Sony Pictures Classics | Release Date: July 29, 2011
7.4
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 112 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
84
Mixed:
20
Negative:
8
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9
HalfwelshmanSep 12, 2012
The 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 aThe 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. Expand
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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10
BHBarryAug 27, 2011
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3 of 4 users found this helpful31
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5
StPaul1Aug 20, 2011
Considering the generally glowing reviews, the movie was a disappointment. The title character, played by Brendon Gleeson, seems contrived. He is sort of a mass of contradictions thrown together in desperate hopes that a quirky protagonistConsidering the generally glowing reviews, the movie was a disappointment. The title character, played by Brendon Gleeson, seems contrived. He is sort of a mass of contradictions thrown together in desperate hopes that a quirky protagonist will emerge. He is secretly brilliant and highly competent, but casually drops acid found at a crime scene, consorts with hookers, ignores basic rules of police procedure, and "hilariously" slings racial stereotypes at a stiff Don Cheadle (isn't he aware the rat pack was doing this 40+ years ago, and it wasn't all that funny back then?) . Speaking of Cheadle, after emerging as one of the most interesting young film actors of the '90s, this film is something of a low point for him. He's supposed to be the stuffed shirt to Gleeson's loose cannon, but he just doesn't connect. This is just another inter-racial buddy cop movie, this time with a sometimes unintelligle Irish accent. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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10
Buff87Aug 8, 2011
Loved this flick; Gleeson is incredible as always and interplay with Cheadle is hilarious. The only downside is that it could have used sub-titles because some of the dialogue is very hard to catch; but the tone is always there. Right alongLoved this flick; Gleeson is incredible as always and interplay with Cheadle is hilarious. The only downside is that it could have used sub-titles because some of the dialogue is very hard to catch; but the tone is always there. Right along side of In Brugges for dark comedy; a must see! Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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10
YossGoldFeb 23, 2012
Brendan Gleeson! Brendan Gleeson, Brendan Gleeson and once again... Brendan Gleeson!

A beautiful little, perfectly written and all-around marvelously acted film which is tightly packaged and wrapped up with a magnificent performance by
Brendan Gleeson! Brendan Gleeson, Brendan Gleeson and once again... Brendan Gleeson!

A beautiful little, perfectly written and all-around marvelously acted film which is tightly packaged and wrapped up with a magnificent performance by Brendan Gleeson (have I mentioned him already?).

This little tit-bit from Ireland provides a couple of hours of pure fun, sentiment (real sentiment that is, not Hollywood-manufactured "one man starts clapping and the rest join in" sentiment), intelligent and enjoyable dialogue and hits the nail right on the cap as far as what a movie's supposed to do for its viewer. It entertains from top to bottom without trying to go too far or leave you waiting for it to end. If I had to sum this film up in one line it would be: Just the right amount of everything! (+ Brendan Gleeson :)) ).
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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5
CitizenCharlieAug 26, 2011
The 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
2 of 5 users found this helpful23
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2
JamesLAug 23, 2011
I had expectations for this film but it is a flop. There is nothing funny or entertaining here. The film seemed like a bunch of outtakes picked off the cutting floor and stitched together. The humor was painful particularly the racial shots.I had expectations for this film but it is a flop. There is nothing funny or entertaining here. The film seemed like a bunch of outtakes picked off the cutting floor and stitched together. The humor was painful particularly the racial shots. How this got a high rating amazes me. I knew "Tree of Life" would bore me but this was even worse. Cheadle and Gleeson should hide their heads in shame. Eveything sucked in this film. THE SCRIPT, THE PLOT, THE JOKES,THE ACTING,! DREADFUL! Expand
1 of 5 users found this helpful14
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7
MarcDoyleAug 2, 2011
Gleeson & Cheadle are terrific together - another law enforcement odd couple. The movie has much more fun with their racial/cultural/linguistic differences than previous shots at this genre. Some of the dialogue was a little tough to followGleeson & Cheadle are terrific together - another law enforcement odd couple. The movie has much more fun with their racial/cultural/linguistic differences than previous shots at this genre. Some of the dialogue was a little tough to follow (for this American) early in the film, and it's not the most ambitious movie of the year, but well worth seeing. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
