Safe House

User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 261 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 261

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User Reviews

  1. Feb 17, 2012
    5
    Ryan Reynolds works for the CIA "hosting" a safe house in Cape Town. It's dull work until Denzel Washington (rogue ex-CIA agent) shows up as a detainee. After they're forced to flee, there's lots of chasing, lots of fighting and lots of jerky camerawork that makes it hard to see what's really happening. Washington plays his usual cool character and Reynolds gets to be sensitive andRyan Reynolds works for the CIA "hosting" a safe house in Cape Town. It's dull work until Denzel Washington (rogue ex-CIA agent) shows up as a detainee. After they're forced to flee, there's lots of chasing, lots of fighting and lots of jerky camerawork that makes it hard to see what's really happening. Washington plays his usual cool character and Reynolds gets to be sensitive and insecure. The plot is predictable and the action is never special. Although it's never boring, it's in no way special. Expand
  2. Sep 18, 2013
    5
    The movie is okay, but it seemed a little bit overstuffed, like it was trying too hard to be more than it is. But Denzel Washington plays a CIA agent gone rogue pretty damn well.
  3. Jun 1, 2012
    6
    It was a solid action movie that is helped by the Bourne like action and solid acting by Reynolds and Washington. However you can't help but feel that it's a Bourne rip off due to it's similar plot involving CIA corruption and similar action style. Also, I felt that the near 2 hour run time was pushing it far too much for a film that could have been told in an hour and a half.

    Overall,
    It was a solid action movie that is helped by the Bourne like action and solid acting by Reynolds and Washington. However you can't help but feel that it's a Bourne rip off due to it's similar plot involving CIA corruption and similar action style. Also, I felt that the near 2 hour run time was pushing it far too much for a film that could have been told in an hour and a half.

    Overall, It was a solid action movie and that's about it.
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  4. Jun 18, 2013
    6
    An exciting and well acted film. Denzel Washington gives his regular strong performance and Ryan Reynolds who is hit and miss in this case it is a solid double.
  5. Apr 20, 2014
    6
    Denzel Washington is one of my favorite actors, and anyone who follows him knows that he is pure intensity. For that reason, he is usually best paired with someone who is charismatic, but in this film, he's paired with Ryan Reynolds, another intense actor, leading to a very straightforward and inflexible film. Safe House is your typical C.I.A. inspired action film, that features a wantedDenzel Washington is one of my favorite actors, and anyone who follows him knows that he is pure intensity. For that reason, he is usually best paired with someone who is charismatic, but in this film, he's paired with Ryan Reynolds, another intense actor, leading to a very straightforward and inflexible film. Safe House is your typical C.I.A. inspired action film, that features a wanted traitor turning himself in, in order to escape the men he's doubled crossed. The names and places are different, but the story is the same, lots of fighting and corruption, traitors and double agents, it's nothing new. The intensity in Safe House is just off the charts, as there isn't one second of comic relief. The movie starts intense and just continues that way until the end, which really does an injustice to the always strong performance of Washington. The fact of the matter is that this film could have been an interesting one, had Washington and Reynolds had any chemistry whatsoever, but they were basically the same person, on opposite sides of the table. Chemistry in a film like this is really everything, even in a film like Unstoppable, another straight forward and highly predictable film, it was entertaining because of the chemistry between Washington and Chris Pine. All in all, Safe House is an average film, without much of a supporting cast. It's two hours of chases and gun battles, over the same stuff that all these other films are based on. It's a textbook example of an action movie, with nothing else. It is forgettable and isn't unique in anyway, just the same thing you've seen a million times before. Expand
  6. Dec 13, 2012
    5
    A solid thriller that could have followed the same plot and just as easily been a solid comedy. Midnight Run anyone? The biggest issue I have with Safe House is also the most confusing one. Why is Denzel Washington, one of the most talented actors of his generation, wasting time on this half rate USA Network worthy CIA flick?
  7. Mar 13, 2015
    5
    Tobin Frost: "I'm already in your head".

