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The Guard - 28/7/2011 12:29:26 PM   
Empire Admin


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Post #: 1
Bland Irish rubbish - 28/7/2011 12:29:26 PM   
Bill Clay


Posts: 11
Joined: 21/5/2009
Another bland entry in the catalogue of Irish cinema.
Is there a DP in Ireland that knows how to light a scene?apparently not as they all suffer from over exposure.
And of course it wouldn't be an Irish film if the Irish weren't portrayed as racist, bigoted, ignorant fools.
I hate Irish films.
oh and it is completely unfunny.

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Post #: 2
Purely entertaining my arse - 28/7/2011 7:23:37 PM   


Posts: 138
Joined: 20/1/2007
From: Edinburgh
I had the "joy" of watching this at the Edinburgh film festival. All I can say is it is the complete opposite of this review. It was very un-funny, un-original and boring. Cheadle, as always, was rubbish and even Gleeson couldn't bring any magic to the screen. The over all reception from the showing was very poor.

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Post #: 3
Darkly hilarious - 30/7/2011 11:50:52 PM   


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From: Tuam
the best irish film ever made

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Post #: 4
Very Entertaining and very Funny - 1/8/2011 12:05:52 AM   


Posts: 53
Joined: 27/6/2011
Hugely enjoyed this movie,,
Jesus did some guy below leave a comment moaning about a bad use of over exposure and bad lighting by the DP?? HAHAHAHAHA
Get a fucking life mate

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Post #: 5
Great movie - 1/8/2011 12:16:11 AM   


Posts: 53
Joined: 27/6/2011
Great review Empire. I went to see this movie tonight instead of Captain America, (thank god) and was very surprised. I really enjoyed it, a great example of dark humour done really well.
I was Impressed the way it managed to avoid being a generic buddy cop movie or like you stated using a fish out of water scenario with Don Cheadle's character as the basis for the story.
Great performances all round and I'd have to agree it's darkly hilarious and the best Irish movie since In Bruges or Once

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Post #: 6
RE: The Guard - 2/8/2011 12:42:51 AM   

Posts: 2493
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Belfast
I think by and large that stand-up comedy is one of the few areas where the Irish genuinely excel on world-beater levels of talent. There are very few bad contemporary Irish comics. They're great ambassadors chiefly in their capacity to be often wry, articulate and cultured folk who can be equally savage in addressing the modern Irish foible. I like to think this broad movement of talent in many ways makes up for the bad Irish sitcoms of the eighties, the bad Irish middle of the road comedians of the seventies and eighties, and the bad Irish movies (since forever) that always leant on patois allusions to “shoite” and “roy-ding” to elicit its sundry chuckles. The Guard is a slightly evolved Irish movie from the eighties. (It doesn't even mention the words “shoite” and “roy-ding”). It's a deeply reference heavy film entirely meant to show that rural Ireland is actually incredibly cosmopolitan and au fait with everything worth knowing in the world today. It must be however an extremely Irish neurosis to be assumed backward and I think every time McDonagh tries his hand at cultural eclecticism the cunt actually puts us back to an oeuvre where in the eyes of the world we're still throwing spuds at each other in a field. In his own distinct brand of witlessness we get gauche references to TV-informed police procedure; 19th Century European literary intellectualism; continental cinema; bantering, self-analysing criminals from Guy Ritchie's world and an understanding of Americana wholly derived from a middle-aged man's record collection. So that's the “clever” part of the script dealt with. That's the blagger's guide to “clever” out of the way. Beyond that the audience I watched this with folded into coniption after coniption at the artless end-of the-pier comedy, only taking their queue by the looks of it, from Brendan Gleeson's self-enjoyed eyebrow flexing. Take the Waco jibe for instance. Directed at Cheadle's character it could have been a barb funnily shocking for its impropriety. Here's it's a catty colluding exchange between our hero and the bad guy and it makes said hero look like a swaggering tit. It's far from the only instance of unfunny in the film but probably the best example of its off commitment to parade Gleeson's  Gerry Boyle like he's some kind of Second Coming comedy creation.
It can't be a very good film that makes you embarrassed on behalf of all the people laughing, can it?


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Post #: 7
RE: The Guard - 3/8/2011 1:04:13 AM   

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Utter crud.
And Jason Byrne is great!


