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The Guard 2011

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John Michael McDonagh writes and directs this Irish crime comedy. Unconventional small-town policeman Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) is less than pleased to find himself teamed up with rule-abiding FBI agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle) when he is called upon to investigate an international cocaine smuggling ring. It soon becomes clear that the case is tainted with bribery and corruption but will they be able to make their partnership work in order to catch the bad guys? Mark Strong, Liam Cunningham and David Wilmot co-star.

Starring:
Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product details

Discs
  • Feature ages_18_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 32 minutes
Starring Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Liam Cunningham
Director John Michael McDonagh
Genres Comedy, Thriller, Drama
Studio ELEVATION
Rental release 16 January 2012
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English
Discs
  • Feature ages_18_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 32 minutes
Starring Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Liam Cunningham
Director John Michael McDonagh
Genres Comedy, Thriller, Drama
Studio ELEVATION
Rental release 16 January 2012
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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!
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Format: Blu-ray
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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: 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.
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