Jump to content

The Gentlemen (2019 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Gentlemen
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGuy Ritchie
Screenplay byGuy Ritchie
Story by
  • Guy Ritchie
  • Ivan Atkinson
  • Marn Davies
Produced by
CinematographyAlan Stewart
Edited by
Music byChristopher Benstead
Distributed by
Release dates
  • December 3, 2019 (2019-12-03) (Curzon Mayfair Cinema)
  • January 1, 2020 (2020-01-01) (United Kingdom)
  • January 24, 2020 (2020-01-24) (United States)
Running time
113 minutes[1]
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Budget$22 million[2]
Box office$115.2 million[3][4]

The Gentlemen is a 2019 action comedy film written, directed and produced by Guy Ritchie, who developed the story along with Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies. The film stars Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Marsan, Colin Farrell, and Hugh Grant. It follows an American cannabis wholesaler in England who is looking to sell his business, setting off a chain of blackmail and schemes to undermine him.

The Gentlemen premiered at the Curzon Mayfair Cinema on December 3, 2019,[5] and was released theatrically in the United Kingdom on January 1, 2020, by Entertainment Film Distributors, and in the United States on January 24, 2020, by STXfilms. It received generally positive reviews from critics and was also a commercial success, grossing $115 million worldwide against its $22 million budget. A spin-off television series was released by Netflix in 2024 with Theo James starring in the lead role.[6][7]


Born into poverty in the U.S., Pearson wins a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, where he begins selling marijuana before dropping out and becoming a narcotics baron, building a criminal empire in blood and growing cannabis in labs under the estates of aristocratic landlords who need cash for the upkeep of their stately homes; one such landlord is Lord Pressfield, a duke whose heroin-addicted daughter, Laura, lives in a council estate with other addicts. Many years later, in the face of Great Britain legalizing marijuana, Pearson plans to make his work a legitimate drug business by selling it to someone without any blood on their hands and retiring peacefully with his wife, Rosalind; Pearson's chosen candidate is American billionaire Matthew Berger, and his price is £400 million.

After showing Berger one of the labs, Pearson is later approached by Dry Eye, an underboss for Chinese gangster Lord George who offers and fails to buy out Pearson's business. The aforementioned lab is raided by amateur MMA fighters and aspiring YouTubers "The Toddlers", who overpower the guards, steal marijuana, and upload a rap video of their caper online. Pearson begins transferring his cannabis plants out of the estates as a precaution, while The Toddlers' horrified trainer "Coach" orders them to delete the video.

Big Dave, editor of Daily Print tabloid and having been snubbed by Pearson at a party, hires private detective Fletcher to investigate Pearson's links to Pressfield. At the request of Pressfield, Pearson sends his right-hand man, Raymond, to bring Laura home. In a brawl with her flatmates, one of Raymond's men accidentally kills Aslan, a young Russian. Laura is returned to her parents and then dies of an overdose.

Coach visits Raymond, apologizes for The Toddlers' actions, and offers his services as penance. Coach has captured Phuc, a henchman of Dry Eye's who had informed The Toddlers about the lab location. While attempting to escape, Phuc gets fatally run over by a train. 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, before being executed by one of his own men as Dry Eye takes his place.

Dry Eye is actually in league with Berger, who had wanted Pearson's business disrupted to reduce the price; Pearson already suspects this, however, and Dry Eye still hopes to take Pearson's empire for himself. Dry Eye tries to kidnap Rosalind, who kills his men before running out of bullets. 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. That night, Fletcher offers to sell everything he has found (typed up as a screenplay entitled Bush) to Raymond for £20 million.

Raymond orders The Toddlers 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 and publishes nothing. 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 on account of the recent disruptions; but Pearson shows him Dry Eye's frozen body, reneges on the sale entirely as Berger now has blood on his hands, and forces him into a refrigerator where he will freeze to death unless he transfers £270 million compensation for the cost of restoring order; Pearson admits he is not "emotional about the money" but, because Rosalind was assaulted, also demands "a pound of flesh" from Berger's own body, anywhere Berger chooses, as recompense for the indiscretion.

