The Guard - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Guard Reviews

August 26, 2011
Although The Guard is primarily a language romp, it's also a terrific showcase for veteran pug-faced character actor Brendan Gleeson.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 26, 2011
Brendan Gleeson is a blooming marvel.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
August 19, 2011
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 | Original Score: 4/5
August 19, 2011
There are few things finer in cinema than Brendan Gleeson's fat, happy face.
Full Review | Original Score: B
August 19, 2011
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
August 19, 2011
"The Guard" is violent, profane and funny.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 18, 2011
"The Guard" is not the most original buddy-cop movie you'll see, but it well may be one of the most entertaining.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
August 17, 2011
A hugely entertaining but frustratingly disorganised film, packed with priceless moments which never quite coalesce into a rewarding whole.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
August 12, 2011
"The Guard" himself may be no angel, but his movie is a wee slice of heaven.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
August 11, 2011
Like an Irish version of "In the Heat of the Night," the profane and frequently hilarious "The Guard" watches the sparks fly as a smart African-American detective teams up with an unapologetically racist County Galway policeman.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 11, 2011
Rich with inspired musings on pop culture, literature, philosophy, race, sex.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
August 5, 2011
This black comedy needed to be a whole lot blacker and funnier.
August 5, 2011
Brendan Gleeson, as beefily Irish an actor as anyone since Victor McLaglen, is always believable and frequently hilarious.
August 4, 2011
When it's over it evaporates, leaving only the acrid smoke of its dialogue and the memory of Gleeson reducing lesser mortals to cinders.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
August 4, 2011
"The Guard" is a pleasure. I can't tell if it's really (bleeping) dumb or really (bleeping) smart, but it's pretty (bleeping) good.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
July 31, 2011
A nifty little Irish summer vacation.
Top Critic
July 29, 2011
If the movie's mix of nihilistic violence and snarky attitude suggests In Bruges, it's a family resemblance.
July 29, 2011
"The Guard," alas, is just as flawed as Gerry. But occasionally - when Gleeson or Cheadle or Flanagan is on screen - it's nice to pretend it isn't.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
July 29, 2011
McDonagh indulges in too many '90s affectations, from blaring chapter titles to philosophizing gangsters. But he captures his misty setting's insular atmosphere beautifully.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
July 29, 2011
McDonagh is your man when it comes to cruelly funny dialogue, and Gleeson makes it sing and sting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
July 28, 2011
An impish and impudent black comedy that knows where it's going and how to get there, it gives veteran actor Brendan Gleeson one of the tastiest roles of his career and introduces a gifted writer-director with a familiar family name.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
July 28, 2011
Mr. Gleeson's rogue is a treat, however conceptually contrived, and Mr. Cheadle's lightly played gravity is a pleasure.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
July 28, 2011
Only Boyle's unstoppable tendency to mouth off sustains the routine plot, but McDonagh pushes the limits of what he can make Gleeson say without making the crude nature of his asides overwhelm their comic potential.
Full Review | Original Score: B
July 28, 2011
Though Cheadle is good as a man pushed to his breaking point at every moment, the movie belongs to Gleeson, who keeps his character enigmatic even while engaging in every possible act of slovenly excess and gross negligence.
Full Review | Original Score: B
July 27, 2011
Don Cheadle, as an FBI agent trying to stop a drug ring, makes the perfect foil.
Full Review | Original Score: B
July 27, 2011
This is a very Irish, very McDonagh, very Gleeson production, with the requisite amount of cheerfully abrasive humor and mayhem.
Full Review | Original Score: B
July 27, 2011
In a cinema world so awash in either corporate flatness or high-art pretension, "The Guard" is a proud, foul-mouthed exception.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
July 27, 2011
As Cheadle drifts around a vaguely thought-through role, The Guard bets everything on Gleeson's boyish twinkle -- and tends to overestimate its own raffish charm.
July 27, 2011
[Gleeson] is both the comic center and the melancholy heart of a film that's content to put its sprawl of engaging characters above their meandering trail of misdeeds.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
July 26, 2011
Scabrous, profane, violent, verbally adroit and often hilarious, this twisted and exceptionally accomplished variation on the buddy-cop format is capped by a protean performance from Brendan Gleeson.
July 26, 2011
Rudely funny and faintly melancholic... screenwriter John Michael McDonagh's directorial debut is a stylish lark whose many disparate elements somehow manage to go down as smoothly as Guinness.
July 24, 2011
Gleeson and Cheadle are a pair of sharply matched pros who pour their heart into a narrow range of riffs and mannerisms that take the place of character and thought.