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The Guard

4.2 5
Director: John Michael McDonagh

Cast: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Rory Keenan


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Confrontational Irish cop Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) reluctantly teams with uptight FBI agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle) to take down a gang of international drug traffickers in this comedy thriller co-starring Mark Strong, Rory Keenan, and


Confrontational Irish cop Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) reluctantly teams with uptight FBI agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle) to take down a gang of international drug traffickers in this comedy thriller co-starring Mark Strong, Rory Keenan, and Liam Cunningham.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Some actors are like bacon -- they make anything they're in even better. Brendan Gleeson is just about the best cinematic bacon in the world, but with The Guard, he gets to be the main course -- and a flavorful dish it is indeed. He plays Gerry Boyle, an honorable cop with a taste for alcohol, drugs, and hookers, who also makes time to be a good son to his dying mother. Writer/director John Michael McDonagh establishes Boyle's personal code with the opening scene of the movie, involving Boyle's darkly comic take on a fatal car accident, then slowly lets us see how good and smart a man this seemingly corrupted small-town cop actually is. Boyle is put to the test when by-the-book FBI agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle) arrives in Ireland tracking down three drug traffickers, who are supposedly going to ship a half-billion dollars in cocaine through the town's port. Boyle and Everett clash initially -- the Irishman's seemingly casual racism and frumpy appearance don't sit well with the uptight, honest American -- but Everett slowly catches on that Boyle knows much more than he lets on. The Guard is a perfectly solid crime story, but this is a character study first and foremost, and with Gleeson front and center throughout, we're treated to a hilarious and touching portrait of stereotypical John Wayne manliness mixed with Irish sensitivities and Charlie Sheen's idea of relaxation. Gleeson revels in this meaty part, bringing out Boyle's loving side in the conversations with his mother with just as much authenticity as when he showcases the man's wild side during a romp with two prostitutes. The whole cast is pitch-perfect, and Cheadle offers flawless comic support, but this is Gleeson's show from beginning to end. As far as difficult tones go, dark comedy is one of the toughest to capture. McDonagh's deft screenplay manages the tricky feat of actually being lightly dark, shading its main character just enough so that we're surprised how much we care about what will happen to him during the inevitable final shoot-out that ends the movie. In that way and many others, the film resembles In Bruges, which was written and directed by Martin McDonagh, who is not only the executive producer here but also the brother of the director. Don't be thrown off by the thick Irish accents, The Guard has a stellar lead performance, some very big laughs, and manages to offer an original take on the hard-boiled detective -- one of the most enduring archetypes in movie history.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Outtakes; Deleted & extended scenes; The second death short film ; Commentary with director John Michael McDonagh and actors Don Cheadle & Brendan Gleeson

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Brendan Gleeson Gerry Boyle
Don Cheadle Wendell Everett
Rory Keenan Aidan McBride
Liam Cunningham Francis Sheehy-Skeffington
David Wilmot Liam O'Leary
Mark Strong Clive Cornell
Fionnula Flanagan Eileen Boyle
Dominique McElligott Aoife O'Carroll
Sarah Greene Sinead Mulligan
Katarina Cas Gabriela McBride
Wale Ojo Doctor Oleyuwo
Ronan Collins Young Man in Car
Conor Moloney Detective
Laura Hitchings Female Garda
Sharon Kearney Woman at Bartley's House
Declan Mannion James McCormick
Laurence Kinlan Photographer
David Pearse Bartley
Michael Og Lane Eugene Moloney
Eamonn Olwill Priest
Owen Sharpe Billy Devaney
Yuyang Shields Diner Waitress
Mark O'Halloran Garda No. 1
Pat Shortt Column Hennessey
Gary Lydon Gerry Stanton
Gay McKeon Musician
Mary Corcoran Musician
Darren Healy Jimmy Moody
Colm Gannon Musician
Johnny McDonagh Musician
Dominick Hewitt Henchmen
Giedrius Nagys Henchmen
Dermot Healy Old Farmer
Gary Robinson Henchmen
Paraic Nialand Young Man In Car
John Patrick Beirne Young Man In Car
Liam O'Conghaile Young Man in Car
Christopher Kilmartin Young Man in Car

Technical Credits
John Michael McDonagh Director,Screenwriter
Paul Brett Executive Producer
Calexico Score Composer
Don Cheadle Executive Producer
Chris Clark Producer
Elizabeth Eves Associate Producer
Flora Fernandez-Marengo Producer
Liz Gallacher Musical Direction/Supervision
Chris Gill Editor
Ed Guiney Producer
Jina Jay Casting
Ralph Kamp Executive Producer
John Paul Kelly Production Designer
Andrew Lowe Producer
Lee Magiday Associate Producer
Martin McDonagh Executive Producer
Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh Costumes/Costume Designer
David Nash Executive Producer
Tim Smith Executive Producer
Larry Smith Cinematographer
Lenore Zerman Executive Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Guard
1. Chapter 1 [6:51]
2. Chapter 2 [5:45]
3. Chapter 3 [3:48]
4. Chapter 4 [10:22]
5. Chapter 5 [2:52]
6. Chapter 6 [4:18]
7. Chapter 7 [3:49]
8. Chapter 8 [9:00]
9. Chapter 9 [3:25]
10. Chapter 10 [3:47]
11. Chapter 11 [9:17]
12. Chapter 12 [6:03]
13. Chapter 13 [6:15]
14. Chapter 14 [6:42]
15. Chapter 15 [5:17]
16. Chapter 16 [1:37]


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The Guard 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ElizabethWD More than 1 year ago
My husband LOVED LOVED LOVED this movie --- said it was like Fargo in Ireland, only better................
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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