The Sentinel (2006 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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
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 $78,084,827[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.


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 during the Reagan assassination attempt.

A fellow agent and close friend, 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 that a mole with access to the President's security detail had provided information to the assassins.

The Secret Service Protective Intelligence Division, led by Garrison's former protégé and ex-friend David Breckinridge (Kiefer Sutherland) with rookie partner Jill Marin (Eva Longoria), is tasked with investigating the plot, which begins with polygraphs for every agent. 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 Colombian gangs. After delaying for some time, Garrison is subjected to a polygraph.

In the meantime, the agent in charge of the Presidential Protective Division, William "Bill" Montrose (Martin Donovan), decides to use multiple modes of transport to move the president, randomly selected by 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. Breckinridge, Marin, and Garrison 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 First Lady were aboard (due to Montrose's coin "deciding" to use the motorcade instead).

After failing the polygraph test (through lying about the affair), Garrison becomes the prime suspect. Breckinridge confronts Garrison at home and begins to interrogate him. 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 an independent investigation of the assassination plot, while making brief contact with the First Lady to deny his involvement. He tries to contact the informant who gave him the tip, but finds that he has been killed.

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, and learns they are headed to Toronto to attack the president at the G8 summit. After killing the assassin and finding incriminating evidence in the apartment, Garrison tells Marin of the discovery, but the Secret Service find the evidence and body of the assassin were removed before they arrived.

The First Lady discloses her affair with Garrison to Breckinridge, who now understands Garrison to be innocent. Together in Toronto, they 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 G8 summit.

The leader of the assassins, The Handler (Ritchie Coster), tells Montrose to give him the President. Montrose attempts to refuse, but there is a threat to the lives of the agent's wife and two daughters if he backs out. Emotionally torn, Montrose is instructed by The Handler to jam the secret service's communication radios, and leave the summit via a specific route; the assassins will handle the rest.

On the night of the President's speech, Breckinridge and Garrison race to the summit. The assassins, dressed as Royal Canadian Mounted Police Emergency Response Team officers, kill several agents and try to kill the President. Montrose reveals to the President that he is the mole, despite the assassin's threats against Montrose's family. Montrose then purposely steps in front of and is killed by one of the assassins.

Garrison, Breckinridge and Marin kill the remaining disguised assassins while safely bringing the President and First Lady up to the summit to be evacuated. With all of his accomplices dead, The Handler comes forward dressed as an RCMP officer to personally kill the President and First Lady. He grabs Sarah hostage and aims his pistol to shoot 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 the 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 never slept with his wife. Breckinridge tells Garrison that he has a date with her that evening.


Critical reception[edit]

The film received generally poor reviews, scoring 34% on Rotten Tomatoes,[3] the site's consensus reading "The Sentinel 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".[4] Some other reviewers, such as one from the Los Angeles Times, enjoyed the film.[5]

DVD release[edit]

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


  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 Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. 
  4. ^ The Sentinel: Review from BBC News, 29 August 2006, retrieved 22 May 2015
  5. ^ "'The Sentinel' - MOVIE REVIEW". Los Angeles Times. 

External links[edit]