Pepe's View:

Written and directed as a debut feature by Michael McDonagh, this black Irish comedy could be described as "In Bruges" on steroids.  Interestingly, "In Bruges" was written and directed by Martin McDonagh - Michael's brother.  I can only speculate what a family gathering of the McDonagh clan would be like if the humour in their films is anything to go by. 
The guard is Sergant Gerry Boyle - a small town Irish policeman, played brilliantly by Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges) - who has little regard for political correctness, his superiors and rules in general.  A visiting "big time" FBI agent, played by Don Cheadle, has come to Galway as there is to be  an international drug bust.  Sergeant Boyle has little interest in this case nor respect for the FBI agent. These two develop a grudging working relationship and the theme of the movie is summed up by the agent's question of Boyle -  " I can't figure out if you are mother-fucking dumb or mother-fucking smart".  Boyle replies with a sardonic grin.
The dramatic tension mounts as the drug bust is imminent and we see the criminal leaders of the bust bemoan the fact that they always have to deal with the dregs of society but reflect philosophically that these people are after all drug dealers.
The movie is full of one liners, comic twists and is very reminiscent of In Bruges.  If you enjoyed that movie you will love this one. One of my favourite scenes is when one of the other policemen in Galway asks the FBI agent about the phrase "to liquidate someone".  The FBI agent explains that it means to kill someone.  The Irish guard persist for more information - "yes but does it mean they are turned to liquid?" The FBI agent thinks he is being taken for a ride but when he realises the question is serious goes on to explain the meaning of the phrase.

A wonderful entertaining film.


Ma's View:

Loved it!   Brendan Gleeson has the ability to play a character that is at once coarse and tough yet also immensely human and vulnerable.  I think the thing I enjoyed most about both "In Bruges" and "The Guard" is that all the characters are fully fleshed out complex, contradictory human beings - drug dealers who quote Dylan Thomas and complain about the riff-raff they have to deal with; a tough cop who hires high class prostutes yet takes his dying mother out to the pub.

This movie is a laugh a minute and it's tense and exciting too. The shoot out at the end is a hoot.   All in all a very satisfactory movie that sends you home with a smile on your face!

My score:  8/10