The Guard

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 102 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 76 out of 102
  2. Negative: 8 out of 102
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  1. Aug 20, 2011
    5
    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 protagonist will emerge. He is secretly brilliant and highly competent, but casually drops acid found at a crime scene, consorts with hookers, ignores basic rulesConsidering 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
  2. 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 he knows everyone elseâ
  3. Jun 4, 2012
    6
    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.
  4. Sep 11, 2011
    6
    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 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.
  5. Sep 12, 2011
    6
    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 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...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 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
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Sep 2, 2011
    75
    An Ireland-set charmer oozing with a satisfying intelligence and driven by the considerable charisma of Brendan Gleeson ("Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows").
  2. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Aug 25, 2011
    75
    The Guard is guilty of being overly cute, but it brims with talent and a freshness that extends beyond the clever script.
  3. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Aug 20, 2011
    100
    The Guard soars along on a script, like those by the other McDonagh (Martin wrote and directed "In Bruges" and the Oscar winning short "Six Shooter," both starring Gleeson) built out of verbal flourishes and Irish curses.