A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Stay true to yourself and your path will find you. You don't have to be alone to be independent; working in a team or with a partner can bring layers of benefits. Sometimes you have to work within systems to change them. Other times, you have to go outside the system.
Positive Role Models
Female characters are independent, intelligent, strong. They take matters into their own hands in a time and society that undervalued and disempowered them, demonstrating courage. Family members and friends care for each other in a variety of ways.
Puts an unexpected diversity of races into a historical setting and its characters, some adapted from literature or history. Storylines revolving around Enola, her mother, and a case she takes on are all decidedly feminist; some aspects have roots in history.
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Violence & Scariness
Chases, pursuits, crashes, falls (including from great heights), stabbings, gunshots, knockdown fights, jiujitsu battles, blows to the head, explosions, the threat of typhus, and other dangerous or threatening moments, some involving a child. People die, and one scene shows a dead body with a bloody knife wound.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Flirtation, dancing, mild discussion of affairs, and one kiss.
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Products & Purchases
Prior Enola Holmes and Sherlock Holmes films, series, and books.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A character is visibly drunk in one scene. A character smokes a pipe.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the sequel Enola Holmes 2 continues the original's feminist, pro-diversity messages and sends the heroine (Millie Bobby Brown) into yet more dangerous situations. This film has chases, pursuits, crashes, falls (including from great heights), stabbings, gunshots, knockdown fights, jiujitsu battles, blows to the head, explosions, the threat of typhus, and other dangerous or threatening moments, some involving a child. People die, and one scene shows a dead body with a bloody knife wound. Enola is at the center of most of the action and is a trained fighter. She's also independent-minded and courageous, as her mother raised her, and so are many of the women she encounters. The film also carries a message of not isolating oneself in pursuit of independence or control over one's life. The series puts an unexpected diversity of races into a historical setting and its characters, some adapted from literature or history. There's one kiss and some mild flirtation and discussion of affairs. A character is visibly drunk in one scene. A character smokes a pipe. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Though this sequel doesn't quite live up to the creativity and excitement of the original, it's still an entertaining, well-acted, and finely produced adventure. Sequels generally start from a compromised place of instant comparison, and Enola Holmes 2 doesn't do itself many favors by incorporating so many flashbacks to the original. (Is this even necessary in the age of streaming, since viewers can refer back themselves with a click?) The references seem intent on focusing on Enola's childhood as an explanation for her character. But Enola is grown now, and her adult adventures are more interesting than her childhood lessons. Having her mother give her life and relationship advice as an adult in one scene is a more subtle touch, for example. Maybe this is a transition phase and Enola Holmes 3 will let grown-up Enola become more fully her own adult creation. For a franchise with so many feminist undertones, that would make sense.
And here's hoping the series does carry on, as the world and characters it's adapted and created are rife with possibilities. That is a great credit to the storytellers and actors, especially Brown (Cavill feels a little underused, though maybe he's just playing repressed), as well as to the production design. Enola's Victorian-era London is steely hued and fog shrouded, a combination of claustrophobic cobble-stoned neighborhoods and enhanced vistas of monuments and factories across the gray Thames. The wardrobe features equally subdued colors, which admirably serve the characters and story rather than distracting from them. Playing a baddie (intended to look "insect-like" via his costume design), Thewlis leads a cast of memorable secondary characters. It seems each new entry in the series will involve a historical event or person and bring in new characters for the follow-up. The mid-credits epilogue of Enola Holmes 2 opens the door, literally, to a potentially exciting addition to the cast.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.