The Guardian (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Guardian (2006)



Critic Consensus: 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.

Movie Info

A decorated Coast Guard search and rescue specialist still haunted by the death of his teammates during a disastrous mission off the coast of Alaska is charged with the task of training the next generation of Coast Guard rescue swimmers in director Andrew Davis' ocean-bound adventure drama. Ben Randall (Kevin Costner) was the best swimmer of his graduating class, but upon surfacing as the sole survivor of an Alaskan rescue mission attempted during a Category Three storm, his outlook on life has grown increasingly jaded. Now, as hotshot young swimmer Jake Fischer (Ashton Kutcher) arrives at Coast Guard rescue school looking to accomplish something meaningful with his life, he will be forced to endure the rigorous training methods of a man who expects nothing less than the very best in order to become a member of one of the most elite rescue squads on the planet.more
Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of action/peril, brief strong language and some sensuality)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: Ron L. Brinkerhoff, Kelsie Kullman
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 23, 2007
Box Office: $55.0M
Buena Vista Pictures - Official Site


Kevin Costner
as Ben Randall
Ashton Kutcher
as Jake Fischer
Sela Ward
as Helen Randall
Melissa Sagemiller
as Emily Thomas
John Heard
as Capt. Frank Larson
Clancy Brown
as Capt. William Hadley
Omari Hardwick
as Carl Billings
Alex Daniels
as Wild Bill
Neal McDonough
as Jack Skinner
Adam De La Pena
as Benjamin Reyes
Dulé Hill
as Ken Weatherly
Brian Geraghty
as Billy Hodge
Bonnie Bramlett
as Maggie McGlone
Daniel J. Molthen
as Co-Pilot Wakefield
Andrew Schanno
as Pilot Mitchell
Joe Arquette
as Co-Pilot Antunez
Gary Billburg
as Julian Zankich
Andrea Martynowski
as Ops Commander
Joshua Mitcheltree
as Mitcheltree
Rusty Tennant
as Mover No. 1
James Barnes
as Doctor No. 1
Stephanie Barnes
as Doctor No. 2
Shane Sweitzer
as Swimmer Nelson
John F. Hall
as John Hall
Johnell Gainey
as Johnell Lewis
Jeff Loftus
as Executive Officer
Shelby Fenner
as Cate Lindsey
John Hall
as John Hall
Michael Rady
as Nick Zingaro
Peter Gail
as Danny Doran
Brian Patrick Wade
as Mitch Lyons
Benny Ciaramello
as Benny Patrida
Travis Willingham
as Travis Finely
Matt Laub
as Matt Stokes
Matthew L. Rucker
as Matthew Bunch
Tanica Jamison
as Tanica Treadwell
Paul Wallace
as Paul Metz
Tilky Jones
as Tilky Flint
Megan Melgaard
as Megan Hyde
Scott Mueller
as Scott Reeves
Jacob Stevens
as Jacob Pavich
Austin Lash
as Austin Vogel
Mark Gangloff
as Mark Colby
Damon Lipardi
as Damon Bennett
Roger Edwards
as Roger Cable
Gregory J. Barnett
as Pilot Victim
Damon Lipari
as Damon Bennett
Andrea Martynowsky
as Ops Commander
Ron Fien
as Wickham
Nevada Smith
as Co-Pilot Krauss
Jay Bingham
as Ops Tech
Shane Walker
as Swimmer Nelson
Robert E. Watson
as Robert Watson
Mark Ohlsen
as Trumpet
Corrine DeGroot
as Bartender
Greg Sproles
as Huge Navy Guy
Ron Dean
as Navy Captain
James Landers
as Brandon Molale
Jesse De Villa
as Eric Norris
Leigh Hennessy
as Drowing Woman
Tanner Gill
as Husband
Norm Compton
as Sea Captain
Donald Fisher
as Young Crewman
Vladimir Tevlovski
as Tony Snegoff
Henry Kingi Jr.
as Cave Victim #1
Dorian Kingi
as Cave Victim #2
Deborah Boone
as Victim's Aunt
Roxanne Brooks
as Victim's Mother
Conrad Palmisano
as Fishing Boat Captain
Michael James
as Fisherman#1
Gene Hartline
as Fisherman #3
John Rottger
as Survivor
John Rottger
as Survivor
Tommy Rosales Jr.
as Yoshio Iizuka
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Guardian

Critic Reviews for The Guardian

All Critics (152) | Top Critics (43)

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.

Full Review… | March 22, 2011

"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.

Full Review… | April 25, 2009

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.

Full Review… | December 7, 2007
Eye for Film

Overly bloated action drama that is predictable and drawn out.

Full Review… | September 16, 2007
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.

Full Review… | March 24, 2007

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.

Full Review… | March 15, 2007
Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

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.

Sophie Burgess

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.

Al S

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.

Lenny Muggsy

Super Reviewer

The Guardian Quotes

– Submitted by MarieBella C (2 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Guardian on our Movie forum!