Customer Reviews


 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once upon a time in the West
This may not be to everyone's taste, but if you are not upset by profuse profanity, if you don't mind coarse humour, if you appreciate a bit of moral ambiguity, and if you enjoy a dash of philosophy with your violence, then this is a movie you will love.

The film stars the great Brendan Gleeson, who has been quietly building a reputation for himself as one of...
Published on 22 Aug. 2011 by Aidan J. McQuade

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not much cop
Classy lead actors nearly pull this one through, but the storyline verges on the ludicrous in parts and I found any laughs very hard to come by. Could - and should - have been so much better.
Published 9 months ago by Ade


‹ Previous | 1 232 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once upon a time in the West, 22 Aug. 2011
By 
Aidan J. McQuade (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Guard [DVD] (DVD)
This may not be to everyone's taste, but if you are not upset by profuse profanity, if you don't mind coarse humour, if you appreciate a bit of moral ambiguity, and if you enjoy a dash of philosophy with your violence, then this is a movie you will love.

The film stars the great Brendan Gleeson, who has been quietly building a reputation for himself as one of the finest movie actors about, as a small town cop in Connemara, and the brilliant Don Cheedle as an FBI man arriving in Galway on the trail of a bunch of international drugs traffickers. But the whole cast is composed of some of the finest actors currently working, including Liam Cunningham, Mark Strong and Fionuala Flanagan.

At heart the film is a buddy movie about the mismatched cops Cheedle and Gleeson and in the midst of all the prickly dialogue between the two it satisfies all the expectations that one would have of such a movie with a great "shoot-em-up" ending. It also makes some nice subtle political points: in spite of the jokey xenophobia of the central character it is the foreign characters, Croatian, African and African-American who are, along with the character of Gleeson's mother, the most dignified and attractive figures portrayed; Dublin and Dubliners are the butt of many of the film's jokes, a nice counter-balance to Dubliners' tendency to treat non-"Pale" Ireland (ie the area that is not Dublin) as a lesser place.

If this film doesn't leave you with a smile on your face its difficult to know what will. Its great stuff!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...The Significance Of The Flowerpot Has Me Somewhat Perplexed..." - The Guard on BLU RAY, 27 Jun. 2014
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Sergeant Gerry Boyle of the Galway Police (they're called 'Garda' in Ireland) is sitting in his stationary car when a bunch of five drunken reprobates speed past and crash their stolen bright red souped-up Cortina - killing all inside. As he searches one of the young bodies lying on the side of the country road - he sighs when he finds a plastic bag of drugs in his pockets and says - "I don't think your Mammy would be too pleased..."

Gerry then stands up and drops a Tab of Acid from the dead lad's plastic pouch - and as he looks out at the Atlantic Ocean - says "What a beautiful f***ing day!"

You don't have to be Irish to laugh at "The Guard" - but it really helps in getting the irony and brutal sense of humour. And being a Dubliner myself - there were times when I thought I was going to burst a stitch in my Quadruple Bypass chest at some of the truly riotous dialogue. This is a funny film - filled with cursing, bad taste, crude honesty and little touches within scenes that are rib tickling genius. Examples include Gerry flicking the blue toes of a corpse to see if they'll bounce back, answering the front door of his home wearing orange y-fronts and a beer belly that would embarrass Buddha (the lady averts her eyes), slipping a flask of whiskey to his ailing mother in a care home as they giggle at the 'inmates' making a meal out of dying, talking about mini Derringer guns to a school kid on a bicycle whose fixated on the Behavioural Patterns Section of the FBI.

The story goes like this. Don Cheadle as FBI Agent Wendell Everett arrives from the USA trying to hunt down a boat from Columbia that's gone off radar with half a billion dollars worth of cocaine. The gang involved in smuggling it into Ireland (using one of its quiet Galway inlets) features the ruthless Irishman Francis Sheehy-Skeffington (Liam Cunningham of Game of Thrones) and the philosophy-spouting English Drugs Trafficker Clive Cornell (Mark Strong). They're aided by a lowlife hood called Liam O'Leary (David Wilmot) who does the dirty work and killing for them (and seems to like it). They've already murdered one of their crew with a bullet to the brain and cryptic messages on the wall in blood (dialogue above). But after they callously rid themselves of a Dublin rookie Garda who happens to stop their car on a routine check (a superb Rory Keenan as Aidan McBride) - his young Croatian wife Gabriela (Katarina Cas) comes knocking on Gerry's Galway home worried about her husband's safety. The next day it becomes obvious that Aidan isn't coming home - and the chase now becomes personal - ending up in a showdown on the dock a few nights later...