egovirusJan 26, 2012
Really funny. Hands down the best movie of 2011 for me (not the strongest endorsement I know). Brendon Gleason simply glides through this movie dropping joke after joke after joke with great Irish charm. Don Cheadle plays an awesome foil toReally funny. Hands down the best movie of 2011 for me (not the strongest endorsement I know). Brendon Gleason simply glides through this movie dropping joke after joke after joke with great Irish charm. Don Cheadle plays an awesome foil to Gleason's irreverence, and it would be hard to name another actor that could have played the roll as well as he. Everything just comes together nicely in this film, script, performances, editing, directing, and it was a delight to see in the theatre. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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1
bethesdabobAug 15, 2011
I looked forward to seeing this movie but it was a disappointment. Don Cheadle was very good, and I always like him. Every other word in this movie was the f*** word. Is that really necessary? I don't think so. The premise of the movieI looked forward to seeing this movie but it was a disappointment. Don Cheadle was very good, and I always like him. Every other word in this movie was the f*** word. Is that really necessary? I don't think so. The premise of the movie is solid, but I think it could have been a lot better. I laughed at times, and I really like low-key humor, but this wasn't clever in the least. Expand
0 of 5 users found this helpful05
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10
jonhJan 6, 2012
One of the best films of the year. A formula kind of movie that both embraces and breaks out of the formula. Outstanding acting, and excellent script and mix of comedy and drama. Really worked for me. Gleason should be a contender for best actor.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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7
RoscoSep 12, 2011
A thoroughly entertaining film from start to finish. Brendan Gleeson excels once more and Don Cheadle isn't to bad either! This fish-out-of-water tail see's a huge drug deal bring a top FBI agent (Cheadle) to Ireland, however in the midst ofA thoroughly entertaining film from start to finish. Brendan Gleeson excels once more and Don Cheadle isn't to bad either! This fish-out-of-water tail see's a huge drug deal bring a top FBI agent (Cheadle) to Ireland, however in the midst of all this is a cheeky, sly local cop (Gleeson) who becomes embroiled. Gleeson is the star of the show no doubt but he and Cheadle bounce of each other very well and bring some outrageously funny moments with its cultural, racial differences which certainly brings a huge element of freshness to the genre. But a huge deal of credit must go to the writer and director of this film in John Michael McDonagh who delivers a sheer delight of a movie that is up their with his best, not quite "In Bruges" but still an immensly funny with great entertainment value that you can't go wrong with. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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9
Egypt1amAug 21, 2011
Brilliant, The Guard, Brendan Gleeson's wit, Mark Strong's understatedness and the diving boards in Salthill!!! Forget about 'rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens'... These are a few of my favourite things!!!
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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9
DrBilly2Aug 21, 2011
Not perfect, like you & me, but thoroughly entertaining and will make you laugh. There are flaws in the editing, but the story line is entertaining and has a surprise ending that will mystify you.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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3
SundancerSep 9, 2011
Gleeson was great, but Cheadle's character was flat and uninteresting. His lines consisted mostly of some variation on an offended "Excuse me?", to heighten the outrageousness of Gleeson's quips. In fact, his whole character is there only asGleeson was great, but Cheadle's character was flat and uninteresting. His lines consisted mostly of some variation on an offended "Excuse me?", to heighten the outrageousness of Gleeson's quips. In fact, his whole character is there only as a foil for Boyle (hey, that rhymes!). "I can't figure out if you're really stupid or really smart." The same kind of amateurish writing is on display in the multiple scenes where the bad guys actually say things like, "We can't do that, we're drug traffickers!" As if the screenwriter was afraid the audience wouldn't get the irony and hilarity of something they were doing or saying unless he reminded us that these were the bad guys. Overall, a few funny moments or lines, but mostly unfunny and uneven. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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8
hoops2448Sep 18, 2011
It's one of those bizarre little concoctions where you strangely find yourself rooting for a despicable human being and laughing until your lungs hurt while doing so.
The Guard is black comedy at its best embracing Irish comedy making it
It's one of those bizarre little concoctions where you strangely find yourself rooting for a despicable human being and laughing until your lungs hurt while doing so.
