Fast-paced, clever and hugely entertaining, this film will delight fans of Millie Bobby Brown and surely bring her more followers thanks to this outstanding role. Brown has become a cultural icon of girl power: Girls everywhere wanted to be her Stranger Things character Eleven, and now they'll crave to be the fiercely independent, confident, wily Enola, too.
Brown (who's also a producer on Enola Holmes) pairs off against a cast of established actors, including Helena Bonham Carter and Henry Cavill, and she fills nearly every scene with energy and intelligence in a role that's as physical as it is emotional.
The technique of having her character conspiratorially break the fourth wall to talk directly to the camera (like a teen-friendly Fleabag) creates complicity with the viewer. Interestingly, that playful dialogue seems to come and go with her character's own confidence and fortune.
Sherlock fans may be reluctant to accept a younger and more forward-thinking sister who outsmarts the great detective. And history buffs may bristle at the imposition of some contemporary values on late 1800s-era London. But smashing historical constructions and patriarchal obstacles seems to be exactly the point. And, anyway, doesn't the magic of many movies lie precisely in the suspension of disbelief?
Yes, Enola's regular combat conquests and speedy deductions are suspect. But really, who cares when a film is so well put together and just plain fun to watch? Considering that there are several books in the source series, here's hoping that Enola Holmes marks the start of a new franchise.
Read the full review at Common Sense Media.