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4 Movies like Sherlock Holmes: Mystery & Victorian Atmosphere

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Jane Howarth itcherSherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and The Seven-Per-Cent Solution compete in the Holmes and Watson stakes, but The Da Vinci Code and The Prestige capture that Sherlock Holmes spirit, too. ~ Jane Howarth

Sherlock Holmes (Guy Ritchie, 2009) gets it just right. Bringing together a race against time, a spooky return from the grave and deadly adversaries aplenty, it’s not short on anything.

But are there any movies as good as Sherlock Holmes?  I think there just might be…

So, Just What Are Movies Like Sherlock Holmes About?

Great cast, creepy Victorian atmosphere, lots of action and most importantly, a mystery that keeps you guessing.

And I can’t resist those murky occult plots.

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If the world of Holmes and Watson is what draws you in, try these.

`Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows´ (Guy Ritchie, 2011)

Have you checked out Guy Ritchie’s sequel, Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows?  It’s every bit as exciting and as the first film, with extra Holmes favourites on the side.

Mycroft and Moriarty both make appearances, and the plot includes some famous moments. The second movie also gets the chance to visit some new locations, so if you’re all Londoned out, never fear.

I can’t help finding the train sequence suspenseful and hilarious every time – I actually kind of wish it took place later in the movie, so I could look forward to it.

`The Seven-Per-Cent Solution´ (Herbert Ross, 1976)

The most traditional Sherlock Holmes you’ll find on this list, but even so, Herbert Ross’s The Seven-Per-Cent Solution has been credited for shaking off the legacy of Basil Rathbone.

If you’ve read the books, you’ll know that Holmes is less than flawless, and sometimes, less than refined. Sounds a little like Robert Downey Jr.’s interpretation, right? I kind of prefer that.

In the original stories, Holmes is forever nipping off to shady spots, up to who knows what, and that’s what makes him stand out.

We’ve got other detectives to play by the rules, so let’s keep Holmes rebellious and kind of weird!

Any Other Action-Packed Mysteries Out There?

Sure, there are!  If you like Sherlock Holmes movie you will like – wait, no – you will love these two.

`The Da Vinci Code´ (Ron Howard, 2006)

Dan Brown’s pseudo-mythological stories are literary and cinematic Marmite, but leave that aside and just enjoy the action.

Robert Langdon chases a crime across Paris, London and beyond. The crime? A secret society-related murder mystery that can only be solved by intelligence, knowledge and reasoning.

Yeah, Holmes and Watson would approve.

And just like our favourite duo, Langdon is in a strange position – he’s brought in by the police to solve certain mysteries only an expert can decipher, but thanks to a bizarre twist of fate, he falls on the wrong side of the law. This neat idea might even be my favourite element of the movie – it takes some normality out of the equation.

He can’t just leave it to the police to solve the original murder, and it’s no use turning to them for help either. And there we have it – a premise I’m totally willing to follow.

`The Prestige´ (Christopher Nolan, 2006)

Missing that London smog? I found some for you.

If you were intrigued by Blackwood’s return from the dead, you’ll find plenty of that Victorian fascination with technology and the mystical in this unnerving tale of two feuding magicians.

Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale are (much, much darker) equals to the Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law combination.

The movies also share that creeping, sinister feeling that things could take a dark turn at any moment.

But this time, it’s amplified by the fact that we’re watching the main characters grow increasingly obsessive. No detectives here – with The Prestige, we’re on the other side of the story.

Oh, and look out for my favourite David Bowie guest spot, too. You can’t miss it.


Know any Movies Like Sherlock Holmes?

Could Holmes and Watson crack The Da Vinci Code with time to spare to unravel the creepy magic of The Prestige? I like to think so.

For me, these movies live up to the twists, turns and all-round thrills of the Sherlock Holmes movie. But now, it’s your turn – what’s your favourite movie in the style of Sherlock Holmes? Any I missed? Maybe it’s a 221B Baker Street classic, or maybe it’s something totally different.

Don’t keep it to yourself, let us know!

**For a video playlist of the recommendations, please click here.

Hi, I’m Jane, BA (Drama, Film and TV) and MA (Cultural and Creative Industries). When I’m not writing about creative things, I’m designing or planning them. If you’re brave enough to risk an avalanche, look behind the stacks of books and DVDs and you’ll find me balancing a cup of tea, a handful of knitting and a cupcake.
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