Pop Culture

'Mr. Holmes' debuts to solid reviews at San Francisco Film Festival

Sir Ian McKellen adds a new chapter to the Sherlock Holmes franchise.

Mr. HolmesMr. Holmes'Mr. Holmes' stars Sir Ian McKellen as retired Sherlock Holmes and Milo Parker as Holmes' housekeeper's son, Roger. (Photo: BBC Films/Miramax)

In March, we told you about the latest film that feeds into pop culture's insatiable desire to consume everything related to Sherlock Holmes. "Mr. Holmes" stars Sir Ian McKellen as the king of deduction, retired in 1940s England.

The film, directed by "Dreamgirls" director Bill Condon and produced by Aviv Giladi, the Israeli-born CEO of Icon UK, is based on the 2005 book "A Slight Trick of the Mind." In both the book and movie, Holmes is starting to wonder about his powers of deduction in the face of his advanced age. He ends up befriending the son of his country estate's live-in maid, who wants Holmes to solve one final mystery. The movie will also flash back 30 years and show why Holmes retired in the first place.


"Mr. Holmes" is set to be released July 17, but it made its U.S. debut at the San Francisco Film Festival this past week, after getting good reviews at the Berlin Film Festival in February. Meredith Brody at Indiewire, for instance, enjoyed the film. She cited the chemistry between McKellen and Milo Parker, who plays the boy who asks Holmes for help, as the film's highlight.

"Mr. Holmes will please both the Holmes aficionados and those new to the seemingly inexhaustible study of Holmesiana," Brody wrote. If you watch both "Sherlock" and "Elementary," and think of them as two different TV shows, you're likely with me in the group she describes. Between that and the fact that we'd watch Sir Ian reading the phone book, July 17 can't come fast enough.

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