The Guardian

September 29th, 2006


The Guardian

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Still of Ashton Kutcher in The GuardianStill of Ashton Kutcher in The GuardianStill of Ashton Kutcher in The GuardianStill of Ashton Kutcher in The GuardianStill of Kevin Costner in The GuardianStill of Kevin Costner in The Guardian

A high school swim champion with a troubled past enrolls in the U.S. Coast Guard's "A" School, where legendary rescue swimmer Ben Randall teaches him some hard lessons about loss, love, and self-sacrifice.

Release Year: 2006

Rating: 6.7/10 (39,453 voted)

Critic's Score: 53/100

Director: Andrew Davis

Stars: Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher, Sela Ward

The US Coast Guard version of "Top Gun" with a little "An Officer and A Gentleman" thrown in: an aging USCG rescue swimmer's team is killed in a horrific rescue mission. Immediately prior to this terrible event, his wife also announced that she cannot take anymore. His first love is always the rescue mission. This leaves him an obviously emotional wreck. His commender gives him a choice - quit or take a position as an instructor at the USCG training facility in Louisiana. Reluctantly he takes the position. Moving into the school, he immediately increases the 18 week curriculum that routinely fails half of the people that attend. Here he meets a young man with unlimited potential, but with some secret that seems to hold him back as a team player. Delving into his past, links are found that make him a psychic twin to the older man. Thrown into the midst of the story is a romance with a local girl...

Kevin Costner - Ben Randall
Ashton Kutcher - Jake Fischer
Sela Ward - Helen Randall
Melissa Sagemiller - Emily Thomas
Clancy Brown - Capt. William Hadley
Omari Hardwick - Carl Billings
Alex Daniels - Wild Bill
Daniel J. Molthen - Co-Pilot Wakefield (as Lcdr. Daniel J. Molthen USCG)
Andrew Schanno - Pilot Mitchell (as Lt. Andrew Schanno USCG)
Adam Pena - Benjamin Reyes
Joe Arquette - Co-Pilot Antunez
Gary Billburg - Julian Zankich (as PO1 Gary Billburg USCG)
Joshua Mitcheltree - Mitcheltree (as PO2 Joshua Mitcheltree USCG)
Rusty Tennant - Mover #1
James Barnes - Doctor #1

Taglines: When lives are on the line, sacrifice everything.


Official Website: BV Entertainment [United States] |

Release Date: 29 September 2006

Filming Locations: Alaska, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $18,006,064 (USA) (1 October 2006) (3241 Screens)

Gross: $54,983,983 (USA) (31 December 2006)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Chief Flythe, played by Joseph 'Butch' Flythe, who can be seen in various scenes throughout the film, was one of the first five operating rescue swimmers in the Coast Guard, graduating from A school in 1984 and beginning his work at the Elizabeth City base in 1985.

Crew or equipment visible: During Jake's first official rescue of the canoeists in the cave, a lifeguard's flotation briefly appears in the opening of a small side cave behind Randall when he preparing to bring out one of the canoeists.

[first lines]
Capt. William Hadley: There is a legend of a man who lives beneath the sea. He is a fisher of men, the last hope of all those who have been left behind. Many survivors claim to have felt his gripping hands beneath them; pushing them up to the surface; whispering strength until help could arrive. But this, of course, is only a legend.

User Review

Costner's Comeback

Rating: 8/10

I went to an advance screening of this movie thinking I was about to embark on 120 minutes of cheezy lines, mindless plot, and the kind of nauseous acting that made "The Postman" one of the most malignant displays of cinematic blundering of our time. But I was shocked. Shocked to find a film starring Costner that appealed to the soul of the audience. Shocked that Ashton Kutcher could act in such a serious role. Shocked that a film starring both actually engaged and captured my own emotions. Not since 'Robin Hood' have I seen this Costner: full of depth and complex emotion. Kutcher seems to have tweaked the serious acting he played with in "Butterfly Effect". These two actors came into this film with a serious, focused attitude that shone through in what I thought was one of the best films I've seen this year. No, its not an Oscar worthy movie. It's not an epic, or a profound social commentary film. Rather, its a story about a simple topic, illuminated in a way that brings that audience to a higher level of empathy than thought possible. That's what I think good film-making is and I for one am throughly impressed by this work. Bravo!


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