Reviews

“Coming from a similarly dark but comedic place as his brother Martin’s debut feature In Bruges, John Michael McDonagh proves that talent and irreverent wit runs in the family with this often hilarious fish-out-of-water tale. Anchored by another brilliant Brendan Gleeson performance, the fish is actually Don Cheadle’s ostensibly pedantic FBI Agent, who proves a perfect foil to Gleeson’s wry, borderline genius Connemara copper.”

Entertainment.ie
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“Gleeson is of course wonderful. Whether he’s discussing the benefits of amyl nitrate with his dying mother, bickering with the IRA terrorist he has just supplied firearms to, or getting brain freeze while being blackmailed, he nails every moment.

And The Guard is full of similar moments of madness; far too many to mention. Most comedies would be lucky to have a fraction of these standout, hilarious scenes. This film’s coup though is the balancing act it pulls off. There are moments of thrilling action, genuine menace, and real human tragedy and it all just feels so effortless.”

Flickfeast.co.uk
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“On the surface, “The Guard” is a clever spin on the buddy cop comedy with the tone and vibe being more in line with the Irish setting. The two driving forces behind the film working at all are McDonagh’s sharp script and the brilliant pairing of Gleeson and Cheadle as two very different law figures. The scenes of the two of them hanging out and chatting are where the film really shines. The bad guys are equally entertaining thanks to the smart casting of Mark Strong, Liam Cunningham and David Wilmot, and there are a number of colorful local characters like a young smart-assed boy who keeps popping up to offer his opinion.”

Comingsoon.net
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“There are plenty of reasons to like The Guard.  The dialogue is sharp, the direction is energetic, and it’s a fun mash-up of the fish-out-of-water and buddy cop comedies that doesn’t fit neatly into either of those two categories.  But the main reason to like The Guard is the brilliant performance from Brendan Gleeson.  Try to remember his name.”

Collider.com
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“A crusty jewel of a performance by Brendan Gleeson goes a long way toward enlivening an otherwise routine tale of murder, blackmail, drug trafficking and rural police corruption in “The Guard.” Rudely funny and faintly melancholic, both qualities stemming from the atmospheric backdrop of Ireland’s west coast, screenwriter John Michael McDonagh’s directorial debut is a stylish lark whose many disparate elements somehow manage to go down as smoothly as Guinness.”

Variety
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“The portrait of a quirky rebel cop is at the core of an odd-couple buddy film in John Michael McDonagh’s debut feature, The Guard. As a flabby policeman with a mind of his own, Brendan Gleeson broadens his acting range, delightfully, once again in this black comedy which opened Sundance’s world dramatic cinema competition.”

Screendaily
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“John Michael Mcdonagh  possesses the same gift for piecing together the most vulgar profanity laced comedy scenes that his brother has. I hate making such an easy comparison, but some scenes in this could easily have been found in In Bruges and vice versa, it very much feels like the same world, but a whole different story.  I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.  If you enjoyed Ralph Fiennes fuck-laden phone calls or Colin Farrell’s offensive midget scenes in “In Bruges” then I think you will enjoy The Guard every bit as much as I did.”

Aintitcool.cm
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“Reminiscent of the early works of Guy Ritchie, but with a more grounded filmmaking style, The Guard easily places itself in the same breath as other crime thrillers from the region – Snatch, In Bruges, Hot Fuzz, etc. It’s a film that will be one of your favorites of the year and also remain in your heart for years to come.”

Slashfilm.com
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“On the surface, “The Guard” is a clever spin on the buddy cop comedy with the tone and vibe being more in line with the Irish setting. The two driving forces behind the film working at all are McDonagh’s sharp script and the brilliant pairing of Gleeson and Cheadle as two very different law figures. The scenes of the two of them hanging out and chatting are where the film really shines. The bad guys are equally entertaining thanks to the smart casting of Mark Strong, Liam Cunningham and David Wilmot, and there are a number of colorful local characters like a young smart-assed boy who keeps popping up to offer his opinion.”

Comingsoon.net
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