20 of the Best Sherlock Holmes Movies and TV Shows, Ranked - and How to Stream Them

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Are you a Benedict Cumberbatch stan or a Jeremy Brett purist? Is everyone wasting their time trying to beat Basil Rathbone, or did Robert Downey Jr reinvent the role? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s immortal creation Sherlock Holmes has appeared in countless dramatisations - find out where to stream the best ones with our ranked streaming guide, below.

First, a shout out to the offshoots, oddballs, reimaginings and Holmeses in disguise. Sherlock is a dog in Sherlock Hound and a mouse, or at least the obvious inspiration for a mouse sleuth, in The Great Mouse Detective. In Without a Clue he’s a character created by Dr Watson. In Miss Sherlock he is a she, with a female Watson to boot. For a while in the 2000s, the biggest TV show in the world was the one starring Hugh Laurie as a man with an intimidating demeanour, a drug addiction and a genius for deduction… he was a doctor, not a detective, but if you hadn’t twigged, the title of the series - House - was a cute clue.

Of the versions that feature a human man called Sherlock, plenty of the lesser-known ones deserve to be streamed. Horror stalwart Peter Cushing was a fine Holmes on the big screen - and in The Hound of the Baskervilles he stars in the Holmes story with the scariest horror vibes. Nicholas Rowe is a sharp, quirky young Holmes in Young Sherlock Holmes; Ian McKellen is a vulnerable old Holmes in Mr Holmes. Robert Stephens is the best random, one-off Holmes ever, as the lead in Billy Wilder’s funny, imaginative The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. Then there’s Henry Cavill in Enola Holmes.

Having been established as a lead character in film by Basil Rathbone in The Hound of the Baskervilles in 1939, Holmes was revived as a movie franchise in 2009 by Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, with Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law making for likably energetic versions of Holmes and Watson. But in recent years, any screen Holmes has to measure up to Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC TV series Sherlock. It made Cumberbatch an A-list star and brought Holmes back for a new generation: the later seasons arguably lose their way as they try to second-guess the show’s hyper-engaged fanbase, but at its best it’s a fearsomely slick, confident production.

Sherlock’s success left space for more TV takes on Holmes, with the American response coming in the form of Elementary. Led by Jonny Lee Miller as a troubled Sherlock in New York, its case-of-the-week format makes it a good bet for Holmes traditionalists, but Lucy Liu’s new spin on Watson keeps it fresh.

The wonder of Holmes derives from the original stories, however, and so our pick for the best Holmes ever is the one that most feels like the Conan Doyle character brought to life. That’s Jeremy Brett in Sherlock Holmes, the ITV series that ran for a decade from 1984. It’s the definitive version, with Brett the ideal of the great detective: mysterious, mercurial, playful and sharp. Scroll down to find out where to watch it, and the rest of our ranked list.

Netflix
Disney Plus
Amazon Prime Video
Apple TV Plus
MGM Amazon Channel
Apple TV
Crunchyroll
Amazon Video
Paramount Plus
Channel 4
Sky Go
Crunchyroll Amazon Channel
BBC iPlayer
MUBI
Google Play Movies
BFI Player
Sky Store
Microsoft Store
Freevee
Curzon Home Cinema
ITVX
YouTube
Shudder
ARROW
Arrow Video Amazon Channel
Talk Talk TV
UKTV Play
Rakuten TV
GuideDoc
Movietickets
Netflix Kids
YouTube Premium
BFI Player Amazon Channel
Hayu
Hayu Amazon Channel
My5
BritBox Amazon Channel
MUBI Amazon Channel
STUDIOCANAL PRESENTS Apple TV Channel
STV Player
Curiosity Stream
Flix Premiere
Hotstar
Revry
DOCSVILLE
Now TV
Spamflix
Dogwoof On Demand
Plex
WOW Presents Plus
Magellan TV
BroadwayHD
Filmzie
MovieSaints
Acorn TV
AcornTV Amazon Channel
Dekkoo
True Story
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Now TV Cinema
CuriosityStream Amazon Channel
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ITV Amazon Channel
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Paramount+ Amazon Channel
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Hallmark TV Amazon Channel
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Classix
Sooner Amazon Channel
Takflix
Klassiki
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Netflix basic with Ads
Paramount Plus Apple TV Channel
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OUTtv Amazon Channel
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  1. Sherlock Holmes

    #1

    Sherlock Holmes uses his abilities to take on cases by private clients and those that the Scotland Yard are unable to solve, along with his friend Dr. Watson.

  2. Sherlock

    Sherlock

    2010

    IMDB 9.1 (1m)

    #2

    A modern update finds the famous sleuth and his doctor partner solving crime in 21st century London.

  3. The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

    #3

    Holmes and Dr. Watson take on the case of a beautiful woman whose husband has vanished. The investigation proves strange indeed, involving six missing midgets, villainous monks, a Scottish castle, the Loch Ness monster, and covert naval experiments.

  4. Young Sherlock Holmes

    #4

    Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson meet as boys in an English Boarding school. Holmes is known for his deductive ability even as a youth, amazing his classmates with his abilities. When they discover a plot to murder a series of British business men by an Egyptian cult, they move to stop it.