A huge amount of the funny credit has to go to Brendan Gleeson as the principal character. He is fabulous in the part - foul-mouthed, un-pc, wildly opinionated - yet with a heart as big as Texas. Sgt. Gerry Boyle may go with ladies of the night (watch out for the gorgeous Dominique McElligott as the hooker Aoife), drink too much whiskey and play video games while on duty - but he wears his Garda uniform with pride. And when it comes to drugs and doing the right thing - he can't be bought (unlike some of his other colleagues on the force).

But what gets you too about the film is the unexpected moments of tenderness and real courage - taking his hurting Mum Eileen out to hear Irish Music before she finally succumbs to cancer (a fabulous turn by one of Ireland's great actresses Fionnula Flanagan) - kissing the wife of the gunned-down Garda - promising her he will bring the monsters who killed her husband to justice - fighting the bad guys with Don Cheadle although they outnumbered - both upholders of the law like the Lone Ranger and Tonto in the Wild West of Ireland.

For such a small independent film - the BLU RAY picture quality is actually quite beautiful in places - and incredibly clear even on the indoor scenes and on the night sequences (defaulted to 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio). There's a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and there's excellent extras - a feature-length Commentary with Director John Michael McDonagh with Actors Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle, a behind-the-scenes featurette, outtakes, deleted and extended scenes.

When quality actors like Don Cheadle, Liam Cunningham and Mark Strong feature in a film - you know there was something in the script that made them say yes. And it wasn't just the good company and the pretty Gaelic scenery.

"The Guard" is a fab little film and it was huge in Ireland for a reason. It's both funny and true - and that's a combo we Celtic types will always raise a Guinness to...(and perhaps drop a tab of something else to take the bitter taste off)...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I'm Irish, racism is part of my culture.", 22 Feb. 2012
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
There are countless films about maverick cops who take the law into their own hands, they are usually self-styled and sexy with no respect for authority and attract reluctant admiration by their superiors and peers. Sergeant Gerry Boyle isn't quite one of those, he's an overweight policeman from a who's disillusioned with life, his job, and breaks rule not to get the job done but because he simply doesn't care that much anymore.

Boyle is the kind of policeman who checks a corpse for money before reporting, he plays with evidence to amuse himself and stops off for a pint or two during his shift. He's a bent cop but interestingly you identify with him, his dry humour and cynicism. You get the sense that he's actually a decent guy who has seen a lot of life, concluded that it's not fair and his misdemeanours are small fry and insignificant compared to life's greater injustices - such as the death of his wife and the imminent demise of his mother. His unsubtle cavalier approach contrasts with those of the visiting FBI agent - and the two find themselves working together on the biggest case to hit the small village. Those wanting a laugh-a-minute barrage of knob-gags and jaunty jokes may be disappointed, the humour here is dark and much of it comes from the politically incorrect script. Some of the characters are over-the-top but overall the film is grounded in reality thanks to Brendon Gleeson's natural performance. The plot is nothing special, it's just a vehicle for Sgt. Boyle and it's fully justified because the film saunters along and the character is allowed to dominate, this is a film about Boyle which follows a well-tested formula without ever looking formulaic.

The Blu-Ray transfer appears okay, details tend to be well rendered and apart from once scene which seemed more grainy than all the others it doesn't look too shabby. The film is directed with an artistic flare and backgrounds tend to have bright colours which is often used to accent a scene. Natural light seems to be used a lot and some shots are striking because of their symmetry (early scenes set on a pier show it central to a pin-point accuracy). The extras on the dick include a making of and plenty of interviews with cast and crew - they show that clearly everyone enjoyed working on the film. As a fan of sort film I enjoyed the inclusion of "The Second Death" which is a strong offering and means that the bonus features together provide over an hour of additional viewing. The Second Death is a poignant short and you can see some of the seeds of The Guard present within this moody, melancholic character piece.

