The Guard

Release Date 19 Aug 2011 TBA

  • User rating
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
  • Critic rating
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

  93% of raters want to see this movie

Certificate: 15A

Genre: Comedy | Suspense | Thriller

Sergeant Gerry Boyle, a salty village cop in Ireland, has a subversive sense of humor, a caustic wit, and an uncanny knack for keeping people at arm's length. When a straitlaced FBI agent chasing an international drug-smuggling ring hits town, Boyle has no intention of letting the arrival disrupt his routine of hookers and wisecracks. Initially, he relishes offending and ridiculing the agent, but a murder and a series of peculiar events draw the reluctant sergeant into the investigation.

Brendan Gleeson | Don Cheadle | Liam Cunningham | David Wilmot | Rory Keenan | Mark Strong | Fionnula Flanagan | Dominique McElligott | Sarah Greene | Katarina Cas

John Michael McDonagh


John Michael McDonagh

  • Critic rating
  • Currently 4/5 Stars. Critic Review

In the wilds of Galway, Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Gleeson) is the sort of man who isn’t afraid to call a small shovel a fucking spade. Something visiting FBI agent Wendell Everett (Cheadle) initially finds a little hard to fathom when the two team up to track down a drug-smuggling, philosophy-reading trio (Cunningham, Strong and Wilmot).

THE VERDICT: The same Tarantino-esque genre-goosing beloved by his brother Martin (In Bruges) is all present and non-politically correct here in John Michael McDonagh’s debut feature. The always-watchable Gleeson is positively gleeful in his role as the cunning, contrary and contradictory Boyle (exemplified by his Chet Baker sounds and Daniel O’Donnell poster), whilst much fun is plainly being had by Cunningham and co. A little too forced at times, The Guard is still one of those very rare commodities – an Irish film you’d be happy to show the neighbours.

Review by Paul Byrne 

  • Avg User rating
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

User Reviews

    • Currently 5/5 Stars.


    Brendan Gleeson is excellent, Don Cheadle works surprisingly well. It is a mix between a surreal comedy a heist and small arthouse film. A strange mix that works really well. Much better than you'd expect, very recommended.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.


    REALLY enjoyed "The Guard", Gleeson is superb and has some real laugh out loud moments combined with some genuinely touching moments. the rest of the cast are really good and a great little cameo by Pat Short to boot. Recommended.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.



    • Currently 5/5 Stars.


    This is in my opinion the greatest Irish movie ever made. I may be biased since I live in Galway and recognised many of the locations used for the movie. Brendan Gleeson delivers the performance of his life. Although it probably won't happen I believe Gleeson deserves an Oscar nomination. His complex character is at the core of the movie delivering comedy gold frequently. A necessary watch for all Irish people.

    • Currently 5/5 Stars.


    The best comedy I've seen in ages! The use of erudite language in the script is spot on and not over used (unlike Pierre's Bounty). Full of laughs from start to finish with an ever so slight hint of sadness. Gleeson is fantastic as well as the supporting cast. Couldn't recommend it highly enough.

    • Currently 5/5 Stars.


    Best Irish movie in years

    • Currently 5/5 Stars.


    McDonagh is as good as his brother at bringing the subtlety of a stage play to the big screen. It may not of been everyone's cup of tea, but I found Gleeson and Cheadle delightful.

    • Currently 5/5 Stars.


    Absolutely loved it. Laugh out loud funny. Lots of "he didnt just say that did he?" moments. Brendan Gleeson is superb.

    • Currently 5/5 Stars.



    • Currently 5/5 Stars.


    Having heard great things about this film, I was sure it wasn’t going to live up to the hype. But it did. Brendan Gleeson was terrific as a Galway Garda. It’s not often that a most of the audience are laughing out loud at the one liners, yes even the ones hat were completely politically incorrect. Think this is a film I will watch again and again and get a laugh each time.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.


    The Guard" is a pleasure. I can't tell if it's really (bleeping) dumb or really (bleeping) smart, but it's pretty (bleeping) good

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.


    As I'll say with nearly almost any film with B. Gleeson in it...absolutely fantastic. The film its-self unfortunately I doubt is going to get much praise outside of Ireland, as you kinda do need to be in tune with the Irish culture in order to get most of the comedy. Having said that there is plenty in it, the story is great, very engrossing. Yes it does the An Gardai in a really bad light, yes it does show Galway in possibly not the best light, but it's all put together extremely well. And you know what's even better? It's not in 3-d, it's not a sequel or a prequel, it's not a remake or a refresh, it's not a spin off and it's not a piece of crap. Funny funny film, and deserves every single one of it's 4 stars. I applaud the makers of this film, in an age where we are compounded by special effects, alien worlds, budgets so large you could launch a rocket and a world where no movie company seems to be able to come up with new stories this is a breath of fresh air in my opinion.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.


    Yes I loved it. Great flick

    • Currently 3/5 Stars.


    Okay so in reality this is a one person movie. The part of Sergeant Gerry Boyle is incredibly well written and Brendan Gleeson plays the part excellently. When FBI agent Wendall meets him first he is confused as to what kind of character he actually is and that is very much the way the character is portrayed. I have to say well done to Gleeson for what truly is a phenomenol performance. I have to say though take that away and the rest of the movie does not have a lot to offer besides some great lines from Mark Strong. Most of the other characters are either very poorly written, have no character development (which I felt may have been necessary for some, were badly acted or a combination of two or more of these. An enjoyable movie with a few laughs and worth a look if only for Gleeson's performance.

    • Currently 5/5 Stars.


    This movie will have you in stitches. It's Brendan Gleeson at his best. A little dark at one or two points but if you liked 'In Bruges' or 'I Went Down' you will thoroughly enjoy this.

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