The Guard is black comedy at its best embracing Irish comedy making it almost a mix between Father Ted and In Bruges (also starring Gleeson). It may sound like a strange mix but its one that plays out smoothly with both Gleeson and Cheadle giving subtle yet quirky performances embracing the films dark side while also lightening the mood when necessary. The Guards main flaw however is that it tries to hard to make Gleeson's character seem intelligent, the viewer can see that already without Cheadle pointing it out in a clunky piece of dialogue that serves very little purpose. By the end of it your lungs will hurt and you will be aching for some more snappy one liners.
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0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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2
cyrokasNov 22, 2011
This film is boring, and i think i'm going to comitt suicide.
The argument is a crap, but the main actor as a funny cotes.
I don't recomend this film.
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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9
RobinsNestMar 2, 2012
If you liked En Bruges you'll like this. The writer / director is back along with a once again wonderful Mr. Gleeson. The sidekick this time, Mr. Cheadle does not have the same meaty part that Mr Farrell did, but he is good in a subduedIf you liked En Bruges you'll like this. The writer / director is back along with a once again wonderful Mr. Gleeson. The sidekick this time, Mr. Cheadle does not have the same meaty part that Mr Farrell did, but he is good in a subdued performance. All the supporting players are well cast and add to the film in pivotal spots. The film belongs to the creation of Gerry from the written word. He forms a multilayered good guy who you may want to just give a hug to, except he won't let you. The story surrounding Gerry doesn't really matter; killers, drugs, sex, corruption. I loved the Guard and wouldn't mind him in my town, looking out for me. Wonderful ending which allows me an even greater root that maybe he will turn up in a continuing series. You may need the subtitles but it doesn't detract from the film. A solid "A" effort. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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8
ACardboardBoxDec 17, 2011
I went into the movie with low expectations and I was pleasantly surprise when I actually enjoyed it. Dark humor which never went over the top and it kept me engaged throughout the film. I would recommend it to anyone who likes dark humor.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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8
allmoviesJan 6, 2012
The Guard is a comedic fish-out-of-water tale of murder, blackmail, drug trafficking and rural police corruption. Two policemen must join forces to take on an international drug- smuggling gang - one, an unorthodox Irish policeman and theThe Guard is a comedic fish-out-of-water tale of murder, blackmail, drug trafficking and rural police corruption. Two policemen must join forces to take on an international drug- smuggling gang - one, an unorthodox Irish policeman and the other, a straitlaced FBI agent. Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleason) is an eccentric small-town cop with a confrontational and crass personality and a subversive sense of humor. A longtime policeman in County Galway, Boyle is a maverick with his own moral code. He has seen enough of the world to know there isn't much to it and has had plenty of time to think about it. When a fellow police officer disappears and Boyle's small town becomes key to a large drug trafficking investigation, he is forced to at least feign interest when dealing with the humorless FBI agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle) assigned to the case. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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8
Odin777Jan 25, 2012
This is a solid film in every aspect. With fun writing and great performances by Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle, The Guard will make you laugh and will make you glad you watched it.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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9
suity_saharFeb 9, 2012
Great film. The acting by the lead character was to me oscar worthy [though the acadamy does not recognize these kind of movies]. The film was smart and simple at the same time and funny all the way. Watch it.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
StatDaddyFeb 29, 2012
I thought this was a very cleaver movie. The dialogue kept us laughing and Gleeson was great. There is some criticism of Cheadle's role, but he served as a great punching bag for Gleeson, so I was ok with him. Clearly the film was builtI thought this was a very cleaver movie. The dialogue kept us laughing and Gleeson was great. There is some criticism of Cheadle's role, but he served as a great punching bag for Gleeson, so I was ok with him. Clearly the film was built around Gleeson's character. I liked the ending. I would not reccomend this movie for everyone, but for those who like dry/black humor and enjoy cleaver dialogue, this is your movie. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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6
rnnbrwnJun 4, 2012
Not quite as funny as I'd hoped, but great in places. Fantastic performance from Brendan Gleeson and it's always good to see Mark Strong. Don Cheadle wasn't bad, either.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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6
TVJerrySep 11, 2011
