Sherlock Holmes has been an enduring darling of cinema since silent film days, and he continues to fascinate with ever-new interpretations. Now director Bill Condon has the audacity and the imagination to make an increasingly senile, senior Sherlock the entertaining anchor of "Mr. Holmes," starring the always-superb Sir Ian McKellen in a disarming tour de force performance.
First the title: the fifth estate refers to a class of society beyond the clergy, the nobility, the commoners and the press. In this relatively stodgy film, the fifth estate is personified by Julian Assange accompanied by Wikileaks.
Maybe if "Hyde Park on Hudson" had stuck with one main story, it would have succeeded, but in trying to tell two stories, and not telling either with clarity or purpose, the film becomes seriously flawed, although not less worthy of discussion as a film and history, albeit plastic.