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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.
4,706 ( 488)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 14 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »



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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
Aidan McBride
Declan Mannlen ...
James McCormick (as Declan Mannion)
Michael Og Lane ...
Eugene Moloney (as Mícheál Óg Lane)
Billy Devaney
Eileen Boyle
Doctor Oleyuwo


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


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


Comedy | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »




Release Date:

7 July 2011 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

El irlandés  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$76,834 (USA) (29 July 2011)


$5,359,774 (USA) (3 February 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


Sgt Boyle wears sergeant's chevrons on his uniform sleeve but wears the shoulder boards of a regular Garda (officer). See more »


[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.
See more »


Featured in Maltin on Movies: Iron Man 3 Special (2013) See more »


The Parting Glass
Traditional arrangements by Liam Clancy, Pat Clancy and Tommy Makem
Performed by Liam Clancy
Courtesy of the Liam Clancy Estate
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

fantastic dry comedy with comical racism
26 August 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For everyone who saw and loved In Bruges, have I got the next movie for you…The Guard. This is a fantastic piece of cinema brought to us by John Michael McDonagh, the brother of Martin McDonagh, who was writer/director of In Bruges. This is the first major film directed by John Michael McDonagh and it does not disappoint.

Set in western Ireland, The Guard begins aerial view of a drunk driver cruising down the highway at high speeds. Right from the start it's easy to understand where the humor will come from – Brendan Gleeson, who also played a large role in In Bruges. The car goes out of frame, skids, squeals, and crashes in front of Gleeson's patrol car. Oh, did I mention he's a cop this time? Quite the role reversal. The crash wakes him – slowly – from his day dream and he pulls up to check out the scene. After rummaging through the pockets of one of the people in the car he finds a bag of drugs, which he tosses away from the body, though, not before dropping a tablet of acid for himself. Cut to introductory credits.

If this doesn't get you off, leave the theatre and begin questioning your understanding of what's funny. The rest of the movie is comprised of smartass remarks and brilliant dry humor.

Don Cheadle plays a straight laced, by the books, FBI agent from the States investigating a drug smuggling scheme that's rumored to be happening in the area. These two must work together to find crack an overlapping case (Cheadle's looking for the drug lords, Gleeson's looking for murder suspects – the same people). It's a good buddy-cop narrative between the two and they work really well together.

I don't want to gush too much more over this movie, just go see it. I'll leave you with a quote that should depict a fair picture about the humor in this movie: Gleeson: I'm Irish. Racism is part of my culture.

See this movie. Until next time folks, cheers!

43 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Had to walk out... roryms
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