    Safe House is about a house under the protection of the CIA becomes a target and it is up to the facility's house sitter to extract the criminal in hiding and take him to a secure location. Let me start off with the goods: Denzel Washington in this movie nails it as the smart guy who will mess with you mind no matter what. I feel really sorry
    Tobin Frost: "I'm already in your head".

    Safe House is about a house under the protection of the CIA becomes a target and it is up to the facility's house sitter to extract the criminal in hiding and take him to a secure location.

    Let me start off with the goods: Denzel Washington in this movie nails it as the smart guy who will mess with you mind no matter what. I feel really sorry for Ryan Reynolds for being in movies that mostly bomb at the box office or him getting slammed by critics, but in this film he did a good job, but his character in the movie was really boring. Played the normal boring guy that the movie wants us to care about but you don't. Some of the action scenes where really well done, but some of the action scenes where shot poorly.

    Now for the bad: The character's in the film are mostly bland or really dull to watch, but Denzel character was the only one that was interesting in the movie. As I said before about some of the action scenes. It was like they give a monkey a camera and let it shot some of the action scenes. The trailer to the movie gived away so much of the movie that predict every scene that was going to happen.

    Overall Safe House is a mediocre, forgettable movie with good performance in it.
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  8. Nov 29, 2012
    6
    The acting was phenomenal and the fighting and action sequences were really well done. Unfortunately, there's also a plot and it was terribly cliche from beginning to end. This movie felt almost like they took the stories of all the other movies in the genre and took all of the common denominators and made the plot based off of that. I also wasn't a fan of the way the movie was editedThe acting was phenomenal and the fighting and action sequences were really well done. Unfortunately, there's also a plot and it was terribly cliche from beginning to end. This movie felt almost like they took the stories of all the other movies in the genre and took all of the common denominators and made the plot based off of that. I also wasn't a fan of the way the movie was edited together. The massive amount of quick cutting didn't make the movie more intense, it just made it annoying to watch. There was definitely some entertainment value here but the flaws stood out too much to really get entrenched into the story, which was pretty weak anyways. Expand
  9. Feb 13, 2012
    5
    If you haven't seen any of the "Bourne" movies, then you might enjoy this one. The plot is completely stolen from "Bourne" which made the movie totally predictable for me. Ryan and Denzel give it their all, but their performances alone couldn't carry the film. I'm also getting more and more irritated at directors that insist on using the "shaky camera" technique. Will this new shakyIf you haven't seen any of the "Bourne" movies, then you might enjoy this one. The plot is completely stolen from "Bourne" which made the movie totally predictable for me. Ryan and Denzel give it their all, but their performances alone couldn't carry the film. I'm also getting more and more irritated at directors that insist on using the "shaky camera" technique. Will this new shaky camera fad ever end? I liked the locale where it was filmed but hope there is more originality if the series continues. Expand
  10. Sep 22, 2012
    6
    Denzel Washington is a charismatic actor capable of delivering powerful performances. In Safe House he brings us yet another solid performance, however not in the class of his Training Day stunner.
  11. Mar 3, 2012
    5
    A really simple film, not is for anything, but when I watch the trailer I think that Safe House be like the bad action films of Jason Statham, but is a lot of better, Safe House is an okay film, no is bigger but is okay.
  12. Jun 7, 2013
    6
    CIA agent Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) is stuck in a dead-end position looking after a safe-house in Cape Town, South Africa. When Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) is brought into his custody he is given an unexpected chance to prove himself to his superiors.

    Featuring all manner of gunfights and car chases, many of which are very well shot, and thanks to very good central performances
    CIA agent Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) is stuck in a dead-end position looking after a safe-house in Cape Town, South Africa. When Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) is brought into his custody he is given an unexpected chance to prove himself to his superiors.

