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The Guardian
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Guardian More at IMDbPro »

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168 out of 201 people found the following review useful:

Decent flick

10/10
Author: easyeee from United States
30 September 2006

As others that have commented around the web... I'm a 130 pilot in the Coast Guard. Having said that, and being the skeptic I am, I went expecting the over-the-top cheese factors. There was some cheese, but all in all, not much.. and the film was pretty accurate.

I watched the trailer again today. After seeing the film yesterday, I've realized the trailer gives the impression the movie is nothing but rescue after rescue action scenes. This isn't the case.

The movie is truly more character/story driven than action. The inner struggles both Costner and Kutcher are dealing with.. Kutcher's is revealed further into than movie than Costner's is.

Of course, there is a minor love story.. no surprise there. But for the most part, the movie tells the tale of two lives that come together, and after some time, help each other heal old wounds.

As girlie as it sounds, Costner and, as much as I try not to like him, Kutcher do actually work quite well together and compliment each other very well in the movie.

As critics have stated, you've seen it all before.. Top Gun, Officer and a Gentlemen, etc. But what movie hasn't been remade a million times.

I can recall only one F word being spoken.. and can't really recall any other language.

The movie is 2+ hours, and for some, may tend to get a little long towards the end.

You'll laugh, you may cry, but I can honestly say, it was worth the $4 I paid.

I hope you enjoy the movie.

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171 out of 213 people found the following review useful:

Costner's Comeback

8/10
Author: patrick-682 from United States
16 September 2006

I went to an advance screening of this movie thinking I was about to embark on 120 minutes of cheezy lines, mindless plot, and the kind of nauseous acting that made "The Postman" one of the most malignant displays of cinematic blundering of our time. But I was shocked. Shocked to find a film starring Costner that appealed to the soul of the audience. Shocked that Ashton Kutcher could act in such a serious role. Shocked that a film starring both actually engaged and captured my own emotions. Not since 'Robin Hood' have I seen this Costner: full of depth and complex emotion. Kutcher seems to have tweaked the serious acting he played with in "Butterfly Effect". These two actors came into this film with a serious, focused attitude that shone through in what I thought was one of the best films I've seen this year. No, its not an Oscar worthy movie. It's not an epic, or a profound social commentary film. Rather, its a story about a simple topic, illuminated in a way that brings that audience to a higher level of empathy than thought possible. That's what I think good film-making is and I for one am throughly impressed by this work. Bravo!

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145 out of 185 people found the following review useful:

Worthy of audience applause

8/10
Author: burt12 from United States
8 September 2006

I attended an advance screening of this film not sure of what to expect from Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher; both have delivered less than memorable performances & films. While the underlying "general" storyline is somewhat familiar, this film was excellent. Both Costner and Kutcher delivered powerful performances playing extremely well off each other. The human frailties and strengths of their respective characters were incredibly played by both; the scene when Costner confronts Kutcher with the personal reasons why Kutcher joined the Coast Guard rescue elite was the film's most unforgettable emotional moment. The "specific" storyline was an education in itself depicting the personal sacrifice and demanding physical training the elite Coast Guard rescuers must go through in preparation of their only job & responsibility...to save lives at sea. The special effects of the rescue scenes were extremely realistic and "wowing"...I haven't seen such angry seas since "The Perfect Storm". Co-star Clancy Brown (HBO's "Carnivale" - great to see him again) played the captain of the Coast Guard's Kodiak, Alaska base in a strong, convincing role as a leader with the prerequisite and necessary ice water in his veins. The film wonderfully, and finally, gives long overdue exposure and respect to the Coast Guard; it had the audience applauding at the end.

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119 out of 145 people found the following review useful:

Much More Than I Expected

9/10
Author: goodapollo2 from United States
28 September 2006

I work at a movie theater and every Thursday night we have an employee screening of one movie that comes out the next day...Today it was The Guardian. I saw the trailers and the ads and never expected much from it, and in no way really did i anticipate seeing this movie. Well turns out this movie was a lot more than I would have thought. It was a great story first of all. Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Costner did amazing acting work in this film. Being a big fan of That 70's Show I always found it hard thinking of Kutcher as anyone but Kelso despite the great acting he did in The Butterfly Effect, but after seeing this movie I think I might be able to finally look at him as a serious actor.

It was also a great tribute to the unsung heroes of the U.S. Coast Guard.

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75 out of 93 people found the following review useful:

Interesting look at an under-appreciated group of heroes

8/10
Author: (themoviemark@themoviemark.com) from http://www.themoviemark.com
29 September 2006

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.

THE GIST

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.

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74 out of 94 people found the following review useful:

Familiar story but still great.

9/10
Author: geebeegb1 from United States
17 September 2006

I was pleasantly surprised to find this movie showing as a sneak preview in my local theater.

