If you notice a resemblance between The Guard and the criminally overlooked In Bruges, that would be the genetics. Martin McDonagh, writer-director of 2008’s Oscar-nominated dark Irish-gangster comedy, is the brother of John Michael McDonagh, who wrote and directed The Guard, this dark Irish-cop comedy. Both movies share a wicked sense of humor, an arsenal of f-bombs and the larger-than-life presence of Brendan Gleeson. He plays an oversized rural sheriff (to Americanize it) on the west coast of Ireland. Murder and drug-runners catch the attention of the FBI, embodied by Don Cheadle. It says something about Gleeson’s performance that Cheadle, one of the best in the business, is just an afterthought here. The Guard is one of the sharpest, most-entertaining movies of the year, and Brendan Gleeson simply deserves to be seen.
Director: John Michael McDonagh
Producer: Chris Clark, Flora Fernandez-Marengo, Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe, Martin McDonagh, Don Cheadle, Paul Brett, Ralph Kamp, Lenore Zerman, Tim Smith and David Nash
Cast: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Liam Cunningham, David Wilmot, Rory Keenan, Mark Strong, Fionnula Flanagan, Dominique McElligott, Sarah Greene and Katarina Cas