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Enola Holmes Movie Review - Delightful Girl-Powered Mystery

Millie Bobby Brown makes us root for Enola.

Reviewed by on Sep 21, 2020
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld saw Enola Holmes on Netflix. The mystery drama adventure proves the versatility of Millie Bobby Brown and launches a new, empowered young movie heroine to root for. Check our movie review!

In Enola Holmes, it’s 1884 and England is due for some big changes. On her 16th birthday Enola (Millie Bobby Brown), sister of Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft (Sam Claflin) Holmes, wakes to find her mother (Helena Bonham Carter) missing with no explanation. Facing being sent to a posh “finishing school” to turn her into a proper woman, Enola escapes the family mansion to search for her mom in London. On the way she meets a teen runaway Lord Tewksbury (Louis Partridge) whose family is trying to kill him. Enola sometimes bests her famous brother at solving his mystery and that of her missing mom.

Enola Holmes Trailer



Strange Birthday

Enola Holmes, who was raised by her widowed mom to be very self-sufficient, physically-powerful and smart, rises on her 16th birthday to find her beloved mother missing. Although birthday gifts are left behind, Enola is shattered, especially when her older brothers, famous detective Sherlock and conservative Mycroft decide that she must be sent to Miss Harrison’s (Fiona Shaw) finishing school for girls! When she refuses, Mycroft slaps her and calls her a “wild thing” while Sherlock says he will find mother and is kinder to her. Enola admires Sherlock greatly but, after unscrambling a word puzzle note mom left and finding money intended for her, decides to dress as a boy, run away and find mom herself.

Sherlock and Mycroft treat Enola differentlySherlock and Mycroft treat Enola differentlyCourtesy of Netflix

Another Runaway

On the train to London, a disguised Enola meets a stowaway about her age. He’s a Marquis and a Lord named Tewksbury who also didn’t like his family’s plans for him. When a strange man in a bowler hat starts stalking the Lord, Enola has to make him jump with her from the train to save their lives. They become friends on the road but, once in London, Enola sends him away to start her search for mom. Realizing she has to fit in better, she spends some of her money on a striking new, very feminine outfit. Meanwhile, Sherlock and Mycroft read about the missing young Lord. Sherlock is more interested in finding mom and Enola. He reads that two “boys” jumped from a London-bound train.

Enola dons more feminine clothes in LondonEnola dons more feminine clothes in LondonCourtesy of Netflix

The Tea Room

Tracing an address to which mom used to write letters, Enola finds a tearoom whose owner Edith (Susan Wokoma) runs a martial arts school for women upstairs. She tells Enola that her mom has secret work to do here but won’t tell her where mom is. Unscrambling more word puzzles, Enola is led to Limehouse Lane where she finds a warehouse with “Give Women the Vote” pamphlets and tons of explosives! What is mother planning?  On leaving, she is grabbed by the man on the train who tries to drown then stab her. She has to use her own martial arts training and blows up mom’s explosives to stop him.

Enola's (Millie Bobby Brown) mother taught her many skillsEnola's mother taught her many skillsCourtesy of Netflix

Another Mystery to Solve

Enola’s attraction to Lord Tewksbury and her drive to solve mysteries makes her take a break from her search for mother to protect him. She thinks, for some reason, it’s his family who want him dead. She poses as a young widow and goes to the Tewksbury estate saying she is Sherlock Holmes “assistant” and will help find their missing young Lord. A Scotland Yard detective named Lestrade (Adeel Akhtar) is also trying to help but both are kicked out. Lestrade knows Sherlock and Enola proves she does too. Meanwhile, Sherlock talks with Edith in her tearoom. He’s gone there after reading mom’s hidden letters. Edith has seen Enola but doesn’t know where she has gone. She is concentrating on getting a big reform bill passed in parliament.

Enola (Millie Bobby Brown) poses as a widowEnola poses as a widowCourtesy of Netflix

The Treehouse and the Dowager

Again dressed as a boy, Enola sneaks onto the Tewksbury estate and finds the Lord’s secret treehouse where he planned his escape. A branch where he says he fell, seems to have been cut on purpose. She is found by his grandmother, the Dowager (Frances de la Tour) who talks about England’s glory and missing her grandson. She lets Enola go. Later Enola finds Tewksbury at a flower market where he’s working and takes him to her shabby room. She’s placed a coded ad in the local paper hoping to lure mom’s response. She says they are both in danger. His family wants him dead. Suddenly they find Lestrade in the room. Tewksbury escapes but Enola is taken back to Mycroft who places her in Miss Harrison’s academy where, after rebelling, she’s locked in her room.

Enola (Millie Bobby Brown) wants to protect TewksburyEnola wants to protect TewksburyCourtesy of Netflix


After a visit from Sherlock in which he expresses his admiration for her detective work, they compare notes and he leaves. Tewksbury has followed her there and helps her escape. They figure out that Tewksbury has a vote in parliament. If he dies, his uncle will inherit and have the vote. The young Lord would be for the reform bill whereas uncle would definitely not be. Ah, motive! At the family estate, Enola and the Lord tangle again with the evil man from the train who claims he is working for “England” but who is he actually working for? Which member of the Tewksbury family hired him? Will Enola find her mom? Will the young Lord vote for reform? Will Enola get to control her own life and continue her detective work?

Lord Tewksbury (Louis Partridge) comes to free Enola (Millie Bobby Brown)Lord Tewksbury comes to free EnolaCourtesy of Netflix

Wrapping Up

Enola Holmes, based on a book series by Nancy Springer, is a pet project of “Stranger Things” actress Millie Bobby Brown and she shines as the lead character in this fun, mystery with action, coming-of-age adventure drama.  In this case, a lead actor occasionally turning to talk to camera (the audience) works because comments are appropriate and delivered with charm and sass by Millie.

Sometimes, a frustrated Enola talks to usSometimes, a frustrated Enola talks to usCourtesy of Netflix

Sam Claflin and Henry Cavill work nicely as prim and proper, less than kind Mycroft and more understanding, super sleuth Sherlock who acknowledges his young sister’s talent for detection.

Sherlock (Henry Cavill) congratulates Enola on her detective workSherlock congratulates Enola on her detective workCourtesy of Netflix

The female empowerment message fits nicely into olden times in which all women were expected to marry, have kids and just shut up but, as portrayed by Millie, Enola Holmes could be any modern young woman finding her own path in life against all odds.

Enola's two brothers (Henry Cavill and Sam Claflin) come homeEnola's two brothers come homeCourtesy of Netflix

I found it to be a little illogical that Enola would pause her frantic search for her mother to take a side-trip to save Tewksbury and solve the mystery of who, in his family, wants him dead. But then she is attracted to him so… maybe youthful, romantic logic? 

As Enola learns to stand firmly on her new detective legs, the story is certainly set up for a great series of films. Since there are a few logic flaws in the plot, we award a strong four stars.

Enola Holmes Movie Rating: 4

Enola Holmes Movie PosterCourtesy of Netflix

See Enola Holmes streaming on Netflix September 23rd.  

Are You a Detective?

Do you love a good mystery in your life and feel drawn to solve it?  Are you glad that a young, female version of Sherlock Holmes is now on film? Are you a Millie Bobby Brown or “Stranger Things” fan?  Let everyone know with your comment here or on your Kidzworld profile page!