    Featuring all manner of gunfights and car chases, many of which are very well shot, and thanks to very good central performances from Reynolds and Washington everything moves along at a good pace. However after an interesting opening Safe House settles into a rather over familiar plot in which the duo attempt to keep highly sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. Many of the plot twists, including the ending, are also rather predictable meaning that, while it is more than watchable, this is not really a must see movie.
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  13. Dec 3, 2012
    6
    I passed on this to watch a silly movie Rango a week ago. I watched it this week and it turned out to be a decent movie but didnt make me feel bad for passing it up the week before. I geuss what Im trying to say is if you have another option don`t be afraid to go with it.
  14. Jun 8, 2012
    6
    Denzel Washington is one of the best actor out there. He elevates what can be considered a typical spy caper, action flick into something a bit more. But this film has been done before, and its called 'Training Day'. Once it focuses on its characters, Safe House is pretty good. But there's just too many generic action set pieces in between. Ryan Reynolds again is saved after gosh..howDenzel Washington is one of the best actor out there. He elevates what can be considered a typical spy caper, action flick into something a bit more. But this film has been done before, and its called 'Training Day'. Once it focuses on its characters, Safe House is pretty good. But there's just too many generic action set pieces in between. Ryan Reynolds again is saved after gosh..how many flops he's in. He's a GREAT supporting actor, but not a good leading man. Don't expect this film to rock your world or anything... Expand
  15. Jun 6, 2012
    4
    As a thriller lover i gotta say this movie really disappointed me. Nothing new . Seeing many films with same pattern was this was probably the worst. The story sucked so much. It wasn't like other Denzel Washington films. I loved all his films but this one was him worst . Not his acting though . He did fine , so did Ryan . But the story and everything else just sucked . Direction wasn'tAs a thriller lover i gotta say this movie really disappointed me. Nothing new . Seeing many films with same pattern was this was probably the worst. The story sucked so much. It wasn't like other Denzel Washington films. I loved all his films but this one was him worst . Not his acting though . He did fine , so did Ryan . But the story and everything else just sucked . Direction wasn't that good either . It seemed just like a 2 hours long Bad TV Action Drama.
    Expected more and it had let me down !
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  16. Aug 6, 2012
    5
    Safe House is a nicely crafted action/thriller, whose style is reminiscent of the Bourne series, but ultimately the frenetic action sequences and unspectacular plot make it a mere exercise in genre rather than a stand out movie. Washington and Reynolds do fine work here, but they aren't given much chance to actually take it further than any standard star vehicle. And when the film is over,Safe House is a nicely crafted action/thriller, whose style is reminiscent of the Bourne series, but ultimately the frenetic action sequences and unspectacular plot make it a mere exercise in genre rather than a stand out movie. Washington and Reynolds do fine work here, but they aren't given much chance to actually take it further than any standard star vehicle. And when the film is over, there really isn't any emotional resonance, just some feeling of exhaustion because the action scenes themselves seem uninspired and tiring, rather than exhilarating and pulse-pounding. It's not that Safe House is a bad movie. It is far from it. It is merely unspectacular. Expand
  17. Nov 4, 2012
    5
    Serviceable espionage action-thriller with a first-rate cast. It brings nothing new to the table, but it is an enjoyable ride. Denzel, as always, is enough of a reason to watch this.
  18. Feb 25, 2012
    4
    Denzel Washington snoozed thru this formula copycat of Borne. Not much to see here with a totally predictable ending. Wait for this one on free TV if you must see it.
  19. Mar 5, 2013
    5
    The film provides the great acting of Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds' poor talent. Although in some ways the film is entertaining, in other respects doesn' t exceed expectations. Safe House is an inconclusive film.
  20. Feb 18, 2012
    6
