Jeremy of We Got This Covered wrote, "The Guard is very much a fish-out-of-the-water comedy. It's a crime film that teams up to unlikely characters together in order to solve a big drug case. Brendan Gleeson steals the show as the unorthodox policeman Sergeant Gerry Boyle. Boyle is lazy, racist and heroic and he has no troubles getting under the skin of Don Cheadle's agent Wendell Everett; a by-the-books FBI agent. Director John Michael McDonagh makes an impact with his first full-length feature. It's a dark comedic work of art that flourishes because of its characters and their oddly deep perspectives on life."