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The Sentinel More at IMDbPro »

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145 out of 174 people found the following review useful:

Michael Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland go down a well worn road in a good movie that really should have gone straight to cable

Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
30 April 2006

Michael Douglas is a secret service agent framed in a plot to kill the President of the US. Kiefer Sutherland is the agent on his tail.

Its not a bad movie its just been there done that with form over content film making. There is no real tension because the actors are in roles they've played a dozen or so times before (Sutherland in 24 each week)so you can pretty much walk them through whats happening.Thats the problem here, its all been done before, better.

The real question is: Do I really need to pay 10 bucks a head to see whats a essentially a big screen TV movie? I think not. As I said its not bad, its just not worth running out to the theater to see. Wait for cable where this movie really belongs.

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131 out of 167 people found the following review useful:

The director should stick with TV

Author: dlevin-4 from United States
22 April 2006

This movie had all the potential in the world to be a modern-day "In The Line Of Fire", with great suspense, story, acting, action, etc... but the Director missed the ball. Every action and suspenseful scene was missing the added element that separates TV-movies from box-office blockbusters. It's hard to put into words, but watching all the action and suspense scenes felt like I was watching a mid-budget USA or TBS movie. The cast was great and them combined with a good screenplay and overall plot saves this movie from being a disaster. There was too little character building as well, especially for the 'bad guys'. The story was still good and the movie overall will still be entertaining, but needless to say, I was disappointed.

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115 out of 156 people found the following review useful:

Great potential ruined by terrible screenplay

Author: TabareVazquez from United States
22 April 2006

"The Sentinel" is an average-at-best action drama that does not come remotely close to reaching its potential. The entire movie feels rushed, with random details about each character's past thrown at you in a poorly-written screenplay. The revelation of the true bad guy in conspiracy films normally elicits at least some form of surprise or intrigue; instead, in "The Sentinel" the character is far too obvious and the scene reveals a tangential and unexplained back story that should instead be much more central to the plot.

The rush to cram details in every fleeting moment ruins this movie. For example, without spoiling the film, the culminating chase of the movie is ruined by a ridiculous proclamation of certain password to get by people; the ridiculousness of the situation takes away from what should be a tense finish.

This review is not meant to be overly disparaging; the film received 5/10 because it is a moderately entertaining summer movie and I did not regret going to see it. However, the skeleton plot seemed to be trying too hard and the characters were not well-utilized. Eva Longoria is very attractive though.

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84 out of 117 people found the following review useful:

Exciting and Intelligent... Most of the Time

Author: aharmas from United States
25 April 2006

There was some hesitation from my part about what this movie had to offer. For starters, the casting didn't seem right. Kiefer Sutherland had already done very well in "24" and the preview didn't seem to offer anything challenging to him or the audience. Eva Longoria appeared out of place, and the rest didn't seem very interesting.

When the film finally ended, I was not completely displeased for I had seen a decent thriller that could have been much better, had the responsible parties taken a little more care to watch for the narrative gaps and given a little more care to character development. We have seen threats of this type before, and that made the main conflict much more challenging to the writers. As an audience, we don't want to sit through the same old story again. We want to see something different, be thrilled and entertained.

There is nothing wrong with the casting. From Kim Basinger's delicious first lady. She carries herself with enough grace and sex appeal to make the part memorable. Michael Douglas has been and done that before. Unfortunately, the president is much of a non entity to even care about his fate. Sutherland rehashes his "24" tough guy approach with enough power to make it big enough for the big screen, and Eva does a passable job, as the newcomer.

Don't expect as many twists and fireworks as some of the established classics ("North by Northwest" and "The Fugitive" come to mind). Leave your expectations outside and enjoy the ride for whatever it might be. It's o.k.

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53 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

reasonably entertaining time-waster

Author: Roland E. Zwick ( from United States
21 May 2006

You'd think Michael Douglas would have learned his lesson by this time, but apparently he hasn't. For even after all the trouble he had with an adulterous romance in "Fatal Attraction," here he is in "The Sentinel" playing the role of Pete Garrison, a veteran secret service agent who's having an affair with none other than the First Lady of the United States. Even worse, when it is discovered that there may be a mole secretly operating in the service, the finger of suspicion begins to point directly at Mr. Garrison. Is he truly the undercover operative working to bring down the President, or is he merely a tool being set up as a convenient fall guy in a plot to rub out the nation's chief executive?