In a nutshell: Two very different officers joining forces and coming to respect and even like each other has been done a thousand times before - but this feel unique and abandons easy clichés in favour of a strong central character. It won't be to everyone's taste (nothing ever is) and the uneventful story feels a bit slow at times but there's no doubting that Sergeant Boyle is one of films greatest recent characters.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking Film, 28 Sept. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Guard [DVD] (DVD)
Just saw this at the cinema. I laughed out loud. I appreciated the characters. I have written the first ever review of a film on this site. I will be recommending this to other people. Need I say more?
It's low budget, swears a lot, and very very non pc - but a good film none the less.
I will buy it when it's on DVD. Definitely worth watching.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drugs, Bullets, Hookers and Homicide in the West of Ireland, 12 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Guard [DVD] (DVD)
Brendan Gleeson's slobbish policeman Sergeant Gerry Doyle, appears to be an embarrassment to the Galway Guarda. However, the arrival of bullish FBI agent Everett played by the excellent Don Cheadle, forces Doyle into reluctant action, and it soon becomes clear that there is much more to the seemingly one-dimensional oaf than he wants to let on.
Akin to recent movies such as In Bruges [DVD] and Seven Psychopaths [Blu-ray] [2012] [US Import], The Guard is a comedy of the blackest hue, and easily merits its 18 certificate. However, it's well worth seeing for Gleeson's performance alone, and with strong support from Cheadle, and the likes of Mark Strong as a bullet-headed drugs smuggler, this is a delight from start, to surprising finish.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gleeson The Great, 8 May 2014
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Guard [DVD] (DVD)
I heard the great Irish actor Brendan Gleeson the other day talking about how few and far between 'worthwhile' (and interesting) film roles are in today's modern cinema. Whilst I am sure there is much truth in what Gleeson says (I never cease to be amazed when having to sit through typically inane multiplex trailers) it does seem that, with 2009's In Bruges (written and directed by Martin McDonagh), and 2014's Calvary and this 2011 work (both written and directed by Martin's brother, John Michael), Gleeson, perhaps understandably given his heritage, has `struck very lucky' recently.

Here, as Connemara's most 'disreputable' cop, Sergeant Gerry Boyle, Gleeson has dispensed with the cultural pretensions of In Bruges' Ken and instead adopted many of the 'un-PC' traits of Colin Farrell's character Ray, namely - sexism, racism and even a spot of crime (drug taking and gun-running) - albeit with an underlying 'honest heart of gold'. His straight-talking approach ('I'm Irish, racism is part of my culture') dumbfounds Don Cheadle's excellent FBI agent Wendell Everett - who, in McDonagh's admittedly rather fanciful plot, has turned up on the shores of this rural backwater, looking to 'bust' a $500m drugs gang. Plot extravagances aside, however, McDonagh's film is (for the most part) an hilariously dark comedy, with a razor sharp script, peppered with moments of fast-moving action and brutal violence. This latter element comes courtesy of Liam Cunningham's (another great Irish actor) eccentric (philosopher-quoting) gang-leader, Francis Sheehy-Skeffington, and his two henchmen - the equally psychotic Clive Cornell and Liam O'Leary, played with great venom and dark humour by (respectively) Mark Strong and David Wilmot. Also impressive in McDonagh's top-rate cast is Rory Keenan's rookie cop, Aidan McBride (from Dublin and thus the subject of Boyle's 'big city' ribbing), Gary Lydon's senior cop Gerry Stanton (part of institutionally corrupt local force on show here) and Michael Og Lane's cocky local lad (and Boyle's frequent 'verbal sparring partner'), Eugene Moloney. Also notable is the film's (frequently) 'spaghetti western-like' soundtrack, courtesy of the Arizona-based band, Calexico.

The Guard is not, for me, quite on a par with In Bruges (here Gleeson doesn't quite have an 'oppo' of the calibre of Farrell with which to 'spar'), but, being a film creation of one of the very talented McDonagh brothers, and, with two of the finest actors (comedy or otherwise) around, in Gleeson and Cunningham, it is a film with much to commend it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whats with the pot plant?...., 22 Mar. 2014
Sergeant Gerry Boyle is a small-town Irish cop.

He has a confrontational personality, a subversive sense of humour, a dying mother, a fondness for prostitutes.

But most of all, absolutely no interest whatsoever in the international cocaine-smuggling ring that has brought straight-laced FBI agent Wendell Everett to his door....

It than goes into some sort of fish out of water comedy for both the leads, Cheadle being the outsider, and Gleeson appearing to be out of his depth with the case, but after all as Wendel states, 'he's either stupid, or very clever'.

If it wasn't for the cracking script, it would be your average cop caper, peppered with Guy Ritchie-alike characters, who spout lots of profanity.

But this movie is so much more, and that is due to the likability of Doyle, which is very strange, because on paper, he's the most disgusting thing about the film, he's a racist, threatens little kids, drinks on the job, and takes a day off to sleep with prostitutes instead of helping on the case.

