This movie has been repeatedly underrated since it came out in 1985 and for no good reason. It has strong writing, directing, acting and setting, and a balanced dose of mystery, fantasy, reality and adventure.
Sherlock Holmes, a young man still in school, faces a mystery that involves an old religious cult that may be responsible for the recent, strange murders taking place in London. Watson is the narrator of the story. He has just arrived at Sherlock's school, and fascinated by the charm, intelligence and wit of his soon to be good friend, follows him along on his adventure. Poisoned darts, DaVinci-like experiments, mysterious acquaintances, seemingly unexplained events, and ghosts from the past make an appearance and very soon "the game is afoot".
It has a solid script that combines the mundane environment and events of high school with an interesting mystery/adventure plot penned by Chris Colombus in the well-known Conan Doyle style. It has equally solid main characters that not only accurately portray younger versions of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, but also behave believably and in accord to the books written by Conan Doyle.
The realistically reproduced sets and costumes (you will even get to see the iconic cape, hat and pipe) and the speculative twists on the origins of the characters make this movie more than just enjoyable and entertaining, it makes it as charming as Holmes and Watson's personalities.
If you are a Sherlock Holmes fan or simply enjoy an old-fashioned, well-crafted, surprising mystery, buy this movie. You won't be disappointed.
--Reviewed by M. E. Volmar