Sherlock Holmes: 5 Awesome Performances And 5 That Sucked

When you have eliminated all the suckiest performances, whatever remains must be awesome.

Over the past few years, the 5 Awesome And 5 That Sucked series has brought you classic and dire performances from such screen legends of wildly variable output as Nicolas Cage, Mickey Rourke or Michael Caine. There is another kind of film and TV hero, though, that has an equally hit-and-miss performance history to the iconic actor: the iconic character. Yes, just as one genius Cage performance leads straight on to one that is almost unimaginably awful, the same can be said of the progression from one Dracula or Robin Hood to the next. Very few classic characters have appeared more often on screen than Sherlock Holmes and never has Baker Street's great detective been more popular than right now. The last couple of years have given us interpretations of the deerstalker loving sleuth from Robert Downey Jr. and Ian McKellan on the big screen to Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch on the small one. With the latter making his much anticipated return to the role in this week's The Abominable Bride, it's the perfect time to look back at the performers for whom embodying Holmes was elementary and the others whose acting choices were nothing more than a series of curious incidents. You lucky people are receiving a double dose of the Awesome/Sucked column this week (see our Bradley Cooper article for the release of Joy, which also went live today). There are 136 credits for Sherlock on IMDb, making him a screen star almost as ubiquitous as Samuel L. Jackson, so no place here for Downey, McKellan or Miller, enjoyable though their detective work was. Who out-sleuthed them? Let's kick-off with the awesome Holmeses...