Review: Young Sherlock Holmes

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Young Sherlock Holmes opened on this date in 1985. The Amblin Entertainment film starred Nicholas Rowe and Alan Cox. The film was directed by Barry Levinson.


A young Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson meet at an English boarding school during the 19th century. When a string of strange deaths start to happen, Holmes decides to investigate. The greatest detective of all-time goes on his very first adventure in Young Sherlock Holmes.


  • The production design and costumes in Young Sherlock Holmes are well crafted. The film looks and feels authentic to the period it is depicting.
  • Young Sherlock Holmes features an exciting third act that ends the film on a high note.
  • The lead characters are handled well and the film offers a surprising death that really makes an emotional impact.


  • The mystery in the film isn’t worthy of the legacy of Sherlock Holmes. The film’s twist regarding the villains is obvious and not nearly as shocking as the script wants it to be.
  • The first two acts of Young Sherlock Holmes are tedious and uneventful. The third act picks up when the film abandons the mystery solving and turns into a more straightforward action film.

In Closing:

Young Sherlock Holmes fails at delivering a whodunit that we care about and it is far more successful when it relies on action. The film makes some daring choices in regards to how it handles it characters, but too much of the plot offers little to be excited about. Young Sherlock Holmes is a decent kids adventure. Sadly, it fails to deliver the sort of intrigue you would expect from a Sherlock Holmes mystery.

Rating: C