The Guard is an excellent film if you like an intelligent mix of dark, dark humor, violence and some genuine sentiment. The bureau chief does. The film, which has not been seen by many people in this country, is ill served by it's trailer which works to make the viewer think that this is a fish-out-of-water comedy about an African American FBI agent (Don Cheadle) dealing with racist, buffoonish Irish cops. That's not what the movie is at all. Cheadle has an important role but this is the story of Sergeant Jerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson), a very complicated and very burned out cop.
The director is John Michael McDonagh who is the brother of Irish playwright Martin McDonagh. The latter's film "In Bruge" is also excellent if you like (see above). The brothers McDonagh share a very similar sensibility. The film has plenty of energy and starts with a bang that tells you a lot about our hero in a very short time. The casting and acting, even in small roles, is really good. I had never heard of Slovenian actress Katarina Cas but would like to see her get a lot more work. I highly recommend this film.