Sherlock, Jr. ★★★½

No doubt, many movie lovers appreciate Sherlock Jr. most for its surreal elements of movie-themed fantasy, as Keaton literally steps into the screen at the cinema where he works, beginning a very clever series of gags as he interacts with the constantly changing scenery (in what must be the most random, pointless movie of its time). From this point on, actually, Sherlock Jr. is almost a non-stop parade of excellent gag design & execution.

However, the frame story of Sherlock Jr., which takes up nearly a quarter of the short running time, is rarely as good as the dream sequence, and not only starts the movie at a slow crawl but also robs of it the personal connection that make Keaton's great feature length movies, The General and Steamboat Bill, Jr., both so much more engaging on a deeper level.