User Score
5.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 62 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 62
  2. Negative: 19 out of 62

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  1. Feb 15, 2013
    3
    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.
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  2. Feb 20, 2013
    1
    Safe Haven? More of crap haven. Unfortunately, this movie falls flat for me. There is just a bland love story, could you even call it love??? Jesus man, come on. The thriller part of it had no 'umph' feeling in it to boost the movie at. So I decided to say: F*ck it. A poor movie that falls flat.
  3. Mar 8, 2013
    0
    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.
  4. Jul 14, 2013
    2
    "Safe Haven" attempts to pull heartstrings using every trick in the great book of cliches. What we got here is a plot from paperback thriller mixed with storyline out of cheap romantic novel. The actors keep the predictable end result from falling flat on its face, yet the good moments are very few and much in between.
  5. Nov 18, 2013
    3
    Safe Haven is just brutally boring mixed with awful plot twists. There is solid chemistry Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough, but the acting isn't sharp. D+
  6. Mar 24, 2013
    3
    Why do people still make movies off of Nicholas Sparks books? I just don't understand. But of all the Nicholas Sparks books, this one was the most ridiculous. I mean, Trying to combine romance with thrills, makes this movie fail miserably. No wonder valentines day movies suck soo bad.
  7. May 19, 2013
    2
    This movie was very disappointing. There was little to complain about from Hough or Duhamel, but the story lacked much to be desired. It was simply unrealistic and shallow. Girl escapes an abusive relationship, finds her one true love within weeks, he promises to solve all of her problems, she takes the place of the mother who died of cancer and together they triumph over the past and everybody is able to move on without a scar on any of them.... Really? Sweet, yes, but what happened to creating stories about people, not ideals? Collapse
  8. May 4, 2014
    2
    At this point, you know what to expect. Seriously, each movie based on a Nicholas Sparks book is so unoriginal, even the books themselves have turned repetitive. Another thing I've noticed is that they always come out this time of year. Valentine's Day is supposed to be a time to share love between couples, not give the one you love an excuse to end the relationship.
Metascore
34

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 33
  2. Negative: 13 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Mar 2, 2013
    20
    As ever with a Sparks story, the action takes place in a sugary vision of small-town America that does not correspond with the real world at any point.
  2. Reviewed by: Laremy Legel
    Feb 26, 2013
    25
    Even when compared against other films that have been adapted from Nicholas Sparks novels, Safe Haven is terrible.
  3. Reviewed by: Anna Smith
    Feb 25, 2013
    60
    "Salmon Fishing In The Yemen" and "Chocolat" man Hallström is an old pro at navigating this kind of undemandingly dramatic yarn and does a pretty fine job with Sparks' story.