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Guarding Tess

  PG-13 HD Closed Captioning

Hugh Wilson

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Plot Summary

Shirley MacClaine plays Tess Carlisle, a cantankerous, much beloved former First Lady whose husband died in office nearly a decade ago. Now, far removed from Washington, she directs her extraordinary intelligence to a battle of wills with her bodyguard, Secret Service Agent Doug Chesnic (Nicolas Cage).

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 32
  • Fresh: 19
  • Rotten: 13
  • Average Rating: 5.7/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Mr. Cage, once again sounding mock-suave and Elvisy, makes the most of his character's fragile cool. – Janet Maslin, New York Times, Sep 19, 2008

Rotten: The film is indeed likable. But director Hugh Wilson, who co-wrote the script with Peter Torokvei, just skims the surface of potentially rich territory. – Leonard Klady, Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: Like the role itself, Cage is clearly in service here to a fabled but fading star, and he seldom slips on that second banana. – Richard Harrington, Washington Post, Sep 19, 2008

Rotten: There are a few good jokes, some solid chemistry between the leads, and a little pathos, but it all doesn't add up to very much. – James Berardinelli, ReelViews, Sep 19, 2008

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


I hadn't seen this in years, and it was a pleasure watching it again. It features great performances from all and an engaging story line that is both poignant and funny. I hope iTunes offers it for sale soon.

Great acting performances by Shirley MacLaine and Nicholas Cage

This is probably one of Nicholas Cage's best acting performances as the uptight secret service agent guarding a "pain-in-the-a**" former First Lady (played by Shirley MacLaine). MacLaine's performance in the film is iconic and she adds excellent humor to the film. The plot will be a surprise for anyone who hasn't seen this film.

C+ Movie- Has it

Overall this is a good movie. There are some parts of it and you're like wait...what? But it's a cute random movie that will kill an hour and thirty minutes of boredm. I doubt I'd watch it ever again but was cool to see once. Beware though...there is some bad actiong from supporting cast members in this movie that will make you shake your head.

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Guarding Tess
View In iTunes
  • $12.99
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Released: 1994

Customer Ratings