Mr. Holmes

Ian McKellen plays the famous sleuth as a lion not going gentle into winter

Ian McKellen stars in 'Mr. Holmes.' Credit: Roadside Attractions

Don't think you can take another Hollywood version of Sherlock Holmes? Snap out of it. Apologies to Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch, but what Ian McKellen does with Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional detective in Mr. Holmes is nothing short of magnificent. This is Holmes at 93, coping with a failing memory and living on a Sussex farm, where he tends bees and relies on a widowed cook (Laura Linney) and her 14-year-old son, Roger (Milo Parker), a sleuth in training. In flashbacks, Holmes is seen dealing with his last case and with a married woman (Hattie Morahan) who might have been his great love. Director Bill Condon, who teamed superbly with McKellen on the Oscar-winning Gods and Monsters, brings us a riveting character study of a lion not going gentle into winter.