The Bodyguard


The Bodyguard

Critics Consensus

The Bodyguard is a cheesy, melodramatic potboiler with occasional moments of electricity from Whitney Houston.



Total Count: 38


Audience Score

User Ratings: 260,590
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Movie Info

Lawrence Kasdan originally wrote his script for The Bodyguard in the late 1960s as a vehicle for Steve McQueen; by the time it reached the screen, Kasdan's star was another movie hearthrob, Kevin Costner. When imperious musical superstar Whitney Houston begins receiving death threats, she is compelled to hire a bodyguard. Enter Costner, who immediately incurs the wrath of Houston and her entourage by imposing prison-like security measures. An ex-Secret Service agent, Costner still hasn't purged himself of his guilt feelings over his inability to protect President Reagan from would-be assassin John Hinckley (in the original concept, the agent had been guarding JFK in Dallas, but Costner was too young to make this credible; besides, he and Oliver Stone had been there before). Gradually, and inevitably, Costner and Houston fall in love. Ralph Waite is cast as Costner's father, while Robert Wuhl and Debbie Reynolds please the crowd in their cameo roles. The Bodyguard was a huge box-office success, helped along in no small part by Whitney Houston's bestselling rendition of the old Dolly Parton hit "I Will Always Love You." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The Bodyguard

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (25)

  • if you can overlook the obvious flaws--a bumpy beginning, a villain whose motive is both too obvious and hard to swallow--The Bodyguard has its flashy, shallow pleasures. There's some wit in Kasdan's script, and dread in the Oscar-ceremony climax.

    Feb 7, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • The Bodyguard is an outrageous piece of saccharine kitsch -- or, at least, it might have been had the movie seemed fully awake.

    Sep 7, 2011 | Rating: D | Full Review…
  • A jumbled mess, with a few enjoyable moments but little continuity or flow.

    Jul 22, 2008

    Brian Lowry

    Top Critic
  • Lawrence Kasdan, it seems, mulled over the first draft of his screenplay twenty years ago; it should have been left to languish in development purgatory.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Two long hours and 10 minutes after this tale begins, Rachel and Frank seem no closer than seatmates on a long bus trip.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 2/5
  • The movie does contain a love story, but it's the kind of guarded passion that grows between two people who spend a lot of time keeping their priorities straight.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Bodyguard

  • Nov 27, 2012
    Exactly as the consensus described. It's clichà (C)d and cheesy. Totally predictable and over dramatic. Houston's performance (musically) was swell, set design was totally 80s. It's an oblivious chick flick with an excessive screen time.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Feb 19, 2012
    There's nothing wrong with a little fun suspense and melodrama. Kevin Costner gets hired as the recently deceased Whitney Houston's bodyguard. It has some interesting twists and turns and ultimately turns out to be a simple but fun screenplay. Whitney Houston's acting isn't overall bad, but there were times when it wasn't good. At least she has an amazing voice. Kevin Costner is well cast as her bodyguard. I've seen it many times but I thought because of Ms. Houston's recent and unfortunate death, it would be a good time to revisit this fun flick.
    Kevin M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 16, 2012
    A popular date movie and box-office hit in the early 1990s, "The Bodyguard" follows Frank Farmer (Kevin Costner), an ex-Secret Service agent, turned bodyguard, who is hired by pop sensation Rachel Marron (the late Whitney Houston in her film debut) after a series of incidents involving an obsessed fan. Cue the predictable romance, accompanied by the predictable melodramatic songs (sung by Houston, of which "I Will Always Love You" is still the stand out). Actually, besides the formidable soundtrack work by its star actress, there's very little to care about here. The writing is particularly woeful, with plot contrivances that straining the already-forced chemistry between the leads ever further. Even the climax seems to come out of nowhere due to a lack of fundamental information that isn't included in the script. We are made to gasp as Kevin Costner swoops in and saves the songstress time and time again, but we've seen it all before and executed much better than this. My advice on "Bodyguard": buy the soundtrack, which is still great, but skip the movie.
    Matt F Super Reviewer
  • Dec 02, 2011
    The Bodyguard is a movie that started very promising but soon just went more and more downhill for me. It set up some interesting characters, gave us a interesting conflict, and started to proceed well, so what happened you may ask? Well what happened was they turned this promising thriller into some romantic Whitney Houston musical that was not a good mix of genres. It soon became predictable and I was very bored after I realized this movie was going nowhere special. It does have a great soundtrack from the late Whitney Houston and was her first film role, even if she did play a cheesy and uninspired performance. I enjoy the singing of Whitney Houston, but acting was not one of her talents. This film was a huge box office hit and I see why since it had many things going for it, but its still not what I consider a great movie. The story follows two indivisuals, Frank Farmer (Kevin Costner) who is a ex-FBI agent who now works as a bodygaurd, and musical sensation Rachel Marron (Whitney Houston) who is recieving death threats from an unknown culprit. Farmer is hired by Marron's manager to protect her, and he reluctantly agrees due to his skeptical past that has to do with the death of Ronal Regan. When Farmer and Marron become close we soon come to notice a spark may be between this two people, bt Farmer may not be able to handle losing another person he has been hired to protect. The plot (like I said) started off getting my attention but gradually just became boring and not even intersting. We know he will end up being in love with her and they will live happy lives thanks to each other so the entire love portion of the story was very dry and dull. As for the thrilling part of the story, it is the only thing that kept the story from being a complete chick flick and it made me keep interest. The characters are both cool and dull if you ask me. Frank begins as a total badass mystery to us and soon we just want him to catch this criminal already. Rachel Marron is just a reimaging of Whitney Houston and I am not sure what they were trying to go for with her, either she was a diva or a kind woman but it seemed like a mix and it was very hard to feel sympathy for someone who is just so annoying. Overall you may or may not love the story, but I just think it dragged on way to long and I lost interest. The cast consists of some pretty huge names and some were great and others were not. Kevin Costner is a good actor, we can all agree he has done some crappy roles but overall he is good, and here is no exception and I enjoyed him very much. Whitney Houston needed to stay away from acting, she got to big for her circle and wanted to try acting and she did not pay off, although she sure did bring in some huge box office results for this film. Everyone else did not really do enough to capture my attention, these are the two stars and the only two anybody cared about. The Bodyguard would have been a incredible thriller if they had just not made it a romance. Maybe if it was at least a good romance where they have chemistry but they just annoyed me with how the entire time we know they will end up together and kiss at the end to make the perfect cheesy romance flick. The thrills save the movie however, and it ended up not being a bad movie, but not very good either. If you want to remanaisse about Whitney Houston come check the only film role anybody will remember her for, other than that I don't see any huge reason to check this out.
    Bradley W Super Reviewer

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