Sony Pictures Classics | Release Date: July 29, 2011
7.4
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 113 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
84
Mixed:
21
Negative:
8
WATCH NOW
Stream On
Stream On
Stream On
Review this movie
VOTE NOW
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Check box if your review contains spoilers 0 characters (5000 max)
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
All this user's reviews
10
BHBarryAug 27, 2011
â
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
All this user's reviews
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
All this user's reviews
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 :)) ).
Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
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
All this user's reviews
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
All this user's reviews
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
All this user's reviews
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
All this user's reviews
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
All this user's reviews
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
All this user's reviews
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.
Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
All this user's reviews
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
All this user's reviews
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
All this user's reviews
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
All this user's reviews
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
All this user's reviews
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
All this user's reviews
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. Collapse
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
All this user's reviews
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.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
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
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
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.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
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
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
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
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
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.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews