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The Guardian (2006)



Average Rating: 5.2/10
Reviews Counted: 145
Fresh: 54 | Rotten: 91

The Coast Guard gets its chance for a heroic movie tribute, but The Guardian does it no justice, borrowing cliche after cliche from other (and better) military branch movies.


Average Rating: 5.2/10
Critic Reviews: 40
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 28

The Coast Guard gets its chance for a heroic movie tribute, but The Guardian does it no justice, borrowing cliche after cliche from other (and better) military branch movies.



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Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 422,396

My Rating

Movie Info

After the death of his teammates during a mission off the coast of Alaska, veteran Coast Guard search and rescue specialist Ben Randall (Kevin Costner) is given the task of training the next generation of Coast Guard swimmers.


Drama, Action & Adventure

Ron L. Brinkerhoff

Jan 23, 2007


Buena Vista Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (152) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (54) | Rotten (91) | DVD (19)

Kutcher and Costner have a kind of visual chemistry that's just as elusive as the other kind. And the connection and contrast between them remind us that Hollywood isn't as forgiving of older male actors as we like to think.

September 29, 2006 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Kutcher may soon be ready to anchor a Hollywood sea voyage. But for now, he's still a touch out of his depth.

September 29, 2006 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Guardian does the job required: nothing more, nothing less, and nothing fancy.

September 29, 2006 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Little about The Guardian will surprise anyone from one scene to the next, though the ride is hardly unpleasant and the story is generous in scope.

September 29, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Guardian has the feel of a Sunday feature in a newspaper more than a drama.

September 29, 2006 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Costner is suitably Costneresque -- that is, low-key, stoic, and capable of a wry turn here or there.

September 29, 2006
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's nothing particularly wrong with it, it's just very tedious. Originality doesn't seem to be important and maybe it doesn't have to be as The Guardian is dealing with something true but what that something is the filmmakers seem to know.

March 22, 2011 Full Review Source:

"The Guardian" is a pro-military propaganda movie from Hollywood that attempts to mask its agenda behind the life-saving rhetoric of Coast Guard rescue swimmers.

April 25, 2009 Full Review Source:

There is a breadth of quality about the acting, including a fine performance from Sela Ward as Ben's estranged wife - making a lot more of her role than her meagre scripting suggests.

December 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

Overly bloated action drama that is predictable and drawn out.

September 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Calgary Movies
Calgary Movies

Will definitely rescue some moviegoers from the post-summer doldrums, but someone should have told Davis that there's going to be casualities if he leaves audiences in the water that long.

March 24, 2007 Full Review Source: UGO Screenwriter's Voice

The Guardian isn't as boring as Annapolis and SWAT, but it's still a feature-length training montage about kids learning the importance of taking it to the limit.

March 15, 2007 Full Review old-fashioned, irresistibly earnest piece of work...

March 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

A well-judged performance by Kevin Costner brings drama to this actioner.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

I'd have given it an A-. But it goes on & on, off the deep end into the even hokier. But since it choked me up earlier on, I'm calling it a weak B .

February 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Hollywood Report Card
Hollywood Report Card

The Guardian is an ordinary movie about extraordinary people.

January 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

This character-driven drama about redemption feels fresh, mostly due to good storytelling and two fine lead performances

November 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

a drama that's sometimes as generic as its title... (but)when they're not being forced to snarl at each other, Costner and Kutcher make a likable team...

November 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

full review in Greek

November 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

The film certainly comes across like a paid Coast Guard advertisement at times.

October 18, 2006 Full Review
Norman Transcript

Costner's actually pretty good in the role which could, at a pinch, be seen as a metaphor for getting too old for action-based parts and having to move over for younger, prettier models.

October 14, 2006 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

... with Kevin Costner splashing about in this An Officer and a Gentleman-meets Top Gun-meets the Coast Guard plot, the sea of clichés is mostly palatable.

October 13, 2006 Full Review
Atlantic City Weekly

Something about swimming pools renders them unfit settings for high drama.

October 11, 2006 Full Review Source: Style Weekly (Richmond, VA)

Enlistment in the Coast Guard must be down.

October 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Mark Reviews Movies
Mark Reviews Movies

The story doesn't offer anything new, but [director Andrew] Davis tells it with conviction ... and sometimes that's enough.

October 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Reno Gazette-Journal

...the Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers are deserving of a movie treatment less formulaic and predictable than this.

October 9, 2006 Full Review
Denton Record Chronicle (TX)

Audience Reviews for The Guardian

It was a long film but I felt they didn't really show anything. There was no strong story line here, just two characters who have been through bad times trying to come out of it. It was very predictable and I just did not care what happened to them. It was sad thinking of what they had been through but there's not much here to care about.
September 24, 2011

Super Reviewer

A stirring, exciting, thrilling and exhilarating movie. A spectacular and edge of your seat action-packed drama. Great rescue/action sequences that are just plain gripping. It's a remarkable, riveting and satisfying film. Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Costner deliver powerful and awesome performances. Brilliant, sure-fire, high-octane entertainment. An amazing non-stop joyride. A pure explosive, pulse-pounding and relentlessly exciting thrill-machine. A truly great film. It's Top Gun for a new generation.
March 28, 2011

Super Reviewer

Andrew Davis was a solid director in the early 90's with Under Siege and The Fugitive, clearly doesn't have the steam or cream anymore. Would have been better with different lead actors. Can't stop thinking about Waterworld or Dances with Wolves when I look at Costner, and Kutcher is fumblin' bumblin' biatch.
September 18, 2010
Lenny Muggsy

Super Reviewer

July 29, 2010

Super Reviewer

    1. Capt. William Hadley: There is a legend of a man who lives beneath the sea. He is a fisher of men, the last hope of all those who have been left behind. Many survivors claim to have felt his gripping hands beneath them; pushing them up to the surface; whispering strength until help could arrive. But this, of course, is only a legend.
    – Submitted by MarieBella C (21 months ago)
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