It is 1985 and American citizens are very anxious and unsettled about the possibility of a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. President Richard Nixon (Richard Wisden) has outlawed "masks" — the costumed superheroes known as The Watchmen. Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley), a nasty vigilante, prowls the streets of New York City with an inkblot-like mask. He metes out justice to society's "vermin" and has no qualms about his own righteousness. When Rorschach learns that The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), another member of The Watchmen, has been murdered, he cannot believe it. This superhero spent years as a mercenary in Viet Nam and other places and saw the world as a dangerous and dark place. Rorschach is convinced that there is a conspiracy afoot to get rid of the costumed heroes.

He visits Dan Dreiberg (Patrick Wilson), who is a wealthy man with an old-fashioned belief in doing right and seeing good in people. He and Rorschach were partners years ago. Dan misses the glory of his exploits as Nite Owl II and flying his magical Owl Ship nicknamed Archie. He is thrilled when Laurie Jupiter (Malin Akerman) also known as Silk Spectre II, re-enters his life seeking companionship. She relishes adventure and the thrill of adrenaline rushes just as much as Dan does. Laurie has walked out on Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup), a former physicist who has been transformed into a superbeing after an accident in a nuclear laboratory. For years Dr. Manhattan has been used by the government as a secret weapon. Now he alternates between the idea of solitude on Mars and saving the world from destruction. The final member of the group is Adrian Veidt (Matthew Goode), who has achieved fortune and fame as Ozymandias, "the smartest man in the world." He is obsessed with the exploits of Alexander the Great and the Egyptian pharaoh Rameses II. His dream is to orchestrate a world of peaceful co-existence between governments and peoples.

Watchmen is directed by Zach Snyder (300) from a screenplay by Dave Hayter and Alex Tse, based upon the graphic novel co-created and illustrated by Dave Gibbons and published by DC Comics. This phantasmagorical mystery adventure is filled with a bold mix of action, philosophy, visual creativity, impressive sets, and a rounded consideration of the ethical dimensions of heroism. The best thing about Watchmen is the way in which the vulnerabilities of these superheroes are presented. Also hats off to the incredible musical choices of Philip Glass! The worst thing about Watchmen is the over-the-top violence in several sequences. Nonetheless, this ambitious screen adaptation of the legendary graphic novel will please its many fans.

Special features on the DVD include: "The Phenomenon: The Comic That Changed Comics": the original graphic novel's groundbreaking impact; all 11 Watchmen video journals; and "My Chemical Romance Desolation Row" music video.