The Gentlemen (5 stars)

The Gentlemen

Triumphant return to the gangster comedy from Guy Ritchie, featuring an all-star cast

He's back. Quickly following on from the lucrative but underwhelming Aladdin, The Gentlemen finds Ritchie at his sweary, violent and adorable best. With an ensemble cast that runs like a proper motor, The Gentlemen (previous titles Toff Guys and Bush) is a rock-solid gangster comedy in the mould of the films that made him: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.

Matthew McConaughey is American weed lord Mickey Pearson, whose exploits are recounted by unctuous tabloid detective Fletcher (Hugh Grant) to Pearson's bearded right-hand man Raymond, played by Charlie Hunnam. Downton's Michelle Dockery is Rosalind Pearson, sharp as her husband but leaner and meaner. Henry Golding, Jason Wong, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Marsan and a respectfully dangerous Colin Farrell make every word of the script a pathway to action.

Pearson wants to sell his precision-designed billion-pound cannabis business to Matthew Berger (Strong). But even if your drug empire has its roots in a Rhodes Scholarship, drug deals at every economic level are sketchy. Meanwhile, the twists and turns escalate as other criminals catch wind of the reefer.

The soundtrack is snappy, featuring Can and The Jam, Gemma Jackson's production design is succulent (who wouldn't want Hunnam's stunning sitting room), with pub-style decor straight from Ritchie's Fitzrovia boozer Lore of the Land, while the Gritchie Brewing Company's Lore-themed ale is seen being pulled. Fresh from his big break in Aladdin, Alan Stewart's cinematography is lush, sharp and sophisticated. Crisp editing by James Herbert keeps the action smooth and surprising.

Fans will come away happy, entertained and educated in the various forms and uses of the c-word. Ritchie is the UK's Tarantino and this comedy blows the bloody doors off.

General release from Wed 1 Jan.

The Gentlemen

  • 5 stars
  • 2020
  • UK / US
  • 1h 53min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Guy Ritchie
  • Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Marsan, Colin Farrell, Hugh Grant
  • UK release: 1 January 2020

American weed lord Mickey Pearson (McConaughey) wants to sell his billion-pound cannabis business to Matthew Berger (Strong), but there are many twists and turns to negotiate. A rock-solid gangster comedy in the Lock, Stock mode, with a snappy soundtrack: Ritchie at his sweary, violent, adorable best.