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The Guard

4.4 out of 5 stars 283 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Guard is a comedic, fish out of water tale of murder, blackmail, drug trafficking, and rural police corruption. Two cops (Gleeson and Cheadle) one an unorthodox Irish policeman and the other, a straitlaced FBI agent, must join forces to take on an international drug-smuggling gang.

Amazon.com

Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) of Galway is crass and abrasive and interprets the law a bit freely, all to glorious comic effect. Paired with strait-laced American FBI agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle), Boyle seeks to solve a couple of murders and disrupt a massive drug shipment in what could have been a trashy fish-out-of-water buddy comedy--but, through a combination of sharp and witty writing, ruthlessly speedy editing, and understated but spot-on performances, The Guard is a marvel of character-based storytelling. Gleeson (28 Days Later, In Bruges) and Cheadle are peerless actors, the kind who rarely star in blockbusters but who bring dynamic life to any scene they're in. The supporting cast is chock-full of off-kilter talent, turning even the most incidental role into a memorable character. Writer-director John Michael McDonagh makes a remarkably accomplished feature debut; The Guard moves forward with gripping efficiency, yet every moment seems casual and often beside the point, crammed with colorful language, incidental comedy, and a deliciously eclectic soundtrack. The result is hugely entertaining. One of the best films of 2011. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

Commentary with Director John Michael McDonagh and Actors Don Cheadle & Brendan Gleeson
The Second Death
Making of The Guard
Outtakes
Deleted and Extended scenes
Q&A With Actors Don Cheadle, Brendan Gleeson and Director John Michael McDonagh
Boyle with his mother in bar

Product Details

  • Actors: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Liam Cunningham, Mark Strong, Fionnula Flanagan
  • Directors: John Michael McDonagh
  • Producers: Flora Fernandez-Marengo, Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe, Chris Clark
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Portuguese, English, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 3, 2012
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (283 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005WAP2V0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,313 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Guard" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Whitt Patrick Pond TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 31, 2011
The Guard, a small independent film from Ireland written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, is something of a gem. On the surface, it could fall into any number of the usual categories - crime drama, fish-out-of-water story, odd couple forced to work together buddy flick - but none of those labels would do it proper justice. The closest thing I can truly compare it to is the Coen brothers' film Fargo. Like Fargo, The Guard deals with a homicide in a quiet rural area (in this case coastal Ireland instead of Minnesota) being investigated by the local authority (in this case an idiosyncratic Garda - Irish policeman - instead of a highly pregnant sheriff). But also like Fargo, what makes the film truly interesting is the character studies that unfold as we see both sides - the police and the criminals - going about their missions.

And in a final comparison to Fargo and to Coen brothers films in general, the dialogue is frequently priceless. At the film's center is the guard of the title, Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson), an Irish policeman stationed in the district of Connemara on the western coast of Ireland. In the opening scene, where Boyle witnesses a car accident on a rural road where some local youths are killed, we quickly learn three things about Boyle - very little ever rattles him, he's definitely more attuned to the spirit of the law than the letter, and he's far from being above the occasional bit of self indulgence. Shortly after that, when he's investigating an apparent murder and having to break in a new partner, Aidan McBride (Rory Keenan) at the same time, we learn something else about Boyle: he delights in being a crude, rude, pain in the ass to just about everyone, deliberately goading or provoking people just to see how they'll react.
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Update. 11/30/11. Last week, on my flight back to San Francisco, I watched a program about the making of The Guard, which has become the highest grossing Irish made movie ever at the Irish box office grossing 4.3 million Euros, beating the previous best, The wind That Shakes The Barley, starring Cillian Murphy. To put this this in an American context, it's about $1.50 for every man, woman and child in the country.

Michael John McDonagh previously wrote the screenplay for Ned Kelly starring Heath Ledger which I remember as a good movie. His brother Martin has won an Academy Award nomination, for Best Original Screenplay for In Bruges, which also starred Brendan Gleeson, and what I consider the best performance of Colin Farrell's career, and an Academy award for the short feature Six Shooter, A Collection of 2005 Academy Award Nominated Short Films, also starring Brendan Gleeson, and at least two other characters you will see in The Guard, written and directed by MJ.

As the movie begins we see Gerry Boyle, the guard played by BG, in his white squad car parked behind a stone wall, when a red car whizzes by. He does not respond to the speeding car. His response to what happens next, has no words, yet it establishes the nature of the character, as he rummages through pockets, and does something with the drugs. We can deduce that here is a guard that does not follow the established rules, and in fact may even be corrupt.

Next we see him responding to a murder scene.
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6 Comments 45 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
The Guard, a small independent film from Ireland written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, is something of a gem. On the surface, it could fall into any number of the usual categories - crime drama, fish-out-of-water story, odd couple forced to work together buddy flick - but none of those labels would do it proper justice. The closest thing I can truly compare it to is the Coen brothers' film Fargo. Like Fargo, The Guard deals with a homicide in a quiet rural area (in this case coastal Ireland instead of Minnesota) being investigated by the local authority (in this case an idiosyncratic Garda - Irish policeman - instead of a highly pregnant sheriff). But also like Fargo, what makes the film truly interesting is the character studies that unfold as we see both sides - the police and the criminals - going about their missions.

And in a final comparison to Fargo and to Coen brothers films in general, the dialogue is frequently priceless. At the film's center is the guard of the title, Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson), an Irish policeman stationed in the district of Connemara on the western coast of Ireland. In the opening scene, where Boyle witnesses a car accident on a rural road where some local youths are killed, we quickly learn three things about Boyle - very little ever rattles him, he's definitely more attuned to the spirit of the law than the letter, and he's far from being above the occasional bit of self indulgence. Shortly after that, when he's investigating an apparent murder and having to break in a new partner, Aidan McBride (Rory Keenan) at the same time, we learn something else about Boyle: he delights in being a crude, rude, pain in the ass to just about everyone, deliberately goading or provoking people just to see how they'll react.
Read more ›
2 Comments 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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