Review: Netflix’s “Enola Holmes” offers refreshing take on famous detective

New to Netflix, the movie “Enola Holmes” was released on Sept. 23 with smash reviews and has been holding a strong #2 on the streaming service. The movie features Millie Bobbie Brown, Henry Cavill, Helena Bonham Carter, Louis Partride and Susan Wokoma. Photo courtesy of

New to Netflix, the movie “Enola Holmes” was released on Sept. 23 with smash reviews and has been holding a strong #2 on the streaming site. 

Based on a YA novel of the same name written by Nancy Springer, the story follows Sherlock Holmes’s younger sister, Enola on a whirlwind adventure of mystery, intrigue, and unexpected romance.

Notable members of the cast include “Millie Bobbie Brown” playing Enola Holmes, Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes, Helena Bonham Carter as Eudoria Holmes, Louis Partride as Tewkesbury, and Susan Wokoma as Edith.

Enola Holmes, played by popular “Stranger Things actor Brown, is not your typical Victorian young lady. Trained by her oddball mother Eudoria, her strengths lie in chemistry, cyphering, hand to hand combat and reading everything under the sun. 

However, one morning 14-year-old Enola finds her mother has disappeared in the middle of the night. She enlists the help of her older brothers, world-renowned detective Sherlock and strict, traditionalist Mycroft Holmes. 


With the disappearance of their mother, Mycroft insists Enola be sent to a finishing school for young ladies, to be properly educated. Enola manages to escape and goes on a wild search for her mother, by discovering ciphering clues Eudoria left behind specifically for her. 

Along the way, she meets young Viscount Tewkesbury of Basilwether, a young boy who is also trying to escape his suffocating upper-class family. Throughout this journey and search for her mother, Enola learns how to grow into adulthood by herself and believe in the gifts her mother taught her in order to “make her future her own.”

Overall, I very much enjoyed Enola Holmes. It was filmed beautifully with an intriguing plot and many surprises. I have been a fan of both Millie Bobbie Brown and Henry Cavill for a long time and always enjoy watching their work. 

A wonderful filming technique used in telling Enola’s story was talking to the audience, or “breaking the fourth wall.” Brown would speak directly to the camera to fill in key details or provide commentary on a situation. 

In certain dramatic moments, Brown would simply look over at the camera, the audience, to convey a specific emotion not shown to the other characters. This filming technique was only executed by Enola’s character. I personally really enjoyed that aspect because it kept a direct connection exclusively between the main character and the audience. I have seen a few movies over the years that have broken the fourth wall but “Enola Holmes gave the concept a refreshing take at just the right moments. 

Costumes in London, England during 1900 are no easy feat to pull off but “Enola Holmes” managed to explore and execute them beautifully. From day gowns to travel wear to workout clothes, the span of clothing was immense. 

Enola is an unruly tomboy and doesn’t conform to the traditional “powderpuff” skirt and corseted look acceptable for young ladies of the time period. To escape from her brother’s watchful gaze, Enola often disguises herself as both a young boy or a prim, polished young lady. She switches clothes with people often so as to stay undetected. 

Consolata Boyle created the costumes for the movie and had wonderful reimaginings for both upper-class clothing, schoolgirl clothes, and even the odd, comfort clothes Enola and her mother wore during fight lessons. 

“Enola Holmes” gives a refreshing take on the world-famous detective by forcing his story to take a backseat and make way for a young and up-in-coming female detective. Filled with stunning cinematography, a vibrant cast, and a wonderful story arc, it is the perfect Friday night movie for the start of fall!


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