The Guard (2011)



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

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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
R (adult situations/language, violence)
Comedy , Mystery & Suspense
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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
as Sinead Mulligan
Wale Ojo
as Doctor Oleyuwo
Katarina Cas
as Gabriela McBride
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
Laurence Kinlan
as Photographer
David Pearse
as Bartley
Michael Og Lane
as Eugene Moloney
Owen Sharpe
as Billy Devaney
Eamonn Olwill
as Priest
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
Giedrius Nagys
as Henchmen
Dermot Healy
as Old Farmer
Colm Gannon
as Musician
Johnny McDonagh
as Musician
Dominick Hewitt
as Henchmen
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 (125) | Top Critics (32)

Although The Guard is primarily a language romp, it's also a terrific showcase for veteran pug-faced character actor Brendan Gleeson.

Full Review… | August 26, 2011
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Brendan Gleeson is a blooming marvel.

August 26, 2011
Toronto Star
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | August 19, 2011
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

There are few things finer in cinema than Brendan Gleeson's fat, happy face.

Full Review… | August 19, 2011
Detroit News
Top Critic

McDonagh's script is agile, darting between the ridiculous, the sage and the surprisingly sentimental. His love of language and the absurd has hints of the wisecracking Quentin Tarantino. But the story is decidedly more rooted in Ireland's loamy turf.

Full Review… | August 19, 2011
Denver Post
Top Critic

"The Guard" is violent, profane and funny.

Full Review… | August 18, 2011
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

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.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer



Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


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

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

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