The Guard (2011, 96 minutes, Rated R) 3.5 out of 5 stars

Entertaining if uneven comedy with a great performance from Brendan Gleeson. He plays Gerry Boyle, an extremely politically incorrect, foul-mouthed Irish cop in a small town in County Galway who has little use for following by the book procedure when it comes to his job or his life outside work. Gerry’s also a good man beneath his abrasive surface however, immune to corruption and a good son to his dying mother (played by Fionnula Flanagan, the matriarch from the Showtime series ‘Brotherhood’).

Don Cheadle plays FBI agent Wendell Everett, who finds himself in Galway as part of an international drug investigation. He soon crosses paths with Boyle, and after a rocky start, mostly due to Boyle’s aforementioned offensiveness, the 2 become a formidable duo in trying to stop a murderous crew of drug smugglers (each played well by Liam Cunningham, Mark Strong, and David Wilmot).

The movie is fairly by the numbers in terms of plot, and there are also some holes in the story along the way (do Irish cop cars not have dashboard-mounted cameras?). The end also turns into a bit of a mindless action movie. That said, the characters in it are great, well written, and very well acted. The cinematography is very striking, accentuated by deeply saturated colors throughout. It’s very pretty to look at. Rarely am I struck by a movie’s lighting but it’s noticeably good here.

Not something you need to rush out and see, but definitely worth a look, if for nothing else to see Gleeson in a great role. One of his best.

On a side note, Mark Strong continues to impress. Guy just has a stout screen presence in everything I have seen him in. I’m also keen to see what director/writer John Michael McDonagh has up his sleeve next. Given that this was his directorial debut I am impressed.

Lastly, be forewarned that the accents in this are hard to understand at times.

3.5 out of 5 stars


About denmcg

I love movies and love sharing them with friends and family. I found myself constantly giving recommendations (sometimes solicited, sometimes not- ask my Dad) so thought why not do a movie review blog? Every year there are tons of great movies that go under-seen, and what I'll do here is let you know which ones you should check out and what ones you should leave unseen. In my experience, movies in the foreign, indie, and documentary genres most typically go under-seen, so those are the reviews you'll find most prevalent here. You'll also find some older films reviewed, that when released were hits, but over time have seen their visibility wane. I'll try to update the site every weekend, and feedback is welcome, whether it's on a review, a movie I should check out, or on the site itself.
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