User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 235 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 235
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  1. Feb 11, 2012
    8
    Is it a great film? No. Does Denzel once again prove he is one of the most amazing actor's of his generation? Yes. Ryan Reynold's is passable, but it really is Denzel's film and he is able to turn a good script into a very good one. Worth seeing alone for Denzel's performance. Loads of action, lots of fun.
  2. Feb 12, 2012
    7
    Knowing that the critics gave it a lukewarm reception, I went in with moderated expectations, and I was pleasantly surprised. Reynolds is not the typical nubie (he's more deliberated, focused, and cerebral), and Denzel does his typical solid job as the dramatic heart and soul of the movie. The look of the film is fantastic, and the action sequences are exciting. The conclusion could haveKnowing that the critics gave it a lukewarm reception, I went in with moderated expectations, and I was pleasantly surprised. Reynolds is not the typical nubie (he's more deliberated, focused, and cerebral), and Denzel does his typical solid job as the dramatic heart and soul of the movie. The look of the film is fantastic, and the action sequences are exciting. The conclusion could have used some work. Expand
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. Feb 10, 2012
    8
    This was a fine action thriller with some, um, really thrilling action. Now I'm just typing words. Words words words words words words words words words words words words words.
  6. Feb 10, 2012
    8
    What else could be said about Denzel Washington? The man has started in AAA titles for most of his career. We all know he's very selective of the roles he chooses & better yet, the co-stars he surrounds himself with. From big names like Russel Crowe to Ethan Hawke. He's very particular. So when I saw that his co-star in this film was Ryan Reynolds, I thought "Hmmmm?" & let me reassure youWhat else could be said about Denzel Washington? The man has started in AAA titles for most of his career. We all know he's very selective of the roles he chooses & better yet, the co-stars he surrounds himself with. From big names like Russel Crowe to Ethan Hawke. He's very particular. So when I saw that his co-star in this film was Ryan Reynolds, I thought "Hmmmm?" & let me reassure you people, Reynolds delivers! Ryan Reynolds plays "Matthew Weston" a "house keeper" which is an agent for the CIA in charge of an interrogation house in the numerous locations all around the globe. Weston's location happened to be in Cape Town, South Africa. His average day is pretty uneventful, until one Friday morning agents bring in "Tobin Frost" basically the black version of "Ethan Hunt" played so well by Denzel Washington. Now up to this point all you need to know is that Washington was brought into the "Safe House" which Reynolds is in charge, to be interrogated for something he holds "within himself". PS: I'm trying my hardest no to give out too many spoilers in this review, but its pretty hard not to. Back to my review. All of a sudden about 12 heavily armed men bust into the "Safe House" & the massacre commences. Now Reynolds is pinned to a corner, he knows they want "Frost" alive & that he will die in the gunfire unless he does something.... & fast. From there on out the film shifts into "hyper-drive" & never lets off the gas. I really enjoyed the fast action pace of "Safe House" but most of all I was SUPER impressed by the performance by Ryan Reynolds. Not to take anything away from Denzel Washington but the man is like a fine wine, he only gets better with age. Reynolds on the other hand, has had bad films like "The Amityville Horror" & "The Green Lantern" I thought this guy really couldn't redeem himself after that pile of crap. I stand corrected, tonight proved that a great actor can make an iffy co-actor step his game up to a much higher league. Reynolds not only kept up with Mr. Washington, he challenged him. Not an easy task when you're talking about Denzel Washington. In closing I'd like to recommend this film to everyone who's looking to have a great time at the movies & loves an action packed thriller. Because "Safe House" is the "Safest" bet at the movies, so far this year. Expand
  7. Feb 10, 2012
    8
    First things first.... this is an action movie. Nothing more, nothing less. I was amazed at the hypocracy of just about every critic who reviewed this movie (the first critics reviews I read were from James Berardinelli, Todd Mcarthy, and Justin Chang). Those 3 critics (among others) praised the most recent Mission Impossible movie, when that movie was similar to this one. Similar inFirst things first.... this is an action movie. Nothing more, nothing less. I was amazed at the hypocracy of just about every critic who reviewed this movie (the first critics reviews I read were from James Berardinelli, Todd Mcarthy, and Justin Chang). Those 3 critics (among others) praised the most recent Mission Impossible movie, when that movie was similar to this one. Similar in the sense that Mission Impossible had a crap story (like Safe House) and was all about the action. I can't understand why they loved that movie, but didn't like Safe House. Safe House's action is completely believeable, and is very intense. There are 6 legitimate action scenes, all of which are gritty and suspenseful, which is much more than I can say for that crap movie Mission Impossible. Safe House is meant to be an action movie. That was clearly the goal of the director for this movie, and they pull that aspect off beautifully. Critiquing a pure action movie for a poor story is fine, but it's pretty much the same thing as knocking a drama for not being funny enough. Go see Safe House for the action, and if that's what you're expecting you won't be disappointed. Denzel hasn't kicked this much a$$ since Training Day. His character may not be as interesting as it could have been (same for Ryan Reynolds), but they have a solid chemistry together. The story is pretty average at best, and the writing/acting is average as well, but I have to give this movie a lot of credit. Action movies RARELY have good stories or character development, and Safe House is no exception. Still, Safe House's action is relentless and exhausting. It was definitely worth my time and money to turn off my brain a little to enjoy it. To hell with the hypocritical critics. Expand
  8. Feb 13, 2012
    7
    I liked it - even though I knew going in the general premise, it was just well done, and actually believable. Which is more than I can say for Mission Impossible, and for the critics who panned this movie while praising that one, you are most likely in the pocket of the big studios - I call you out - foul! MI is so beyond reality that I can't even watch them anymore
  9. May 13, 2013
    8
    A very solid action thriller, Safe House looked a bit Bourne-esque to me, with the plot revolving around CIA, with it being corrupt. its agents betraying each other and some "social stealth action" with main characters evading baddies using crowds. Washington and Reynolds' performance is outstanding, the plot is gripping, and it's a really good movie overall.
