Movie Review Flashback- Mr. Holmes

01 Mr. Holmes movie poster

Based on Mitch Cullin’s novel A Slight Trick of the Mind, Mr. Holmes is directed by Bill Condon and stars Sir Ian McKellen as Sherlock Holmes.

The movie begins in 1947 with Mr. Holmes retired and keeping bees. He returns from Japan where he finds his maid, the widowed Mrs. Munro, has brought her son Roger to live with them. Holmes takes a liking to the boy because he finds him “clever.” The maid is frustrated with Holmes as he is snarky with her.

Meanwhile, Holmes is trying to remember his final case, but his memory is starting to fade. He searches for notes and clues in his things. With his memory failing, he wants to tell the story of why he retired. He did not like his friend and colleague John Watson’s version of the events, and he wants to tell the truth. As he bonds with Roger, he delves deeper into his mind to learn the truth of his last case.

While slow at times, Mr. Holmes is one of the better “Holmes in retirement” stories. Sir Ian McKellen brilliantly portrays the great detective, and Laura Linney shines as his maid. Of course, Milo Parker stole the show as Roger, a young boy who manages to pierce the heart of the cold and now bitter Sherlock Holmes.

As a card-carrying Sherlockian, it was nice to see Holmes in his true environment. I’m not complaining, Benedict Cumberbatch is great as a modern Sherlock, but as a true fan of the great detective, this movie was pleasant viewing.

FAVORITE QUOTE: “One shouldn’t leave this life without a sense of completion.” -Sherlock Holmes

PARENTAL CONCERNS: Mild Language and some thematic elements


  • Ian McKellen as Sherlock Holmes
  • Laura Linney as Mrs Munro
  • Milo Parker as Roger Munro
  • Hiroyuki Sanada as Tamiki Umezaki
  • Hattie Morahan as Ann Kelmot
  • Patrick Kennedy as Thomas Kelmot
  • Roger Allam as Dr Barrie
  • Phil Davis as Inspector Gilbert
  • Frances de la Tour as Madame Schirmer
  • Colin Starkey as Dr. John Watson
  • Nicholas Rowe as “Matinee Sherlock”
  • Frances Barber as “Matinee Madame Schirmer”
  • John Sessions as Mycroft Holmes

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