Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 60 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , , ,
  • Summary: When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family. But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo's empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 33
  2. Negative: 13 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Feb 14, 2013
    A sentimental romantic thriller. But it’s a well-made sentimental romantic thriller, and that makes all the difference.
  2. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Feb 13, 2013
    The picture-postcard location of Southport, N.C., is the film's strong suit.
  3. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Feb 20, 2013
    This one blends the scented candles of a daytime soap with the tamer aspects of a middling thriller. Some folks will bring Kleenex. Others will need NoDoz.
  4. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Feb 15, 2013
    The movie’s not all bad. There’s palpable chemistry between Duhamel and Hough. The former particularly seems well-suited to this sort of thing: He has just the right amount of grizzled charm to be one of those wounded hunks Sparks likes so much.
  5. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Feb 13, 2013
    It’s hard to argue with the title here – Safe Haven, indeed. This is all about safety in the Hollywood workplace. Why make a movie when making a Hallmark-card-with-dialogue is so much less risky?
  6. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Feb 13, 2013
    The cutaways to this cop-on-the-edge plot are jarring and lacking in conviction, and when the whole tortured mess comes together in a twist-filled third act, Safe Haven becomes a full-blown calamity.
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Feb 14, 2013
    I hate Safe Haven. It's a terrible thing to do to your Valentine.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 25
  2. Negative: 7 out of 25
  1. Feb 15, 2013
    I am amazed how wrong most critics are at rating movies these days. Have they become so shallow and devoid of common sense? If you are a movie buff that likes a great family movie,great story, unusual setting, romance, drama, thriller with a surprise ending go see it, you will not regret it. Expand
  2. Mar 17, 2013
    This movie is an opportunity to get in touch and feel your emotions and there are many times in the movie to do just that because it is so cleverly put together. The ratings should be much higher than they are. The movie is all about the human interactions that will cause you to feel what it is like to be the characters if you were in the same situations as they were in. I am a male and i cried at times, good thing the theater was almost empty and nobody saw me. Expand
  3. Jun 2, 2013
    Not sure why people are hating on this movie so much. No it's not the best movie but its not terrible. It has action along with suspense and romance. The writing was also good. I give it an 8 Expand
  4. May 6, 2013
    I did watch this on valentines day and it was ok. Just okay because it started off just like a typical love movie and end like they all do. What trally saved this movie from being a complete fail was definetly the ending. I didnt expect it to end that way. Expand
  5. Apr 27, 2013
    Movie is not that and bad also not that good.Certainly not worth to go to Cinema or buy a Blue ray.Anyhow movie has decent sound tracks at right scenes also camera work is excellent.Story id bit more of same to Lucky one. Expand
  6. Feb 15, 2013
    It being Valentine’s Day weekend Hollywood, naturally, offers a romantic Nicholas Sparks film “Safe Haven” based on one of his many books.. In most films logic has to be left at the door but with this one also leave your brains there.

    The opening scene shows Katie (Julianne Hough) running from what could be a murder scene. In the fastest time ever in a film she cuts and dyes her hair, gets on a bus going to Atlanta, even though the police are looking for her, gets off in a small town and within minutes gets a job, rents a cabin, meets a guy Alex (Josh Duhamel) who lost his wife 2 years previously to cancer and is bringing up their two kids Lexi (Mimi Kirkland) who was too young to really remember her and Josh (Noah Lomax) who misses her and, by the way, Alex gives Katie a bike in the middle of the night since she doesn’t have any transportation, though she really doesn’t need it--remember this is a small town--and meets Jo, her neighbor who lives down the way. Whew! We haven’t even gotten into the main thrust of the story.

    There isn’t a cliche that the director, Lasse Hallstrom, or the screenwriters, Dana Stevens and Gage Lansky, don’t love and feel they have to put up on the screen. We haven’t even mentioned fireworks filling the sky, children in jeopardy, homes on fire, a policeman who misuses his power, canoe rides, lovers getting caught in the rain not to forget the very unbelievable ending though the lovers and kids will live happily ever after as this is a Hollywood/ Nicholas Sparks movie. There is a thriller aspect added to the love story but adds nothing to the film.

    Josh Duhamel goes through the 5 o’clock shadow stage here and there while Julianne Hough looks better as a blonde than a brunette but with either color there is very little chemistry between the leads. Mimi Kirkland and Noah Lomax do a good job while most of the supporting cast blend into the wood.

    While you can’t say Hallstrom does a bad job there are one too many poorly edited scenes and as a director he really doesn’t bring anything special to the film.

    The star of the movie is really the small town of Southport, North Carolina, which is movie perfect.

    Though “Safe Haven” is being touted as a romantic film the best romantic film available on the big screen today is “Amour” that shows what love really is all about.
  7. Mar 8, 2013
    It's doing what a romantic movie is suppose to do but it leaves you hanging with its emotional gaze at love. Safe Haven is whatever a romantic movie fan loves but I think it will disappoint others. Expand

See all 25 User Reviews