The Guardian

Metascore
53

Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. 50
    The point of all this solemnity may be to pay serious respect to those rescue swimmers, who courageously look after errant kayakers or victims of Hurricane Katrina. But what we get in exchange is a movie that feels too much like a Coast Guard recruitment film. Who wants to pay to see that?
  2. 50
    Costner has the stoic routine down pat, and there are some spectacular action sequences of helicopter rescues on the high seas, but Kutcher is in way over his head.
  3. The only performance worth watching is Costner's. Now that he seems resigned to being something less than an A-list luminary, he is often modest and affecting.
  4. The movie represents an earnest effort to compensate for all the love the media has shown to firefighters and other land-based first responders in recent years with little thought to the Coast Guard; the drama also crashes on wave upon wave of clichés.
  5. 40
    Davis and company need to be taken to task for giving us a movie that makes rescue divers, arguably among the most death-defying of professionals, boring.
  6. 50
    The overly familiar plot points also make the film feel a little dated.
  7. 50
    I'm not suggesting Costner and Kutcher should run out and remake "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" just yet, but in The Guardian, the two actors turn out to complement each other well enough to make a lot of this supremely derivative and formulaic picture go down better than it should.
  8. 50
    There's nothing in The Guardian that audiences haven't previously been exposed to ad nauseam.
  9. 60
    As a story of courage and personal growth, The Guardian is perfunctory, a saga of character building that could (and may, advertently or otherwise) serve as a Coast Guard recruitment vehicle. But it's far more interesting as a tale of two faces: Kutcher and Costner have a kind of visual chemistry that's just as elusive as the other kind. And the connection and contrast between them remind us that Hollywood isn't as forgiving of older male actors as we like to think.
  10. When Costner is good, as he is here, his acting has a purity to it, an unspoken moral dimension. Underneath the sensitive, stoic facade is a loquacious, intellectually alert actor with an encyclopedic understanding of the film tradition he occupies: the rugged, humble movie hero, embodied by the likes of Gary Cooper and Henry Fonda.
  11. 58
    Tries tremendously hard to win audiences over with manly derring-do, exciting action, and impossible-obstacles-overcome uplift. And it's undeniably compelling for minutes at a time
  12. That the film doesn't rise above the formulaic is a particular disappointment as these stunningly brave Rescue Swimmers deserve a film as daring as they are.
  13. 60
    An action movie, a basic training movie, a swaggering sea adventure, a home front melodrama and an inspiring tough-love heroic teacher fable. If the aggregate of all these movies is exhausting and occasionally overwrought, some of the parts are stirring and effective, though not exactly fresh.
  14. 50
    A predictable amalgam of every military-academy movie you can think of.
  15. Reviewed by: Scott Bowles
    50
    Don't be surprised if, in the middle of The Guardian, you get an overpowering sense of déjà vu. Assuming you've seen "An Officer and a Gentleman," "Top Gun" or any of the myriad basic-training films Hollywood churns out, you've seen The Guardian.
  16. 50
    The Guardian is neither serious enough to take seriously nor flashy enough to get by on thrills alone. Jerry Bruckheimer, where art thou?
  17. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    50
    The kind of inspirational movie that Hollywood made about the Army, Navy and Marines during World War II. Now, with inspiration in short supply, it's the Coast Guard's turn.
  18. Ultimately, The Guardian veers off into slobbery touchy-feeliness, and the tone becomes mock-religious, almost liturgical.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 125 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 51
  2. Negative: 7 out of 51
  1. Aug 25, 2013
    9
    What? Sometimes I think all critic reviews are curropted with larger companies and moving paying the reviewers, the critic reviews definitelyWhat? Sometimes I think all critic reviews are curropted with larger companies and moving paying the reviewers, the critic reviews definitely strengthen those thoughts.
    I don't care if it has been done before, EVERYTHING HAS BEEN DONE BEFORE, GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEAD. In these days, nothing and everything is original, and if I saw the concept before, I'd mention the movie who executed the concept better.
    The guardians is a piece of work, I really liked Ashton Kutcher and the other actor's performance. The story wasn't insanely unique, but it portrayed real life situations, the sometimes complicated lives of the coastguard with an interesting chain of events.

    I loved it, and I think it deserves a solid nine.
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 23, 2010
    6
    Veteran coast guard, traumatic accident on the job, forced to become an instructor, does it his way, new brilliant recruit with issues, etc.Veteran coast guard, traumatic accident on the job, forced to become an instructor, does it his way, new brilliant recruit with issues, etc.
    Very predictable but also watchable action film with Kevin Costner & Ashton Kutcher playing their roles well.
    You can sort of grasp how it's going to turn out within the first half hour & inevitably is going to be compared with the homo-erotic fest that is Top Gun.
    Full Review »
  3. LisaL
    Sep 21, 2007
    10
    This movie was AMAZING! I was so inspired and it just makes you realize how much we take for granted the amazing work people do. the acting This movie was AMAZING! I was so inspired and it just makes you realize how much we take for granted the amazing work people do. the acting was really good too. I'm reminded again of how great of an actor kevin costner and ashton kutcher are. Full Review »