Cinema Quarantino, Film

CINEMA QUARANTINO: The Guard (2011) dir. John Michael McDonagh

St. Patrick's Day persists


Cinema Quarantino is an ongoing series of alternative streaming picks for the self-quarantined and the socially distanced, as selected by the film staff of Boston Hassle. To browse the rest of our picks, click here.

THE FILM: The Guard (2011) dir. John Michael McDonagh


It started with the cancellation of the St. Patrick’s Day parade, and ended with countless emails from businesses announcing their plans to help enforce social distancing at their locations. A necessary action in a crazy turn of events, but it leads to the first St. Patrick’s weekend in Boston that won’t have people swarming bars and acting like the Patriots won the Super Bowl. I asked myself how St. Patrick’s weekend would be this year, if everyone had to stay inside? My first thought was to look at what good Irish flicks are available for streaming, and I found one of my favorites: John Michael McDonagh’s The Guard.

The only thing missing from this Danny Boyle-esque flick is Ewan McGregor. A nice change in pace from an Irish cop movie in Boston, this is an Irish cop movie in… Ireland. Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) plays a member of the Garda in western Ireland. During duty, he can be seen cracking inappropriate jokes, drinking, even doing drugs. Most of his colleagues can’t stand him, since he thinks he’s smarter than everyone else – and maybe he is? Though he takes care of his sick mother, he’s clearly on thin ice with the force.

While investigating a murder, Boyle teams up with visiting FBI agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle), a straight-laced guy who’s less than thrilled to be there. Everett’s there to tackle a drug trafficking ring, and learns the murder is connected. The buddy comedy starts there, and personalities clash throughout the case. The chemistry is a blast to watch, and I love watching the Irish mannerisms. Everett tries to show Boyle a picture of his kids, and Boyle goes on a rant about how he doesn’t want to see them, because all babies look the same.

At just over 90 minutes, this clever little mystery and buddy cop comedy fits in a nice area between Guinness number 5 and 6, and whiskey shot 3 and 4. If you’re lucky enough to have some friends or family in the apartment this weekend, it’s a great flick to drink and relax to.

While this Cinema Quarantino situation continues on, I’ll be looking for some other St. Patrick’s Day fixes, but this is a great one to start with.

The Guard
dir. John Michael McDonagh
95 min.

Now streaming on Crackle

Streaming is no substitute for taking in a screening at a locally owned cinema, and right now Boston’s most beloved theaters need your help to survive. If you have the means, the Hassle strongly recommends making a donation, purchasing a gift card, or becoming a member at the Brattle Theatre, Coolidge Corner Theatre, and/or the Somerville Theatre,. Keep film alive, y’all.

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