Movie Review: The Guard (2011)

Ireland. An island known for its alcohol, Bono, and delightful accents. And thanks to movies, it’s probably now getting known for its dark filmmakers.

Ladies and gents… “The Guard”.

When a drug smuggling operation is believed to be operated out of the Irish west coast, a local policeman (Brendan Gleeson) has to work with an FBI agent (Don Cheadle) to try to find the people behind the operation and stop them. So now we have our Irish crime story. And is it any good? Yeah… surprisingly so. I mean, it’s not much of a mystery as we get a lot of details early on, but it’s still quite a bit of fun to see Gleeson and Cheadle investigate this entire ordeal. It has a very fun and quirky vibe about it without getting silly, still feeling like a good crime story as it’s embracing some of that Irish charm.

The characters in this are colorful, unique, highly entertaining, and surprisingly layered. First up we have Brendan Gleeson as Gerry Boyle, the Irish cop at the center of this story. He’s a loud, racist, bullheaded asshole with a warm heart beating inside of him. We get to see many sides of Gerry throughout the movie, and it makes him quite an interesting character. And Gleeson (as expected) is fantastic in the role. Then we have Don Cheadle as Wendell Everett, the FBI agent who has to work with the Irish police to investigate the drug smuggling. He’s a bit more uptight compared to the slob that is Gerry Boyle, which makes him a good foil for Boyle’s antics. And he’s given a fair bit of depth here too. And Cheadle is great in the role. And we get some supporting performance from people like Liam Cunningham, Mark Strong, David Wilmot, Fionnula Flanagan, Dominique McElligott, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was done by American indie rock band Calexico, and it was quite good. The score has a very western-y vibe that somehow works incredibly well for this Irish crime comedy, somehow blending with the overall strangeness of everything going on throughout the movie. It works quite well for the movie.

“The Guard” was written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, and I think he did  great with it. The shots look pretty good, and his direction has a fun vibe that never feels too slow or too fast, finding a good balance for each element it presents. And since this a comedy the main question is “Did I laugh?”. Yeah, I did. Now, I should preface this by saying that the humor in this movie is quite dark, which should come as little to no surprise considering who this guy’s brother is. But if you like the humor in stuff like “In Bruges”, “Seven Psychopaths”, or even Quentin Tarantino’s various movies, then you’ll probably find this movie funny. Anyway, I sure as hell laughed, I thought it was fucking hilarious.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 95% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 78/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10.

“The Guard” is a hilarious Irish crime-comedy wit ha surprising amount of heart. It has a really good plot, great characters, great performances, really good music, great directing, and hilarious comedy. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Guard” is a 9,64/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Guard” is now completed.

Damn you, Ireland. Damn you and your awesome accents.

2 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Guard (2011)

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