The Guard (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Guard (2011)



Critic Consensus: A violent, crackerjack comedy with a strong Irish flavor and an emminently likable Brendan Gleeson in the main role.

Movie Info

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 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. -- (C) Sony Picturesmore
Rating: R (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: John Michael McDonagh
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 3, 2012
Box Office: $5.4M
Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site


Brendan Gleeson
as Gerry Boyle
Don Cheadle
as Wendell Everett
Rory Keenan
as Aidan McBride
Liam Cunningham
as Francis Sheehy-Skeff...
David Wilmot
as Liam O'Leary
Mark Strong (II)
as Clive Cornell
Fionnula Flanagan
as Eileen Boyle
Dominique McElligott
as Aoife O'Carroll
Sarah Greene
as Sinead Mulligan
Katarina Cas
as Gabriela McBride
Wale Ojo
as Doctor Oleyuwo
Ronan Collins
as Young Man in Car
Conor Moloney
as Detective
Laura Hitchings
as Female Garda
Declan Mannion
as James McCormick
Sharon Kearney
as Woman at Bartley's H...
Laurence Kirlan
as Photographer
Laurence Kinlan
as Photographer
David Pearse
as Bartley
Michael Og Lane
as Eugene Moloney
Owen Sharpe
as Billy Devaney
Yuyang Shields
as Diner Waitress
Mark O'Halloran
as Garda No. 1
Pat Shortt
as Column Hennessey
Gary Lydon
as Gerry Stanton
Gay McKeon
as Musician
Mary Corcoran
as Musician
Darren Healy
as Jimmy Moody
Colm Gannon
as Musician
Dermot Healy
as Old Farmer
Gary Robinson
as Henchmen
Paraic Nialand
as Young Man In Car
John Patrick Beirne
as Young Man In Car
Liam O'Conghaile
as Young Man in Car
Christopher Kilmarti...
as Young Man in Car
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Guard

Critic Reviews for The Guard

All Critics (125) | Top Critics (31)

Following a surprisingly conventional climax, "The Guard" concludes in an open-ended fashion.

Full Review… | October 7, 2015
Critic's Notebook

To paraphrase Nigel Terry in "The Lion in Winter," "The Guard" is a stinker and it stinks.

Full Review… | September 4, 2015

An ode to shabby nobility much stranger and sadder than expected.

Full Review… | May 3, 2015
Philadelphia Weekly

Gleeson and writer-director John Michael McDonagh are in lock step in characterizing the decidedly unorthodox Gerry Boyle.

Full Review… | August 5, 2014

A laugh-out-loud comedy as hard as "The French Connection," a modern spaghetti Western on the windswept wastes of Ireland."

Full Review… | January 9, 2013
Tribune News Service

This film belongs to Gleeson - he seems to have effortlessly conjured up a complex and charismatic mix of world-weariness and caring, all wrapped up in that enigmatic Irish charm.

Full Review… | April 3, 2012

Audience Reviews for The Guard


Sometimes the politically most incorrect characters are the most fun, like Gleeson's Irish cop who takes pride in his prejudiced and racist attitudes. How he ends up working with a black FBI agent is a bit contrived but also hilariously funny at times. It helps that the villains are putting up a great fight as far as charisma goes, especially Mark Strong is a reliable force. A really dark sense of humor a midst sudden bursts of violence makes for an unpredictable and highly entertaining experience. Typically Irish, if you will.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer



Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


Fun while it lasts. Take that with some grains of salt.

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

The Guard Quotes

– Submitted by Catherine D (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Charis Louise G (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Charis Louise G (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Charis Louise G (3 years ago)

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