The Guard


The Guard

Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 133


Audience Score

User Ratings: 25,929
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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 Pictures


Brendan Gleeson
as Gerry Boyle
Don Cheadle
as Wendell Everett
Rory Keenan
as Aidan McBride
Liam Cunningham
as Francis Sheehy-Skeffington
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 (II)
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 House
Laurence Kirlan
as Photographer
David Pearse
as Bartley
Laurence Kinlan
as Photographer
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
Dermot Healy
as Old Farmer
Colm Gannon
as Musician
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 Kilmartin
as Young Man in Car
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News & Interviews for The Guard

Critic Reviews for The Guard

All Critics (133) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (125) | Rotten (8)

  • The Guard offers an offbeat take on a genre without skimping on the violence or gunplay.

    Oct 18, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • Although The Guard is primarily a language romp, it's also a terrific showcase for veteran pug-faced character actor Brendan Gleeson.

    Aug 26, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Brendan Gleeson is a blooming marvel.

    Aug 26, 2011 | Rating: 3/4
  • The film is foul-mouthed and not without its flourishes of violence but it's irresistibly likeable (and unpredictable).

    Aug 25, 2011 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…
  • Boyle is probably the first screen hero in a long time whose heroism comes out of boredom and ennui. He gives nihilism a good name.

    Aug 25, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Crisp, acid-tongued and sharply acted, it's the sort of exercise in tangy Celtic cynicism that's become one of the Emerald Isle's most reliable imports.

    Aug 19, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Guard

  • Feb 07, 2016
    It's hard to hate this film but it's also hard to really like, The crude irish tone and dark humour works very well but the story was rushed in places, But it's clever and the ending fitted the film well.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • May 17, 2014
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Jan 20, 2014
    Here we have a very underrated comedy/crime dark comedy with hints of unapologetic racism and even some anti-Americana flavor. The 'underrated' current state of <i>The Guard</i> can be probably attributed to its misleading publicity with the same intensity that <i>The American</i> (2010) received, but there is something you must keep in mind: it was directed by John Michael McDonagh, brother of Martin McDonagh, who brought us <i>In Bruges</i> (2008). Selling itself as an R-rated comedy, but not in the way that you think, this stylish and moderate brief ride - which should and could have been longer - borrows the cop buddy formula of the 80s (that is, teaming two confrontational leading roles as cops in order to work for a common purpose), but addresses it with clever and dark humor that only European cinema can apply so effectively. It also throws sentimentalisms and a conventional development of events off shore, resulting in a very refreshing take on the genre that will only please selected audiences, which are quite difficult to tackle. To sum up, this comedy will provide you with a simple story told in an unexpected way, and it is certainly not what its covers have suggested just to increase movie theater attendance. 68/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 08, 2013
    Fun while it lasts. Take that with some grains of salt.
    familiar s Super Reviewer

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