Arts & Leisure

“Gentlemen” is really Matt McConaughey

MICHELLE DOCKERY and Matthew McConaughey star in “The Gentlemen.”

By Jim Tortolano

Next to superheroes in capes, about the most reliable genre in modern movie-making is bad guys with charm. That’s a big part of the appeal of “The Gentlemen,” a crime caper film starring Matthew McConaughey.

Set in London, this is the tale of an American marijuana kingpin (Mickey Pearson/Matthew) who decides it’s time to retire from the business and spend more time with his sultry, formidable wife Rosalind (Michelle Dockery).

But retirement in this instance is not as simple as signing up for Social Security, getting your AARP membership and scoping out property somewhere sunny.

Rivals, scoundrels and grifters come out of the cloud-shadowed English alleys and the twists and turns become dizzying as Mickey adroitly maneuvers between and among the various players who would do him wrong and take his place.

You’d have to be the kind of person who deftly untangles Christmas tree lights in a few minutes to succinctly recount (and follow) all the red herrings and hairpin turns of this plot. Guy Ritchie has directed a real brain-twister here, and written the screenplay as well.

Standing out most among the supporting cast are Jeremy Strong and Colin Farrell, but this is really McConaughey’s film. He lends his considerable authenticity to this tale, making even the very unlikely seem plausible.

Without giving away anything too obvious, Matthew/Mickey starts and finishes first, but there’s fun in watching him nimbly run the course.

“The Gentlemen” is rated R for violence, profanity, sexuality, drugs and some strong British accents.

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