Based on the novel by Gerald Petievich, "The Sentinel" is a decent enough thriller set in the high stakes world of political assassination. Although it frequently strains credibility, gets lost in a maze of cyber/techno mumbo jumbo, and succumbs to a few too many man-on-the-run clichés, the movie still manages to generate enough mystery and suspense to see us through most of its many rough patches. Prime credit goes to Douglas, who after all these years, could clearly do these roles in his sleep, and to Keifer Sutherland, who plays a fellow agent with personal reasons for doubting Garrison's probity and loyalty to the institution. Kim Basinger also does a fine job as the beautiful First Lady torn between duty towards her husband and the man she loves.

You'll probably forget this movie the moment you walk out of the theater, but you should have a reasonably fun time while you're still in your seat.

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62 out of 89 people found the following review useful:

It is too much like 'In the Line of Fire' only not as good.

Author: Movieguy_blogs_com from United States
21 April 2006

In 'The Sentinel' Michael Douglas plays Pete Garrison, a veteran Secret Service agent. He is being investigated by David Breckinridge (Kiefer Sutherland) when it comes to light that there may be a traitor in the Secret Service who might be involved in an assassination plot. But David takes his investigation rather personal because he also feels Pete had an affair with his ex-wife. Agent Garrison must now prove his innocence and protect a President that everyone else believes he is trying to kill.

This film was rather disappointing. It is too much like 'In the Line of Fire' only not as good. There are several plot lines that go unexplained and few circumstances that are too unbelievable. It was not a convincing film.

Neither Michael Douglas nor Kim Basinger did that good of a job. Kiefer Sutherland seemed to be reprising his role from '24'.

I just hope the novel was a little better.

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56 out of 85 people found the following review useful:

Gordon Gekko goes Secret Service

Author: vanofam from United States
25 April 2006

It's been 19 years since Gordon Gekko used "Wall Street" to let us know that greed is good. Now, Michael Douglas takes the GG persona and morphs it into a Secret Service agent, Pete Garrison. Guess what? It works! This is a solid political thriller that kept me guessing. The detail work in showing the security precautions taken by the SS on behalf of the President and First Lady was likewise intriguing. All the leads were pretty good but, try as I might, I could not accept Eva Longoria as a Secret Service agent. Whereas Jodie Foster just made you suspend belief and really think she was FBI agent Starling in "Silence of the Lambs", you do not get the same feeling with Longoria. Nevertheless, this is a fun film, escapist entertainment with the Beltway as the backdrop.

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28 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Reasonable Idea, Terrible Screenplay

Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
18 January 2007

The veteran agent of the American secret service Pete Garrison (Michael Douglas) saved the life of president Ronald Reagan in the past and became a legend. Presently he is responsible for the personal security of the American president Ballentine (David Rasche) and the first lady Sarah Ballentine (Kim Bassinger), with whom he is having a love affair. When his informer Walter discloses that there is a traitor in the secret service and a plot to kill the president, his former friend David Breckinridge (Kiefer Sutherland) and the chief of the secret service William Montrose (Martin Donovan) are in charge of the investigation and all the agents are submitted to a polygraph test. Due to his situation with Sarah, he is compromised with the results and accused of treachery. He escapes, and in spite of chased by the secret service, he conducts his own investigation trying to find the responsible.

"The Sentinel" has a reasonable idea, of an agent failing in the polygraph test due to his love affair with the first lady, but the screenplay does not have any care for the characters. The running time should be longer and not waste in so many exaggerated details relative to the protection of the American president, and give more attention to the characters. In the end, the story is conventional, badly resolved and with bureaucratic performances of the good cast. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Sentinela" ("Sentinel")

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29 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

A Nutshell Review: The Sentinel

Author: DICK STEEL from Singapore
22 April 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

At first glance, this film looks like the Keifer Sutherland series 24 for the big screen. With the focus on a plot to assassinate the President of the United States, a race against time, and plenty of Secret Service agents, the agency under the spotlight in The Sentinel.

