Holmes and Watson (2018)


Critic Consensus: The lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson than does Holmes and Watson.


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Movie Info

Legendary detective Sherlock Holmes and his partner Doctor Watson return for a comedic take on their classic literary partnership, as they use their incredible deductive minds to solve a mystery.

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Will Ferrell
as Sherlock Holmes
John C. Reilly
as Dr. Watson
Rebecca Hall
as Dr. Grace Hart
Rob Brydon
as Inspector Lestrade
Kelly Macdonald
as Mrs. Martha Hudson
Ralph Fiennes
as Professor James Moriarty
Hugh Laurie
as Mycroft
Pam Ferris
as Queen Victoria
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Critic Reviews for Holmes and Watson

All Critics (67) | Top Critics (14)

Holmes & Watson is bad.

Dec 28, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

If a comedy falls in the forest and nobody laughs, did it even exist?

Dec 27, 2018 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

It's so painfully unfunny we're not sure it can legally be called a comedy.

Dec 27, 2018 | Rating: .5/5 | Full Review…

"Holmes & Watson" is one of those movies that goes beyond unfunny and into a comedy-cubist zone, where jokes are no longer recognizable and laughter is philosophically impossible.

Dec 27, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

No brain cells are harmed by Holmes & Watson, just given a few hours to rest and regenerate.

Dec 26, 2018 | Full Review…

Stan and Ollie is a movie about a comedy duo that has seen better days, while Holmes & Watson merely stars one.

Dec 26, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Holmes and Watson


If this were made in 2007, in between Talladega Nights and Step Brothers, that Hugh Laurie cameo would have either been Vince Vaughn or Ben Stiller and it would have been all the better for it. Still, even if Holmes & Watson were to come out some eleven years ago it wouldn't have been directed by Adam McKay (the director of those aforementioned Ferrell and Reilly collaborations) and that is the chief issue with this rushed, lifeless, excursion into a premise that never takes off; a skit that should have been cut not because of a lack of time, but because the premise wasn't near substantial enough to support the time it's given. As someone who turned 16 in 2003 and already adored Ferrell due to his SNL performances it was like seeing the rest of the world discover what I already knew that year when he delivered the one-two punch of Old School and Elf (I realize the former wasn't immediately seen as a success, but it's long since become a cult favorite). In the years that followed, Ferrell would go on to become a comedy titan thanks in large part to his collaborations with McKay-each of which are exceptional in their own right-but if Holmes & Watson signifies anything it is the end of an era; the final nail in the coffin that began being built a few years back with the likes of Get Hard and Daddy's Home, and continued through to last year with The House and a Daddy's Home sequel. In 2009, something like Land of the Lost was the exception, not the rule, but Ferrell has turned such expectations on their head and now we expect nothing less than cheap comedy from a guy who was once the king of being smart and cutting by being dumb and funny. Ferrell isn't the only one who has fallen prey to this plague of unfunny-friends in his "Frat Pack" have also had an equally tough time adapting their comedy and careers to their age as Stiller made Zoolander 2, Vaughn and Owen Wilson re-teamed for The Internship, and who knows where Luke Wilson has been for the last decade, but Ferrell's fall-for one reason or another-hurts a little more. Holmes & Watson is not a good movie and considering how good we know Ferrell and John C. Reilly can be together Holmes & Watson is even more disappointing, but it's not the out and out atrocity that's causing hoardes of walk-outs either. It has less than a handful of inspired comedic moments in a script where the same joke is repeated scene after scene to the same degree of effectiveness: little to none. A musical number that should have gone bigger and a zinger of a cameo, both near the end of the film, are easily the best things writer/director Etan Cohen's film has to offer. So, is Holmes & Watson a good movie? No. Was I ever bored to the point I didn't continue to hold out hope things might get better? No, not until the end came and I realized hope for Ferrell might forever be lost. At least until he gets a little older and redeems himself critically with more serious-minded work only to then make a glorious return to comedy and is subsequently discovered by a new generation of fans where the likes of Holmes & Watson will have long been forgotten and is never brought up again.

Philip Price
Philip Price

Super Reviewer

Atrocious on all accounts. Even Will Ferrell deserves better. Rating: 11

Bradley J
Bradley J

Super Reviewer

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