REVIEW: Netflix’s Enola Holmes is Captivating, Peculiar, and Delightful

Sherlock Holmes may be a famous detective, scholar, chemist, virtuoso violinist, expert marksman, swordsman, singlestick fighter, pugilist, and brilliant detective thinker… but his little sister Enola is about to give him a run for his money.

Later this month on September 23, Enola Holmes arrives on Netflix, bringing a new web of mysteries and the story of a budding-new-sleuth that you won’t want to miss!

I screened Enola Holmes this weekend and enjoyed it so very much. In fact, it even inspired these Enola Holmes chrysanthemum clue cookies! Find the tutorial here.

Now, where to begin?

It’s 1884 in England and we find ourselves immersed in the Holmes family drama. On the morning of her 16th birthday, Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown) wakes to find that her mother (Helena Bonham Carter) has disappeared, leaving behind an odd assortment of gifts but no apparent clue as to where she’s gone or why.

After a free-spirited childhood, Enola suddenly finds herself under the care of her brothers Sherlock Holmes (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft Holmes (Sam Claflin), both set on sending her away to a finishing school for “proper” young ladies.

Refusing to follow their wishes, Enola escapes to search for her mother in London. But when her journey finds her entangled in a mystery surrounding a young runaway Lord (Louis Partridge), Enola becomes a super-sleuth in her own right, outwitting her famous brother as she unravels a conspiracy that threatens to set back the course of history.

Based on the beloved book series by Nancy Springer, Enola Holmes is a dynamic new mystery-adventure that introduces the world’s greatest detective to his fiercest competition yet: his teenage sister. The game is afoot.

Directed by Harry Bradbeer, Enola Holmes is produced by Mary Parent, Alex Garcia, Ali Mendes, Millie Bobby Brown, and Paige Brown, and written by Jack Thorne.

Millie Bobbie Brown is Delightful as Enola

We all know Millie Bobbie Brown as Eleven from Stranger Things and Madison Russell from Godzilla: King of the Monsters. In both roles she’s wowed us with her acting range — from psychokinetic, telepathic pre-teen to a teenage scientist with the gusto to stand up to her parents, Millie has largely played serious roles. But as Enola, we see the enchanting, light-hearted charisma that Millie can also bring to the screen.

From her untraditional upbringing, Enola may not have been taught to embroider, but she was taught to watch, listen, and choose her own path (not to let others choose it for her). Reading, science, sports, and exercise trained Enola up to be a super-sleuth, allowing her to keep up with her reputable big brother Sherlock Holmes.

Millie brings Enola’s character to life and has such a fun and entertaining on-screen presence. You won’t want to take your eyes off of her, including the moments of her turning to the camera to talk to you, the viewer.

While Henry Cavill as Sherlock is a brilliant casting, I love that this Holmes mystery is led by a female protagonist and a worthy detective in her own right.

History is at a Turning Point

Not only does the character of Enola go through a personal transformation — from innocent girl living at home to empowered young lady in the city of London — but England itself is at a turning point.

From the women’s suffrage movement to issues of equality and independence, the story takes place during a time in British history when the winds of social change were gaining speed on several fronts.

Seeing both Sherlock and Enola race to solve a mystery highlights not only the family’s knack for solving a case, but also the challenges that society posed to women versus men.

Eclectic Style

The film’s sets, props, and costumes are all captivating, but my favorite scenes were those at Ferndell Hall, the somewhat-dinsintegrating Holmes family estate.

Capturing Mrs. Holmes’ unique, peculiar, and rather-careless decorating style (or lack thereof), we find a treasure trove of unique pieces — from dried flowers to paintings, busts, books, maps, chemistry items, and more.

I also loved the film’s transitions which feature unique artwork and sketches of the characters and newspaper clippings, all adding to the eclectic style of the film.

My Recommendation

Whether you’re a Sherlock Holmes fan, a Millie Bobbie Brown fan, or just love a fun mystery, Enola Holmes is a must-watch for both adults and teens. The upbeat tempo will keep you laughing, smiling, and intrigued the whole way through the case, while providing a unique perspective on the women’s suffrage movement and the societal differences for men and women in 1884 England.

Needless to say, I definitely recommend watching Enola Holmes when it is released on Netflix on September 23, and I also plan to rewatch it myself.

Watch the Trailer with Me

Stream Enola Holmes on Netflix on September 23.

—> Browse my favorite Enola Holmes movie quotes

—> Decorate some delightful Enola Holmes cookies


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