The Sentinel (2006 film)

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The Sentinel
The Sentinel 2.jpg
Directed by Clark Johnson
Produced by Michael Douglas
Marcy Drogin
Arnon Milchan
Written by George Nolfi
Gerald Petievich (novel)
Starring Michael Douglas
Kiefer Sutherland
Eva Longoria
Martin Donovan
Kim Basinger
Music by Christophe Beck
Cinematography Gabriel Beristain
Edited by Cindy Mollo
Production
company
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
April 21, 2006 (2006-04-21)
Running time
108 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $60 million
Box office $78.1 million[1]

The Sentinel is a 2006 crime thriller film[2] directed by Clark Johnson about a veteran United States Secret Service special agent who is suspected as a traitor after an attempted assassination of the president reveals that someone within the Service is providing information to the assassins.

The film stars Michael Douglas as the veteran agent, Kiefer Sutherland as his protégé, Eva Longoria as a rookie Secret Service agent, and Kim Basinger in the role of the First Lady. It is based on the novel of the same name by former Secret Service Agent Gerald Petievich, the author of the book To Live and Die in L.A., also made into a film. It was filmed in Washington, D.C. and in the Canadian cities of Toronto and Kleinburg, Ontario.

Plot[edit]

Pete Garrison (Michael Douglas) is a Secret Service agent and one of the personal bodyguards for First Lady of the United States Sarah Ballentine (Kim Basinger), with whom he is having an affair. He is one of the oldest and most experienced agents, having been involved in saving Ronald Reagan's life. His close friend and fellow agent, Charlie Merriweather (Clark Johnson), is murdered. Garrison gets word from a trusted informant that the killing of Merriweather is related to an assassination plot against the President. The intelligence provided by the informant reveals the presence of a mole with access to the President's security detail.

The Secret Service Protective Intelligence Division, led by Garrison's estranged friend and former protégé David Breckinridge (Kiefer Sutherland), with rookie partner Jill Marin (Eva Longoria), is tasked with investigating the plot. Breckinridge orders every agent to be subjected to a polygraph test. Meanwhile, the mole discovers the discussion with the informant and Garrison's affair with the first lady, and attempts to blackmail Garrison by luring him to a coffee shop known to be a meeting point for a Colombian cartel. After delaying for some time, Garrison is subjected to a polygraph. The agent in charge of the Presidential Protective Division, William Montrose (Martin Donovan), decides to randomly select the means of transporting the president using a coin toss. As the President and first lady visit Camp David, Garrison's informant calls, demanding that his payment be made at a shopping mall food court. Garrison goes to meet him, but he disappears in the crowd, and an assassin tries to kill Garrison. The agents pursue the assassin, but he escapes. Simultaneously, the presidential helicopter is shot down by a surface-to-air missile outside of Camp David, though neither the President nor his wife were aboard (due to Montrose's coin "deciding" to use the motorcade instead).

Garrison failed the polygraph test due to concealing his affair with the First Lady. Breckinredge confronts him at his home and interrogates him, pinning him as the prime suspect. The source of rancor between them comes to light: Garrison supposedly had an affair with Breckinridge’s wife and caused the breakup of their marriage, which he denies. Garrison escapes capture and conducts his own investigation of the assassination plot. He tries to contact the informant who gave him the tip, but finds that he has been killed. In pursuit, Breckinridge gets the drop on Garrison but is unable to kill him, despite having given other agents "shoot to kill" orders. Using his contacts with sympathetic agents and family members, Garrison tracks down the location of one of the assassins, whom he kills in a firefight. He searches his apartment, finding evidence that shows the perpetrators are headed to Toronto to attack the president at a G8 summit. He leaves it in the apartment and tells Marin about it, but the Secret Service find the evidence and body of the assassin were removed before they arrived.

The President's wife discloses her affair with Garrison to Breckinridge, who now understands why Garrison failed his polygraph test. Together in Toronto, Garrison and Breckinridge discover the identity of the assassins and the mole, senior agent William Montrose (Martin Donovan), who was never polygraphed. Montrose is in charge of directing security at the summit. The leader of the assassins (Ritchie Coster) blackmails Montrose into helping him, threatening the agent's family. Emotionally torn, Montrose is instructed to jam Secret Service's radios, and leave the summit with the President via a specific route.

On the night of the President's speech, Breckinridge and Garrison race to the summit. The assassins, posing as Royal Canadian Mounted Police Emergency Response Team officers, kill several agents and corner Montrose and the President in a subterranean tunnel. Montrose reveals his treason to the President and purposely steps in front of one of the assassins, who kills him. Garrison, Breckinridge and Marin arrive, rescuing the President and the First Lady and killing the assassins. As they reach the ground level, Montrose's handler comes forward dressed as an RCMP officer to personally perform the killings. He takes Sarah hostage and aims his pistol at the President, but Garrison shoots him dead. In spite of these events, Garrison is forced to take an early retirement due to the disclosure of his affair with the first lady, who looks on sadly from her window as Garrison leaves the White House. He does, however, make peace with Breckinridge, who finally realizes that Garrison did not sleep with his wife. Breckinridge tells Garrison that he has a date with her that evening.

Cast[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received generally poor reviews, scoring 49/100 on Metacritic,[3] and 33% on Rotten Tomatoes,[4] the site's consensus saying it "starts off well enough but quickly wears thin with too many plot holes and conventional action sequences." The BBC review described it as being "as compelling as watching the ink dry on a superfluous UN treaty".[5] Some other reviewers, such as Kenneth Turan of Los Angeles Times, enjoyed the film.[6] Roger Ebert gave the film 3 out of 4 stars.[7]

DVD release[edit]

DVD title Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
The Sentinel August 29, 2006 January 29, 2007 January 24, 2007

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Sentinel (2006)". Box Office Mojo. 2006-07-27. Retrieved 2013-03-09. 
  2. ^ "Movie Overview: 'The Sentinel'". New York Times. 
  3. ^ "The Sentinel". Metacritic. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 
  4. ^ "The Sentinel (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 13, 2016. 
  5. ^ The Sentinel: Review from BBC News, 29 August 2006, retrieved 22 May 2015
  6. ^ Turan, Kenneth (21 April 2006). "Securely in pros' hands". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 
  7. ^ Ebert, Roger (April 20, 2006). "The Sentinel Movie Review & Film Summary (2006) | Roger Ebert". Rogerebert.com. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 

External links[edit]