New York Times - 09/29/2006
"[A]n action movie, a basic training movie, a swaggering sea adventure, a home front melodrama and an inspiriting tough-love heroic fable."
Total Film - 11/01/2006 3 stars out of 5 -- "[Kutcher] is running at full power throughout....There's real chemistry between Kutcher and Kev..."
Sight and Sound - 12/01/2006
"[Costner] brings a seasoned, low-key authority to the part....Kutcher's performance manages to keep pace with Fischer's growing maturity."
Ultimate DVD - 07/01/2007 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] very watchable drama....The personal conflicts are complemented by some terrific action sequences..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 08/03/2011 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "The drama builds remorselessly....THE GUARD is a pleasure."
Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher team up in this torch-passing tale of the brave men and women in the Navy Coastguard elite rescue diver unit. A catastrophic rescue mission leaves him wounded after his wife (Sela Ward) walks out on him, so heavily decorated, reluctantly aging rescue diver Ben Randall (Costner) takes some leave from the ocean to assume instructor duties down at the naval training base. There his humorless pedagogy rubs a lot of trainees the wrong way, but a champion high-school swimmer, Jake (Kucher), has no problem keeping up, and it looks like old Ben may have found someone worthy to be his replacement. But first each man has to wrestle with his own personal demons...and each other. Under the no-nonsense direction of Andrew Davis (THE FUGITIVE, UNDER SIEGE), the visceral energy flows nonstop through this familiar but nonetheless riveting affair. Shot in a flat, matter-of-fact manner, the harshness of naval academy life is celebrated without being glamorized, while the rescues at sea are nothing short of hair-raising, making excellent use of CGI effects to plunge the viewer right into the towering waves and storms along with the divers. Several familiar, stalwart faces are on hand to help the boys become men and the men to accept aging gracefully, including John Heard, Clancy Brown, and Neal McDonough. Costner is perfect in a curmudgeonly role that fits him like a tailor-made wet suit. The real surprise is Kutcher, who seems to grow as an actor as his character grows as a person, revealing lots of murky depth. Bonnie Bramlet adds some sparkle as the singer at the local watering hole.
Theatrical Release |