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Post #: 8
Definitely not worth 5 stars - 15/8/2011 9:20:23 PM   


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Joined: 15/8/2011
Live in UK, but I'm from Galway, where the film is shot, and there was quite a bit of anticipation for it there. I managed to see it there with some friends, and while the crowd seemed to be eating it up, I gotta say I was pretty underwhelmed. A lot of obvious humour, with traits that seemed to have been lifted wholesale from other movies, particularly this recent (ie, last 10 years) BS of criminals quoting obscure poetry and philosophy. Please. A film can get away with that crap once, but it's almost become a sub-genre in itself now...just find it annoying more than anything. Also, giving children characters dialogue that is obviously written by and for adults,....once again, just overused cliche at this point. What rubbed me up the wrong way the most was how funny and 'outrageous' the movie obviously thought it was being, just came across as annoying.

Let me say, I was really hoping to enjoy this, but I just found it packed full of cliches. Not old cliches, but the new cliches of the last decade or so that were invented to get away from the old cliches of these kind of movies. And now, they themselves are old and overused.

It's easy to draw comparisons to In Bruges, but on a quality level, I found the two to be poles apart. In Bruges I love.....for all the reasons that I imagine this film thinks I should also love it too.

3 stars at best.

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Post #: 9
The Guard: Review - 17/8/2011 12:43:24 AM   


Posts: 61
Joined: 8/8/2011
From: Ireland
The Guard is a very good film. Its really funny and has a great cast. Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle did an excellent performance in this film. My only problem with this film is it isnt the funniest movie ive ever seen. I would recommend to go see this film.

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Post #: 10
Simple film well done but magnificent characters - 17/8/2011 4:15:29 PM   


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Joined: 4/3/2009
This film has been on release here, in Ireland, for a few weeks and has won rave reviews. However, Irish films almost always gain rave reviews in Ireland. Perhaps nationalism or just sheer delight that we still have a (small) film industry considering the recession.

However, I can honestly say that this is a great film and it would not matter if it was set in Galway, Glasgow or Greenland. The characters are brilliant, Brendan Gleeson is outstanding and looks and talks exactly like middle aged Guards throughout Ireland.

What is more surpising is that the supporting cast get great lines and scenes, as Kim Newman. Gerry Boyles mother gets some absolutely irreverant material, the gansters discussion on philosophy is good and the local loonies add to the mix.

Don Cheadle plays is straight but manages to add to the role and his eventual realisation that the Guard is not a complete racist idiot is done well. I was also glad to see my hometown of Wicklow is the scences near the end!

It may not be the greatest film on earth and the plot is not the most intricate but it has great characters, great dialogue and is not over maudling or preachy, which many Irish films tend to be. Good soundtrack too.

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Post #: 11
Film review - 19/8/2011 7:12:07 PM   


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Joined: 7/12/2008
Why does this review have to focus so much on the country it was made? Cant it just be reviewed on the merit of its own story and characters. If the film was British, the reviewer would not have talked so much about it.

Also, the quote by the wonderful Pat Short as the IRA cowboy is wrong. He doesnt say "to be sure". Lived here my whole life, and never heard another Irish person say that

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Post #: 12
funny - 21/8/2011 9:07:26 PM   


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Joined: 24/9/2007
Laughed a lot. Enjoyed it a lot. Great performances.

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Post #: 13
5 Stars? Really??? - 24/8/2011 7:11:16 AM   


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Joined: 21/9/2006
Really enjoyed this film and the shoot-out was more exciting than any recent Hollywood action scene I have seen. Not sure I loved it as much as the critics though. They might have enjoyed it more as it came as a surprise to them as opposed to viewers who are watching it after all the hype. Definitely not a 5 star Empire.

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Post #: 14
RE: The Guard - 24/8/2011 7:38:10 AM   


Posts: 287
Joined: 28/6/2006
From: Manchester
My local Cineworld isn't even showing this! Bah.

It is showing Glee the movie and The Smurfs in 3D. What is wrong with the world?!

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Post #: 15
RE: The Guard - 24/8/2011 9:43:34 AM   
Wild about Wilder

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From: Hertfordshire
Really enjoyed this Gleeson should definetly get some award recognition.

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Post #: 16
The Guard - 24/8/2011 9:14:16 PM   

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Enjoyed it, but it's no In Bruges.

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Post #: 17
RE: The Guard - 26/8/2011 1:52:04 AM   

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Joined: 3/8/2011
Solely worth watching for Gleason.
Everyone else dire.


