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3.1 out of 5 stars64
3.1 out of 5 stars
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on 18 December 2006
Michael Douglas is a secret service agent framed in a plot to kill the President of the US. Kiefer Sutherland is the agent on his tail.

Its not a bad movie but the Director missed the ball. Every action and suspenseful scene was missing the added element that separates TV-movies from box-office blockbusters. It's hard to put into words, but watching all the action and suspense scenes felt like I was watching a mid-budget USA or TBS movie.

Plus, there is no real tension because the actors are in roles they've played a dozen or so times before (Sutherland in 24 each week)so you can pretty much walk them through whats happening.Thats the problem here, its all been done before, better.

As I said its not bad, infact the cast was great and them combined with a good screenplay and overall plot saves this movie from being a disaster.

There was too little character building as well, especially for the 'bad guys'. The story was still good and the movie overall will still be entertaining, but needless to say, I was disappointed.
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on 6 January 2007
First and foremost, I must admit that I am a big fan of B movies. I love a little Secret Service action. In the Line of Fire, Guarding Tess are only a few of the films I've truly enjoyed. I understand the genre and its limitations, in fact I relish them. So when I found myself on a long-haul flight where this was one of the featured films, I was delighted. It hadn't been released for that long, so I thought it was a real bonus. But then the film began.

I'm not sure what went wrong exactly. The film had a great cast and a strong premise; it should have been a winner. I can only assume that something was lost in translation. Either the director lost his way, or there was major interference. The dialogue was wooden, there was little or no pay off for any of the set-ups. And it looked like it had been edited in the 70's. There was no zing, no interest, no action. Needless to say, it made my flight feel even longer.

Take my advice, even if you find yourself bored beyond belief at a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet, read a book instead.
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on 18 October 2006
The cast of this film is pretty impressive. However this film does not live up to these expectations. The general plot is a descent one. An inside mole of the secret service is plotting to assasinate the preseident. However the way it evolves is quite disapointing. This film never really holds you that much. The sub plot of Douglas' affair with the first lady is there to add to the tension but ultimately is simply an unwelcome distraction to the main plot. The plot also appears to slow down for a bit and then take a giant leap in the story without giving the viewer the chance to catch up. This just makes the film even less thrilling. Never once during the film did i feel like i could not interupt it. The ending is also unsatisfactory. Although the ultimate ending is pretty much what you would expect, the way it comes about is thouroughly disapointing. There is no real explenation as to who the bad guys actually are and why they want to kill the president. There is neither an explanation as to why the traitor did what he did or who he had been linked to the bad guys.

The acting is not particularly brilliant either. Douglas' performance is at best ok. There appears to be no real urgency to his situation and the character is not all that believable. Bassinger in bland and wodden as the first lady and its just aswell that her character is relegated to the sidelines. Longoria on the other hand is, only slightly, better. I believe that they could have used her a bit more but decided against it due to her part in Desperate Housewives. Sutherlands performance is slightly better but it cas one critical flaw. It is almost identical to Jack Bauer (the main character from the series 24). Getting people to separate the two characters was going to be a hard enough task on its own. The director in this film either made a bad choice or failed to create any credible differences between this character and Jack Bauer. At times i felt like i was watching 24.

And in here is another fault with this film. The whole story is almost as if it was an 24 series. There are too many similarities. A plot to assasinate the president. An inside agent in on the plot. Another agent who is framed. A first lady with secrets of her own. It is almost a carbon copy. The place where this film fails is that whereas 24 kept you on the edge of your seat, this film can't even keep you from doing the ironing. It simply lacks the pace!!!