But wait, the protagonist turns out to be Michael Douglas' character Pete Garrison instead, a veteran Secret Service agent famed for taking the bullet for Reagan in 1981. The SS agents are specially trained to "take the bullet", which is what makes them special - who in the right mind will put themselves in the line of a bullet and a target? But Garrison gets implicated in the assassination plot, and has to run for his life while at the same time doing his bit of investigations into the plot. All this because of his failure in a polygraph test, due to his adulterous banging of the First Lady (Kim Basinger). Tsk.

There are shades of Clint Eastwood's In the Line of Fire. Both featured aging actors, and aging veteran has-been heroes with a bit of a historical reference, who took the bullet in their respective tours of duty. While Eastwood's movie has a more enigmatic villain in John Malkovich, The Sentinel suffered from its lack of a central strong villain, preferring to share the assassination responsibility amongst many forgettable ex-KGB villains, and the mole within the Presidential Detail. With Douglas on the run from the law, he becomes similar to Dr. Richard Kimble of The Fugitive, hunting the proverbial one-armed man while at the same time, relying on his smarts to outwit fellow agents, which turned out to be quite interesting to watch - despite slick processes, it still boils down to the performance and gullibility of individual agents.

Keifer Sutherland and Eva Longoria, top TV stars of today from 24 and Desperate Housewives, get relegated into support roles as the Secret Service investigators who are looking into Garrison's probable involvement in the assassination plot, and at times seem to have lept off the pages of CSI with their forensics skills. The beautiful couple had chemistry that could have resembled X-Files' Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, but alas these two had very little to do here. We know the reason why they're in the movie, and that is to get their fans into the theatres. Also, Longoria's role seemed unable to shake off her sexy-mama Gabrielle, and here, has her in fairly low cut blouses (Sutherland actually tells her to cover up) and tight pants (ogle-fest for fellow agents).

Nonetheless, it's still a pretty interesting look into the lives of probably the most highly charged and tense protection detail in the world, and the typical threats that they face daily, including the following up on every nutcase's threat on the life of the most powerful man in the world. It's a decent suspense and investigative thriller, with enough subplots to keep you entertained. But one thing though, like most ending action sequences, this one has a big enough loophole for you to fly a jumbo jet through.

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32 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

Waste of time and money

Author: LawLess38 from United States
23 April 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This, for lack of a better term, movie is lousy. Where do I start......

Cinemaphotography - This was, perhaps, the worst I've seen this year. It looked like the camera was being tossed from camera man to camera man. Maybe they only had one camera. It gives you the sensation of being a volleyball.

There are a bunch of scenes, haphazardly, thrown in with no continuity at all. When they did the 'split screen', it was absurd. Everything was squished flat, it looked ridiculous.

The color tones were way off. These people need to learn how to balance a camera. This 'movie' is poorly made, and poorly done.

The plot - You got to be kidding. If I was an SS agent, I'd sue the producers. looked like the Marks Brothers with radios and guns. Sutherland was in his '24' mode - I can see this for free. Eva Longoria would have been better with a little less on, and a lot more showing. As an action bimbo she wasn't much.

I couldn't see a real plot, other than Douglas boinking the Presidents wife. Never did say why the mercenaries were trying to kill the pres. I just don't see the President of the United States running for his life in the utility tunnels of a building, like a rat in a maze. p-l-e-a-s-e.

Hollywood is dead. This movie is the proof. I like 'the big screen'. Have since I was a kid. Many more 'movies' like this and I'll quit going. Whats the matter Hollywood, made so many chick flicks, forget how to make a real movie? If I owned a theater, I'd start running the old movies. The one with real actors, good story lines - and good Cinemaphotography.

This 'movie' is a dog. Don't waste your time or money on it. I rate this 'movie' a zero! Douglas isn't suited for this role. I can over look his age, but his just is to much of a wimp to carry this off.

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