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Netflix’s new No.1 show is a Guy Ritchie gangster thriller — and viewers are loving it

 Theo James as Eddie Horniman in The Gentlemen on Netflix.
Theo James as Eddie Horniman in The Gentlemen on Netflix.

Guy Ritchie is the man behind some of the most popular gangster movies ever made. From "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" to "Snatch", the British director knows his way around a mobster story. And now Ritchie has brought his ability to craft compelling criminal dramas to Netflix with the new eight-part series, “The Gentlemen”.

Set in the same universe as Ritchie’s 2019 movie of the same name, “The Gentlemen” arrived on Netflix last week (March 7) but it’s already climbed to the top of the most-watched list. It’s the No.1 ranked show on the service ahead of the live-action adaptation of “Avatar: The Last Airbender”, “Full Swing” season 2 and true crime docuseries “The Program”.

This represents a strong start for one of Netflix’s biggest shows of 2024 to date, and in even more encouraging news, early viewer scores for “The Gentlemen” are very strong. So, if you’re thinking of diving into this show’s seedy criminal underworld, here’s everything you need to know about “The Gentlemen”...

What is “The Gentlemen” about?

“The Gentlemen” sees “The White Lotus” star Theo James play Eddie Horniman, the estranged son of a wealthy aristocrat. After unexpectedly inheriting his father’s sizeable estate and the swanky Halstead Manor, Eddie discovers that the property is part of a drug empire run by a career criminal, Bobby Glass (Ray Winstone).

With Eddie’s father passing, Britain’s criminal underworld is sizing up the chance to score a piece of the operation, but the Glass family isn’t going to give up control so easily. His ruthless daughter, Susie Glass (Kaya Scodelario), handles day-to-day business and draws Eddie into this new world of corruption and crime.

As Eddie starts to get his hands dirty, he discovers a taste for illicit activity, but his attempts to extricate his family from the drug business and play the criminals at their own game could lead to deadly consequences for everybody involved. Based on the 2019 blockbuster movie of the same name, “The Gentlemen” is a crime thriller that mixes drama, action and comedy in a way that is classic Guy Ritchie.

“The Gentlemen” reviews — here’s what critics say

“The Gentlemen” has received a solid, if not exactly spectacular, 68% rating on review site Rotten Tomatoes. For comparison, this is actually a little lower than the movie, which was rated 75% and earned a Fresh seal of approval back in 2019.

Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times labeled the show “slick and sly and darkly funny” while the Daily Telegraph’s Anita Singh called it a “fun caper” but noted “Ritchie flourishes are irritating” and advised that viewers will need to get past these aspects to enjoy the show.

Judy Berman of TIME Magazine felt that Guy Ritchie’s schtick works better in small doses. “What’s exhilarating every few years at the cinema can become tedious when repeated throughout eight episodes,” Berman said, and concluded that the show “gets old fast.”

CNN’s Brian Lowry was another critic who wasn’t especially impressed with the crime show. “Despite the dashing presence of Theo James as the unexpected heir to a cannabis empire, the net result blows by briskly enough but yields relatively few highs,” Lowry wrote in a most negative review.

While “The Gentlemen” has endured a mixed response from critics, Netflix subscribers who have already given it a chance seem impressed. The show holds an 83% score on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a strong start and could climb even higher in the coming weeks. “The Gentlemen” also boasts an 8.4/10 score on IMDb.

Should you stream “The Gentlemen” on Netflix

If you’re a dedicated fan of Guy Ritchie’s work then you'll want to make time for “The Gentlemen”. Ritchie co-wrote and directed the first two episodes, as well as serving as the overall creator and an executive producer, so his unique fingerprints are all over this Netflix show.

Even if you’re unfamiliar with the British filmmaker's work, you should still consider adding “The Gentlemen” to your watchlist. It’s an indulgent mix of crime drama and dark comedy and is anchored by a strong performance from a rising talent in James. Meanwhile, if you need more viewing recommendations, check out our list of the best new shows to stream this week.

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