Parents' Guide to

Holmes & Watson

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Bad slapstick and innuendo ruin good-natured buddy comedy.

Movie PG-13 2018 89 minutes
Holmes & Watson Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 21 parent reviews

age 18+


Full of distasteful political "humor", sexual innuendos and vulgarities, reference to drug use, and definitely not a family-friendly movie. Aside from all that, it's also just not very funny.
age 18+

Ferrels worst casting and script to date.

The movie begins with a glimmer of hope and promise as you see Holmes as a young boy in a semi humorous "origin story", but all hopes slowly fade as you realize that after the first 10 minutes it all goes downhill from there. Enter our lead men. Will Ferrel is a one trick pony, meaning he plays stupid well. But you can't shoe horn that schtick into a "brilliant detective" role. The movie constantly reiterates what a great sleuth he is all the while Sherlock is an utter buffoon throughout who's almost always wrong . Add cringeworthy dialog, constant juvenile sexual jokes that simply aren't original or amusing, then even throw in a terrible musical number and you are left with the worst joke of all, THIS MOVIE.

This title has:

Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (21):
Kids say (21):

This shockingly misguided assault of repetitive bad slapstick and sexual innuendo would be an almost complete disaster if not for the two leads' chemistry and the appealing period design. It probably seemed like a good idea to re-team Ferrell and Reilly for Holmes & Watson, given that they worked so well together in Talladega Nights, Step Brothers, and several Funny or Die videos, but a few things go fatally wrong here. Primarily, the whole concept overlooks the fact that Ferrell's humor works best when he plays childish/childlike characters; the intelligent, unemotional Holmes is precisely the opposite.

Plus, writer/director Etan Cohen (Get Hard) replaces the wonderfully weird, verbal, behavioral humor that Ferrell and Reilly specialize in with the most basic, broadest slapstick imaginable -- it's like something you'd expect from a Farrelly Brothers comedy. Jokes based on bashing characters in the face/poisoning them fall flat and then they are unwisely repeated, as if poking and prodding us into laughing. Even verbal jokes seem to be trying a little too hard. But a few small giggles pop up once in a long while, and a surprisingly fun musical number that surfaces at the 11th hour at least ends things with a small measure of goodwill that's otherwise missing.

Movie Details

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