Peaceful Warrior

April 13th, 2007


Peaceful Warrior

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Still of Amy Smart and Scott Mechlowicz in Peaceful WarriorStill of Nick Nolte and Scott Mechlowicz in Peaceful WarriorStill of Nick Nolte in Peaceful WarriorStill of Nick Nolte and Scott Mechlowicz in Peaceful WarriorStill of Scott Mechlowicz in Peaceful WarriorStill of Scott Mechlowicz and Ashton Holmes in Peaceful Warrior

A chance encounter with a stranger changes the life of a college gymnast.

Release Year: 2006

Rating: 7.0/10 (9,433 voted)

Critic's Score: 40/100

Director: Victor Salva

Stars: Scott Mechlowicz, Nick Nolte, Amy Smart

Dan Millman has it all: good grades, a shot at the Olympic team on the rings and girls lining up for the handsome Berkely college athlete all teams mates look up to with envy. Only one man shakes his confidence, an anonymous night gas station attendant, who like Socrates, keeps questioning every assumption in his life. Then a traffic crash shatters Dan's legs, and his bright future. Now Socrates's life coaching is to make or break Dan's revised ambition.

Writers: Kevin Bernhardt, Dan Millman

Scott Mechlowicz - Dan Millman
Nick Nolte - Socrates
Amy Smart - Joy
Tim DeKay - Coach Garrick
Ashton Holmes - Tommy
Paul Wesley - Trevor
B.J. Britt - Kyle
Agnes Bruckner - Susie
Tom Tarantini - Thug with Gun
Beatrice Rosen - Dory
Ray Wise - Doctor Hayden
Scott Caudill - Thug One (as Scott 'Jesic' Caudill)
Matthew Prater - Thug Two (as Matthew John Prater)
Bart Conner - Himself
Jimmy Bradley - Commentator One

Taglines: There are no ordinary moments.


Official Website: Official site |

Release Date: 13 April 2007

Filming Locations: Fullerton, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $80,602 (USA) (4 June 2006) (10 Screens)

Gross: $3,960,414 (USA)

Technical Specs

Runtime: USA:  | Argentina:

Did You Know?

Mark Amin, a producer, appears as a service station customer in the car while Dan is 'holding the pose.'

Continuity: While Dan and Socrates have a conversation in the garage, Socrates is organizing and placing small boxes into a cabinet door. The very last shot of the cabinet shows the boxes in a different arrangement than they were during their discourse.

Coach Garrick: [to Dan] Doctors tell me you'll never compete again.

User Review

The first spiritually oriented movie that really works!

Rating: 10/10

I was invited to a screening of The Peaceful Warrior in NYC Thursday April 13th, having just learned of this film's existence a few days earlier.

I was looking forward to the film, but with some trepidation, considering that prior attempts at communicating spiritually oriented books or ideas had fallen short of my expectations and had fundamentally failed to convey to the audience a transforming inner experience; witness What the Bleep, Siddhartha, Little Buddha, and others.

Let me say this, simply and directly. They got it right this time, and they did it in a way which could be embraced by crowds at the multiplexes. By impressing the discovery of bona fide spiritual truths on a recognizable sports template, the movie makers will be carrying under-appreciated ideas and experiences to the masses. At least I hope so! I actually woke up early the morning after seeing this, with my mind full of things I might say in an exhaustive review. Never in my life have I felt that way about a movie before.

The reason this movie succeeds is that it follows one of the most basic rules for good story-telling: it shows rather than tells. Although some fundamental spiritual ideas are described with words, it is the plot and character development that proves the truth of those words. You see the transcendence and the realizations in the faces of the characters, and you are not left to wonder why. You understand.

The story, based on a book by Dan Millman, follows a college gymnast who has great potential but whose desire for success is one of the main obstacles standing in the way of that potential. In his mindless pursuit of a goal, he becomes sucked into the deep dark hole of life-is-what-happens-while-you're-making-other-plans. In its simplest message, our hero's real challenge is to find happiness by being present and finding interest and love for what's right in front of him.

The film doesn't try to oversimplify the content of a spiritual path into a single dogma; there are many other seeds of thought strewn along the path by Socrates, each of which could have been the basis for a different struggle to transcend relative unconsciousness.

For many years I have been convinced that non-religious spiritual thought and experience could be something to drive the world in a new direction. This movie provides an example of what life can be like if we ponder these thoughts and implement them in our lives in a concrete and practical way. It's not necessary to be a champion gymnast to derive the fundamental teachings from this film. It is a teaching that anyone can understand. This is why I see that The Peaceful Warrior can inspire those who embrace the possibilities which it offers to become peaceful guerrilla warriors, working tirelessly underneath the radar, changing the world.

This is not only a good movie, it's an important one.


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