Brendan Gleeson, as beefily Irish an actor as anyone since Victor McLaglen, is always believable and frequently hilarious as a West Country cop recruited by an American FBI agent (Don Cheadle) to go after some local Irish drug smugglers. Spewing bellicose cynicism and erupting with outlandish political incorrectness, Gleeson makes the movie worthwhile and fun, in spite of its occasional overuse of Leone-Morricone spaghetti-western riffs. It’s one of Gleeson’s strongest comic performances, and the rest of the actors—especially Cheadle, Fionnula Flanagan as Gleeson’s dying mother, and Mark Strong as the smuggler/heavy—are fine as well. The writer-director is John Michael McDonagh, whose brother, playwright-turned-filmmaker Martin McDonagh, gave Gleeson one of his best dramatic roles with In Bruges.
R • 1 hour 35 min • 2011