7.3/10
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134 user 259 critic

The Guard (2011)

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An unorthodox Irish policeman with a confrontational personality is partnered with an up-tight F.B.I. agent to investigate an international drug-smuggling ring.
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Popularity
4,034 ( 18)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 14 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »
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Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Rúaidhrí Conroy, David Wilmot
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ronan Collins ...
Young Man in Car
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
...
...
Declan Mannlen ...
James McCormick (as Declan Mannion)
...
Photographer
Michael Og Lane ...
Eugene Moloney (as Mícheál Óg Lane)
...
...
Billy Devaney
...
...
Doctor Oleyuwo
...
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Storyline

Sergeant Gerry Boyle is a small-town Irish cop with a confrontational personality, a subversive sense of humor, a dying mother, a fondness for prostitutes, and absolutely no interest whatsoever in the international cocaine-smuggling ring that has brought straight-laced FBI agent Wendell Everett to his door. Written by Element Pictures

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The FBI are about to discover that things work a little different around here.

Genres:

Comedy | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, some violence, drug material and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

7 July 2011 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

El irlandés  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$76,834, 31 July 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,359,774, 5 February 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Boyle states that he was 4th in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, in 1500m freestyle swimming. In the end of the movie Everett says that it's not true, and the photographer kid replies: 'It's easy to look up'. In the 1988 Olympics the 4th place in this event was won by an American named Matt Cetlinski. The other contestants mentioned were real: two Germans won the 2nd and 3rd place (Stefan Pfeiffer and Uwe Dassler respectively), while the 1st place was won by the Soviet Vladimir Salnikov. See more »

Goofs

The Guard makes a joke about the FBi "burning those kids at Waco". But the Waco siege was by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives . An Irish policeman would probably know. An FBI man would definitely know and correct such an error. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sergeant Gerry Boyle: [red car speeds past his speed trap, tires screech, car crashes]
Sergeant Gerry Boyle: [finds drugs in the pocket of dead teen] I don't think your mammy would be too pleased about that now.
Sergeant Gerry Boyle: [walks aside and swallows one of the pills] What a beautiful fuckin' day.
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Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.23 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The Parting Glass
Traditional arrangements by Liam Clancy, Pat Clancy and Tommy Makem
Performed by Liam Clancy
Courtesy of the Liam Clancy Estate
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Funny, entertaining, but flawed.
8 July 2011 | by See all my reviews

I saw this movie in Galway at the film Fleadh. Dit it entertain me? Absolutely. Would I buy it on DVD / Blu Ray ? Another yes. Funnier than The Hangover [1st film] In my opinion yes. However just like that film you have to decide very early on to suspend your disbelief and just go along for the ride.

I feel a little for John Michael McDonagh as he will no doubt always walk in the shadow of his brother. Which is a burden most writer / directors do not have to deal with. Already an early reviewer has compared it to In Bruges. I think I gave In Bruges a ten star rating. This has an eight. In Bruges - as extraordinary as it was - had a whiff of truth about it and the danger in the movie was real. Here the action is so cartoon that it generates no tension at all, and you never really fear for the characters. Of course Gleeson is in both movies and in my opinion give a much better performance in In Bruges. . Here he is just having fun. Who can blame him... The characters in The Guard are drawn with very broad brush strokes, and lack any kind of subtlety. The sub-plot involving Fionnula Flanagan feels bolted on and slows the movie down. It's intended to show the main character has a softer side, but you can get that through the thrust of the main story, and the elements are there to take advantage of this. Simple things that could have been done to add a little more realism and heart to the movie that would have generated greater emotion, depth of feeling, tension, jeopardy and ultimately bigger laughs.

At the Q & A afterward it was suggested the script was written in 13 days. Clearly that was just a first draft - but I do think subsequent drafts were not worked hard enough. As sometimes there isn't enough breathing space between the jokes... so the bigger gags / situations don't build in the way they should. Or a moment of compassion is lost because a laugh comes rolling on top of it due to a cheap gag.In that respect it feels to me as if the writer / director is still learning pace and rhythm. It's very common in comedy where a writer doesn't want to lose what he feels is a good gag - but sometimes you have to cut gag A in order to get a bigger laugh on gag B. A stronger script editor on the film could have made all the difference.

So all in all it is a bravo. I very much enjoyed the movie. I do expect John Michael McDonagh to go on to bigger and better things and I wish the movie great success. After all 8/10 is a great score.


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