We have all seen this plot line before (Top Gun, GI Jane, An Officer and a Gentleman) but a good script still works. This story is basically about the training of a Coast Guard rescue team with a couple of side story lines. Kevin Costner plays a highly successful rescue team leader, Ben Randall, who is forced into heading the training team after a tough mission. The movie takes us through the rigors of the training process and the personal stories of both the Costner character and that of Jake Fischer, played by Ashton Kutcher. I am happy to say that Ashton is great in this part.

There are no great surprises in this movie and you will probably realize what is coming long before it arrives. However, the use of humor, the exploration of the toughness of the training and the fun of watching Ben Randall "do his own thing as a trainer", kept me riveted and thoroughly entertained. I really enjoy watching a movie that makes the entire audience laugh out loud, gasp here and there, and clap at the end as a tribute to the movie.

We all had a good time (despite a couple of tough moments in the movie)and, I think, you will too.

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58 out of 77 people found the following review useful:

Retold story holds water

7/10
Author: Bart Loiacono (bart@nitelife.org) from Suburban Chicago, IL United States
18 September 2006

I've seen this story before but my kids haven't. Boy with troubled past joins military, faces his past, falls in love and becomes a man. The mentor this time is played perfectly by Kevin Costner; An ordinary man with common everyday problems who lives an extraordinary conviction, to save lives. After losing his team he takes a teaching position training the next generation of heroes. The young troubled recruit is played by Kutcher. While his scenes with the local love interest are a tad stiff and don't generate enough heat to melt butter, he compliments Costner well. I never really understood Sela Ward as the neglected wife and felt she should of wanted Costner to quit out of concern for his safety as opposed to her selfish needs. But her presence on screen is a pleasure. The two unaccredited stars of this movie are the Coast Guard and the Sea. Both powerful forces which should not be taken for granted in real life or this movie. The movie has some slow spots and could have used the wasted 15 minutes to strengthen the character relationships. But it still works. The rescue scenes are intense and well filmed and edited to provide maximum impact. This movie earns the audience applause. And the applause of my two sons.

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41 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

Accurate portrayal of the USCG...

9/10
Author: zzsilentbobzz from Milwaukee, WI
17 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm a Petty Officer 1st Class (E-6) and have been in the USCG for 6 years and feel that this movie strongly represents the Coast Guard. There were only a few scenes that were far fetched. The most far-fetched was when PO Fischer (Kutcher) went down inside of the sinking vessel to pull the vessel's captain out of the engine room... that would never happen. Swimmers are not allowed to go inside of any vessel no matter the circumstances. Second, the Command Center (supposedly in Kodiak), it looked more like a NASA command center... we don't have any gear that hi-tech. Third, the Captain of the Airstation would not be running the search & rescue cases with like 10 people on watch. In reality it would be an E-6 or E-7 as the SAR Controller and maybe 2 other support personnel like an assist SAR Controller & a Radio Watchstander. Otherwise the movie was dead on, I think they should have incorporated more of the other rates in the CG and their roles in search & rescue instead of just Aviation based rates. Some of the scenes from "A" school reminded me of my days their and the dumb stuff I did and got in trouble for in my younger days.

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58 out of 80 people found the following review useful:

Left a Little Disappointed

7/10
Author: bpdmailbox-collegebound from United States
25 September 2006

If you had asked me how the movie was throughout the film, I would have told you it was great! However, I left the theatre feeling unsatisfied. After thinking a little about it, I believe the problem was the pace of the ending. I feel that the majority of the movie moved kind of slow, and then the ending developed very fast. So, I would say the ending left me disappointed.

I thought that the characters were well developed. Costner and Kutcher both portrayed their roles very well. Yes! Ashton Kutcher can act! Also, the different relationships between the characters seemed very real. Furthermore,I thought that the different plot lines were well developed. Overall, it was a good movie and I would recommend seeing it.

In conclusion: Good Characters, Great Plot, Poorly Written/Edited Ending. Still, Go See It!!!

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65 out of 94 people found the following review useful:

An excellent fictional portrayal of the USCG, its aviation crews and their helicopter rescue swimmers!

9/10
Author: japoti1 from United States
19 September 2006

Our family (and the entire sold out sneak preview audience) enjoyed "The Guardian". Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher gave convincing performances as the fictional helicopter rescue swimmer characters Ben and Jake. After seeing this movie, you can't help but imagine how difficult it must be to graduate from the USCG helicopter rescue swimmer school and one day take part in real rescues.

Even though this is a fictional movie, it delivered rather convincing virtues of team spirit, dedication and bravery exhibited by all the members of the actual U. S. Coast Guard.

The special effects used to create the rescue scenes were incredible. You actually felt like you were taking part in a real rescue.

I feel the movie could have been made without the "Hollywood" bar scene (when you see the movie, you might agree) since the real Coast Guard does not condone such behavior.

Very entertaining, very action packed, definitely worth seeing. Thank you, U. S. Coast Guard and the REAL helicopter rescue swimmers, "So Others May Live". I'd highly recommend this movie to everyone.

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