    So full of gun play that I swear I left the theater with GSR and blood splatter on my clothes. Still, Reynolds and Washington made for an interesting odd couple approach to the usual paranoid spy-based shoot 'em up. Sometimes you're in the mood for one of these films... Had they cut some of the endless car chasing stuff in favor for the inner workings of how a safe house works? It wouldSo full of gun play that I swear I left the theater with GSR and blood splatter on my clothes. Still, Reynolds and Washington made for an interesting odd couple approach to the usual paranoid spy-based shoot 'em up. Sometimes you're in the mood for one of these films... Had they cut some of the endless car chasing stuff in favor for the inner workings of how a safe house works? It would have given us a little breather. Expand
  21. Dec 11, 2012
    6
    Can't really go wrong with a Denzel Washington movie, even one as predictable as this one (this one is exceptionally predictable). Ryan Reynolds does another decent job in a non comedic role. The plot could have been flushed out better and the story could have been more original. I think a monkey could have penned the story on this one: corrupt CIA agents double cross each other andCan't really go wrong with a Denzel Washington movie, even one as predictable as this one (this one is exceptionally predictable). Ryan Reynolds does another decent job in a non comedic role. The plot could have been flushed out better and the story could have been more original. I think a monkey could have penned the story on this one: corrupt CIA agents double cross each other and innocent guy is caught in the middle---hope thats not a spoiler--considering i think its the theme of about 70 other movies. The director does do a great job with pacing and making the movie particularly intense. Not one you will fall asleep on. Worth the rental or two hours on HBO. Expand
  22. Feb 10, 2012
    6
    In a complicated deadly game of international espionage things are rarely what they appear to be. Take the case of Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds), a young man who, for all intents and purposes, appears to divide his time between his adoring French girlfriend (Nora Arnezeder) and a South African hospital. But if one were to pull back the curtain they would learn that Matt is actually a CIAIn a complicated deadly game of international espionage things are rarely what they appear to be. Take the case of Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds), a young man who, for all intents and purposes, appears to divide his time between his adoring French girlfriend (Nora Arnezeder) and a South African hospital. But if one were to pull back the curtain they would learn that Matt is actually a CIA agent who spends his time watching over a safe house, an assignment of painfully tedious monotony. In the new action thriller â Expand
  23. Feb 13, 2012
    5
    It's not like u won't enjoy it at all, but this talented combo could hv produced so much more w a helping of originality & innovation, instead of the formulaic, lone wolf vs. the big bad intel organization. U've seen this b4, & probably done better. If u think u know how it's going 2 turn out, ur right, u do. Unless ur just a die hard Denzel fan, I'd skip this one. Re-watchingIt's not like u won't enjoy it at all, but this talented combo could hv produced so much more w a helping of originality & innovation, instead of the formulaic, lone wolf vs. the big bad intel organization. U've seen this b4, & probably done better. If u think u know how it's going 2 turn out, ur right, u do. Unless ur just a die hard Denzel fan, I'd skip this one. Re-watching Hurricane would b an improvement. Expand
  24. Mar 2, 2012
    5
    Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds are known A-Listers that do their part in this movie, but yet even they cannot hide this failed attempt of a Bourne-like thriller. The plot lacks the creativity of anything that has been done before and every scene in the movie besides the action scenes are not perfected to keep the audience interested at all. It's hard to imagine a film like this beingDenzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds are known A-Listers that do their part in this movie, but yet even they cannot hide this failed attempt of a Bourne-like thriller. The plot lacks the creativity of anything that has been done before and every scene in the movie besides the action scenes are not perfected to keep the audience interested at all. It's hard to imagine a film like this being boring, but such is the facade when the characters are not developed enough and you feel nothing when Ryan Reynolds says a tearful goodbye to his girlfriend. Expand
  25. Feb 27, 2012
    6
    It doesnt have a substantial plot and channels a lot of Alias spy drama done years ago but I do think that the movie is very well acted by Ryan Reynolds showing great emotion and Denzel Washington showing great wit.
  26. Jul 4, 2012
    4
    Not too much to say about this one ...

