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

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 63 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. Collapse
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 26
  2. Negative: 8 out of 26
  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. Feb 20, 2013
    The definition of haven is "a place of safety", so we have here a safe place of safety. This means that the girl is really really safe in the arms of her guy...which is good. But there are some tense moments before that is confirmed! Yes, all very predictable, but what exactly is wrong with that? Expand
  5. Apr 23, 2013
    A Nicholas Sparks adaptation unlike most of the others in that it can be at least at times a powerful film with actual characters and you know, purpose. When Katie (Julianne Hough) flees her hometown and takes refuge from her past in Southport she meets single father Alex (Josh Duhamel) and begins a passionate relationship while her past begins to catch up to her in the form of detective Tierney (David Lyons). Safe Haven is a decent love story that doesn't feel like the usual Nicholas Sparks drivel save for a final twist that almost derails the whole film. The film counts on Hough and she delivers a touching but hardened performance as a woman who has been through a brutal ordeal yet survived. Her isolation, while short lived is the main problem with the film thriving through character interaction, the time she spends alone drags and because of her secrets she prefers seclusion. Duhamel seems unsure in the role but has good chemistry with Hough so the overall feel is still there. The side characters are paper thin and take up valuable minutes of the film extending a picture with very little story. That's not to say its a simple film, in fact it tries to avoid being generic and formulaic although it only really avoids the latter. The film lacks anything special to make it unique so it comes across as ordinary. The director, having adapted Sparks' Dear John knows how to handle the melodrama rife in Sparks' books and in a way its what makes Safe Haven so light and easy to watch but it also means a film about trust, betrayal, death and fear is about as dark as an episode of the Tellytubbies. The film is so sweet at times its sickly and becomes nauseating. Overall the film is terrific in handling the characters and how they interact but it struggles and ultimately fails to surprise or impress upon the viewer any kind of originality. Expand
  6. Nov 18, 2013
    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+ Expand
  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 26 User Reviews