The Gentlemen (2019): ‘Fun Times with Ritchie’ – A Film Review



Guy Ritchie, a film director known for stylish and gritty gangster films, coming off the blunders of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Aladdin, feels to be back on form with The Gentlemen. This film boasts a big cast much like his films Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and we are back to the same criminal activities. It should feel like a lot more of a comfortable setting for the director and there’s certainly a reason to be excited to see all these stars together. Whether they can all live up to the task remains to be seen. Many directors also see their times come and go and Guy Ritchie’s most memorable films are still 20 years old.


All the Characters

With ensemble casts the problem is getting each character to shine, be memorable and contribute effectively to the narrative. Wes Anderson manages this through exposition and if done well this can help to push the action to the forefront. However, exposition can be incredibly difficult to do. Guy Ritchie’s cast perform their characters with a serious amount of zest and gravitas and it pushes their characters beyond the need for their descriptions. Hugh Grant makes a surprising impression with his accent and playful manner. Colin Farrell isn’t a big role but similarly manages to make a meaningful impact. All the while Charlie Hunnam‘s quiet charisma makes for an inspiring presence beyond the characters he has to play off. Matthew McConaughey has the responsibility of an inspiring protagonist and his confident speech making manages this perfectly. Hugh Grant, meanwhile, is similarly talking a lot as he describes the main story, both play wonderfully off Charlie Hunnam’s quiet and calm character. These are just a few examples.


The Dynamics

It is the cast that pull it together, wonderfully directed and brought together for the story to unfold excitingly before us. Going from character to character doesn’t inspire a fatigue as each moment instead feeds into the next, whilst each character changes it all up. The narration told excitingly through Hugh Grant, is a contrast for the more serious, calm and confident way that Matthew McConaughey commands the scene. Whilst Charlie Hunnam has his controlled violence and other characters have their panicked, quick or even violent moments. Guy Ritchie just has a way of presenting each character as interesting and different to play up the narrative with enough momentum to not pause, but build.



The Gentlemen is the director back on form with comfortable waters and seeing powerful outputs again. Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels may have the edge because they were groundbreaking for their time. They really brought Guy Ritchie on to the map, but there is a lot to be said for films like The Gentlemen and it may well find its cult following in time. It’s everything you could want from a story of violent crimes; interesting, powerful characters playing off each other in a struggle for power – realised through the difficult violence of the underground societies. It’s a subject many directors like, but it really gives Guy Ritchie what he needs for successful filmmaking.



Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) runs a drug racket but is looking to sell his empire when one of his farms is raided and events unfold.




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A Note on My Reviews

Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis below the review for any who wish to see one.


Films Mentioned

Aladdin (d. Guy Ritchie USA 2019)

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (d. Guy Ritchie UK/USA 2017)

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (d. Guy Ritchie UK 2017)

Snatch (d. Guy Ritchie UK 2000)

The Gentlemen (d. Guy Ritchie USA 2019)


Further Reading

Official Site

Cast Interview

Guy Ritchie Interview

Hugh Grant & Matthew McConaughey Interview

Behind the Scenes


Easter Egg


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The Gentlemen (d. Guy Ritchie USA 2019)

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