Peaceful Warrior

Peaceful Warrior

5.0 7
Director: Victor Salva

Cast: Scott Mechlowicz, Nick Nolte, Amy Smart


Jeepers Creepers director Victor Salva takes a break from the horror to offer an inspirational tale about the remarkable power of the human spirit as the pages of Dan Millman's best-selling autobiographical novel come to life onscreen in this life-affirming film…  See more details below


Jeepers Creepers director Victor Salva takes a break from the horror to offer an inspirational tale about the remarkable power of the human spirit as the pages of Dan Millman's best-selling autobiographical novel come to life onscreen in this life-affirming film starring Nick Nolte, Scott Mechlowicz, and Amy Smart. A talented college gymnast with serious Olympic aspirations, Dan Millman (Mechlowicz) leads a charmed life of first-place trophies, fast girls, and rowdy parties until a career-threatening injury and a chance meeting with a mysterious stranger named Socrates (Nolte) show him how little he truly knows about living. In the months that follow his tragic injury, both Socrates and elusive beauty Joy (Smart) impart to the growing young man the wisdom that he needs to leave the past behind and follow the path of destiny and fulfill his transformation into the peaceful warrior.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
You wouldn't guess from the title that Peaceful Warrior is about a gymnast. However, you might guess it's about a journey toward self-actualization that's heavily influenced by eastern philosophy. The film shares many elements with an inspirational sports story like The Karate Kid, with Nick Nolte in the Mr. Miyagi role and Scott Mechlowicz playing Daniel-sahn -- his character's name is actually Dan, and Nolte actually subjects him to scrubbing toilets and other menial tasks, in Mr. Miyagi's "wax on, wax off" school of mental discipline. What Peaceful Warrior doesn't have is The Karate Kid's heart. The key to a movie like this is that you have to like the main character. He may be flawed in his approach to his goals, but he's essentially a good guy. Not so with Dan Millman, who's kind of a prick. He's an Olympics-or-bust hopeful who doesn't seem to care which friends he sabotages on his way to that dream. Naturally, he learns something over the course of his exposure to his eternally wise mentor, but his outlook on the world doesn't shift as radically as the film thinks it does. Millman never seems worthy of the attention of Nolte's character (whom he dubs "Socrates"), especially since one of Socrates' defining traits is his devotion to noble purposes. This is not to say Victor Salva's film is without its charms. The filmmaking showcases plenty of mature narrative technique, and it's actually funny in the moments when it isn't taking itself too seriously. Ultimately, if Peaceful Warrior is worth seeing, it's because of Nolte, who was born to play a grizzled gas station attendant with lightning-quick reflexes and a total awareness of self. The charming Amy Smart, however, is wasted in a secondary role that could have easily been written out of the script.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Deleted scenes; The journey: Meet the cast and crew who brought this inspiring film to life; Developing Your warrior: Discover the widespread impact of the book and movie!; Book to screen: Select a passage from the book and then watch it come to life on-screen!; Music video: Michelle Featherstone's "I'm There Too"

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
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
Matthew Prater Thug Two
Bart Connor As Himself
Jim Bradley Commentator One
Dan Millman Man in Car
Steve Talley Young Garage Man
Tom Costello Dan's Neighbor
Karen Landry Patricia Millman
Rob Moran Dan Millman Sr.
Chad Nadolski Medic
Neil Furuno Gymnast One
Charles Grisham Bar Patron #1
Tyler Vogt Bar Patron #2
Paul Wasilewski Trevor Scott

Technical Credits
Victor Salva Director
Mark Amin Producer
Michael Amin Associate Producer
Michael Ashe Stunts
Kevin Bernhardt Screenwriter
Amelia Buhrman Costumes/Costume Designer
Ray Camp Set Decoration/Design
Bernt Amadeus Capra Production Designer
Alex Chansky Stunts
Brycen Counts Stunts
Sylvain D'Hautcourt Camera Operator
Anthony DiPietro Screenwriter
Bob Dolman Screenwriter
Lamont Dupont Associate Producer
Tom Elliott Stunts
Mike Elliott Executive Producer
Hossein Fateh Associate Producer
Jim Foody Stunts
Joseph P. Genier Co-producer
Mark Hansson Asst. Director
Anthony Hardwick Camera Operator
Oliver Hengst Executive Producer
Brigitte Hennech Makeup
Joel C. High Musical Direction/Supervision
Kanin Howell Stunts
Bill Johnson Executive Producer
Paul Lane Stunts
Ed Marx Editor
Stephan McCain Stunts
Sharone Meir Cinematographer
Lynette Meyer Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Meyers Animator
Steven A. Morrow Sound/Sound Designer
Michael Mullane Sound Editor
Mousa Namvar Associate Producer
Marshall Nelson Stunts
Gloria O'Brien Stunts
Darren Prescott Stunts
Andy Reimer Executive Producer
Shalimar Reodica Casting
Bennett Salvay Score Composer
Ernst August Schneider Executive Producer
Robin Schorr Producer
Jim Seibel Executive Producer
Tofigh Shirazi Associate Producer
James Tolins Stunts
Greg Townley Sound Mixer
Tony Tremblay Art Director
Alexis Walker Makeup
David Welch Producer
David A. Welch Producer
Cami Winikoff Producer
Keith Woulard Stunts

