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The Guardian (Blu-ray Disc)
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The Guardian (Blu-ray Disc)

Andrew Davis, Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher | Theatrical release: 2006 | Rating: PG-13 (MPAA)
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Movie synopsis
Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher team up in this torch-passing tale of the brave men and women in the Navy Coastguard elite rescue diver unit. A catastrophic rescue mission leaves him wounded after his wife (Sela Ward) walks out on him, so heavily decorated, reluctantly aging rescue diver Ben Randall (Costner) takes some leave from the ocean to assume instructor duties down at the naval training base. There his humorless pedagogy rubs a lot of trainees the wrong way, but a champion high-school swimmer, Jake (Kucher), has no problem keeping up, and it looks like old Ben may have found someone worthy to be his replacement. But first each man has to wrestle with his own personal demons...and each other. Under the no-nonsense direction of Andrew Davis (THE FUGITIVE, UNDER SIEGE), the visceral energy flows nonstop through this familiar but nonetheless riveting affair. Shot in a flat, matter-of-fact manner, the harshness of naval academy life is celebrated without being glamorized, while the rescues at sea are nothing short of hair-raising, making excellent use of CGI effects to plunge the viewer right into the towering waves and storms along with the divers. Several familiar, stalwart faces are on hand to help the boys become men and the men to accept aging gracefully, including John Heard, Clancy Brown, and Neal McDonough. Costner is perfect in a curmudgeonly role that fits him like a tailor-made wet suit. The real surprise is Kutcher, who seems to grow as an actor as his character grows as a person, revealing lots of murky depth. Bonnie Bramlet adds some sparkle as the singer at the local watering hole.

Product Details
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Rating: PG-13 (MPAA)
  • Film Country: USA
  • UPC: 786936725902

Additional Details
Genre:Dramas
Format:Blu-ray Disc

eBay Product ID: EPID57480956
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Editorial reviews

"[A]n action movie, a basic training movie, a swaggering sea adventure, a home front melodrama and an inspiriting tough-love heroic fable."
New York Times - A. O. Scott (09/29/2006)

3 stars out of 5 -- "[Kutcher] is running at full power throughout....There's real chemistry between Kutcher and Kev..."
Total Film - Ceri Thomas (11/01/2006)

"[Costner] brings a seasoned, low-key authority to the part....Kutcher's performance manages to keep pace with Fischer's growing maturity."
Sight and Sound - Matthew Leyland (12/01/2006)

4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] very watchable drama....The personal conflicts are complemented by some terrific action sequences..."
Ultimate DVD - David Richardson (07/01/2007)

3.5 stars out of 4 -- "The drama builds remorselessly....THE GUARD is a pleasure."
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert (08/03/2011)

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Customer Reviews

Average review score based on 149 user reviews

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Rating distributions

Created: 07/11/07

The Guardian Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher, Bonnie Bramlett, Clancy Brown, John Heard, Kevin Costner, Melissa Sagemiller, Neal McDonough, Travis Willingham , Sela Ward.

Another Kevin Costner film,what are we going to do? I like Kevin he is a versatile actor.My wife watched this film a while ago on HBO. I bought the film, thinking ho-hum. A cross between and Officer and a Gentleman and Dances with Wolves and Robin Hood.

Not hardly, most Military people will recognise the first thing in basic training single out the guy who doesnt add up. Then tear into him, we all know this one, right. The basic story line, is the Guardian of the Sea-a Fisher of Men, Christs own words. There is anomosity between the Navy and the Coast Guard, and it shows in this film.

Ashton Kutcher teaches another student how to defend him self, great going Ashton. Costner is the Senior Master Chief, rough marriage, hard life, trying to stay ahead of the people he has had to loose. And trying to straighten out his own life. And still make it as a swimmer and a rescuer. That is tough. The old Salt's and Tar's knew this one. Marriage and divorce, Military style. Some make it , and some don't. Some get a second chance?

Guy's want an action film, this is it! Great swimming pool scenes, bar scenes, drama. Ladies want some Drama and Romance, and see the guy buckle at the knees for the owman he Loves? Get this film, it has it all, you both won't be dissappointed!

Kevin Costner is great and so is Ashton Kutcher one man wins the woman and another loses. Sorry Ladies...but that's the way it goes sometimes in these romance stories.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 02/07/07

The Guardian Posted by CK-Auctions

Being a Kevin Costner fan (overlooking his involvement in The Postman and Waterworld, that is), I expected a certain level of entertainment from The Guardain, and I was not disappointed.
While the story centers around the world of U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmers, I found the characters just as appealing as the subject matter.

Not only does Kostner portray reluctant Coast Guard instructor Ben Randall with humor and sincerity, but his "average joe, aw shucks" demeanor is reminiscent of Crash Davis in Bull Durham. (And 17 years later, he looks just as good.)

