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Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 40 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Special Agent Pete Garrison is convinced that a Neo-Nazi Aryan Disciple has managed to infiltrate the White House. When a White House Agent is murdered, Garrison is framed and blackmailed over an affair with the First Lady. Garrison is relieved of his duties, but he won't stop trying toSpecial Agent Pete Garrison is convinced that a Neo-Nazi Aryan Disciple has managed to infiltrate the White House. When a White House Agent is murdered, Garrison is framed and blackmailed over an affair with the First Lady. Garrison is relieved of his duties, but he won't stop trying to prove his innocence, or giving his all to save the life of the President. Expand
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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. A well-constructed and genuinely tense thriller.
  3. Reviewed by: Jessica Letkemann
    63
    Ultimately all of the ado about men in shades and dark suits running around shooting and shouting at each other comes to a satisfying, if predictable, conclusion.
  4. 50
    Always an intriguing (though sometimes unpolished) actress, Basinger has softened the rough edges over the years to become an extremely watchable performer who deserves better roles than those in which she appears onscreen.
  5. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    50
    The Sentinel is so bland that it wants only to be as good as TV. Not as good as good TV, like "24." It merely aspires to be the Regis Philbin of D.C. thrillers. It isn't trying to dazzle you with style, complexity or intelligence.
  6. The movie gives away its shifty-eyed villain almost immediately. What it doesn't give away is why he betrayed his trust, who wants the president dead or what they hope to gain by killing him.
  7. Reviewed by: Bill Gallo
    30
    Brought low by its premise and rendered idiotic by its subplot, this alleged political thriller spells momentary doom for star Michael Douglas.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 21
  2. Negative: 4 out of 21
  1. 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 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. Expand
  2. WilliamO.
    Apr 22, 2006
    9
    Absolutely brilliant in its screenwriting and execution. A must see that seems to be overlooked and under rated.
  3. 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 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. Expand
  4. 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 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 . Expand
  5. 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'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. Expand
  6. 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 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. Expand
  7. 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 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

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