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The Guardian

4.5 out of 5 stars 645 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher star in THE GUARDIAN, the powerful, action-packed drama that takes you inside the never-before-seen world of the elite Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers. Reeling with grief in the wake of a mission gone tragically wrong, legendary Rescue Swimmer Ben Randall (Costner) is given a mission he doesn't want - training raw recruits. Once there, he knocks heads with cocky Jake Fischer (Kutcher), a swimming champ driven by a painful secret, who's more interested in breaking Ben's records than saving lives. But Ben also sees Jake has what it takes to be the best of the best. Filled with spectacular rescues in the lethal waters of the Bering Sea, THE GUARDIAN is a riveting and compelling story that dives straight into the heart and soul of real heroes, the unsung guardians of the sea.

Special Features

Never-Before-Seen Alternate Ending -- With On-Camera Introduction By Director Andrew Davis|Deleted Scenes|Audio Commentary With Director Andrew Davis And Writer Ron L. Brinkerhoff|"Making Waves" -- The Making Of THE GUARDIAN|"Unsung Heroes" -- Tribute To The Real-Life Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers

Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher, Neal McDonough, Melissa Sagemiller, Clancy Brown
  • Directors: Andrew Davis
  • Writers: Ron L. Brinkerhoff
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment / Touchstone
  • DVD Release Date: January 23, 2007
  • Run Time: 139 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (645 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KF0GWW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,704 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Guardian" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Despite mediocre reviews and having struggled through An Officer and a Gentleman and Top Gun I decided to watch The Guardian with every expectation that I would not make it through the movie... I am glad that I went, one of the best movies I've seen in awhile. It's easy to find fault in any movie and The Guardian is no exception; the rescue scenes are bigger than life which should be expected in a military/disaster movie; but the overconfident and somewhat arrogant trainee (Ashton Kutcher) is believable at his age, and Kevin Costner was at his best since the late 80's (The Untouchables & No Way Out). Despite my surprise when learning that my college age children watched The Guardian, I was even more astonished that they discussed aspects of this movie - Service, sacrifice, relationships, and perseverance. In an office where I very rarely see 7 thumbs up; The Guardian got the grade.
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Format: DVD
First, as a movie watcher who rarely likes what hits the screen these days, I truly enjoyed this film. True, it would have been better 15 minutes shorter, but it wasn't so long as to really bother me. I think the love interest for Kutcher was unneccessary. But the movie held my attention and interest and I left the theater thinking, "Man, that was good."

Now, as one of the lucky people that have one of those cool Coast Guard jobs, (a fact that does create some bias) I was suprised by just how close to reality the action stayed. There were plenty of "hollywood" moments, but many of them were necessary. I wont bother to explain them all, but the operations center of most air stations is a desk with a couple of phones. There are video monitors in some of them, but they play movies and football games...no live video feeds from the scene...sorry.

The rescue scenes are very realistic, and the school scenes are not too out-of-line with the actual training. (warning: punch an instructor in the face during an in water test and he will NOT hug you later. Get thrown in jail for being drunk and disorderly and you WILL get kicked out) The story didn't show the sometimes months of boredom between rescues or the excitement of a six hour flare sighting search called in by a drunk on the fourth of july from a hotel room...but who would pay to see that?

All in all, I think many of us in the service are proud of the film and liked it very much.

The extras on the DVD are worth the price alone. Again, I'm biased.
The Guardian is a film worth owning.
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Format: DVD
Ben Randall (Kevin Costner) is a rarity in the Coast Guard. Even though he's over 40, he's still in the field serving as a rescue swimmer. Whenever the sea near his base in Kodiak, Alaska gets rough, he's the one who jumps out of the helicopter and rescues those who have fallen overboard. And he's one of the best at what he does, with an impressive record or saves against overwhelming odds.

He's hit a rough patch, however. His wife (Sela Ward) has left him and his entire crew was killed in an accident while they were trying to rescue the survivor of a shipwreck. In a move to help him recover emotionally, he's temporarily reassigned to "A" School, where the Coast Guard trains rescue swimmers.

And that's why Ben is on hand when Jake Fischer (Ashton Kutcher) enters the program. He's a high school swimming star who has turned down Ivy League scholarships to become a rescue swimmer. On the first day, he brags that he will beat all of Randall's old records.

Obviously, Jake has a problem with arrogance. Ben doesn't give him a break but spends all his time picking on his star student. Will Jake stand up to the pressure?

Given the previews and the plot of this movie, I'm sure it will surprise very few people when I describe it as formulaic. There were a couple surprises along the way, but for the most part, things unfolded exactly as I expected then to.

So, for a movie like this to succeed, it must rely on characters and actors. Here, the movie hits a home run. Both Ben and Jake are deeply flawed men who are struggling to maintain or regain their pride. Even Jake, who comes across as arrogant much of the time, has a truly compassionate side that surfaces as well. And Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher are excellent in their rolls.
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Format: DVD
We all know Full Metal Jacket...Kubrick's classic, brutal depiction of Marines going to war in Vietnam from boot camp to battle. The Guardian is Andrew Davis' (1993's The Fugitive) much lighter look at what recruits in the Coast Guard who apply to be Rescue Swimmers might go through while attempting to pass the Rescue Swimmer test.

It's also the story of an instructor (Kevin Costner) that was the best Rescue Swimmer in the business, but reluctantly accepted a teaching job at the Coast Guard Academy.

The movie is way more training than I'd have preferred. But there's a good story. There's suspense. And importantly it's fairly believable. The Guardian kind of falls apart towards the end with a sadly predictable ending.

One thing that The Guardian does for sure is show you that the Coast Guard is highly underrated. A memorable quote from the movie that puts it in perspective: "When hurricanes ground the United States Navy, we go out." Make no mistake that when I suggested earlier that this film is lighter than Kubrick's I did not mean to suggest that Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers are any less brave or tough as Marines. You may also walk away from The Guardian with the same notion.

My issue with the film is that there wasn't a lot of 'going out' unless you apply the little phrase to Jake (Ashton Kutcher) and Emily's (Melissa Sagemiller) dating. There was a little too much love story. Not enough buddy-film. And mostly training camp. I think a more action-oriented movie might have generated another star.

But overall The Guardian was an enjoyable movie.

SpongeBob Squarepants' Mr. Krabs (Clancy Brown) even makes an appearance in this tale of The Sea. And a funny bit of trivia is that Clancy is most known for (no, not the voice of Mr. Krabs) his role as Captain Hadley in The Shawshank Redemption, and Captain Hadley is indeed his name again in The Guardian.
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