The Old Guard

Critics Consensus

The Old Guard is occasionally restricted by genre conventions, but director Gina Prince-Bythewood brings a sophisticated vision to the superhero genre - and some knockout action sequences led by Charlize Theron.

80%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 145

76%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 688
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Movie Info

Led by a warrior named Andy (Charlize Theron), a covert group of tight-knit mercenaries with a mysterious inability to die have fought to protect the mortal world for centuries. But when the team is recruited to take on an emergency mission and their extraordinary abilities are suddenly exposed, it's up to Andy and Nile (Kiki Layne), the newest soldier to join their ranks, to help the group eliminate the threat of those who seek to replicate and monetize their power by any means necessary. . Based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Greg Rucka and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (LOVE & BASKETBALL, BEYOND THE LIGHTS), THE OLD GUARD is a gritty, grounded, action-packed story that shows living forever is harder than it looks.

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News & Interviews for The Old Guard

Critic Reviews for The Old Guard

All Critics (145) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (116) | Rotten (29)

  • Hampered by convention, but definitely worth a look.

    July 11, 2020 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Luckily, the film itself - an adaptation of Greg Rucka's 2017 comic - is massively enjoyable.

    July 10, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • After pitiful efforts such as Extraction, Triple Frontier and 6 Underground, will this be it? Will this be the one? And each time, alas, it's the same answer. Hell no! And we're just so tired of it.

    July 10, 2020 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • In a past life, this would be a standard B-movie shoot-'em-up. But, as Prince-Bythewood presents it, The Old Guard is an effective and tender bundle of contradictions, a franchise launchpad about (among other things) endings.

    July 10, 2020 | Rating: B | Full Review…

    Anya Stanley

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • Despite a clearly substantial budget and starry cast, it feels closer to an overblown TV pilot than to spectacle on the Marvel scale.

    July 10, 2020 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • A movie that, beneath its strong female presence and few contemporary bits of flair, has a sort of inevitable bog-standard action feel, just entertaining enough in its live-die-repeat machinations to pass the engagement test.

    July 9, 2020 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Old Guard

  • 11h ago
    What do you do with an action movie where the action is actually the least interesting part? The new Netflix film, The Old Guard, is based on a comic book series by Greg Rucka (Whiteout) about a mercenary squad staffed with immortals through the ages. Lead by Charlie Theron, whose character Andy traces back to at least the Medieval period, leads the team and sees promise in their newest recruit, Nile (Kiki Layne, If Beale Street Could Talk), a U.S. soldier who is shocked to discover she can come back to life. It's through this new recruit that we get an introduction to the hidden world of immortals and their hidden history, and it's these flashbacks that I found the most entertaining aspect of the entire two-hour movie. Watching Theron swing a Viking battle axe is a lot more fun than watching her stalk corridors with a gun. There's also some great little moments that show an attention to developing the characters and their psychology. Andy has a centuries-old love that was trapped in a suit of armor and thrown into the sea. Besides the fact that drowning is horrifying, imagine dying, then reviving, and then drowning again and again, every few minutes, for an eternity. Wow that is a new level of horrifying. Each of the characters has an interesting history and some degree of dimension, and it's these soul-searching conversations that I enjoyed the most as they discuss the costs of living forever. However, it's not quite forever, because immortal heroes have an obvious problem about holding stakes, so at some point the immortals will lose their healing ability, though they don't know when. It's something, but it feels more arbitrary, and the super smarmy pharma CEO villain (Harry Melling) is a non-starter as a threat. The action sequences almost feel like a chore, like the filmmakers are checking boxes instead of using them to advance the plot in meaningful and exciting ways. The action isn't bad but just mundane, lacking memorable set pieces or engaging complications. Even their use of taking punishment is under-utilized in the design. Simply put, a movie with this kind of premise and with Theron as your lead should be more exciting. I loved Mad Max: Fury Road. I loved watching Theron lay waste to goons and gangsters in 2017's Atomic Blonde, a movie built around her physical capabilities and smartly constructed action set pieces. However, the action we get with The Old Guard lacks the same transformative ability and fight choreography. It's just thoroughly fine, at best, and I kept wondering if they were saving themselves for a big finish. Sorry to disappoint, it's just more office hallways with limited gunplay. The energy level is lacking and the music choice throughout the film affects this as well, with the same kind of downer tracks playing again and again. I would rather have spent these two hours listening to the immortal stories around a campfire. Nate's Grade: C
    Nate Z Super Reviewer

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