Release year: 2011
Director: John Michael McDonagh
Screenwriter: John Michael McDonagh
Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Mark Strong, Liam Cunningham, Rory Keenan, Fionnula Flanagan, Declan Mannlen
Gerry Doyle (Brendan Gleeson) is a fed up, unorthodox police officer with a confrontational attitude and a fondness for prostitutes in a small Irish town. When an international drug-smuggling ring choose to place their business in his town the FBI sends agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle) to assist, and the two very different men soon clashes, but as uptight Everett discovers the villagers are unwilling to talk to strangers he finds himself forced to work together with Doyle.
John Michael McDonagh’s directional debut is astounishing: sharp, witty, smart, and filled with colourful characters, the most colourful of them being Doyle whose one of a kind personality dominates the movie partly thanks to a well written character, partly to an absolutely brilliant Gleeson (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2005). It doesn’t matter that his provokative nature has him blurting out racist remarks or that his reaction to a car accident is heavy sighs because he needs to do paperwork, or even that he is more closed up than Belmarsh’s High Security Unit, it is still impossible not to like him. He holds the cards close and may not always follow the law but he has integrity, is kinder than he appears, and perhaps also smarter than most. Cheadle’s (Crash, 2004) Everett is his oposite both in appearance, attitude, and the way they do police work. They do, however, share their integrity and as Everett slowly adjusts to Doyle by regonising that his methods are more effective in the Irish countryside, an acceptance and certain amount of respect develop between the two. The movie moves along in a steady unrushed pace and keeps you entertained throughout thanks to exceptional performances and a great script and leaves promises of a great career for McDonagh.
John Michael Donagh is the brother of Martin McDonagh who made In Bruges (2008) which also starred Brendan Gleeson.
Picture copyright: Sony Pictures