User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 40
  2. Negative: 6 out of 40
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  1. Oct 9, 2013
    5
    The Sentinel has potential, and at points it makes for a decent film, but overall it is simply too bland and uninteresting to secure viewers' attention.
  2. TonyB
    Jan 4, 2007
    4
    Done before and done much better as well, "The Sentinel" is of little interest and even less importance. True, I wasn't bored, but probably because I was trying to fill in some of the plot's many holes.
  3. PaulO.
    Oct 1, 2006
    7
    I thought it was pretty good. The ending, on the other hand, was not so great. Just a mess of an ending. I don't know what JG is talking about. He must either be 8 years old or drunk because I understood the whole movie. Maybe rent it if you can't find anything else.
  4. BradC
    Sep 7, 2006
    2
    Bad movie. Went in thinking I would see something intelligent and all it was was Hollywood tripe.
  5. MichaelO.
    Sep 2, 2006
    8
    I actually thought it was a good movie! I was on the edge of my seat. Makes me want to join the secret service! I thought there was a little cliche because you could tell who the mole was in this movie about half way through! ;) There should have been more people suspect.
  6. JG
    Jul 16, 2006
    3
    It was pretty messy. About 3/4 of the way into the movie I said to myself "What just happened?". Everybody I was all over the place, the secret service agents pull the safety off there guns differently from the cops, the guy is good then bad, then good again. Just a pure mess with a few parts I understood.
  7. ChadS.
    May 21, 2006
    4
    An assasination plot against the president is exciting in theory but "The Sentinel" never really gets going. We never really learn why the commander-in-chief has to die, which might very well be the problem. Is President Ballentine(David Rasche) a democrat or republican? "The Sentinel" seems more concerned with rekindling our memories of Michael Douglas' past sex addiction problem.
  8. DanaM.
    May 15, 2006
    8
    Entertaining. After all isn't that why we go to the movies? Still, some holes in the plot exist. Like, who took the incriminating photos, who killed the snitch, etc? But still fun.
  9. KevinC
    May 8, 2006
    7
    I thought the interaction between Douglas & Sutherland was good. Although Sutherland came off like Jack Bauer NOT breaking the rules. Basinger was wasted. The first 2/3 of the movie were crisp. The Canada part is where it fell down. Still, entertaining.
  10. TiffanyV.
    May 3, 2006
    10
    I am not sure about ya'll but I thought it was quite engaging. I like movies that can still captivate my attention with out all the nudity and gore.
  11. MarkB.
    Apr 29, 2006
    1
    What has happened to Michael Douglas? Like his dad, Kirk, was once able to do, Douglas the son at one time not only made movies that--good or bad--tapped perfectly into the tensions and anxieties of their times (The China Syndrome, Fatal Attraction, Wall Street, Basic Instinct, Disclosure, Falling Down) but were so supernaturally skilled at doing so that he almost seemed sometimes to be What has happened to Michael Douglas? Like his dad, Kirk, was once able to do, Douglas the son at one time not only made movies that--good or bad--tapped perfectly into the tensions and anxieties of their times (The China Syndrome, Fatal Attraction, Wall Street, Basic Instinct, Disclosure, Falling Down) but were so supernaturally skilled at doing so that he almost seemed sometimes to be CREATING the issues themselves. Lately, though, Douglas has been settling for by-the-book action/mystery material (Don't Say A Word, for example) that's about as up-to-the-minute as that box of 8-track tapes stored in your parents' attic. The Sentinel, in which Douglas plays Secret Service agent Pete Garrison, who's falsely implicated in a Presidential assassination plot, and of course must both prove his innocence and find the real culprit, is not only Douglas' worst film since the absurd World War 2 romance Shining Through, but it's giving last year's Flightplan a hard race for the most idiotic big-budget studio thriller of the decade. From a casting standpoint, the movie couldn't be more inept: what's the point of hiring Keifer Sutherland from TV's 24 to essentially duplicate his Jack Bauer characterization (right down to his trademark vocal quirk of exhaling all his dialogue) in a movie that has none of that flawed show's admittedly effective, adrenalin-pounding pacing or excitement? Why hire Desperate Housewives' gorgeous Eva Longoria in a role (as a new recruit) that requires her to be nothing more than set decoration, only to have Sutherland tell her to dress more modestly in the film's opening scenes, then have her spend mosty of the movie comlpletely buttoned up...especially since the same costumer has Kim Basinger, as the First Lady, display far more on-screen flesh than any US President's wife has since Jackie Kennedy over 40 years ago? Basinger's thankless role gives her no opportunity to utilize the slightly tarnished beauty that makes her performances in films like L. A. Confidential so affecting, but she's at the core of what makes this