This film is not one that I would reccomend unless there is nothing else to watch. Don't get me wrong it is not a total stinker. You can watch it easily without thinking you have completely waisted your evening. Just don't expect too much cos you will be disapointed.
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VINE VOICEon 29 July 2007
Films about plots to kill the President of the USA are in a way completely pointless because you already know that there is no way that a film , especially a film made within the Hollywood system, is going to end with the president getting offed .This tends to rob them of any real dramatic suspense .However if they are made well enough they can be entertaining .The Sentinel is mildly entertaining but nowhere near enough to make it worth repeat viewings .
The films tagline of "In 141 years there has never been a traitor within the secret service ...until now" sort of gives the game away, however this traitor is clever enough to frame veteran Secret service agent Pete Garrison (Michael Douglas) using the fact he is having an affair with the first lady as a way of putting him in the picture .As she is played by Kim Bassinger that seems fair enough . Garrison took a bullet during the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan , a plot device used in the Clint Eastwood film "In the Line Of Fire" but that doesn't stop former friend and protégé David Breckinridge( Keifer Sutherland in Jack Bauer mode) believing that Garrison is the one behind a plot to kill the president . They have fallen out after Breckinridge suspected Garrison of having an affair with his wife which given Garrisons track record isn't much of a stretch . But importantly they still have respect for each other which is nice for them but dull for us .
Eva Longoria plays rookie agent Jill Marin , Breckinridge's new partner and another former pupil of Garrison but is superfluous to the plot , only being around so far as I can tell ,so her boss can growl movie cop clichés at her. Garrison goes on the run to prove his innocence and this only serves how unfit the aging Douglas is for action movie roles nowadays.
Directed by TV veteran Clark Johnson in functional action movie mode its really the script adapted from a novel by former secret service employee Gerald Pietivich by George Nolfi that lets the film down. The villains are a curiously nebulous bunch, led it would seem, though its never made clear by a Brit , whose motivations and reasons for assassinating the president are never explained. The mole within the agency is signposted early on by a scene that concentrates with unwarranted emphasis on one little detail and the whole thing becomes ridiculous and is tied up way too neatly and with very little sense of the president being in any real peril.
So we are left with a film hamstrung by its central concept but without the wit or intelligence to overcome that and impel us to care and believe in it. In a movie landscape with the exciting new Die Hard , a revitalised James Bond and the latest Bourne instalment due action thrillers really do have to up their game( there's me using a movie cop cliché)The Sentinel isn't up to the task and its entirely fitting Garrison retires at the end
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on 30 June 2007
A very average actioner with a visibly ageing Michael Douglas phoning in a sub "The Game" performance. Best part of this film was Keifer Sutherland avoiding 24 typecasting by playing a ruthless Government agent! Rental rather than purchase I would suggest.
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on 28 April 2008
The Sentinel is a film that looks great on paper, or even in a trailer, but it fails to deliver. It starts off looking promising, think In The Line of Fire or Enemy of the State type conspiracy thriller. But it very soon descends into a rather tedious by the numbers effort. I kept waiting for a surprising twist or a great chase scene, but it never came. To be honest by the time the film ended I was just relieved, and quickly forgot what it was all about. It's a shame because it has a great cast, but it looks like someone decided "right we're going to make a conspiracy thriller" but then spent all the budget on the actors and with the ten quid they had left over they asked a ten year old to write the script.
If you've never seen a thriller before, you might enjoy it, but you'd be better off with an episode of 24 or CSI.
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on 14 October 2006
An unimaginable film that does not even give any logical explanation to anything happening on the screen. They revive the KGB to go back to the good old cold war model, but move them to Kazakhstan. Is it because the Kazakhs have built a pipeline to sell their oil to China instead of building a pipeline across Afghanistan and Iran and Irak to sell their oil to the US ? The president ot the USA is the most wanted president in the world at least by would-be terrorists and assassins. It is true that a fair number of US presidents have been assassinated or assaulted. But hasn't it always been by Americans, and even in this case it is said to be impossible without an American mole inside the secret services ? Forget it, man, the second cold war has just been declared by Hollywood. Of course the US president gets out of it unscathed. But the film becomes ridiculous when it states a sexual affair between the oldest of the security agents and the First Lady. Both ridiculous and absurd, including pictures of the sexual meeting between the two inside the First Lady's bedroom. That is really more than a mole. Why are our western countries suddenly so obsessed by heads of states and political fiction (three films and one TV series that I know of over the last three months, and I am not in the know of everything) ? Hollywood, and other western producers, would be very much inspired if they tried to take some distance from their political object if not objective. It sounds and smells too much like propaganda.

[...]
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Relegated to the cheap bins "The Sentinel" is a rather classy thriller that deserved better press. It's also a great looker on BLU RAY full of clean-as-a-whistle street shots and dapper suits. And besides I like the three cool leads...

However - if you're buying - best stick with the UK issue because the 'US' version on 20th Century Fox is REGION A LOCKED - so it won't play on our machines unless they're chipped to be 'all regions' (which few are).

The UK release (Region B) is dirt-cheap these days - and you could do a lot worse - you could buy "Ender's Game"...
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on 8 April 2007
I rented this movie expecting a lot better from Keifer Sutherland and Michael Douglas, being a fan of both particluarly the 24 series. Their acting is never a disappointment but in this case the plot and the script were much weaker than anything I have seen them in.

Chascan
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on 22 April 2007
Michael Douglas in a leading role in a thriller for the first time since Don't Say A Word, I was expecting good things. Unfortunately I found The Sentinel to be very disappointing and became routine, verging on boring towards the half way mark. I was hoping for the same from The Sentinel as I got with Harrison Ford in Firewall. Ford in a role he has perfected over the years especially in the 90's, unfortunately, not so for Douglas. It felt like half a movie as someone has pointed out in an earlier review. I had a problem with the believability of the whole assassination scenario and the lack of motivation or reason for the assassination on the president in the first place. No one really seemed to care that the president was almost assassinated and nothing was really said of it in the movie even by the man himself. What was the purpose of having Eva Longoria in this movie in such a throw away part? Douglas was being accused of having an affair with Sutherland's wife during the first half but this seems to become irrelevant half way through and suddenly Sutherland and Douglas are best of friends when at the beginning they couldn't stand to be near each other. What was the point of sending the photographs of Douglas and the president's wife together? Was it an attempt to set him up and if so why Douglas, a secret service agent who had already taken a bullet for a previous president, why not setup a nobody in the secret service instead to take the fall, but then there would be no movie. Douglas's friend and fellow Secret Service agent is murdered outside his own home at the beginning. Again no one seems all that upset, not even his wife later in the movie when Douglas hides out in her place? At one point Sutherland shoots Douglas in the back while Douglas is trying to escape, later this plot point seems to have been forgotten about between the two characters. The movie is directed like an episode of 24, or CSI, with sudden camera movements, strange angles, sharp zoom in's and focus pulls, bleached colors in exteriors scenes, close up reaction shots on actors, low lightening in interiors. This does not look like a major motion picture release staring Michael Douglas. A very below average thriller from Douglas who built a career on doing movies like this.
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