The Gentlemen – Guy Ritchie In Full Effect

Guy Ritchie has carved out a clever niche for himself: the British caper-crime-thriller with just the right dash of humo(u)r. If you admired any of his prior films (especially ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’, ‘Snatch’, ‘RocknRolla’) then you are in for a treat.

As part of his strategy, Ritchie again assembles a solid cast of characters. Each actor seems to relish pushing the edge of his respective thespian envelope.

Hugh Grant, just about always delightful wherever he turns up, adopts an accent more downmarket from what we saw when he was Prime Minister in ‘Love Actually.’

As a fish somewhat out of water, Matthew McConaughey is the expat graduate of Oxbridge who builds a cannabis empire about which all the proceedings revolve.

The ever-brilliant Eddie Marsan (just finishing up his standout work in ‘Ray Donovan’) plays the ironically-named Big Dave. Marsan steals most of his scenes with subtlety.

Colin Ferrell delightfully disappears into his role; he may be one of the best actors able to do so, but many in this cast do likewise.

Also standing out in their roles are Charlie Hunnam and Jeremy Strong. The latter lit up ‘Molly’s Game’ and ‘The Big Short’ and he does likewise here.

The distaff side is overshadowed by the manly cast, but Ritchie saves room for Michelle Dockery. She burst onto the scene as the lovely and tightly wound daughter in ‘Downton Abbey’ and then caused heads to spin as the horse-riding, Winchester-firing homesteader in the magnificent Western thriller ‘Godless.’ In ‘The Gentlemen’ Dockery again stretches successfully; Ritchie provides her the ideal platform.

Flash cars, attention to details like haberdashery and lighting, clever fight sequences and unique camera angles all add to the rich stew Ritchie has concocted in ‘The Gentlemen.’

Trailer here.

Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.