PG | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Review - Matt Mungle

**In theaters July 17, 2015**

Synopsis: An aged, retired Sherlock Holmes looks back on his life, and grapples with an unsolved case involving a beautiful woman.

Review: Lately when we think of Sherlock Holmes our minds go to the faces of Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, or Jonny Lee Miller. The image is young, smartly dressed, suave and full of wit and vinegar. We have long forgotten or never knew of Basil Rathbone, Christopher Lee, or Peter Cushing.

So seeing an older, less agile, and more forgetful Holmes takes a few bars to get into.This Holmes (Ian McKellan) may be more aged but you soon see he has the same tenacity and glint in his eye that any Sherlock before him. These days he tends more to his bee hives and less to a good mystery. His house keeper (Laura Linney) and her young son Roger (Milo Parker) are his only companions. As he mentally wrestles with remembering and closing the unsolved case of Ann Kelmot (Hattie Morahan) he and Roger build a very strong friendship.

In fact it is Roger that seems to keep Holmes moving forward with the story and the past. The pairing of the old and the young in film is not always successful but here they get along quite nicely. The dialogue is written casually enough that the conversations between Roger and Holmes never feels rehearsed or forced. It helps too that Parker never seems intimidated working with the seasoned McKellan.He stands toe to toe with him with a fervor of an actor twice his age.

There are stories within the story here. Holmes and the old case, Holmes and his trip to Japan to see a Umezaki (Hiroyuki Sanada), Roger and his mom, Holmes and his internal struggle with the past; all woven together in one synchronized tapestry.

MR. HOLMES is rated PG for thematic elements, some disturbing images and incidental smoking. There is nothing offensive, crude, or inappropriate about the content but at the same time the characters and theme is more beneficial for older audiences. The timing and dialogue a tad slow for younger audiences. I give it 3.75 out of 5 keen observations. Though it took a few moments to embrace, McKellan quickly sells the spirit of Holmes and the story keep you engaged until the end.

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