TV review: 'The Gentlemen' delivers gangster class, violence

Kaya Scodelario and Theo James star in "The Gentlemen." Photo courtesy of Netflix
1 of 5 | Kaya Scodelario and Theo James star in "The Gentlemen." Photo courtesy of Netflix

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Don't worry about the 2019 movie, The Gentlemen. Guy Ritchie's series, premiering March 7 on Netflix, is an entirely new story with brand-new characters in the gangster milieu and uses the episodic structure to explore more capers in that world.

Eddie Halstead (Theo James) is surprised to inherit his father's estate. The only one more surprised is Eddie's older brother, Freddy (Daniel Ings), who expected to be first in line.


Freddy also was counting on the inheritance to bail him out of debt to gangsters. Now, Eddie uses his newly inherited resources to help.

Helping Eddie navigate his new business is Susie Glass (Kaya Scodelario), who managed his father's criminal side hustles.

Eddie has civilized meetings with criminal elements, filled with snappy dialogue. However, the undercurrent of those scenes is always that anyone could explode into violence at any time.

Violence usually explodes at least once per episode. Those violent scenes do make clever use of unusual implements like headphones and dartboard darts.

The world of The Gentlemen is full of colorful characters with whom Eddie has to deal. Among them, The Gospel (Pearce Quigley) preaches the Bible while he murders people, and Susie's father, Bobby (Ray Winstone), is a steak connoisseur.


The screw-up brother is a well-worn trope, but Freddy is entertaining while he's messing up. Pairing him with the responsible brother who always has to bail him out is the natural match.

That dynamic keeps creating new problems to fuel episodes of the series. A movie would only be able to focus on one.

The series reflects the style of Ritchie's gangster films. He directed the first two episodes and employs many of his camera tricks to bring viewers into the intensity of dangerous situations.

The show also captures the glamor of the wealthy gangster world. Male and female characters boast fancy wardrobes so they look good as they negotiate criminal deals or orchestrate the deaths of underlings.

Even with his live-action Disney movies and blockbuster franchises, Ritchie consistently returned to the gangster genre. The Gentlemen sets up a world with Ritchie's blessing that can continue no matter what else the filmmaker is busy doing.

Fred Topel, who attended film school at Ithaca College, is a UPI entertainment writer based in Los Angeles. He has been a professional film critic since 1999, a Rotten Tomatoes critic since 2001, and a member of the Television Critics Association since 2012 and the Critics Choice Association since 2023. Read more of his work in Entertainment.


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