The Gentlemen (2024) Review

Guy Ritchie’s new Netflix series, The Gentlemen, brings his distinctive brand of gangster geezers to the small screen. This is the prolific UK crime caper director’s latest TV venture.

The film is well-shot, easily digestible, and generally entertaining. It’s also proof that television is not an adequate medium to capture Ritchie’s zest and humour at their best, which is why it is so good.

During the early part of the film, British Army captain Eddie Horniman (Theo James) is drawn home by the imminent death of his father—Archibald Horatio Landrover Horniman, the Twelfth Duke of Halstead—and becomes the unexpected heir to his father’s title and estate, much to the chagrin of his older brother, Freddy (Daniel Ings), who is unreliable and somewhat out of control.

Despite the lack of context behind Archibald’s comically idiosyncratic name, the show’s opening moments move at a pleasing pace. Eddie’s sudden predicament is established without hesitation, and the dramatic contrast between Eddie, who is cool and calculating, and Freddy, who is flaky and foolish, is evident from the very start.

Sadly, Eddie also faces the pre-existing business arrangement his father already established on the estate. Essentially, the property houses an illegal yet highly lucrative underground marijuana facility.

It appears that a gang with many similar operations runs this site—all hidden under the estates of various other aristocrats willing to turn a blind eye to a fat stack of cash in exchange for looking the other way.

A connection between Netflix’s The Gentlemen and the 2019 film of the same name starts here and ends here. Even though the show and the film share the same concept of puff plantations being buried under the homes of wealthy British aristocrats, there are no characters from the film ever referred to on the show.

The show never mentions any characters from the film.

In my opinion, one of the slightest problems with Netflix’s The Gentlemen is that it is so utterly disconnected from the film on which it is based that it borders on distracting if you are unaware of it.

As it stands, I spent quite a bit of time wondering where Eddie’s facility under Eddie’s farm fits within the broader weed empire of Matthew McConaughey’s Mickey Pearson, only to discover Pearson… does not appear to exist in this universe. Bobby Glass and his daughter Susie (Kaya Scodelario) run a business identical to their dad’s.

However, once you are past this, Netflix’s The Gentlemen will generally unfold as an entirely serviceable standalone British crime drama. However, it has less humour than I had hoped for from the guy who brought us Lock, Stock, Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, and The Gentlemen.

As it turns out, no one in the series can compete with Colin Farrell’s Coach – or Hugh Grant’s hilariously slimy tabloid reporter Fletcher – although British comedian Guz Khan’s brief appearance as an outlandish money launderer is also pretty funny.

In addition, Dar Salim – who has temporarily stepped away from Guy Ritchie’s far sterner film The Covenant to play a brief, minor role here – shows great promise as a Frenchman with the ability to make dead bodies disappear and is amusingly drunk when first introduced into the film.

The Gentlemen Gallery

Even though he seems to be a little one-paced at times during the film, James makes for a convincing actor as the new Duke of Halstead – complete with a suitably aristocratic accent and an appropriate air of sophistication – even if his character Eddie is a little one-paced at times during the film.

It has allowed Eddie to display moments of suave assurance and moments of retrained frustration, but this has never been enough for me to comprehend why Eddie would be able to stand up to the criminal underworld of England in this manner, even though we have only eight episodes to get our hands dirty with.

A few minutes into the series, Giancarlo Esposito’s Stanley Johnston (with a T, as he and others are often apt to point out throughout the series) asks Eddie, “What do you like about the British aristocracy?” The original gangsters. They were the ones who took 75% of this country, and the reason they own it is because they stole it. William the Conqueror was worse than Al Capone.” Eddie was a military officer, and he is now a Duke. Perhaps this is just supposed to be sufficient.

Despite Winstone’s tendency to cruise into cruise control as Bobby Glass, you cannot deny that these are the roles he was born to play, as he is invariably in cruise control.

Scodelario plays an important role in the series as Susie, who certainly takes some of the cues from Michelle Dockery’s Rosalind in the film. However, Scodelario is the centre of attention throughout the series and an outstanding actress.

It’s Vinnie Jones, though, who stands out. Jones’ soft-spoken gamekeeper Geoff is intimidating and confident when needed, but otherwise, he carries himself with a quiet dignity that makes him quite interesting – and even a little provocative after his Ritchie roles like Big Chris in Lock, Stock and Bullet-Tooth Tony in Snatch.

Eddie tries to escape his family and home from the Glass operation, but he does all kinds of favours for a revolving door of miscreants and madmen as he tries to get his family out of it.

But it eventually settles into a clearer trajectory as it approaches its crescendo. Things that seemed abandoned are eventually woven back in, but the series finale is much more low-key than Ritchie’s films like Snatch or The Gentlemen.


It’s slick, stylish, and very well cast, with just enough momentum to carry it to a lukewarm but effective ending. It’s hard to understand how it’s connected to the fantastic movie it’s based on, though. It’s not as funny as Ritchie’s best geezer crime comedies, and the long-winded, episodic structure of TV here doesn’t seem to crackle as much.

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