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Peaceful Warrior
1. Just a Dream (Main Titles) [4:52]
2. Getting Some Air [2:34]
3. Impossible [3:04]
4. Tell Me How You Did It [4:00]
5. Old News [3:04]
6. A Real Warrior [7:55]
7. Bad Fall [4:57]
8. Take Out the Trash [6:56]
9. View From Above [7:20]
10. Intense Training [8:14]
11. Shattered [4:19]
12. The Healing Power of Touch [6:34]
13. Letting Go [6:19]
14. Insight Worth Sharing [6:53]
15. Responsible for Your Actions [7:03]
16. A Higher Purpose [3:04]
17. Olympic Committee Petition [10:46]
18. The Journey [8:23]
19. Here in This Moment [8:11]
20. End Titles [6:06]


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Peaceful Warrior 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Some films make a difference: viewing them can give us a story that is memorable and leave the viewer with powerful food for thought that continues to influence thinking long after the film is over. Such is the case for PEACEFUL WARRIOR. Based on a book by Inspirational Guru Dan Millman and beautifully adapted for the screen by Kevin Bernhardt, the story combines the best in sport stories with the infusion of spiritual discovery that despite the abundance of 'Hallmark-like' imitations, stands nobly as a tool for introducing young people to a journey toward self discovery well worth taking. Director Victor Salva had the good sense not to push the story over the top, but instead to let his actors and situations grow logically into a practical demonstration of spiritual growth. Dan Millman (Scott Mechlowicz) is a gymnast bent on perfecting his skills to enter the Olympic trials. He is a fine athlete but has an ego that consumes everything around him and prevents his finding a focus to be the perfect athlete he feels he can become. After a chance encounter with a mysterious Service Station attendant whom Dan calls Socrates (Nick Nolte), Dan's inner struggles begin to surface as he sees and experiences troubling 'other-worldly' responses form Socrates. He is ultimately forced to confront that he is living for pride, for accomplishment, for competition, for recognition - yet his quiet moments remain discontent. Socrates works with Dan, helping him to find his inner self and to live in the moment. Dan suffers a life-threatening motorcycle accident that appears to doom his dreams of being the finest gymnast, but Socrates helps him discover that living in the moment, giving in to the power of focus on the present, can result in overcoming the seemingly impossible obstacles. Rather than 'preach' these concepts, the story is illustrated by physical feats of gymnastics and by meaningful encounters between Dan and Socrates, and it is this technique that brings the film above the usual 'inspirational flicks' to become a truly compelling movie. Nick Nolte has never been better as the subdued, understated, but immensely impressive Socrates. Scott Mechlowicz thankfully underplays the character of Dan: the use of a body double to perform the incredible gymnastic turns is seamlessly achieved. The remainder of the cast includes such fine actors as Amy Smart, Agnes Bruckner, and Ashton Holmes. This is a well-made film that deserves our attention, especially now. Grady Harp
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We just watched this video with a high school girls soccer team as part of a team building retreat. The girls loved the movie and although a few didn't really understand it, I know that with time they will get it and their lives will never be the same. If the individual can release themselves, imagine what the whole group can accomplish together. The possibilities are endless. Every young person should watch this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished watching this movie, and I cannot even put into words how inspiring I found it. "Inspiring" doesn't even cover it. It's amazing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie...This movie...This movie! It gives you an outside look at an inside struggle that we all have had or will have. It helps you to realize that the seconds in your life are TRULY what builds your lifetime. A MUST WATCH (YOU SHOULD BUY IT TOO) !!!!!
CynthiaSueLarson More than 1 year ago
PEACEFUL WARRIOR is one of the most profoundly moving and inspirational movies ever made. Based on Dan Millman's real life story, Nick Nolte is wonderful in the role of Socrates, and Scott Mechlowicz does an absolutely amazing job playing Dan Millman. When Dan is feeling profoundly unhappy and dissatisfied despite being handsome, athletic and an award-winning gymnast, he wanders alone late at night to find spiritual nourishment and mentoring from a wise mechanic at a service station. Socrates provides Dan with the keys to open his doorways to intuitive and spiritual perception in such a way that Dan begins to see the world and himself in a whole new way. This reframing becomes incredibly important when Dan shatters his leg in a motorcycle accident, and finds he will no longer be eligible to pursue his lifelong dream of competing in the Olympics. What happens after the accident is where PEACEFUL WARRIOR really takes off, as it illustrates the power and grace we are all capable of achieving when we learn to live an examined life for in learning to pay attention we can ease much of the suffering we cause ourselves in the way we react to our life experiences. I love the way this film illustrates the power of meditation and reflection, and "taking out the trash," or learning to remove all distractions that take your attention off this present moment, right here, right now. I give this film my very highest recommendation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We rented this movie a couple times before we just bought it. It is very insprinational.
Butterfly67 More than 1 year ago
Peaceful Warrior the movie was the best gift I gave myself this past Christmas. Its message gave me back a gift of self. Living in denial of who we are creates a very painful existence a façade of our egos, consisting of layers of pre-learned conditioning. This is where our fictitious selves take growth. It is only after peeling off layers of pre-set beliefs that we are truly able to examine the real nature of our existence. In order to do this you have to "retrain" your mind and change the way you look at things in life. For years I too lived in fear of failure like the main character Danny, always competing in life based upon the expectations of what others thought was best for me. I tried to find happiness in my exterior successes not ever realizing that happiness lies along the way of each of our individual journeys through life. The movie conveys a lesson for all of us that true happiness can only be found NOW by living each and every moment of our lives to the best of our abilities. Inspired to read several of his books, Dan Millman taught me to "Let GO" and release the long lost spirit inside of me thus allowing me to be Free and to just be Me. As a school teacher by profession, I have found that Dan Millman's works serve as a wonderful teaching tool in the classroom as well, especially among middle school students. The author teaches essential principles on how one can live one's daily life in balance of mind, body, and soul. I highly recommend all of Dan Millman's works to anyone who has been searching for a higher purpose in life.