The Guard - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Guard Reviews

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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
August 26, 2011
Brendan Gleeson is a blooming marvel.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
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
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Tom Long
Detroit News
August 19, 2011
There are few things finer in cinema than Brendan Gleeson's fat, happy face.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 19, 2011
"The Guard" is violent, profane and funny.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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
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Tom Huddleston
Time Out
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
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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
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John Hartl
Seattle Times
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
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 11, 2011
Rich with inspired musings on pop culture, literature, philosophy, race, sex.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
August 5, 2011
This black comedy needed to be a whole lot blacker and funnier.
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Reader
August 5, 2011
Brendan Gleeson, as beefily Irish an actor as anyone since Victor McLaglen, is always believable and frequently hilarious.
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
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.
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
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
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
July 28, 2011
Mr. Gleeson's rogue is a treat, however conceptually contrived, and Mr. Cheadle's lightly played gravity is a pleasure.
| Original Score: 3/5
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Eric Kohn
indieWIRE
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
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Keith Phipps
AV Club
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
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
July 27, 2011
Don Cheadle, as an FBI agent trying to stop a drug ring, makes the perfect foil.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Eric D. Snider
Film.com
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
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Jake Coyle
Associated Press
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
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Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
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.
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Alison Willmore
Time Out
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
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Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
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.
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Justin Chang
Variety
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.
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Richard Brody
New Yorker
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.