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Parents' Guide to

The Sentinel

By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Decent thriller with crisp performances. Teens OK.

Movie PG-13 2006 108 minutes
The Sentinel Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 13+

The best Secret Service movie ever!

I think this is the best movie about the United States Secret Service that I have seen. Michael Douglas plays a guard who is accused of plotting to kill the president and is on the run from fellow agents. There is a lot of violence which is expected for this type of movie and mild language but not a lot of sex (there is one scene which is not graphic that shows an affair between Pete Garrison and the First Lady). At the end of the movie it is revealed that the SAIC (special agent in charge) who leads the protection team for the president is actually a conspirator in an assassination plot while the president spoke at a meeting for world leaders in Canada. Fortunately, the plot is foiled by the force including Agent Garrison and Keifer Sutherland (who plays his good friend who is a member of the protective intelligence unit) and he eventually retires from the Secret Service. The subject of PTSD is shown in this movie when Michael Douglas’s character who was involved in the 1981 assassination attempt of President Ronald Reagan (a fictional portrayal of Tim McCarthy who was an actual Secret Service agent who heroically shielded President Reagan and took a bullet in his stomach) suffers from PTSD and has a nightmare about the event in the very beginning of the film. Overall, I think this would be good for young teenagers who are interested in the Secret Service and what those in the force have to do in order to guard the life of our president and this country. It’s definitely better than In The Line Of Fire with Clint Eastwood and the recent Olympus, London and Angel Has Fallen movies. Very good movie!
age 13+

Awesome Action Thriller...On Par With THE FUGITIVE...

This is an awesome movie. Jam packed with action, thrills, and edge-of-your-seat suspense, this is one of the finest action thrillers I've seen. Michael Douglas plays a Secret Service agent falsely accused of plotting to assassinate the President. So, he's left trying to find the truth while evading his own men. Violence is the biggest issue in the movie. People are shot countless times, and most gunshots are fatal. Several dead bodies are seen, some with accompanying pools of blood. Several explosions as well. Language consists of several "d**n"s, "h**l"s, and some "s**t"s. Sex is minor: there is one very brief, non-graphic scene of passion between the First Lady and the Douglas character; their affair is a major plot point, resulting in Douglas's blackmail.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

This movie is quite pleased with its focus on boys' business, rendering it in terms that are at once clever, silly, and slick. The investigation leads to some predictable places, a set of would-be assassins with thick and also shifting Russian accents (they claim to be ex-KGB and threaten their mole's family with horrific violence), as well as several confrontations between David and Pete (including a chase scene on a ship and a verbal argument in Pete's apartment. Clark Johnson's direction is sharp, maintaining a quick-enough pace and smart camerawork, almost making you forget the preposterousness of the plot and easy-to-tell "real traitor." Shootouts and car chases make good use of DC locations and a G8 gathering in Toronto, though Pete's drive from Camp David into downtown Washington appears to take mere minutes -- impossible unless he's been zapped by a Star Trekian transporter.

The MacGyverish Pete out-gizmos his fellow agents with a few precise purchases from Radio Shack, and takes out a series of accented thugs to boot. More distractingly, his contest with Breckinridge never quite gels, as they so obviously admire one another, even with girls (the First Lady and the ex-wife) providing requisite hetero cover.

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