Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Jul 29, 2011
    60
    McDonagh indulges in too many '90s affectations, from blaring chapter titles to philosophizing gangsters. But he captures his misty setting's insular atmosphere beautifully.
  2. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Jul 28, 2011
    55
    Like the recent "Perrier's Bounty," The Guard feels like it might play better at home than overseas.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 101 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 30
  2. Negative: 4 out of 30
  1. Sep 12, 2012
    9
    The Guard is a truly fine black comedy. It has a fantastic central comic performance from Brendan Gleeson, who plays Sergeant Boyle, a strangeThe Guard is a truly fine black comedy. It has a fantastic central comic performance from Brendan Gleeson, who plays Sergeant Boyle, a strange amalgamation of the classic good cop/bad cop partnership we're used to seeing in movies, with a twisted sense of humour and questionable morals, but with a heart that is ultimately made of gold, and manages to contain it all within his own imposing Irish frame. Don Cheadle also impresses as Agent Everett, an FBI consultant assisting in the search for a gang of ruthless smugglers (a sinister Liam Cunningham, a terrifying David Wilmot and Mark Strong doing what he does best), and makes a great straight man to Gleeson's less-than-serious Garda. There's numerous side-splitting moments of comedy in the blackest shade to be found in the film's beautifully penned script, by director John Michael McDonagh. Like his brother Martin, McDonagh seems to possess an uncanny ability to see the funny side of the bleakest of situations, and with the addition of a liberal sprinkling of Irish cultural eccentricities, The Guard becomes a real comic masterclass. Western iconography is also transferred surprisingly well from the American Old West to the film's rural Irish setting, with a particularly fine finale where Boyle and Everett go into battle against the bad guys, all guns blazing, a scene that could have been taken from any classic of the genre were it not for the presence of sea salt and copious Celtic-accented swearing. The Guard is a joy to watch - a sensational genre mash-up of cop films, buddy movies and Westerns with a cracking script, memorable performances and a healthy Irish pragmatic view on the world. Full Review »
  2. Aug 27, 2011
    10
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  3. Aug 26, 2011
    5
    The Guard has been guarding a tiny village outside of Galway, Ireland for a long time. He has his routines and his eccentricities and heThe Guard has been guarding a tiny village outside of Galway, Ireland for a long time. He has his routines and his eccentricities and he knows everyone elseâ Full Review »