  10. BG3
    Jul 2, 2012
    8
    A great film. The movie will have you jumping out of your seat every 10 minutes. One of Ryan Reynolds best performances (which isn't saying much) but it was still an enjoyable performance by him. Denzel Washington has once again proved that he is one of the best actors of our generation. This movie is definitely a must see.
  11. Feb 12, 2012
    9
    The film starts out fast and rarely lets up. I found myself rooting for Reynolds the entire movie and against Washington, of course until the end. Both actors played their roles phenomenally.
  12. Jun 22, 2012
    10
    I love the movie safe house, and I seen this one in theaters when it first came out. I think Denzel Washington did an awesome job, as a CIA agent who went rogue, and while on the run, he had met Ryan's Character and he gave him some really great advise. He told Ryan's Character to not be so trusting in those he's working for, because they will stab him in the back and they did. This isI love the movie safe house, and I seen this one in theaters when it first came out. I think Denzel Washington did an awesome job, as a CIA agent who went rogue, and while on the run, he had met Ryan's Character and he gave him some really great advise. He told Ryan's Character to not be so trusting in those he's working for, because they will stab him in the back and they did. This is Denzel's very best performance, ever, yes better than training day. I think when the famous Oscar's are approaching and the nominees are chosen and the movies are selected, this should be on the Oscar's number one list of best movies, and I also think no one should turn their heads away from Ryan Reynolds who also gave his best performance. If this movie isn't consider an nomination for best picture, I will never, ever, ever watch another award show forever. Especially the boring and ever so snoring Oscars. But watching those who you really want to win, will definitely living things up all together. Expand
  13. Jul 2, 2012
    9
    Awesome Acting, Ryan Reynolds does an outstanding job is this movie. Great and realistic fighting scenes. Big Explosions! You get right into the story.
  14. 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.
  15. Feb 13, 2012
    2
    Yuck film......I mean the acting is good and the action free flowing but the plot is completely devoid of any originality. I love an action flick as much as the next bloke but it tried to be too smart and failed and therefore failed as a film......Dont waste your cash.
    Oh and Brendan Gleeson is better than this even if Denzel isn't
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. Feb 15, 2012
    2
    I wanted this film to be good but it was just exhausting. Denzel's scenes were left on the cutting room floor because they set him up as the master manipulator and then no manipulation. For some reason it turned into a Ryan Reynolds movie running around reacting. This isn't a Denzel film it is a Green Lantern without the costume set on earth without the aliens.
  20. May 27, 2012
    3
    Good acting I guess. Its just that the movie sucks . Its no Jason Bourne. Its not even complicated. Its weak. Amazing how even with such good actors a script like this seems to slide past everyone.
  21. Feb 12, 2012
    1
    I can overlook a lot of flaws for a good action flick. But this movie is so flawed all the way through, there is nothing left to like. How some reviewers can think that "documentary style" camerawork enhances filming is beyond me. "Safe House" is shot like a shaky hand-held home movie -- maybe they did use a hand-held camera? How else could they have gotten all the jiggling andI can overlook a lot of flaws for a good action flick. But this movie is so flawed all the way through, there is nothing left to like. How some reviewers can think that "documentary style" camerawork enhances filming is beyond me. "Safe House" is shot like a shaky hand-held home movie -- maybe they did use a hand-held camera? How else could they have gotten all the jiggling and swinging up and down, back and forth? It's often hard to tell who's fighting, much less who's winning and how they're doing it. I guess the shakiness and jiggling are meant to keep the audience on edge, but to me it's cheating to try to create effects that should come from the action with just an annoying, uneven camera. It did keep me on edge, but in an irritating way, not an entertaining way. This jiggling is kept up all through the movie -- not just in the chase and fight scenes, but also in offices and phone conversations, the camera just can't stay put. There's not much of a plot, either, but this isn't essential in an entertaining action movie, which this definitely is not. Expand
  22. Feb 27, 2012
    10
    I was pumped to say that this is one of the best Ryan Reynolds films I've ever seen. Worth watching since we get to see Denzel and Ryan act with a load of action scenes.
  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. 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.
    Expand
  25. Mar 29, 2012
    3
    In the beginning it starts out as an action filled thrilling movie, but than it loses its excitement and it becomes a simple action movie which we have tons off. The good actors performance like Denzel keep the movie running and stops you from running away screaming "HELL NOOOOO!!!!". No more to say and i was still generous with the 3/10
  26. Apr 1, 2012
    10
    Good Movie. Good Story. Good Cast. Good Action. Excellent film, not something I would see if there was another 'better' option on, but there wasn't and I enjoyed it. :)!
  27. JAL
    Jul 6, 2012
    2
    What a disappointment! I don't see how Denzel Washington could associate himself with such a low-quality production
  28. 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.
  29. Dec 24, 2012
    7
    A well made film with some nice stunt work and an awful lot of fight sequences; maybe a couple too many IMO. The performances from both Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds were pretty good, although nobody was particularly stretched. Plot-wise, I guess it was ok but it didn
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. 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.