Teen heartthrob turned Moore clan husband / daddy Ashton Kutcher does a fine job as the full-of-himself Jake Fischer, a fast swimmer with a faster mouth, which often gets him into trouble.

The cast is rounded out by Sela Ward, who portrays Randall's estranged wife; relative acting newcomer Melissa Sagemiller, who plays a local / love interest of Fisher's; and veterans John Heard, Neal McDonough, and Clancy Brown as various Coast Guard personnel.

There are plenty of adrenaline-charged scenes, most of which involve either Coast Guard rescue swimmer training or actual missions.

It was refreshing to watch a PG-13 movie, with no nudity (and very little kissing, even); only two swear words, one of which was mild; and little violence, with only a couple of fist fights.

Be sure to watch through the credits at the end of the film, as several old Coast Guard photos are shown, as well as actual rescue mission footage and shots of New Orleans post Katrina.

2 of 6 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 02/15/07

The Guardian

This movie shamelessly steals the entire formula from the earlier (and much better done), "Officer and a Gentleman." Ashton Kutcher is no Richard Gere and was an incredibly poor fit for this part. His ability to come across as a charmer is flat and one dimensional (an actor saying his lines), his supposed arrogant "you will never tame me" attitude falls well short of mediocre. Kevin Costner is far too old to be playing a military man (even a senior chief)and his classic "strong silent type" performance in every movie he does is wearing very thin. Costner's performance is otherwise sleepy, boring and cannot hold a candle to Louis Gossett Jr.'s performance as the Drill Instructor (guy in charge role)in An Officer and a Gentleman.

One of the things Hollywood will NEVER get, it seems, is to write parts for the military as they are. NO senior chief anywhere decides to up and change military rules and regulations to endanger the lives of military subordinates "because it will make em tougher." When senior officers become aware of such actions, the thing they NEVER do is say "carry on." What a bunch of bunk. The very idea is contrary to good older and military discipline.

I thought I had seen the height of plagerism in stealing the Officer & Gentleman formula. That was until I actually saw SCENES stolen like the one of the hosing down of the arrogant boy wonder. That took the cake (again, watch Gossett and Gere to see a real performance in a believeable context).
This total waste of money fantasy trip for Costner is just another example of why GOOD movies cannot get made today and YouTube and Sundance will take over the movie making business -- Hollywood keeps greenlighting crap like this.

0 of 6 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 01/27/07

Kevin Costner Can Act?

I give this movie a five of five because a) it is a refreshing change from other boot camp movies, and b) because it completely took me by surprise. I mean, who knew Kevin Costner could act?!

Don't get me wrong, I love that he produces sweeping epics like Dances with Wolves and The Postman, but I always walk out of the theater wishing they had cast someone else in the lead role. This movie was different. He fits the role, and is quite believable in what would have been a difficult character to portray.

Ashton Kutcher is also surprisingly good. Not genius, but definitely competent.

As I am not the first to review the film, I won't repeat the plot synopses others have already provided. I will however, note that my main beef with 21st century filmmaking is that they take an Aristotelian approach to drama - the characters are unimportant, it's only the clever plot that matters. This theory results in two-dimensional, often stereotypical, characters who have no past or future to speak of, unless it is necessary for the plot.

I am of the opposite view. Life is "character-driven," if you will, and I enjoy stories that acknowledge this fact. It is the interaction between people, whose respective characters are guided by their pasts, that drives events. And you see that in this film. I cannot go into detail without spoilers, but trust me when I tell you that most of the characters in this film are not cardboard cutouts (though you can't avoid a couple of them in brief supporting roles, I guess), but careful costructions of what seem like actual people, with realistic, and often conflicting, desires.

But enough about theory. The movie itself is highly entertaining; the ending, though a bit corny, is not wrapped up happily with a little bow; the acting is much better than I had ever hoped from a Costner/Kutcher film; and the whole package comes together to form a pleasant surprise.

I highly recommend renting it. And, if you get a good price, you might want to pick up a copy (I'm not so sanguine on this score, as I don't suggest buying movies sight-unseen, and, frankly, everyone's taste is different).

10 of 13 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 04/02/11

Compelling, Entertaining & Surprising

I never thought I'd be a big fan of Ashton Kutcher but after seeing this movie I have changed my mind! This is a story of two men, Kevin Costner, a 40-something Rescue Swimmer for the US Coast Guard, who is assigned to teach at the USGS A-school for a term. While there he becomes a mentor to one of the new recruits, played by Ashton Kutcher. Kutcher's performance in this movie is very compelling as a young man haunted by a past trauma & determined to prove his worth in the world. In the scene when the past all comes out, his brokenness is almost too much to watch. Very nicely done.
The movie is a nice introduction to the USGS and although it is a motion picture, there are elements of it which incorporate reality. After seeing this movie, one will no doubt have a new found respect for the USGS, its rescue swimmers, and maybe even an actor or two!

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