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The Guard

The Guard 15 rating

Brendan Gleeson plays the Garda sergeant reluctantly pitted on the trail of a major drug-smuggling ring, in John Michael McDonagh’s wild comedy.

Comedy 2011 92 mins

Director: John Michael McDonagh

CC

Overview

One of the most successful independent Irish films of all time, The Guard is the wild and unbridled crime comedy that showcases a tour-de-force from the irrepressible Brendan Gleeson. Gleeson plays Gerry Boyle, a West Ireland Garda sergeant whose often booze-led policing instincts are unorthodox to say the least. But when he stumbles across a major drug-smuggling ring in his district, he’s forced to stand up for justice and join forces with a clean-cut American FBI agent (Don Cheadle) who remains permanently perplexed by Boyle’s effectiveness.

John Michael followed his playwright brother Martin into directing following his sibling's success with In Bruges in 2008. But critics were surprised by John Michael's fully-formed directorial assuredness when The Guard was released three years later, proving that he was a talent of his own making. The film would be rewarded with a raft of nominations from Bafta, the Golden Globes and the British Independent Film Awards.

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