Austin Burke’s review published on Letterboxd:
YouTube review coming🔜
2020 list - Click HERE
This film was absolutely charming in every way, and it gives us another reason to be excited about Millie Bobby Brown as an actress. She hasn’t necessarily done anything outside of Stranger Things that has impressed me, and she doesn’t speak all that much in that show (so I was getting a bit worried). This film proves that she has the charm, likability, and (most importantly) presence to fill this kind of role. Her surrounding cast is excellent as well; Cavill owns as Sherlock Holmes, Claflin is completely unrecognizable, and Burn Gorman is always perfect at being a slithering and sinister character. While it may be a bit on the nose at times, and the story gets a bit easy to predict, the level of fun you are having while watching will compensate for any minor writing criticisms.
This fourth-wall-breaking protagonist turns out to be an excellent one. I will say, there is something about those “talking to the camera” moments that didn’t always land with me. There are a handful of them that felt awkward, and I’m not sure if that’s what they were going for, but we are here for the mystery of it all. They had to deliver on an interesting “problem to solve,” and while it’s an unexpected one, they absolutely do. We are introduced to Louis Partridge as Lord Tewksbury, and he provides us yet another charming character. His chemistry with Brown is great. I love her “no distractions” mentally throughout, but there is this caring attitude that she has towards others that really sends a good message for young viewers. This film in general is full of goodness and hope.
The main message is a positive one, and it only adds to the authenticity. Harry Bradbeer keeps the film upbeat, and he brings this style to it all that resonates well. While not perfect, I believe this is one of the best movies that families will watch together this year. There is so much franchise potential here, and it is almost one that requires more entries. Another issue I had was how many questions they left up to us to assume. I wanted to know more about the mystery behind her mother at the end, but we are so focused on this other storyline that we almost forget to address the “why” of it all (with her). It is addressed, but I wanted to know more about it. Regardless, this had the potential to fall flat, but it ended up being a massive gem on Netflix. It does nothing but add to the “Sherlock Holmes lore,” and it may end up being one of the best interpretations we have seen.
🔙The Devil All The Time