The Sentinel

Rated 2.0

A veteran Secret Service agent (Michael Douglas) learns that there’s a traitor in the service plotting to kill the president (David Rasche) and then gets himself gets blackmailed by someone who knows that he’s having an affair with the first lady (Kim Basinger). Clark Johnson’s slick direction and taut performances by a good cast (including Kiefer Sutherland, Eva Longoria and Martin Donovan) fail to conceal the fact that the plot of George Nolfi’s script (from Gerald Petievich’s novel) is laughably dimwitted. Douglas and Sutherland give all this nonsense their best straight faces, but this is the kind of “thriller” where (1) the culprit is obvious after 30 seconds; (2) complicated forensic tests are done in five minutes; and (3) the bad guys have deadly aim except when they’re shooting at the stars.