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The Guard [Blu-ray + DVD]
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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 (Devil in a Blue Dress, Hotel Rwanda) 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
The Guard, written and directed by John Michael McDonagh (Ned Kelly) and starring Golden Globe® nominee Brendan Gleeson (2009 Best Actor in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical, In Bruges; 2010 Best Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture made for Television, Into the Storm), Academy Award® nominee Don Cheadle (2005 Best Actor in a Leading Role, Hotel Rwanda), Mark Strong (Green Lantern, Sherlock Holmes) and Fionnula Flanagan (TV’s Lost) will include:
- Deleted and Extended Scenes
- The Second Death Short Film
- The Making of "The Guard" featurette
- Los Angeles Film Festival Q & A
- Commentary with Writer/Director John Michael McDonagh and actors Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle
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Top Customer Reviews
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. Here we get a truer sense of his character by how he acts around the new cop who will be his partner. Here the comedic tone of the movie gets established. He likes to push buttons and get a reaction. They theorise about the murder, a potted plant placed on the victim's crotch, the significance of the number 5 1/2 painted on the wall. Perhaps he was the 5 1/2th victim, the young one theorises.
Like another reviewer I was struck by the parallels with the Coen Brothers, particularly Fargo, and No Country For Old Men.Read more ›
Gleeson plays what at first appears to be a callous, dimwitted cop who could care less about his job, let alone the lofty virtue of justice. As the film progresses, it becomes obvious that this man (who in the opening minutes strips valuables from the inert bodies of car crash victims) has a heart and morals. And even if he doesn't entirely enjoy his work, he is at least SOMEWHAT good at it. He loves his mother, he loves beer. His simple pleasures, however, conceal his keener-than-anticipated intellect and resounding wit. Not that he cares if people think he's a lowbrow cop.
Enter Don Cheadle, the strait-laced, by-the-book foil to Gleeson's "unorthodox" manner and methods. The two policemen certainly don't see eye-to-eye on many things but are forced to cooperate (to a degree) on the case of international drug smuggling occurring in the peaceable and beautiful town of Galway in Ireland. Their differences are evident: Cheadle's character likes procedure; Gleeson's likes prozzies. Cheadle's character is African-American (duh) and has a "fish out of water" element to him; Gleeson's character exploits their apparent racial and cultural differences, but obviously accepts them, too. The unwitting partners learn from, play off of, and eventually grow on (even look out for!) each other.
I appreciated the pseudo-cliffhanger ending.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
A very funny dark comedy. Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle are brilliant.Published 3 months ago by i jones
A dark and humorous story superbly told and acted. If you like Irish films, this is one for your DVD collection.Published 20 months ago by RICHARD C TURNER
Really great cinema, every scene a masterpiece! Perhaps this film should be in a category of its very own, IMHO!Published 20 months ago by Richard Perriment
A slow as a snail's pace movie about a bigoted old Irish cop in backwater Galway, Ireland, and his culture clash with American FBI agent Don Cheadle. Read morePublished on Aug. 14 2013 by France Levesque et Alain Pilon
This movie is amazingly funny. The team of Brendan and Don are great. I would definitely recommend it to all my friends.Published on March 24 2013 by cool beans
Pretty good movie. I had to listen carefully to understand some of the dialect, but all in all well worth watching.Published on Jan. 12 2013 by Michael Kozak