A sensitive and touching central performance from Ian McKellen is the most recommendable element of the functional but limited Mr. Holmes.

Sadly the protagonist is failed on nearly all sides, hamstrung by an uncompelling central mystery, occasionally hammy dialogue and some suspect regional accents. The final result is that Mr. Holmes fails to build on its promising early themes in any meaningful way.

McKellen is, however, provided some support by the young Roger (an excellent Milo Parker), who delivers some noticeable, touching and tangible highs to proceedings. Outside of their interplay, there is little else.

Mr. Holmes just about gets the job done thanks to McKellen and Parker, but too many mediocre elements ensure this affair is a sad waste of a strong concept.



CAST: Ian McKellen, Milo Parker, Laura Linney, Roger Allam

DIRECTOR: Bill Condon

WRITERS: Mitch Cullin (novel), Arthur Conan Doyle (characters) and Jeffrey Hatcher (writer).

SYNOPSIS: An aged, retired Sherlock Holmes looks back on his life, and grapples with an unsolved case involving a beautiful woman.