This is a big movie weekend with the openings of “Cowboys & Aliens” and “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” but there is one must-see movie opening in limited release that deserves just as much of your attention: “The Guard.”
Directed by John Michael McDonagh, “The Guard” debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January to strong buzz and positive reviews (including mine). The dark comedy finds Brendan Gleeson playing a quirky and unapologetically blunt police officer in a small Irish town where murder and drug smuggling just exist only on television. So, when both hit his part of Ireland it throws things for quite a loop. These strange circumstances finds a veteran FBI agent (Don Cheadle) joining forces with the politically incorrect patrol officer on the hunt for some international drug smugglers. Their “partnership” in tracking down the perpetrators of both crimes is a smart and very funny riff on buddy comedies such as “48 Hours” or “Lethal Weapon.” It’s a movie that constantly surprises, charms and will become a big favorite for many moviegoers who take the chance on seeing it this summer.
Speaking to Gleeson and Cheadle last month, it was clear the duo are both immensely proud of their little comedy that could. Cheadle, who is also an executive producer on the project, is even open to some sort of sequel (Gleeson might need to be convinced). You can check out both of my interviews with the acclaimed actors embedded here.
“The Guard” won’t be a big awards season player, but if given enough love it could be a surprise Golden Globe for Best Comedy or Musical and a contender for an original screenplay nomination.
“The Guard” is now playing in limited release. It will expand across the country throughout August and Sept. Don’t miss it.