The Gentlemen (2019 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Guy Ritchie|
|Screenplay by||Guy Ritchie|
|Music by||Christopher Benstead|
|Edited by||James Herbert|
|Box office||$14.1 million|
The Gentlemen is a 2019 action crime film written and directed by Guy Ritchie, from a story by Ivan Atkinson, Marn Davies, and Ritchie. The film stars Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Marsan, Colin Farrell and Hugh Grant.
The Gentlemen premiered at the Curzon Mayfair Cinema on December 3, 2019 and was released in the United Kingdom on 1 January 2020 and is scheduled to be released in the United States on 24 January 2020, by STXfilms.
Big Dave, editor of the Daily Print tabloid, is snubbed by cannabis baron Mickey Pearson at a party and orders private investigator Fletcher to investigate Pearson's links to Lord Pressfield, a minor Royal with a heroin-addicted daughter. Fletcher offers to sell his findings (typed up as a screenplay) to Pearson's right-hand man Raymond for £20 million.
Born in poverty in the US, Pearson won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, where he began selling marijuana to privileged fellow students before dropping out and building his empire by violence. He plans to sell his business to American billionaire Matthew Berger for £400 million so he can retire peacefully with his wife Rosalind. Pearson shows Berger one of the labs where he grows his cannabis under the estates of aristocratic landlords, who need cash for the upkeep of their stately homes. Pearson is later approached by Dry Eye, an underboss for Chinese gangster Lord George; Dry Eye offers to buy out Pearson's business, but he refuses. Pearson's lab is later raided by amateur boxers who film their encounter defeating the lab's guards and stealing the marijuana before uploading it online as a rap video; the boxers' eponymous Coach later orders them to delete the video.
Pearson begins transferring his cannabis-growing out of the estates. He also agrees to bring home Pressfield's wayward daughter Laura. Raymond retrieves Laura, however, in a brawl with her room-mates one of Raymond's men accidentally throws Aslan, a young Russian man, out of the window to his death. Laura later dies of a heroin overdose. Coach visits Raymond, apologizes for his students' actions, and offers his services as penance. Coach has captured Phuc, a henchman of Dry Eye who had informed Coach's crew about the lab location, although Phuc is killed during a botched escape attempt. Pearson threatens Lord George for going after his lab, and destroys one of his heroin labs in retaliation. George chastises Dry Eye for his insubordination in attacking Pearson and offering to buy him out; George nods to a henchman to execute Dry Eye, but the man executes George instead.
Unknown to Pearson, Dry Eye is in league with Berger, who had wanted Pearson's business disrupted to reduce the price. Dry Eye has taken Lord George's place and still hopes to take Pearson's empire for himself. Dry Eye tries to kidnap Rosalind, who kills Dry Eye's men before she runs out of bullets in her 2-shot derringer. Raymond kills an assassin sent to kill Pearson; the two rush to Rosalind and Pearson kills Dry Eye as he is about to rape her. Fletcher ends his story and Raymond orders him to leave his house.
Fletcher has merely confirmed Pearson's suspicions about the link between Dry Eye and Berger. Raymond orders Coach's students to capture Big Dave. They drug him and film him having sex with a pig, threatening to post it online unless he drops his investigation. Pearson and Berger meet up again in a frozen fish plant, actually a cover for Pearson's European distribution operation. Berger drops his offer to £130 million, but Pearson reveals his knowledge of Berger's plan, shows him Dry Eye's frozen body and tells him he is keeping his business. Pearson forces Berger inside a refrigerator, where he will freeze to death unless he transfers £270 million compensation and, for the assault on Rosalind, cuts "a pound of flesh" from his own body.
Fletcher approaches Raymond again for his payment, but Raymond reveals that he was tailing Fletcher all along; the boxers have stolen his stashes of evidence after Raymond placed a tracker on him during their last encounter. Fletcher reveals that he has also sold info to Aslan's father, a Russian oligarch and former KGB agent. The assassin that Raymond earlier killed was one of the Russians. Coach kills two Russian hitmen sent to kill Raymond, while Fletcher escapes in the chaos. Pearson is kidnapped by two other Russians, but they are quickly ambushed by Coach's students who want to "solve Coach's problem". They assault the car with bullets, killing the Russians and allowing Pearson to escape.
Fletcher decides to pitch the story as a film to Miramax. After his meeting, he gets into a cab only to realize that Raymond is the driver. Upon learning of Fletcher's capture, Pearson and Rosalind return to their cannabis empire and celebrate in each other's company.
- Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Pearson
- Charlie Hunnam as Raymond
- Henry Golding as Dry Eye
- Michelle Dockery as Rosalind Pearson
- Jeremy Strong as Matthew Berger
- Eddie Marsan as Big Dave
- Colin Farrell as Coach
- Hugh Grant as Fletcher
- Chidi Ajufo as Bunny
- Jason Wong as Phuc
- Brittany Ashworth as Ruby
- Samuel West as Lord Pressfield
- Eliot Sumner as Laura Pressfield
- Lyne Renée as Jackie
- Chris Evangelou as Primetime
- Bugzy Malone as Ernie
- Tom Wu as Lord George
It was announced in May 2018 that Guy Ritchie would be directing and writing a film that would be in the same spirit as Ritchie’s earlier films Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. The project was unveiled at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, where Miramax acquired the distribution rights. Filming was expected to begin in October. In October, Matthew McConaughey, Kate Beckinsale, Henry Golding and Hugh Grant were cast, with Jeremy Strong, Jason Wong and Colin Farrell joining in November. Michelle Dockery also joined, replacing Beckinsale in her role. In December 2018, Lyne Renée joined the cast of the film.
In February 2019, STX Entertainment acquired distribution rights to the film. The film had its world premiere as a VIP special screening at Curzon Mayfair on 3 December 2019. It was released in the UK on 1 January 2020 and is scheduled to be released in the US on 24 January 2020.
As of 15 January 2020, The Gentlemen has grossed $14,144,747 internationally.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 76% based on 56 reviews, with an average rating of 6.3/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "It may not win writer-director Guy Ritchie many new converts, but for those already attuned to the filmmaker's brash wavelength, The Gentlemen stands tall." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score 49 out of 100, based on reviews from 11 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
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