09. Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
The reason that Game of Shadows is a better film than its predecessor, 2009’s Sherlock Holmes, comes down to one pivotal point: Downey’s performance, particularly with regards to his repartee with the other actors. Sure, he was great in the first installment, with his quick-witted, cavalier reboot of the iconic detective pairing nicely with Jude Law’s more nebbish Dr. Watson. However, his face-off with Jared Harris’ Professor Moriarty in the sequel really upped the ante, giving Downey the chance to show off his dramatic as well as comedic chops. Game of Shadows‘ Sherlock is a bit darker, certainly more disturbed by this film’s choice of adversary, and maybe not so cocksure after all. In short, he’s more interesting the second time around, and when the plot thickens, a lot more inventive, too.
Choice Downey Moment:
Sherlock Holmes: Conclusion: inevitable. Unless…
[Holmes blows ashes from his pipe into Moriarty’s face, grabs him, and topples them both over the balcony, down the falls]