Fletcher approaches Raymond again for his payment, but Raymond reveals he had been tailing Fletcher all along; the Toddlers even stole Fletcher's stashes of evidence after Raymond placed a tracker on him during their last encounter. Fletcher then reveals he also sold the info to Aslan's father, a Russian oligarch and former KGB agent; the assassin whom Raymond killed earlier was one of Aslan's father's. 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 ambushed by The Toddlers who want to "solve Coach's problem"—they riddle the car with bullets, killing the Russians and allowing Pearson to escape. Later, 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, the Pearsons return to their cannabis empire and celebrate together.



Development and casting[edit]

It was announced in May 2018 that Guy Ritchie would write and direct The Gentlemen, a film that would be in the same spirit as his earlier Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. The project was unveiled at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival by CAA Media Finance and Rocket Science where Miramax acquired the distribution rights.[8][9] Filming was expected to begin in October.[10] In October, Matthew McConaughey, Kate Beckinsale, Henry Golding and Hugh Grant were cast,[11][12] with Jeremy Strong, Jason Wong and Colin Farrell joining in November. Later, Michelle Dockery signed on, replacing Beckinsale in her role.[13][14][15] In December 2018, Lyne Renée was added as well.[16]


Principal photography began in November 2018.[17] Filming locations included West London Film Studios, Longcross Studios, The Princess Victoria pub in Shepherd's Bush and Brompton Cemetery.[18]


In February 2019, STX Entertainment acquired U.S. distribution rights to the film from Miramax for $7 million.[19] The film had its world premiere as a VIP special screening at Curzon Mayfair on December 3, 2019.[20] It was theatrically released in the UK on January 1, 2020, and in the US on January 24, 2020.[21] The studio spent around $25 million on promoting the film.[22]

Home media[edit]

The Gentlemen was released on home media and video on demand on March 24, 2020.[23] It was previously set for a home media release on April 7, but was moved up due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[24] It was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and Ultra HD Blu-ray on April 21, 2020, by Universal Studios Home Entertainment.[25]


Box office[edit]

The Gentlemen grossed $15.9 million in the United Kingdom, $36.5 million in the United States and Canada, and $62.8 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $115.2 million.[3][4]

In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside The Turning, and was projected to gross around $10 million from 2,100 theaters in its opening weekend.[26] The film made $3.1 million on its first day, including $725,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $10.6 million, finishing fourth at the box office.[22] It then made $6 million in its second weekend, finishing fifth.[27] In its third and fourth weekends the film made a respective $4.2 million and $2.7 million.[28][29]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 75% based on 274 reviews, with an average rating of 6.5/10. The website'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."[30] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 51 out of 100, based on 44 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[31] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported an average 3.5 out of 5 stars, with 48% of people saying they would definitely recommend it.[22]

Writing for Entertainment Weekly, Leah Greenblatt rated the film a "B−" and found it to come up short when compared to Ritchie's previous crime films, stating, "The Gentlemen is nothing if not a callback to the Locks of yesteryear, star-stacked and defibrillated with enough juice to jolt a gorilla out of cardiac arrest."[32]

The movie was also criticized for racism. Writing for The Guardian, Simran Hans writes "By Ritchie’s logic, white weed kingpins are entrepreneurs with the moral high ground; Asian heroin-pushers are 'the killers of worlds."'[33] Gary M. Kramer, writing for Salon, said "Ritchie thinks casual racism is funny, and the film's Asian characters are all called the derogatory c-word: 'Chinamen.' Most everyone else on screen is called the other, equally taboo c-word, which is meant to be cheeky, but it is not. It is offensive; cringe-inducing rather than amusing, and one wonders when the juvenile Ritchie is going to grow the f**k up and quit being so conceited about his smartassery."[34]


Award Year Category Recipient Result Ref.
Saturn Awards October 26, 2021 Best Action or Adventure Film The Gentlemen Nominated [35]