Brendan Gleeson stars as an cheeky police officer in a small Irish village. A huge drug deal brings an American FBI agent (Don Cheadle) to this fish-out-of-water comedy. While an irreverent spirit pervades the police procedural and providesBrendan Gleeson stars as an cheeky police officer in a small Irish village. A huge drug deal brings an American FBI agent (Don Cheadle) to this fish-out-of-water comedy. While an irreverent spirit pervades the police procedural and provides gentle chuckles, the plot is pretty ho-hum. This is the kind of genteel, mildly amusing comedy that the older, "cinema" crowds soaks up. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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6
makrtik2Sep 12, 2011
What a new and surprising plot... Old jaded slightly corrupt but with a heart of gold cop, gets put in harness with a dedicated up and comer UK-FBI type who he hares, and they get on badly until ... amazing switcheroo folks... in the finalWhat a new and surprising plot... Old jaded slightly corrupt but with a heart of gold cop, gets put in harness with a dedicated up and comer UK-FBI type who he hares, and they get on badly until ... amazing switcheroo folks... in the final scenes they go up against impossible odds together... I know your as surprised as we were :-( And then folks, the clever old double-switcheroo... which leaves you with a plain oatmeal flavored D. B. Cooper style ending... WOW! Author, author ! It was good to see Mad-Eye Moody (Gleeson) actaully does have another eye... which he should have used to have a good look at this script before he signed on). Don Cheadle is an excellent actor, completely wasted on this script as his characters main motivation is apparently to express ineffective resentment at racist slights from Gleeson's over the hill loudmouth character. To sum up, this is a script that leaves the actors high and dry, and the audience wondering why the ads on the popcorn bag are so interesting. It's an OK movie... but just barely. If there isn't anything good on TV, you might go... but, don't expect to be on the edge of your seat. Unfortunately, this film is not greater than the sum of it's rather pedestrian parts. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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8
TokyochuchuMay 12, 2014
The Guard is another great black comedy that had me laughing hard in all the right places. It shares it's DNA (not to mention star) with the similarly fantastic In Bruges. Plus it has a hilarious turn from Mark Strong. All round excellent stuff.
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8
TheNewSpielbergApr 11, 2012
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. As an Irishman, I found this film to be very funny and hugely entertaining. I think the main reason this film didn't really work outside of Ireland is that most of the jokes concern Irish politics, culture and general life in Ireland, meaning a few foreign audiences found comedic moments plain confusing rather than hilarious. I also loved Brendan Gleeson's performance as the title character. He perfectly captures the personality and accent of a typical West Irish man and I feel he was a perfect choice for the role. I also thought that Don Cheadle was great too. The only thing I didn't like was that I thought that the Aidan McBride character was given too short of a role in the story and I would have liked to have seen him more, mostly because the chemistry between Sgt. Boyle and him was so great and for me it was a shame McBride was killed off so early in the film. But apart from that, I would easily say this is one of my 10 favorite films of all time. Expand
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9
StevenFJun 24, 2013
A dark and often hilarious comedy that relies on the charm of the Irish nature and person, or lack thereof.
The working success of The Guard is it doesn't trade itself in fro a Hollywood payday, but maintains its roots and works off the
A dark and often hilarious comedy that relies on the charm of the Irish nature and person, or lack thereof.
The working success of The Guard is it doesn't trade itself in fro a Hollywood payday, but maintains its roots and works off the gullible but serious charisma and country attitude of the Irish. It is never trying to forward or make the characters more likeable, but keeps the comedy rolling right to the end, regardless of how far each character has come.Each and every character we run into from Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) to the Irish-only speaking couple ("Go to England if you want to speak English") has some comical and deadpan stroke of genius to come along with them.
Gerry is a a set in his ways old timer who is crude, unintentionally racist and seemingly bored with his quiet job, his confrontational attitude gets him in all sorts of trouble when the FBI, led by Wendell (Don Cheadle), are unhappy with his very different approach to policing.
The comedy is dark and offensively brilliant at every turn, with much of the dialogue sometimes being almost untranslatable, which seems a deliberate device used to paint over the obscenity of what is actually being said. This is of course expertly lead by Gleeson, whose expression rarely changes and his straight and serious face adds to the hilarity, especially how in the face of danger, he will have you laughing, in a situation where it calls for emotion, it is the entire opposite.The surprising duo of Gleeson and Cheadle is dynamic and well thought of, with Gleeson's Boyle making a quip about his partner.
Much like the reactions of Mark Strong's character in the, many will be baffled to the absurdity and nature of the Irish humour and sometimes naivety, some of the film might just be understood by us on the tiny green island.
