If you loved 'In Bruges,' which opened Sundance two years ago, you're sure to at least like 'The Guard,' which co-opened this year's fest. In addition to also starring Brendan Gleeson and involving some similar themes and tone, the film is written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, brother of 'In Bruges' writer-director Martin McDonagh (Martin also gets an executive producer credit here, though only because he introduced John to Gleeson). While many filmmaking brothers working separately are not very similar in aesthetic and sense of humor (the Scotts,
I actually enjoyed 'The Guard' a huge amount more, though, and from talking to and overhearing people around Park City, I've learned that there is an imbalance of favor among viewers. It's common for lovers of 'In Bruges' to like this somewhat less, while those of us who weren't really big fans of the previous work tend to really love to new one. I don't know if I can say I absolutely love it, however, if only because of its terribly directed shootout climax. Yet it is very smart and funny until then, so I definitely recommend it.