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 … More

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


as Gerry Boyle

as Wendell Everett

as Aidan McBride

as Francis Sheehy-Skeff...

as Liam O'Leary

as Clive Cornell

as Eileen Boyle

as Aoife O'Carroll

as Sinead Mulligan

as Gabriela McBride

as Doctor Oleyuwo

as Young Man in Car

as Detective

as Female Garda

as James McCormick

as Woman at Bartley's H...

as Photographer

as Photographer

as Bartley

as Eugene Moloney

as Billy Devaney

as Diner Waitress

as Garda No. 1

as Column Hennessey

as Gerry Stanton

as Musician

as Musician

as Jimmy Moody

as Musician

as Old Farmer

as Henchmen

as Young Man In Car

as Young Man In Car

as Young Man in Car

as Young Man in Car
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Guard

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Critic Reviews for The Guard

All Critics (124) | Top Critics (31)

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

John Michael McDonagh is having a lot of fun deconstructing the cop procedural in The Guard, because almost nothing goes as planned and everything has a satirical bent. It is a very funny black comedy with a stylish palette.

Full Review… | January 15, 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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