movie so offensively wrongheaded. Garrison, who is established early on as such a horndog that Washington DC high schools really do need to lock up all their doors whenever he's on patrol, is having an affair with Basinger's First Lady...which, if you give it a moment's thought, is such a hatefully stupid, selfish thing for a man entrusted with protecting the Chief Executive to be doing that he should be dismissed the instant he's discovered boinking her. Period, case closed, end of story. (Consider that a Secret Service agent's sworn duty is not just to defend the President, but by obvious association, this country, and that he's engaging in activities that could have far-reaching emotional effects on the man who has the power to start World War 3...nope, firing isn't enough. Regardless of whether he's involved in a terror plot or not, Garrison deserves to be brought up for treason.) Now it's perfectly true that a solid director can stage and film action sequences so exciting, visceral and fun to watch that you forget just how dumb the premise is, as Wes Craven did last year with Red Eye and David R. Ellis did the year before that with Cellular, but Clark Johnson, who once accomplished the admittedly impressive feat of making S.W.A.T. the movie as brain-dead as S.W.A.T. the TV show, is not the man for the job; his setups achieve nothing but a profound sense of deja vu in individual viewers and a mighty chorus of snores in collective audiences. I haven't read the book by Gerald Petievich that George Nolfi's screenplay is based on, and maybe it's a vast improvement (I'll probably never know), but if Petievich's methods of introducing and revealing the real bad guy is anything like Nolfi's and Johnson's, there oughta be a law prohibiting any of them from watching any more episodes of Scooby-Doo before engaging in any further mystery-suspense endeavors. And judging the movie version of The Sentinel on its own merits or lack thereof, it's the equivalent of a cheap thriller novel you pick up at the airport gift shop before boarding, and leave unfinished on your seat when you exit the plane. Expand
  12. JamesB.
    Apr 28, 2006
    8
    An excellent thriller; great cast, well-paced--maybe a little predictable, but so what? Very low boredom factor. Go and enjoy the movie.
  13. Mase
    Apr 26, 2006
    4
    There is something refreshing about seeing Michael Douglas back on the big screen in a polished Secret Service thriller. However this is a thriller with no thrills. Michael Douglas gets bored quick and so will you. Should be lining blockbuster bargain bins in no time.
  14. ChrisJ.
    Apr 24, 2006
    6
    While the end of the movie could have been better, the first 3/4 of the movie pretty good. Kiefer Sutherland's performance out did Michael Douglas'. Would have been better had the mole character had been better developed at the end and explained how and why he was in that situation .
  15. DerrickA.
    Apr 23, 2006
    3
    This movie isn't that good. No academy award perofrmances here. Eva Longoria and Kiefer Sutherland are much better on their tv shows. The suspense leading up to the mole wasn't a shocker. I was disappointed.
  16. DianeJ.
    Apr 22, 2006
    9
    I enjoyed the heck out of this movie! So what if I could predict the ending - getting there was all the fun. Put Sutherland in the lead role, however.
  17. JohnY.
    Apr 22, 2006
    6
    Although predictable, especially towards the end, I found the film better than the average thriller because the characters are well drawn. Not Michael Douglas' worst film nor his best by far. There are a lot worse ways of spending a couple of hours.
  18. Tonyd
    Apr 22, 2006
    5
    A pretty boring, predictable movie. it covers the same territory of all those other political thriller, oh-no-they're-gonna-get-me-unless-i-get-the-secret-codes movies.
  19. WilliamO.
    Apr 22, 2006
    9
    Absolutely brilliant in its screenwriting and execution. A must see that seems to be overlooked and under rated.
  20. EricC.
    Apr 22, 2006
    9
    I give this film high marks because it was filmed over 90% in and around Toronto, Canada. Obviously, to appear as convincing as it does, is an accomplishment worthy of credit. Good job. I thoroughly enjoyed the film.
  21. Jake
    Apr 21, 2006
    7
    Is Stephen Holden referring to the same Michael Douglas that made Basic Instinct and Don't Say a Word? If so, I think his career will be fine....
Metascore
49

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 32
  2. Negative: 3 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Jun 9, 2014
    80
    Punchy and confronting, with another terrific turn from Seimetz.
  2. Reviewed by: Gregory Kirschling
    42
    Looking back, 1993 was a golden age for thriller cinema. That was the year Hollywood hatched both "In the Line of Fire" and "The Fugitive," the two obvious and way superior antecedents for the very humdrum B-movie mash-up The Sentinel.
  3. 50
    Sentinel works overtime to suggest what a thrill-a-minute world its characters inhabit; but only during the last 20 minutes does the movie's pulse (or ours) raise above a flatline. The actors look uniformly unhappy to be there - except for Basinger, who seems lost in a lithium haze.