McGuigan's directorial debut came with "The Acid House," a film adaptation of Irvine Welsh's short story collection. It received a number of professional accolades including a FIPRESCI Prize from the Stockholm Film Festival, and nominations from the Catalonian Film Festival and the New York Underground Film Festival.He is perhaps best known for directing the films "Wicker Park" (2004), a puzzling thriller, and "Lucky Number Slevin"(2006), a gritty crime flick starring Josh Hartnett and Bruce Willis. His television run began in 2010 when he directed several episodes of the British television crime drama "Sherlock. The show was by all accounts a critical success, jumpstarting the career of lead actor Benedict Cumberbatch and endeavoring to be a modern day retelling of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories, wherein the titular Sherlock solves mysteries akin to the ones from the classic tales, albeit with the added bonus of modern technology. McGuigan's work on the series garnered him a Primetime Emmy Nomination and the attention of a Hollywood legend. "I got a call from my agent, who forwarded a message from Spielberg about Sherlock to me When you are asked by Spielberg to come and do an episode, you can't really turn it down" (from The Daily Record January 1, 2012). The phone call led McGuigan to helm an episode of the Spielberg-produced "Smash," which follows the lives of characters involved in the production of a Marilyn Monroe-themed Broadway musical and stars Debra Messing and Katharine McPhee.