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Year: 2011
USA: Sony Pictures Classics
UK: Optimum Releasing
Cast: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Liam Cunningham, David Wilmot, Rory Keenan, Mark Strong, Fionnula Flanagan, Dominique McElligott, Sarah Greene, Katarina Cas, Pat Shortt, Darren Healy, Laurence Kinlan, Gary Lydon
Director: John Michael McDonagh
Country: Ireland
USA & UK: 96 mins
USA Rated: R for pervasive language, some violence, drug material and sexual content
UK Certificate: 15 contains very strong language, strong violence, sex references and drug use
USA Release Date: 29 July 2011 (Limited Release - New York and Los Angeles)
UK Release Date: 19 August 2011 (Limited Release)


THE GUARD is a comedic fish-out-of-water tale of murder, blackmail, drug trafficking and rural police corruption. Two policemen must join forces to take on an international drug smuggling gang - one, an unorthodox Irish policeman and the other, a strait-laced FBI agent.

Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleason) is an eccentric small town cop with a confrontational and crass personality and a subversive sense of humour. A long time policeman in County Galway, Boyle is a maverick with his own moral code. He has seen enough of the world to know there isn't much to it and has had plenty of time to think about it.

When a fellow police officer disappears and Boyle's small town becomes key to a large drug trafficking investigation, he is forced to at least feign interest when dealing with the humourless FBI agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle) assigned to the case. Left to run his territory to his liking for many years, he is not at all impressed when the FBI comes to town. Everett looks down on Boyle as a low-level provincial policeman with a limited and flippant view of the world; Boyle sees Everett as a by-the-book policeman with a chip on his shoulder and no understanding of how the real world runs.

Despite the fact that Boyle seems more interested in mocking and undermining Everett than in actively working to solve the case, Boyle finds that circumstances keep pulling him back into the thick of it. As unconventional as Boyle is, these events unwittingly offend his murky moral code. He realizes that he needs to take matters into his own hands, and that Everett is the only person he can trust. And so the scene is set for an unlikely friendship and explosive finale.

Shot by Larry Smith against the epic grandeur of Ireland, the scenery juxtaposes with the inventive soundtrack from Americana/alternative country band Calexico. Written by John Michael McDonagh (Ned Kelly), THE GUARD marks McDonagh’s feature directorial debut.

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