The Guardian

Watch The Guardian

"How do you decide who lives or who dies?"
  • PG-13
  • 2006
  • 2 hr 16 min
  • 6.9  (97,631)
  • 53

The Guardian is a 2006 American action-adventure drama film starring Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher, and Sela Ward. Directed by Andrew Davis, the film tells the story of an experienced United States Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer, Ben Randall (Costner), who is tasked with training new recruits in order to prove himself worthy of retirement.

At the beginning of the film, we see Ben and his crew facing a dangerous rescue mission in Alaska, during which Ben's best friend and colleague dies in a tragic accident. As a result of this incident, Ben is forced to go on leave due to his mental and emotional state being negatively affected. During his leave, he is approached by the Coast Guard Commandant, who asks him to take a job as an instructor at the elite A School, where he will train the next generation of rescue swimmers. At first reluctant, Ben agrees to take the job as a way to help deal with his grief and to honor his fallen friend.

When Ben arrives at A School, he meets his new class of recruits, including Jake Fischer (Kutcher), a talented but arrogant young swimmer with a troubled past. Ben is initially skeptical of Jake's abilities, and the two clash as Ben tries to instill in Jake the importance of teamwork and discipline. But as they work together on increasingly challenging training exercises, the two men develop a mutual respect and understanding.

Throughout the film, we see Jake and the other recruits being pushed to their limits as they train to become certified rescue swimmers. They learn to endure intense physical conditioning, cold water immersion, and rescue tactics that will help them save lives in dangerous and often life-threatening situations. Meanwhile, Ben struggles with his own personal demons as he tries to deal with the trauma of his friend's death and help his students succeed against all odds.

As the training progresses, Ben begins to see potential in Jake and starts to believe that he has what it takes to become a great rescue swimmer. However, a personal tragedy strikes Jake, and his commitment to the Coast Guard is tested. He begins to question whether he has what it takes to save lives and whether he is willing to put his own life on the line for others.

Throughout the film, we see the contrasting styles of Ben and Jake – age and experience pitted against youth and brashness. The film explores Ben’s addiction to the adrenaline rush and risks of being a rescue swimmer – something that he struggles to let go – as well as Jake's rebellious behavior, which is rooted in his troubled past.

The Guardian is a high-octane action film that delivers breathtaking sequences of rescue operations in rough seas to the viewer. It also explores the emotional and mental toll that the job of a rescue swimmer takes on these men and women, who risk their lives to save others.

The film features outstanding performances from all the lead actors. Kevin Costner is at his best as Ben Randall, capturing the character’s stoic professionalism and conveying the pain and struggle he experiences dealing with his friend’s death. Ashton Kutcher turns in a surprisingly mature performance as Jake, conveying the character’s growth from a troubled hothead to a disciplined rescue swimmer.

Sela Ward shines as Helen, the wife of a fellow rescue swimmer and mother of their two children, who provides support and comfort to both Ben and Jake.

The action sequences in the film are truly remarkable, showcasing the bravery and skill of the rescue swimmers as they carry out their missions in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The scenes of helicopters hovering over rough seas while rescue swimmers plunge into the water to save lives are simply breathtaking.

Overall, The Guardian is a thrilling and emotional film that explores the bravery and sacrifice of the Coast Guard's rescue swimmers while delving into their personal struggles and demons. The combination of thrilling action, strong performances, and heartfelt drama make for a truly unforgettable cinematic experience, and it is definitely one of the best films of 2006.

The Guardian is a 2006 action movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 16 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9 and a MetaScore of 53.

The Guardian
Where to Watch The Guardian
The Guardian is available to watch free on Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, The Roku Channel, Sling, Amazon and Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent The Guardian for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 16 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (97,631)
  • Metascore