Review: HOLMES AND WATSON is Painfully Bad4 min read

By Trina Boice


This terrible comedy takes the old British “whodunit” characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, and attempts to modernize them with slapstick humor.  The plot is very thin and, in fact, the audience is told at the beginning of the movie that none of it really matters.  They’re right.

Sadly, it's just not funny.  I'm assuming that the writers were completed drunk or high (or both) when they wrote this, thinking it was hilarious.  If you're sober when you watch this, you know full well that it's just not good comedy.


Nope.  Holmes And Watson is just really stupid.  Here's an indication of how bad this movie is….when Sony tried to sell the film to Netflix, Netflix DECLINED.  Wow. Theaters have reported that there has been an impressive amount of audience members who actually walked out of the Holmes And Watson movie because they thought it was so awful.  It has a mind-boggling low 8% score on the “Tomatometer” on Rotten Tomatoes.  Wow.

The trailer shows pretty much the best parts of the movie.  If you think the trailer looks stupid, then you're right about the rest of the movie.  There is a lot of physical comedy and slapstick.  That's good if you like that kind of humor, but if you're hoping for more intelligent humor, you won't find it here.

It’s just lazy film-making.  There is some really terrible voice-over dubbing and the editing is noticeably bad.  There are several scenes where they're eating onions, but you can tell they're really not eating onions and it just looks stupid.  Audiences are a lot smarter than this movie gives them credit for.  There were a lot of political jabs at the United States and its president.  Once might be funny, but it gets old real fast.  There is also a random, terrible musical number that is simply painful to watch.  The movie ended with a cliff hanger for a sequel.  Nooooo!  Nobody wants more of this sloppy filmmaking.

It’s surprising that two-time Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes said yes to this script.  There is a funny cameo of Billy Zaine though.  He had it right…make a 5 second appearance and be done.  Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are two British comedians who are beloved in their country, yet haven’t had a huge break in the USA.  It’s too bad they picked this slog of a film to be in.


  • Profanity, including an F-bomb

  • Crude gestures

  • Peeing jokes

  • A young child is in a boxing match

  • Lots of talk of a certain male anatomical body part

  • Suggestive romance scenes that are super awkward

  • I could see 6-10 year old boys thinking it’s really funny.  Everyone else will roll their eyes.

I love Kelly Macdonald's adorable Scottish actress.  She was the actress who voiced the lead role in the cute movie Brave Your kids will definitely recognize her voice.  Unfortunately, she spends most of this movie playing a really dumb character. What am I saying?  Pretty much everyone in this movie plays a dumb character.


Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly have worked together twice before in Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby and Step Brothers.  Together, they have good chemistry, but it's not enough to save this horrible movie. They both know comedy, so I'm surprised they didn't walk away from this script.  The worthwhile message they create is that of friendship and loyalty.  The two characters learn to trust each other and work well together. Another worthwhile message is the classic Sherlock Holmes talent of using logic and deduction to solve problems. 

For a whodunnit that's actually funny, check out the 80's classic Clue. Rent or buy it here. 

Trina Boice is an author of 23 books and teaches online for BYU-Idaho in the Pathway program.  She received the Young Mother of the Year honor in 2004, an award that completely amuses her 4 sons. She’s a popular international speaker in China and writes movie reviews at You can find her books on Amazon, and at

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