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Sherlock Holmes is a 2009 film adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional
character of the same name. The film was directed by Guy Ritchie and
produced by Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram, Susan Downey and Dan Lin. The
screenplay by Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham and Simon Kinberg is
based on Lionel Wigram's story and Doyle's characters. Robert Downey, Jr. and
Jude Law respectively portray Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

The film was released in the United States on December 25, 2009, and on
December 26, 2009, in the UK, Ireland, and the Pacific

In 1891 London, Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Dr. John Watson
(Jude Law) race to prevent a human sacrifice ritual conducted by Lord
Blackwood (Mark Strong). Holmes and Watson stop the sacrifice just in time
and neutralize Lord Blackwood, after which the police, led by Inspector
Lestrade (Eddie Marsan), arrive and arrest him.

Blackwood's execution occurs three months later, during which Holmes has
become bored without a new case. Watson prepares to leave 221B Baker
Street to establish his own business, and he intends to marry Mary Morstan
(Kelly Reilly). Blackwood requests Holmes' presence on the day of his
execution, and warns him that three more deaths will occur after his execution
that will change the very nature of their world. Later, Blackwood is executed by
hanging, declared dead by Watson himself.

Holmes is re-acquainted with Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams). She offers him a
sum of money to pursue a case of a missing red-haired midget by the name of
Reardon. Holmes disguises himself to find the identity of Adler's employer, but
can only surmise him as a professor. Three days after Blackwood's execution,
his tomb is found shattered, from the inside out, and an eyewitness reports
seeing Blackwood walking away. Holmes, Watson, and Lestrade find
Blackwood's coffin contains the body of the red-haired midget. Holmes follows
clues from a pocketwatch on the body to the midget's home, where they
discover several chemistry experiments. They narrowly avoid capture by three
thugs that have arrived to destroy the evidence in the home, but subsequently
are arrested for property damage. Watson is released on bail by Miss Morstan,
while Holmes is taken to the Temple of the Four Orders, an occult-dabbling
secret society. Their leaders reveal Blackwood was a former member, and
plead for Holmes to help stop him. Holmes declines their generous offers of
reward but continues to investigate. As Holmes and Watson investigate, the
two senior members are killed through apparent magical means by Blackwood,
and he assumes control of the order, desiring to use the Order's power to push
for England to retake the United States after their civil war has weakened their
defenses. Blackwood orders the Home Secretary, a member of the Order, to
issue a warrant for Holmes' arrest.

Holmes and Watson follow clues to an industrial slaughterhouse, where they
are taunted by Blackwood and forced to rescue Adler from a deathly conveyor
belt trap. Watson chases after Blackwood but is caught by a tripwire, setting off
an explosion; Watson is able to warn Holmes and Alder to safety but is badly
injured himself in the explosion. Holmes learns he is wanted by the police and
goes into hiding, and reflects on the clues he has collected. He comes to realize
that Blackwood is attempting to cast a spell based on the sphinx, with the
three murdered tied to three of the mythical creature's animal constituents:
man, ox, and eagle. Holmes deduces the fourth, the lion, is symbolized by the
English Parliament. Holmes allows Lestrade to capture and bring him to the
Home Secretary. Overconfident, the Secretary reveals Blackwood's plan for
wiping out all the Lords but save those loyal followers of his. Holmes escapes,
diving into the river Thames, and is rescued by a waiting boat with Watson and
Adler in it.

The film's climax takes place on the unfinished Tower Bridge.

Regrouping with Watson and Adler, Holmes takes them to the sewers below
Parliament where they find a machine devised by the midget that is operated
by a remote trigger held by Blackwood that will release a cyanide derivative
into the Parliament chambers. The three fight off Blackwood's men and
dislodge the cyanide cylinders from the machine. Adler grabs the cylinders and
races away, followed by Holmes; Blackwood becomes aware his machine has
failed and shortly follows thereafter. The three arrive at the top of the Tower
Bridge, still under construction. Blackwood knocks Adler to a lower platform,
where she falls unconscious. Holmes tricks Blackwood into becoming entangled
in the ropes and chains, and Blackwood is soon hanging precariously from
these over the Thames while Holmes recounts that all of Blackwood's
"mystical" acts (including faking his own death) were simply applications of
science and trickery. Holmes intends for Blackwood to stand trial but, tangled
in ropes, Blackwood falls and is hanged by the chains. Holmes helps Adler
recover, though handcuffs her. She explains that the mysterious caped man in
the carriage is Professor Moriarty. Adler warns Holmes that Moriarty "is just as
brilliant as he is, and infinitely more devious". Holmes drops the key to the
cuffs in Adler's cleavage and leaves her, returning to Watson. The police arrive
to report a dead officer found near Blackwood's device, and Holmes deduces
that chasing Adler and fighting Blackwood was a diversion by Moriarty, who
used the distraction to take a key component of Blackwood's remote control
device from the machine. Holmes accepts the case.

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