Three years after the film's release, Ritchie was sued by the actor Mickey De Hara (who had played Turbo in Richie's prior film RocknRolla) for copying the "cast of characters, their characterization and 'unique aspects of the plot'" from a screenplay De Hara had offered Ritchie as a sequel to RocknRolla. De Hara claimed that when he had tried to address the issue out of court, Ritchie responded, "Mickey, I and my people have tried to contact you for some years now. There was no response. I am happy for us to sit down and have a chat." De Hara claimed that the most blatant instance of copying was a scene involving the character Coach and "The Toddlers" gang he leads, which was an almost exact match to a scene from De Hara's screenplay with a character Coach leading a group of thugs nicknamed "The Baby Squad."[36] Ritchie filed his defense to the London High Court denying the allegations in August 2023. Ritchie confirmed that discussions took place regarding a potential RocknRolla sequel or trilogy and that he used some aspects of the screenplay for The Gentlemen; however, he claimed the contributions of De Hara were well below both the Writers Guild of America and Writers Guild of Great Britain thresholds to receive credit.[37]

Netflix series[edit]

In October 2020, Miramax Television started development on a spin-off television series of the film, with Ritchie overseeing the project.[38] In November 2022, the series was officially greenlit by Netflix.[6] The pilot was written by Guy Ritchie and Matthew Read. Ritchie was set to direct the first two episodes and serve as executive producer alongside Ivan Atkinson, Marn Davies, and Bill Block.[38][39] The Gentleman stars Theo James, alongside Vinnie Jones, Kaya Scodelario, Giancarlo Esposito, Daniel Ings, Joely Richardson, Peter Serafinowicz,[6][7] Alexis Rodney,[40] Chanel Cresswell[41] and Max Beesley.[42]