The strong, unique and comedic cast have created a welcome surprise of a film, and regardless of the big names that have been tapped to star, Gleeson stays very Irish in the film while Cheadle never forgets he is American, it is a quotable and crude journey of hilarity and a true gem, the only drawback being that it just didn't go on for lone enough.
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7
SpangleJul 29, 2014
The Guard is a solid film and is a true showcase of Brendan Gleeson's acting talent. Don Cheadle is also very good and his chemistry with Gleeson is a definite plus for this film. On top of the acting, John Michael McDonagh's direction isThe Guard is a solid film and is a true showcase of Brendan Gleeson's acting talent. Don Cheadle is also very good and his chemistry with Gleeson is a definite plus for this film. On top of the acting, John Michael McDonagh's direction is strong and you can definitely tell that his brother is the director of In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths. The script is also very strong and witty and really does a good job developing its characters. The comedy is also pretty strong throughout, but especially in the second half, as it really kicks it into overgear. Gleeson's character is very crude, but hilarious and his delivery of punchlines is great. On top of that, the thriller element is well executed and exciting to watch unfold. The ending is also very well done and leaves you guessing. Overall, this one is an entertaining film with great performances from Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle and enough laughs and thrills to leave you feeling satisfied. Expand
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5
LeZeeNov 23, 2016
An ordinary cop, enjoying his single life, gets into a real cop business!

I won't say it is an overrated film, but it simply did not work for me. The same director who had made 'Calvary' directed this one as well with Brendon Gleeson in the
An ordinary cop, enjoying his single life, gets into a real cop business!

I won't say it is an overrated film, but it simply did not work for me. The same director who had made 'Calvary' directed this one as well with Brendon Gleeson in the lead, but that was an earlier project to this one. I loved that film, not this one, though I consider it an average, because I did not find it bad. The theme was very familiar, and too much wasted scenes with the slow narration spoiled my mood. There's no clear perspective of the storytelling, just it concentrated on a small town cop and his single life, and rarely he fights the crime.

When an FBI agent comes looking for some international drug dealers, a cop in a small Irish town braced to assist the American officer. Though he never cared to involve in it. He follows his usual lifestyle, enjoying every moment of his life. After a woman comes asking to find his cop husband gone missing, he now gets into the action. How serious he makes progress in the case and its result is the rest of the film to disclose.

It's not as funny as I anticipated. But watchable film for its quality narration. The actors were just okay. The characters were really weak, particularly the villains. They occasionally appear and gone for forever, and then there comes the final battle. Did not sync well between them and the cop, especially what they were fighting for, other than they are. Especially the FBI agent played by Don Cheadle casting was worthless. For a fine theme like this, the plot should have developed with at least a couple of twists and maybe a grand action sequence. It does not matter though, at least engaging plot needed, but failed on that part. Sorry to say that I'm not in favour of it to suggest it to anybody, though you might it better than me.

5/10
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7
KrissTolliday14Sep 9, 2016
Fresh, exciting, funny and at the same time frustrating as hell. The frustration however doesn't come from negativity but in the sense that I wanted to see more. The narrative really ramps up two thirds of the way through, and the interactionFresh, exciting, funny and at the same time frustrating as hell. The frustration however doesn't come from negativity but in the sense that I wanted to see more. The narrative really ramps up two thirds of the way through, and the interaction between Gleeson and Cheadle reaches it's peak, and then within ten minutes it is all over and I was gutted. The script here is brilliant. It doesn't rely heavily on narrative but more the likability of the characters. The interaction from Gleeson's Boyle is hilarious. In one scene whilst being threatened he manages to give himself brain freeze from a chocolate milkshake, or even discusses owning a giraffe whilst at gun point, down to asking if getting shot hurts moments before joining a gun fight. This is what keeps the Guard moving swiftly and for what it lacks in plot and subplot it makes up for with the characters. The end however does feel out of place and although unconventional doesn't wrap the film up in the way it should have done. The villains are one dimensional and the characters wasted on the top cast but if you watch this to enjoy the camaraderie of the leads then you will not be disappointed. Expand
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10
DTCNov 6, 2016
One of my top ten films, for various reasons. A black comedy with an exceptional cast, great script and quirky under tones that keep you glued to the screen.
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