Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Guard (2011) 4/5


I'm Irish. Racism is part of my culture.

This is a simple cops & robbers story with two really extraordinary twists: It's set in western Ireland (where many of the characters still hold IRA ideals of distrust of outside authority, nationalism, and a propensity to violence) and career character actor Brendan Gleeson turns in one of the best performances of the year as a semi-corrupt but lovable small town cop (or guard as the locals call them). An American FBI agent (Don Cheadle) plays Gleeson's straight man perfectly as the two realize they are the only lawmen that are on the payroll of a huge drug shipment entering Ireland. Hilarity and a pretty palatable dose of heart ensue turning the everyday action/comedy on its ear.

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