But Gleeson does such a terrific job of saying his lines, you cannot help but root for him, and say something offensive again, because by the look on is face, he is oblivious to the fact that he has offended, but you never know.

The film loses itself toward the end with an unnecessary shoot out, and a weird guy who takes photos, states at the end that the situation would make a good movie. Wendel agrees stating it would need a happy ending, letting the audience know that the narration may not be what it seems.

All in all a really funny movie with some cracking dialogue and a perfect performance from Gleeson
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Guard – I can’t tell if you’re really dumb or really smart…, 1 Aug. 2014
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Guard [DVD] (DVD)
The Guard – I can’t tell if you’re really dumb or really smart…

I absolutely loved this film. It’s still fresh in my mind with a nice rosy glow surrounding it, so it will be difficult for me to review objectively.

I didn’t really know what sort of film I was sitting down to watch, though I had a vague notion that it was a comedy. After watching it I still am not quite sure what it is, or if it can be pigeonholed so easily. There are laughs along the way, and a little bit of fun poked at some gangster movie clichés, but it is also dark and raw, with some very powerful and shocking scenes along the way.

It is the story of Gerry Boyle. A policeman who has seen a lot of life, and seems to have decided that a lot of the rules are petty and pointless, so he amuses himself with petty misdemeanours. Most of the comedy comes from him and his actions/reactions to events. But slightly corrupt as he may be, he cannot let the big things, the things that really hurt people, pass.

Events lead him to team up with straight laced FBI agent Wendell Everett (Cheadle). It’s the usual pairing of maverick and unbending sidekick, but one that works really well as the two actors turn in excellent, naturalistic performances.

And that’s the key to this film, the feeling of naturalness. As Boyle and Everett investigate a drug smuggling operation, we see police work and criminal acts presented as I have rarely seen them presented on the screen before. The policework is everyday, commonplace, with normal people carrying it out. In the middle of which is Boyle with his slightly skewed outlook on life. The villains seem like ordinary people, just doing a job. When the two worlds fatally collide, due to the naturalistic nature of the film and the pains it takes to not be an OTT gangster flick a la Lock stock, the murder of a policeman suddenly jumps off the screen as a genuinely disturbing event. For all the humour in the film, events like this truly shocked me. It’s a brilliant mix.

If you are looking for a laugh a minute schlocky gangster pic with a fast pace then this really isn’t the film for you. If you want a film that engages your brain, engages you with the characters, and uses an understated sarcasm to raise a smile while showing the reality of things that are often shown on TV for entertainment, then this is the film for you. 5 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars AT LAST SOMETHING TO LAUGH ABOUT, 25 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Guard [DVD] (DVD)
I've heard lots of good reviews about this film and held out for a time time seeing this film as i wasnt sure if i would enjoy it thought i might get really offended by it and it at times the language is a bit too much but having said that i really enjoyed it best few £s i've spent in a while. The stand out for me was the always great Brendan Glesson his proformance as Gerry Boyle is just fantastic praise well deserved a highlight of his career. This is still making me smile thinking about the some of the funny moments which are quite a few, so go on treat yourself to a laugh.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LAUGH OUT LOUD - BRILLIANT, 19 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Guard [DVD] (DVD)
This is basically a buddy movie - usual mis-matched lead characters who start off with nothing but contempt & end up with respect for each other. It's not going to be everyone's taste but if you don't mind bad language, violence & racist jokes, you will enjoy it. Think humour along the lines of "In Bruges" "Divorcing Jack" etc & you get the picture.

Brendan Gleeson is becoming stereotyped in this sort of role, but he plays it perfectly. A renegade cop with a taste for prostitutes & drugs but can't stand corruption & loves his dying mum. Don Cheadle plays the American, straight laced, Ivy League, FBI agent on the trail of a gang of international drug smugglers. Mark strong is the drugs lord who is depressed with the corruption & stupidity in the police he has to deal with.

There are so many cracking one-liners, you'll find yourself reaching for the rewind on the remote just to hear them again. Particularly funny scenes for me were the FBI briefing at the station, Mark Strong paying off the police at the swimming pool & Liam Cunningham trying to pay off Gleeson in a cafe.

This is one the few films I've bought after watching it on Lovefilms, it's so funny I needed to watch it again straight away.

Delicious
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 232 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Guard
The Guard by John Michael McDonagh
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews