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The Gentlemen

Movie review by
Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media
The Gentlemen Movie Poster Image
Guns, money, drink in violent, profane Guy Ritchie caper.
  • R
  • 2020
  • 113 minutes
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The film definitely has messages, but anything "positive" falls into gray areas. For instance, the movie is anti-heroin and cocaine but strongly pro-marijuana. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Story is about drug lords, but it portrays them in a counter-stereotypical way. A female garage owner employs mostly female mechanics, is a shrewd businessperson. Mickey may not be the greatest guy, but he's in a loving, committed relationship. Coach trains at-risk boys to keep them off the street, but how he shows them to make amends is iffy. These rare instances are set among a lot of criminal/dodgy behavior.

Violence

Opens with someone getting shot in the head. Graphic violence continues throughout: shootings, threats with knives, beatings, lots of blood. Other violence includes poisonings, long falls, a rape.

Sex

A woman sensually grabs her husband's crotch. Conversation is layered with innuendo. Off-camera bestiality played for shock and comedy.

Language

Characters curse constantly, especially "f--k." Men frequently call people they don't like "c--ty." Other words include "a--holes," "c--k" "d--k," "piss," and "s--t." Frequent use of slurs, including "Chinaman." Sexual terms used to mean something else. 

Consumerism

Drug lords are rich and talk about deals in terms of nine figures. Money is equated with power and style, which is translated into high-fashion clothing, watches, homes, grills, cars, bars, and cigars. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Film takes place in business world of drug manufacturing, dealing. Characters who do cocaine, heroin, meth are considered lowly, stupid, classless, but pot is considered good, and an argument is made a couple of times that it's harmless. A joint is rolled on camera. All the rich men smoke cigars, often in moments of power and bonding. Several scenes take place in a bar with "Gritchie" (for "Guy Ritchie") beer on tap, and characters regularly drink beer and hard liquor.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Gentlemen is a Guy Ritchie-directed crime-action movie about a very cool drug supplier named Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey). Mickey, his wife Rosalind (Michelle Dockery), and his employees are portrayed as smart, sharp, strong, skilled, and generally enviable. Like Ritchie's other films, this one is incredibly violent, with graphic shootings, knives, beatings, a rape, long falls, and lots of blood. Ritchie's values -- hard drugs are stupid, pot is harmless compared to other vices, taxes are out of control, and if you ban guns, then you're defenseless against criminals -- are on his sleeve in this film, but parents may not always agree with them. The script also pokes at political correctness by including words that seem intended to make viewers ask questions like "Hold up, is that racist? Is that homophobic?" (in fact, there's a whole conversation about what's racist and what's not). Extremely strong, coarse language includes "f--k," "c--t," and more, a woman fondles her husband over his pants, and there's an off-screen act of bestiality. In other words, this film -- while thoroughly entertaining for adults -- definitely isn't for kids. 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bycc_carmel January 31, 2020

Entertaining...for grown ups

I was highly entertained by the movie and loved the direction. However, not a movie for kids or young teens in my opinion. The c word (c***) is used profusely i... Continue reading
Adult Written byLindztheteacher January 27, 2020

Language

This movie is entertaining, but it comes with a cost. There is frequent F bombs and the C word is used more than is comfortable. Please know how your kids react... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byruben226 January 25, 2020

This film is great fun for mature teens.

I’m a big Guy Ritchie fan, so when this film was announced I was very excited. I can tell you that I was NOT disappointed! There is violence in this film yes, b... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bylizardhours February 21, 2020
Fun movie with completely raw humor, violence, and a bit over the top overall.

What's the story?

In THE GENTLEMEN, Oxford-educated American Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) is ready to sell his British-based cannabis empire and enjoy a happily-ever-after life with his wife. While trying to close a lucrative offer from posh British drug lord Mathew (Jeremy Strong), Mickey must fend off a motley crew of gangsters who want a piece of the action for themselves. Henry Golding, Charlie Hunnam, Hugh Grant, Colin Farrell, and Michelle Dockery co-star.

Is it any good?

Guy Ritchie's crime comedy won't be making any "best family movies of the year" lists, which may be the best marketing it can get. After a decade spent making more commercial films like Aladdin, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and Sherlock Holmes, Ritchie returns to his core skill set: telling violent stories about thugs, criminals, fighters, and the underworld. He's clearly been feeling pent up, as it all comes out (literally) guns blazing. The Gentlemen has a clever concept, snappy dialogue, creative characters, and stupendous style. In a meta turn, it's delivered as a mystery narrated by a sleazy private investigator named Fletcher (Grant has rarely been better), who's turned the events into a script and peppers his "pitch" of sorts with filmmaking references. 

It's a whirlwind of moving parts, but the audience never gets lost in the tornado of events. The characters are all on the wrong side of the law and life, and adults can appreciate the film for what it is and see that crime doesn't pay, even when it does. That said, younger viewers may buy into the movie's pro-weed, pro-gun attitude. While Mickey says that his "hands are dirty," the ultimate takeaway is that coming up with an orderly, principled pot-farm business wasn't just OK, it was shrewd. In another situation, Rosalind nags her husband about having a gun because it's a ticket to prison; later, she's only able to protect herself with his gun, but is still woefully unprepared. Both of these suggest that following the law can hold you back or even hurt you -- and if you're smart, you work around it. They say a gentleman always remembers, but when it comes to picking up trains of thought from pop culture, so do kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the role of guns The Gentlemen. Do you agree with how they're portrayed? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • How are drugs depicted here? Are there consequences for their use? Why does that matter?

  • Would you say any of the characters here are "good" or "bad"? Do you think it's more interesting to have characters who are clearly moral or immoral, or is it better for them to be a mixed bag? What positive character strengths and life skills do they display?

  • How are drinking and smoking depicted? Are they glamorized? 

  • Why do you think the script includes such strong language? What do you think the screenwriter is trying to say by using insensitive language to describe people? Or the scene where the characters discuss what is and isn't racist?

Movie details

For kids who love crime comedies

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