmes, is an aging old man struggling with memory loss. He has just returned from a trip to Japan, in search for a rare plant he hopes will restore his memory. Set in a remote farmhouse near the sea, Holmes spends his final days tending to his bees, finding peace in their company and believing their honey, like the plant from Japan, will counteract his early memory loss.

Unfit to care for himself, a housekeeper, Mrs. Munro, and her son, Roger, move in to assist him. Roger, who has recently lost his father in the war, forms an unlikely friendship with Mr. Holmes. Holmes comes to love the boy as his own while Roger provides the encouragement Holmes needs to help complete an unsolved case from his past. Through a series of flashbacks, the audience learns of the tragic case that forced Holmes into retirement. (For more of the plot, go to

Mr. Holmes is a beautifully shot movie. The cinematography, set design and images of the seaside elicit a beautiful, poetic tone throughout. The story starts out slow and is a bit drawn out, but with the presence of the young Roger it picks up, adding a newfound reason to care for the characters. Based on the novel A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin, the movie does an excellent job conveying the life of a real man, not the celebrity. It breaks down the stereotypes of fame and fortune showing that every person, even the great Sherlock Holmes, grapples with something within themselves.

Mr. Holmes has a strong moral worldview of honoring your parents, forgiving those that wronged you, always being honest, and doing everything with compassion. Mr. Holmes is a positive influence for young children showing people with good virtues can rise to the top. The movie appears to have a Christian, redemptive worldview emphasizing putting others before yourself and being kind to everyone, even those that can do nothing for you. Mr. Holmes doesn’t have any harmful explicit content, but the subject of suicide warrants caution. Its drawn out shots mixed with classical music will leave one feeling refreshed, but this classical approach caters to a more mature, patient audience.

Republished from with permission.

NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide Magazine: Movieguide is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood by informing parents about today's movies and entertainment and by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year in and year out. For more information, go to

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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