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The Guardian (2006)

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A high school swim champion with a troubled past enrolls in the U.S. Coast Guard's "A" School, where legendary rescue swimmer Ben Randall teaches him some hard lessons about loss, love, and self-sacrifice.


2,470 ( 395)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel J. Molthen ...
Co-Pilot Wakefield (as Lcdr. Daniel J. Molthen USCG)
Andrew Schanno ...
Pilot Mitchell (as Lt. Andrew Schanno USCG)
Adam Pena ...
Gary Billburg ...
Julian Zankich (as PO1 Gary Billburg USCG)
Joshua Mitcheltree ...
Mitcheltree (as PO2 Joshua Mitcheltree USCG)
Mover #1
James Barnes ...
Doctor #1


Ben Randall is a Coast Guard rescue swimmer. When his crew is killed in an accident and his marriage ends, his commander tells him he wants Randall to go to the US Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer "A" School to train other rescue swimmers. He encounters a guy named Jake who's a little cocky because he was once a swim champion. So Ben puts him through the wringer to see if he can handle it. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


So Others May Live See more »


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 September 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Guardianes de altamar  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$18,006,064 (USA) (29 September 2006)


$54,983,983 (USA) (29 December 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Following the series of hurricanes in the southern United States in 2005, production moved to Shreveport, Louisiana. See more »


When Randall tells Hodges he's on his first challenge he calls him Charlie but on graduation his name is read out as William Hodges. See more »


[first lines]
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.
See more »


References The Fugitive (1993) See more »


New Day
Written by Nick Woolfson, Elliot Morgan Jones and Aine Belton
Performed by Sounds From The Ground
Courtesy of Nettwerk Productions
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Interesting look at an under-appreciated group of heroes
29 September 2006 | by (http://www.themoviemark.com) – See all my reviews

I was looking forward to The Guardian, but when I walked into the theater I wasn't really in the mood for it at that particular time. It's kind of like the Olive Garden - I like it, but I have to be in the right mindset to thoroughly enjoy it.

I'm not exactly sure what was dampening my spirit. The trailers looked good, but the water theme was giving me bad flashbacks to the last Kevin Costner movie that dealt with the subject - Waterworld. Plus, despite the promise Ashton Kutcher showed in The Butterfly Effect, I'm still not completely sold on him. Something about the guy just annoys me. Probably has to do with his simian features.

It took approximately two minutes for my fears to subside and for my hesitancies to slip away. The movie immediately throws us into the midst of a tense rescue mission, and I was gripped tighter than Kenny Rogers' orange face lift. My concerns briefly bristled at Kutcher's initial appearance due to the fact that too much effort was made to paint him as ridiculously cool and rebellious. Sunglasses, a tough guy toothpick in his mouth, and sportin' a smirk that'd make George Clooney proud? Yeah, we get it. I was totally ready to hate him.

But then he had to go and deliver a fairly strong performance and force me to soften my jabs.

Darn you, ape man! Efficiently mixing tense, exciting rescue scenes, drama, humor, and solid acting, The Guardian is easily a film that I dare say the majority of audiences will enjoy. You can quibble about its clichés, predictability, and rare moments of overcooked sappiness, but none of that takes away from the entertainment value.

I had a bad feeling that the pace would slow too much when Costner started training the young guys, but on the contrary, the training sessions just might be the most interesting aspect of the film. Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers are heroes whose stories have never really been portrayed on the big screen, so I feel the inside look at what they go through and how tough it is to make it is very informative and a great way to introduce audiences to this under-appreciated group.

Do you have what it takes to be a rescue swimmer? Just think about it -you get to go on dangerous missions in cold, dark, rough water, and then you must fight disorientation, exhaustion, hypothermia, and a lack of oxygen all while trying to help stranded, panicked people who are depending on you for their survival. And if all that isn't bad enough, sometimes you can't save everybody so you have to make the tough decision of who lives and who dies.

Man, who wants all that responsibility? Not me! I had no idea what it was really like for these guys, and who would have thought I'd have an Ashton Kutcher/Kevin Costner movie to thank for the education?

Not only does The Guardian do a great job of paying tribute to this rare breed of hero, but lucky for us it also does a good job of entertaining its paying customers.


Moviegoers wanting an inside look at what it's like to embark on a daring rescue mission in the middle of the ocean might want to give The Guardian a chance. I saw it for free, but had I paid I would've felt I had gotten my money's worth.

75 of 93 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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