Directed by: Clark Johnson
Premise: Veteran Secret Service agent Pete Garrison (Michael Douglas) gets caught in the middle of a plot to assassinate the president.
What Works: The Sentinel is a part of a well-established subgenre of spy thrillers. It respects the elements of its genre and the performances by Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland, playing the agent investigating the assassination plot, work pretty well.
What Doesn’t: Part of the joy of this genre is in the tension of the plotting and unfortunately The Sentinel gets stuck with too many plot holes for it to work. The film attempts to shake up the thriller formula by adding elements that do not work as well as they should. Subplots involving an affair between Garrison and the first lady (Kim Basinger) and a fallen relationship between Douglas and Sutherland are incomplete and do not come to any satisfactory conclusion. Stylistically, The Sentinel uses non-digetic voiceovers, wipes, and artsy composite shots intended to make the film edgy but they come off as silly and distracting.
Bottom Line: The Sentinel is like a made-for-TV movie staring A-list actors. It aspires to be The Bourne Identity or In the Line of Fire. While it is not as well crafted as those films, The Sentinel makes for decent afternoon matinee entertainment.
Episode: #94 (April 30, 2006)