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(2006), PG-13 ["Lite" R-13*] (2hr 11min)

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
September 30, 2006
52 out of 100

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2006), PG-13 ["Lite" R-13*] --...will meet or exceed your expectations.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Lia Scott Price Productions Inc., Beacon Pictures, Contrafilm, A School Productions, Firm Films, Touchstone Pictures
Distribution (US): Buena Vista Pictures, The Walt Disney Company
Director(s): Andrew Davis
Producer(s): Armyan Bernstein, Lowell D. Blank, Zanne Devine, Beau Flynn, Charlie Lyons, Peter Macgregor-Scott, Tripp Vinson
Written by: Ron L. Brinkerhoff
Cinematography/Camera: Stephen St. John
Music: Trevor Rabin
Film Editing: Thomas J. Nordberg, Dennis Virkler
Casting: Lisa Mae Finacannon, Sarah Finn, Randi Hiller
Production Design: Maher Ahmad
Art Direction: Andrew Max Cahn, Austin Gorg
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

BOForty year old highly decorated Coast Guard Senior Chief Ben Randall (Kevin Costner) holds a record of more than 200 saves as a rescue swimmer. But Ben thinks of his record as 22 -- twenty two people he couldn't save.

After losing his entire team to a raging storm, Ben agrees to take a teaching position at the US Coast Guard Air Station in Kodiak, Alaska. Ben now has trouble coping with the deaths of his teammates, so much trouble every time he sees a flare the ghosts of the disaster that took the lives of his teammates haunt him.

Among Ben's first class as lead instructor is gung-ho, top-notch high school swimmer Jake Fischer (Ashton Kutcher) whose goal is to beat all of Ben's many records, including his number of saves.

The clash between Ben and Jake is initially gritty and intensifies as Ben keeps giving Jake attitude adjustments by continually reminding Jake that most of the students fail the training. Teamwork is Jake's weakness. Once Jake finally discovers how to be part of the team and opens up to Ben, it draws both he and Ben into a bonding barroom brawl. And as Hollywood expects of the viewer, the sense of bonding between the two bulldogs grows.

The secrets that held back both Ben and Jake from unifying together in a solid relationship are laid out on the table. Ben's loss of his team and his failed marriage plus Jake's one "mistake" for which he is accused of killing his high school swim teammates in a drunken road wreck provide the backbone for the bonding.

As is expected, Jake becomes a solid member of the finest rescue swimmers in America and is provided an opportunity to demonstrate his expert skills in the real world ... on Ben. How he does that I will not spoil.

As all this happens, Ben's wife, Helen (Sela Ward) leaves him since she cannot live with not knowing whether he would make it home every time he goes out on a rescue mission. Also, Jake strikes up a relationship with local teacher, Emil (Melissa Sagemiller). Yes, they end up in bed together. After all, this is a PG-13 and such antics are okay for your 13 year olds to absorb. At least the MPAA thinks so. Too bad God does not agree.

The 131-minute The Guardian  is not that powerful or moving but is a decent Saturday night popcorn flick. At least it would be decent if the needless assaults on morality were left out.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
This is an action film of rescue at sea, so it must be expected to present some quite violent activity. Nearly all of the point loss due to content applicable to this investigation area is due to storm peril, disaster violence and rescue peril. The only episodes of individualized violence noted were a couple fights. [Matt. 18:10]

Impudence/Hate (I)
As is typical of PG-13 films, this film contains many uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary plus one use of the most foul of the foul words. [Lev. 26:19, Prov. 22:11, Col. 3:8] An adult tantrum due to making a poor choice cost a point, too. [Also Col. 3:8]

Sexual Immorality (S)
As noted above, this is a PG-13 film and you can expect there to be somebody in bed with somebody else. The Guardian  will meet or exceed your expectations. In addition, there is steamed shower stall nudity. cohabitation for sex and foreplay with innuendo. [1 Cor. 7:1-2, 1 Thess. 4:1 - 5]

Drugs/Alcohol (D)
The American College of Physicians (ACP) has found an undeniable link between the presentation of alcoholic beverages in and as entertainment and abuse of them by adolescents. Even the University of Connecticut corroborates the ACP finding. The Guardian  is rife with booze, bars, and drinking. The influence is inescapable [Eph. 5:18]

Offense to God (O)
While there were no presentations of matters such as occultism, Satanism or other such unholy matters, God's name is used in vain a couple times, once with the four letter expletive. [Deut. 5:11] Ben's divorce from Helen cost a point as well. [Mal. 2:16] And Jesus told Simon and Andrew that He would make them "fishers of men" if they follow Him. The script refers to Ben as a "fisher of men." While this use of the Biblical phrase speaks to Ben "fishing" people out of the water, it is too suggestive to disregard the likely mockery. [Matt. 4:19]

Murder/Suicide (M)
No instances of murder or suicide were noted.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Matt. 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. ["Despise" is kataphroneo {kat-af-ron-eh'-o}: to condemn, despise, disdain, think little or nothing of, to look down upon (which includes abuse, even by influence, lying to them, enticing/teasing them, frightening them, seducing them and/or their thoughts, etc.). By the way, "little ones" is mikros meaning less by birth, younger. All of your children are "less by birth" than you. All of them are "younger." So, "little ones" includes at-home teens.]
  • Lev. 26:19 I will break down your stubborn pride [arrogance, self exaltation] and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze. [Yes, it is arrogance and self-exaltation which gives us the haughtiness (Prov. 6:17) to violate clean speech.]
  • Prov. 22:11 He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.
  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy (injurious speech, slander in this use), filthy communication [aischrologia: foul speaking, low and obscene] out of your mouth.
  • 1 Cor. 7:1-2 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. ["Not to touch..." God is wise to rationalizations of man. "Touch" is haptomai {hap'-tom-ahee}; to touch; of carnal intercourse with a woman or cohabitation for sex.]
  • 1 Thess. 4:1 - 5 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: ["know how to possess his vessel" - be able control his body and drives; be master of them not slave to them: "in sanctification and honor" - of God's Will; "Not in the lust of concupiscence" - not in passionate lust like the heathen.]
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. ["Wine" can be any intoxicating substance including illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs. The issue is do not get intoxicated and not abuse the body. Though it is not a sin to drink, it is a sin to get drunk OR to influence to get drunk or to drink in defiance such as underage drinking. And teaching/causing youth to abuse alcohol/tobacco (or drugs) by emboldening youth with them in and as entertainment invokes Luke 17:2. If alcoholic beverages in entertainment were not a problem for our young, why is there and why has there been such a push to get and keep booze commercials off prime time broadcast TV?]
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. [Vain is shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or thoughtful discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name.]
  • Mal. 2:16 "I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel, "and I hate a man's covering himself with violence as well as with his garment," says the LORD Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.
  • Matt. 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    The Guardian (2006) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • rescue peril, repeatedly, of varying intensities
  • storm peril, repeatedly, of varying intensities
  • disaster violence, repeatedly, of varying intensities
  • hit to the face
  • injury gore, relatively light but repeatedly
  • fighting

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • 22 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • one use of the most foul of the foul words
  • adult tantrum due to poor choice

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • adult in underwear, repeatedly
  • harassment innuendo
  • steamed shower stall nudity, multiple views but no genitals
  • innuendo re: intercourse
  • cohabitation for sex, repeatedly
  • foreplay with innuendo

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • bar, repeatedly
  • booze, repeatedly
  • drinking, repeatedly

    Offense to God (O)
  • one use of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and once without
  • divorce
  • referring to a rescue swimmer as a "fisher of men"

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted

  • Christian Educators Association International



    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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