  1. ^ "The Gentlemen (18)". British Board of Film Classification. December 22, 2019. Archived from the original on January 1, 2020. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  2. ^ "Weekend Box Office: Guy Ritchie's 'The Gentlemen' Beats Latest Horror Dud". IndieWire. January 26, 2020. Archived from the original on January 26, 2020. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "The Gentlemen (2020)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Archived from the original on January 8, 2020. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "The Gentlemen (2020)". The Numbers. Archived from the original on October 20, 2019. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  5. ^ MarketMeets. Film Premieres 2019. [1] Archived January 2, 2020, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b c Otterson, Joe (November 3, 2022). "'The Gentlemen' Series Followup From Guy Ritchie Ordered at Netflix, Theo James to Star". Variety. Retrieved November 3, 2022.
  7. ^ a b Cordero, Rosy (November 4, 2022). "Vinnie Jones, Kaya Scodelario & Giancarlo Esposito Among 6 Cast In Guy Ritchie's Netflix Series 'The Gentlemen'". Deadline Hollywood.
  8. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr (May 3, 2018). "Guy Ritchie Returns To 'Lock, Stock' & 'Snatch' Turf With 'Toff Guys' – Cannes". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 3, 2018. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  9. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr (May 9, 2018). "Freshly Recapitalized Miramax Lands $30M+ World Rights Deal For Guy Ritchie's 'Toff Guys'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 9, 2018. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  10. ^ "Guy Ritchie's Gangster Flick 'Toff Guys' Could Have Cameras Rolling By Next Month". Geeks WorldWide. September 2, 2018. Archived from the original on November 17, 2018. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  11. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 10, 2018). "Matthew McConaughey to Star in Guy Ritchie's 'Toff Guys' With Kate Beckinsale, Henry Golding". Variety. Archived from the original on October 11, 2018. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  12. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 1, 2018). "Hugh Grant Joins Guy Ritchie's 'Toff Guys' Gang". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 1, 2018. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  13. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 7, 2018). "Jeremy Strong To Play Pot Kingpin In Guy Ritchie's 'Toff Guys' Gangster Pic". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  14. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 16, 2018). "Guy Ritchie's 'Toff Guys' Adds Jason Wong". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 16, 2018. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  15. ^ "Colin Farrell Joins Matthew McConaughey in Guy Ritchie's 'Toff Guys' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. November 30, 2018. Archived from the original on December 1, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  16. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 13, 2018). "Guy Ritchie's 'Toff Guys' Taps Lyne Renee". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 14, 2018. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  17. ^ Daniels, Nia (November 13, 2018). "Guy Ritchie movie starts London filming". The Knowledge Online. Archived from the original on November 17, 2018. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  18. ^ "'The Gentlemen' Shooting Location Details". Thecinemaholic. January 20, 2020. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  19. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (February 21, 2019). "STX Punches For Guy Ritchie Crime-Comedy 'Bush' In Splashy $7M Deal, EFM 2019's Biggest". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 21, 2019. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  20. ^ "Film Premieres 2019". MarkMeets. October 28, 2018. Archived from the original on January 2, 2020. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  21. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr (August 2, 2019). "After Denial, STX Moves 'Playmobil' From August 30 To December 6". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 2, 2019. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  22. ^ a b c D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 26, 2020). "'Bad Boys For Life' & '1917' Shooting Past $100M; 'The Gentlemen' Eyes $10M+ – Midday Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 24, 2020. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  23. ^ Booth, Kathryn (March 16, 2020). ""Birds of Prey" and "The Gentlemen" Move Their VOD Dates to Next Week". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  24. ^ "The Gentlemen". Blu-Ray.com. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  25. ^ "The Gentlemen DVD Release Date". DVDs Release Dates. Archived from the original on February 21, 2020. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  26. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (January 22, 2020). "Box Office: 'The Gentlemen' Takes on 'Bad Boys'". Variety. Archived from the original on January 22, 2020. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  27. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 2, 2020). "'Bad Boys For Life' Scores Over Super Bowl Weekend With $17M+; 'Rhythm Section' Is A Mess". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 1, 2020. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  28. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 9, 2020). "How 'Birds Of Prey' Went Astray With $33M+ Opening". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 8, 2020. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  29. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 16, 2020). "' 'Sonic The Hedgehog' Runs Faster With 4-Day Of $68M". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 15, 2020. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  30. ^ "The Gentlemen (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Archived from the original on January 15, 2020. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  31. ^ "The Gentlemen Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on January 24, 2020. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  32. ^ Greenblatt, Leah (January 22, 2020). "Guy Ritchie gets his gangster ya-yas out again in The Gentlemen: Review". Entertainment Weekly. pp. 74–75. Archived from the original on January 25, 2020.
  33. ^ Hans, Simran (January 4, 2020). "The Gentlemen review – Guy Ritchie's dated gangster romp". TheGuardian.com.
  34. ^ Kramer, Gary M. (January 25, 2020). "Guy Ritchie's "The Gentlemen" is so crass and cringe-worthy, it's criminal". Salon.
  35. ^ Hipes, Patrick (March 4, 2021). "Saturn Awards Nominations: 'Star Wars: Rise Of Skywalker', 'Tenet', 'Walking Dead', 'Outlander' Lead List". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  36. ^ Yossman, K.J. (April 14, 2023). "Guy Ritchie Sued for Breach of Contract Over 'The Gentlemen' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  37. ^ Yossman, K. J. (August 8, 2023). "Guy Ritchie Hits Back Over The Gentlemen Lawsuit, Denies Breach of Contract". Variety. Penske Media Corporation.
  38. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (October 1, 2020). "'The Gentlemen' TV Series Based On Guy Ritchie's Movie In Works At Miramax With Ritchie Writing & Directing". Deadline. Archived from the original on October 2, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  39. ^ Cordero, Rosy (November 3, 2022). "Theo James Set To Lead Guy Ritchie's Netflix TV Series 'The Gentlemen'". Deadline. Retrieved February 4, 2023.
  40. ^ Ritman, Alex (November 11, 2022). "'Guardians of the Galaxy' Star Alexis Rodney Joins Guy Ritchie's Netflix Series 'The Gentlemen' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  41. ^ Otterson, Joe (December 7, 2022). "Guy Ritchie's 'The Gentlemen' Netflix Series Adds 'Vardy v. Rooney' Star Chanel Cresswell (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
  42. ^ Cordero, Rosy (June 26, 2023). "Guy Ritchie's Netflix Series The Gentlemen Adds Max Beesley". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 27, 2023.

External links[edit]