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Overall Rating

Awesome: 3.51%
Worth A Look: 3.51%
Pretty Bad: 42.11%
Total Crap: 0%

7 reviews, 15 user ratings

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Sentinel, The (2006)
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by Scott Weinberg

"'The Fugitive' Meets '24' by way of something really boring"
2 stars

Veteran actors begin to feel like old friends after a while, and it was for this reason that I was actively looking forward to "The Sentinel," despite being pretty much sick to death of the whole "middle-age espionage" sub-genre. I've been a fan of Michael Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland for longer than I care to mention -- so it'll take a pretty dreary flick from them to raise my hackles. "The Sentinel" might not be dreary, exactly, but it sure as hell isn't a movie you'll be remembering two hours after it's over.

Only slightly more engaging that last month's 'old dude in distress' thriller Firewall, Clark Johnson's The Sentinel is eleven kinds of familiar. It's The Fugitive, In the Line of Fire, and a particularly dry episode of 24 all rolled into one, with a handful of strong performances, a few enticing action sequences ... and a whole lot of plot-heavy rigamarole.

Michael Douglas plays a veteran Secret Service agent who's shtupping the first lady. Kiefer Sutherland is the Secret Service investigator who's called in when another agent ends up dead. From there it's a fairly tedious cat-mouse chase thriller in which the old agent is suspected of plotting against the President while the young agent gives chase.

To those who believe there simply must be more to The Sentinel, all I can offer is the opinion of "Nope" and "sorry."

Hoping to coast by on little besides pure movie star power, director Johnson (who previously gave us the alarmingly inert S.W.A.T.) and screenwriter George Nolfi (he wrote Timeline) ramble through their lock-step plot conventions, offering very little in the way of freshness or energy. Were it not for the presence of Michael Douglas, The Sentinel would be a CBS Tuesday Night Movie. The main characters are one-note nothings; the villains are mysterious ciphers.

Although the two leads do all they can with the limp material they're given, the supporting cast is less impressive. Grafted into The Sentinel, solely because she happens to be on a very popular TV series, is an actress called Eva Longoria. Let's just say that her acting skills are a perfect match for the astonishingly pointless character she's playing here. As the horny First Lady, Kim Basinger is the epitome of vapid. There's simply nothing there. The Sentinel could be cast entirely with robots and you wouldn't notice much of a difference.

Formless, meandering, and head-smackingly predictable, The Sentinel is a thriller with very few thrills. Were it not for the clever casting of Douglas and Sutherland, this thing would be an endlessly tedious piece of junk -- but that just goes to show you what a few good actors can do with a lame-o screenplay. But imagine what these guys could have done with something a little less dry, obvious, and formulaic.

Plus, c'mon, how seriously are we supposed to take a film in which the President of the United States is played by Sledge Hammer!???

When "The Sentinel" wheezes to life every 25 minutes, the result is one interesting conversation or a surprisingly nifty chase scene. But the flick falls right back to sleep as soon as those moments are done with.

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originally posted: 04/22/06 03:38:56
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User Comments

6/20/18 Anne could have been great 2 stars
8/07/09 R.W. Welch Some cool inside stuff, but mostly the usual cloak & dagger schtick. 3 stars
2/08/08 Abhishek Chakraborty worth watching once. If you like the 24 Tv series then you'll feel right at home 3 stars
1/26/08 mb OK movie 4 stars
7/30/07 mr.mike douglas elevates it to passing grade 4 stars
2/08/07 Matt A very promising build-up disintegrates into a lame and stupid ending. 2 stars
1/08/07 Ricki Ungar Not very believable and amazing that he was able to get around Washington without being pic 2 stars
12/14/06 Jack Sommersby Ineffectively staged and only moderately well-acted. 2 stars
9/15/06 matt good action, but the plot made no sense and lousy acting, bizarre direction 2 stars
9/11/06 Monday Morning We're overdue for a First Lady who's also a nice piece of ass. 3 stars
8/30/06 action movie fan exciting thriller one of 2006.s best 5 stars
6/03/06 San Lamar eva looked good 3 stars
5/09/06 y2mckay Entertaining, but formulaic and predictable. 3 stars
4/26/06 Mase Polished thriless thriller,Douglas looks bored, you will be too. 2 stars
4/22/06 Pat Frederick Loved the movie. Great actors! 5 stars
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  21-Apr-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 29-Aug-2006



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