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When the kid salutes, a tear came to my eye - 26/8/2011 3:55:56 PM   


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Spot on review.

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Post #: 19
Enjoyable but reliant on stereotype - 27/8/2011 10:05:22 AM   


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Joined: 20/2/2009
If Boyle was a policeman anywhere else (except for some of the more redneck US states) and displayed his sort of arrogant laissez-faire attitude his name would be straight on the desk of the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Somewhat predictably, despite his attitude, he wins out (sort of) in a somewhat undercooked crime jape. Some classic one liners but the fim overal is hardly 5 star classic, good though it is.

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Post #: 20
Maybe Not 5 stars but a good night out - 27/8/2011 7:09:56 PM   


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Joined: 29/7/2011
I enjoyed this film although I wasn't always sure whether those laughing loudest at some of the edgier dialogue were doing so because they thought it outrageous or because they heartily agreed with it. I took a vacation in Galway and Clare in June and the film made good use of the region's scenery and attrocious weather.

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Post #: 21
No way 5 stars - 1/9/2011 2:06:29 PM   
chris wootton


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Joined: 15/9/2006
It was a good simple little film. But in no way could you say it was a 5 star film

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Post #: 22
Outstanding - 10/9/2011 4:31:29 PM   


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Joined: 7/11/2009
Gleeson, as always, is a genuine pleasure to watch, spouting out quotable lines after quotable lines, and manfully establishes himself as one of the finer talents in black comedy. The script is excellently written, with more comedic musings and material than In Bruges, whilst In Bruges may have better set pieces, I enjoy the delightful back and forth in the diner between Gleeson and Cunningham. It gave me a flashback to Heat, with De Niro and Pacino squaring off, with all their heart and soul bared and committed to the job. This juxtaposed nicely with the fact that Gleeson seems like he couldn't care less and didn't really want to be involved, and the criminal in this case isn't exactly fully invested either. Less philosophical musings, more light-hearted conversations about song-meanings, and pure genius. I have to say that when I watched this I was most interested by Mark Strong, who seems to have somewhat of a penchant for playing villains, but in this, every time he is on screen he is a delight to watch, spouting out verbal abuse to the cops who are obviously in over their heads "Yeah, I skimmed a couple of grand off the top." All in all, an excellent film, the funniest I have seen all year, and on a par, if not more enjoyable than In Bruges, which we shouldn't really relate it too as they are one off, but it is hard not to draw comparisons. But I will contend In Bruges still has the best line ever: "YOUR AN INANIMATE FUCKING OBJECT!!"

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Post #: 23
RE: The Guard - 15/9/2011 9:08:12 AM   


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Joined: 25/8/2007
I absolutely loved this film. I think its the best I've seen this year, even better than Super 8. Brendan Gleeson is perfect in the role, as are the rest of the cast, especially his mother, who is a dead ringer for My Auntie Joan, in looks and in outlook (amyl nitrate vicar?).
Well worth 5 stars in my humble opinion.
PS Also loved In Bruges, but that's a different film isn't it?


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Post #: 24
The Guard - Dark but Charming Comedy - 16/9/2011 10:12:43 AM   


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Joined: 16/9/2011
Resembles In Bruges though not as brilliant, but still entertaining and great fun. Brendon Gleeson simply steals the show. Another interesting review at

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Post #: 25
RE: The Guard - Dark but Charming Comedy - 19/9/2011 11:34:50 PM   


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Joined: 19/9/2011
Eyond that the audience I watched this with folded into coniption after coniption at the artless end-of the-pier comedy? I enjoy the delightful back Guard and forth in the diner between Gleeson and Cunningham.

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Post #: 26
cool movie - 21/9/2011 11:32:12 PM   


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Joined: 4/10/2005
dry black humour at its best

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Post #: 27
RE: cool movie - 4/10/2011 10:30:05 AM   

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Saw this on a plane and thought it was hilarious.


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Post #: 28
RE: cool movie - 20/10/2011 7:52:55 PM   


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Joined: 10/5/2011
Surrounded by people laughing their heads off. Didn't laugh once. very disappointed with it. Felt it was trying too hard.

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Post #: 29
Hilarious From Start To Finish... - 18/1/2012 2:59:09 AM   


Posts: 92
Joined: 24/8/2009
Have to agree with Empire on this one. What starts as a fish out of water comedy becomes a whole lot more. Superb. Oh, and my advice to the anorak criticizing the lighting? Stick to Sight And Sound, son...

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