The Guard is a quirky, clever Irish film about an unpredictable, unconventional garda (policeman). This is one of those films that requires more than one viewing: the story is multi-layered and the jokes come quickly. For someone who isn’t Irish, it took me a bit of time to settle into the very self-aware, satirical style of the film. Despite this being a comedy, you couldn’t escape the bleakness of the film: the landscape where it was shot, the unfriendly people who live in rural Ireland, and the sense that there is no hope or excitement about the future. The comedy juxtaposed with this sense of despair I think defined the character of the film. Highly recommended.