  5. The Hound of the Baskervilles

    #5

    On his uncle's death Sir Henry Baskerville returns from Canada to take charge of his ancestral hall on the desolate moors of Devonshire, and finds that Sherlock Holmes is there to investigate the local belief that his uncle was killed by a monster hound that has roamed the moors since 1650, and is likely to strike again at Sir Henry.

  6. Elementary

    Elementary

    2012

    IMDB 7.9 (119k)

    #6

    A modern-day drama about a crime-solving duo that cracks the NYPD's most impossible cases. Following his fall from grace in London and a stint in rehab, eccentric Sherlock escapes to Manhattan where his wealthy father forces him to live with his worst nightmare - a sober companion, Dr. Watson.

  7. House

    House

    2004

    IMDB 8.7 (516k)

    #7

    Dr. Gregory House, a drug-addicted, unconventional, misanthropic medical genius, leads a team of diagnosticians at the fictional Princeton–Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey.

  8. The Hound of the Baskervilles

    #8

    When a nobleman is threatened by a family curse on his newly inherited estate, detective Sherlock Holmes is hired to investigate.

  9. Enola Holmes

    Enola Holmes

    2020

    IMDB 6.6 (220k)

    #9

    While searching for her missing mother, intrepid teen Enola Holmes uses her sleuthing skills to outsmart big brother Sherlock and help a runaway lord.

  10. Sherlock Holmes

    Sherlock Holmes

    2009

    IMDB 7.6 (672k)

    #10

    Eccentric consulting detective Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John Watson battle to bring down a new nemesis and unravel a deadly plot that could destroy England.

  11. Mr. Holmes

    Mr. Holmes

    2015

    IMDB 6.9 (63k)

    #11

    In 1947, long-retired and near the end of his life, Sherlock Holmes grapples with an unreliable memory and must rely on his housekeeper's son as he revisits the still-unsolved case that led to his retirement.

  12. Miss Sherlock

    Miss Sherlock

    2018

    IMDB 6.9 (1k)

    #12

    Sherlock has a peculiar character flaw. She does not open her heart to strangers. She is Japanese, but was born in Britain. She now works as an investigation consultant for the police department. Wato Tachibana is an excellent surgeon and is guided by the principal of justice. Sherlock and Wato Tachibana get to know each other through a case and begin to rely on each other.

  13. Enola Holmes 2

    Enola Holmes 2

    2022

    IMDB 6.8 (101k)

    #13

    Now a detective-for-hire like her infamous brother, Enola Holmes takes on her first official case to find a missing girl, as the sparks of a dangerous conspiracy ignite a mystery that requires the help of friends — and Sherlock himself — to unravel.

  14. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

    #14

    There is a new criminal mastermind at large (Professor Moriarty) and not only is he Holmes’ intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil and lack of conscience may give him an advantage over the detective.

  15. Without a Clue

    Without a Clue

    1988

    IMDB 6.9 (11k)

    #15

    Sherlock Holmes is as dashing as ever, but with a little secret: Dr. Watson is the brains behind the operation. When Reginald Kincaid, the actor he has hired to play Holmes becomes insufferable, Watson fires him and tries to go out on his own, but finds that he has done too good a job building Holmes up in the public's mind.

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  16. Sherlock Hound

    Sherlock Hound

    1984

    IMDB 7.5 (1k)

    #16

    Loosely based on the "Sherlock Holmes" series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Hound turns all the classic characters into dogs. The canine Sherlock Holmes, his assistant Watson, and housemaid Mrs. Hudson work together to solve mysteries. The culprit is usually Professor Moriarty and his gang, who use all kinds of wacky contraptions to steal what they want.

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  17. The Great Mouse Detective

    #17

    When the diabolical Professor Ratigan kidnaps London's master toymaker, the brilliant master of disguise Basil of Baker Street and his trusted sidekick Dawson try to elude the ultimate trap and foil the perfect crime.

  18. The Seven-Per-Cent Solution

    #18

    Concerned about his friend's cocaine use, Dr. Watson tricks Sherlock Holmes into travelling to Vienna, where Holmes enters the care of Sigmund Freud. Freud attempts to solve the mysteries of Holmes' subconscious, while Holmes devotes himself to solving a mystery involving the kidnapping of Lola Deveraux.

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  19. Holmes & Watson

    Holmes & Watson

    2018

    IMDB 3.9 (39k)

    #19

    Detective Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson join forces to investigate a murder at Buckingham Palace. They soon learn that they have only four days to solve the case, or the queen will become the next victim.

  20. Murder by Decree

    Murder by Decree

    1979

    IMDB 6.8 (6k)

    #20

    Sherlock Holmes is drawn into the case of Jack the Ripper who is killing prostitutes in London's East End. Assisted by Dr. Watson, and using information provided by a renowned psychic, Robert Lees, Holmes finds that the murders may have its roots in a Royal indiscretion and that a cover-up is being managed by politicians at the highest level, all of whom happen to be Masons.