'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows'
(Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Rachel McAdams, Jared Harris, et al / PG-13 / 121 mins)
Overview: Brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) matches wits with the nefarious Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris) after uncovering a diabolical plot to destabilize the entire Western world in this sequel from director Guy Ritchie. A criminal mastermind without a conscience, Professor Moriarty is Holmes' worst nightmare -- a man who uses his incredible intellect for unspeakably evil purposes.
Verdict: After seeing the original Sherlock Holmes, I said, "That movie was great! Even if they don't make a sequel, it wouldn't both me." Today, I find myself saying the same thing about A Game of Shadows. The personalities of Holmes and Watson again worked well together, and the overall story was well-crafted and entertaining.
Also, the plot worked on a much broader scale than the original, so you don't feel like it's just a re-hash of the original. The new canon characters that are introduced or expanded upon brought more life to the movie and created a much closer version of the original Doyle works.
If I had to nitpick, the only thing I felt seemed out of place was the much-increased use of slow motion. Don't get me wrong, I thought it was a great cinematic effect every time it was used, but in a few places I wondered if it was necessary. Overall the best movie I've seen this year, and I recommend it to everyone, even if you haven't read the books.