The Guard (2011, John Michael McDonagh)

Another Brendan Gleeson action/comedy written/directed by a man named McDonagh – but this isn’t the guy who made In Bruges, it’s his brother. You see how that could be confusing.

There’s a serial killer on the loose, perhaps, and Gleeson is the local cop on the scene. Or it’s a drug crew faking the serial-killer thing to throw people off their scent. A young cop disappears and his wife is bugging Gleeson to find him. And FBI agent Don Cheadle (his character is from Atlanta, yay) shows up but finds his fancy training is no match for Gleeson’s down-homey knowledge and instincts. Also, Gleeson is a huge racist and thief, but that’s all played for laughs.

Our mismatched team takes on the druggies (incl. Liam Cunningham, priest in the super long-shot of Hunger, and Mark Strong, dude who lives in a trailer for most of Tinker Tailor) by themselves at the end. Gleeson blows up. Or he swims away with a half-billion in cash, depending who you believe. Anyway, it’s a diverting-enough picture, but my favorite bit was an excerpt from The Shout, which Gleeson sits at home watching between murders.