    Predictable, shallow, regurgitated, nothing new under the sun. Borderline booooring.

    Yeah yeah. Denzel is good, as usual, but even that's not enough to spring life into this "been there, done that" film.

    It's the Jason Bourne series' little brother with down syndrome ...
  27. Jun 20, 2012
    4
    very poor effort and I kept nodding off as the plot was poor.... also the camera work is truly awful but denzel is good as always ....... ryan reynolds not too bad either ....
  28. Apr 1, 2012
    6
    It was nothing special. Entertaining, for the most part. Denzel Washington's character was an interesting one, and he also played him well. I kind of saw the 'twist' coming, as I didn't expect Denzel to be the bad guy. Overall, it's an OK movie.
  29. Mar 11, 2012
    5
    If you are 20 years old and have seen 30 hot pursuit movies then this move will be fantastic. However, if you have seen 100 such movies in your life then this will be boringly formulaic. If you are wanting to see the stunning Cape Town, rather go watch a travelogue.
  30. Apr 2, 2012
    6
    Decent story and acting, ruined by intentional technical carelessness. Shakycam is evident throughout the movie, continually reminding you that there is someone holding a camera. Film grain, of all things, is everywhere. Several scenes or actors are shot completely out of focus. This sort of hipster-esque discarding of any decent filmmaking abilities has destroyed many recent movies, thisDecent story and acting, ruined by intentional technical carelessness. Shakycam is evident throughout the movie, continually reminding you that there is someone holding a camera. Film grain, of all things, is everywhere. Several scenes or actors are shot completely out of focus. This sort of hipster-esque discarding of any decent filmmaking abilities has destroyed many recent movies, this being another victim. Expand
  31. Feb 13, 2012
    5
    I don't know what I expected from this film, but this definitely wasn't it. The best way I can describe it is that the writer/director lacked confidence in the story (for good reason, it's pretty bland) and tried to overcompensate by trying too hard to be clever. The acting is passable, but there was no real sympathy for any of the characters, and I really didn't care what happened toI don't know what I expected from this film, but this definitely wasn't it. The best way I can describe it is that the writer/director lacked confidence in the story (for good reason, it's pretty bland) and tried to overcompensate by trying too hard to be clever. The acting is passable, but there was no real sympathy for any of the characters, and I really didn't care what happened to any of them. Disappointing. Expand
  32. Feb 16, 2012
    5
    I always love denzel washington. He plays a great hero character,and also makes a great bad guy. Here he's some of each, which is interesting to watch, but also confusing to the plot. Most of the movie i felt like i was trying to catch up with what was going on, between the hyperactive shaky camera chases and spy technobable..lots of people talking about 'clearences' 'black ops' etc..byI always love denzel washington. He plays a great hero character,and also makes a great bad guy. Here he's some of each, which is interesting to watch, but also confusing to the plot. Most of the movie i felt like i was trying to catch up with what was going on, between the hyperactive shaky camera chases and spy technobable..lots of people talking about 'clearences' 'black ops' etc..by the end of the movie you wonder what it was all about, and why the characters felt it was so damned important. You wish a movie like this had something a little more directly threatening hanging in the balance, like say, a nuclear bomb or poisin gass cloud or something. Safe house is mostly a bunch of shadowy figures barely identified running around killing each other for some information on a disk of some sort, which could be embarrasing to some other people we don't know about, and therefore may or may not be worth money. At the end of all that chasing and bloodshed the payoff seems so blandly inconsequential you wonder how so many people had to get killed in the first place. And speaking of the killings, the director seemed fixated on cheap jump scares over and over. If you're watching the movie and two people are speaking casually, watch out, there's a shooting coming. So many people were surprised by bullets when they weren't looking that i left the theatre thinking they could have alternatively titled this !!BANG!!!: the movie. Expand
Metascore
52

Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36
  1. The New Yorker
    Reviewed by: David Denby
    Feb 27, 2012
    50
    Moderately enjoyable, in its exhausting way. [5 March 2012, p. 87]
  2. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Feb 20, 2012
    60
    Tolerably exciting spycraft, but stuck with a see-through plot. Washington and Reynolds are watchable, but not exactly stretched by these roles.
  3. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Feb 15, 2012
    40
    It was only a matter of time before someone made a Tony Scott movie without Tony Scott.