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 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.
  2. 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. :)!
  3. 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
  4. Feb 18, 2012
    9
    52 is an astronomically low score for this movie. I don't know if the critics watched the same movie as i did, but the movie i saw, titled Safe House with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds was a damn good movie. Ryan Reynolds gave the performance of his career, i can now label him as an actor, after such horrible films like the change up, and the very disapointing green lantern film52 is an astronomically low score for this movie. I don't know if the critics watched the same movie as i did, but the movie i saw, titled Safe House with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds was a damn good movie. Ryan Reynolds gave the performance of his career, i can now label him as an actor, after such horrible films like the change up, and the very disapointing green lantern film adaptation. Denzel Washington was of course Denzel Washington, badass, and another perfect performance to go in his book of superb films. Safe House will have you on the edge of your seat and throw you onto an action-packed ride you will love for sure. It will have you rooting for the good guy and the bad guy at the same time. It's pulse-pounding, action-packed, and VERY exciting. If you appreciate good movies, you will LOVE this one, go see this now, you won't regret it. 9/10 Expand
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Jun 4, 2012
    8
    I loved this movie. Denzel Washington did a great job acting, but I thought Ryan Reynolds actually out-acted Denzel in this movie. It started out very fast and kept going with the action. The plot wasn't the best but it was interesting and I'd like to see a sequel. I thought that the ending could have had more of a bang, but I was satisfied at least. Good solid movie.
  8. 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.
  9. Feb 13, 2012
    8
    Angels:
    I love Denzel (I agree with werecar-Denzel can turn dross to gold), and Ryan Reynolds is a good actor. They both play their parts well. And the fun part was that I predicted who the bad guy was, and I got it wrong! (See the movie and you'll understand what I mean.) So why do I only give this 8? The problem is that I keep comparing it with the 2nd Bourne movie, and the 1st blond
    Angels:
    I love Denzel (I agree with werecar-Denzel can turn dross to gold), and Ryan Reynolds is a good actor. They both play their parts well. And the fun part was that I predicted who the bad guy was, and I got it wrong! (See the movie and you'll understand what I mean.) So why do I only give this 8? The problem is that I keep comparing it with the 2nd Bourne movie, and the 1st blond bond (Danny Craig) movie and it does not stack up. OllieWillie is right; the plot is derivative. (Except of course that I could not predict who the bad guy was.) Also, a movie like this needs great fighting. And the fight scenes were only so so. Again, it loses in comparison with Bond & Bourne. Still, my honey and I agree (this time) that it was an enjoyable evening with Denzel and Ryan. And honestly, somewhere, there is a portrait of Denzel where he appears old, decrepit and desiccated. Angels, protect me.
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  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. Feb 17, 2012
    8
    I've been to the movie theater, and I just got home from watching Safe House, and I actually thought it was pretty good. Judging from how good I felt the movie was, I was kinda shocked to see it only scored 52 here on metacritics, so I decided to register and give my 2 cents. The movie on its own was really good, I liked the plot, the way the movie was shot (the shaking camera, despiteI've been to the movie theater, and I just got home from watching Safe House, and I actually thought it was pretty good. Judging from how good I felt the movie was, I was kinda shocked to see it only scored 52 here on metacritics, so I decided to register and give my 2 cents. The movie on its own was really good, I liked the plot, the way the movie was shot (the shaking camera, despite seeing people bad mouthing the movie because of this), but the actors really helped to lift Daniel Espinosa's work - both Ryan Reynolds' and Denzel Washington's acting.

    Great movie, 8/10 from me.
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  14. Jun 20, 2012
    8
    Yes, many of us have seen such flix before but this is somehow refreshing in its gritty authenticity. Lots and lots of fighting with several twists and turns accentuated by key 'splosions, it's a good time for guys - keep the kids and chix away.
  15. Feb 25, 2012
    8
    Safe House surpassed expectations- due primarily because of the effortlessly charismatic work of Denzel Washington. The Cape Town locale was a highlight, the ultra-kinetic, frenetic camerawork reminiscent of Paul Greengrass films. The supporting cast is excellent as well (Brendan Gleeson, Liam Cunningham, Robert Patrick, who of course plays an amoral character, to name a few), even ifSafe House surpassed expectations- due primarily because of the effortlessly charismatic work of Denzel Washington. The Cape Town locale was a highlight, the ultra-kinetic, frenetic camerawork reminiscent of Paul Greengrass films. The supporting cast is excellent as well (Brendan Gleeson, Liam Cunningham, Robert Patrick, who of course plays an amoral character, to name a few), even if their roles vary in significance and are alloted limited screen-time, their mere presence add to the enjoyment of the film. The opening chase through Cape Town and the infiltration of the first designated 'safe house' are well directed and thrilling sequences. Safe House is a cut-above as far as action films go. 7.5. Expand
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Feb 4, 2013
    8
    Good action movie. Do not expect philosophy, only pure action. Both actors played extraordinary.
    The story is a common one, but the actors make the film quite good.
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. Mar 6, 2012
    7
    According to cinemas, when spies get in trouble, they always have assortments of safe houses just waiting to be temporarily populated, free of all pursuers at least until the next scene. As Safe House would say it, instead of only a vacant house, there's actually someone watching over the house called housekeepers and not always a thrilling job. Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) is an agent inAccording to cinemas, when spies get in trouble, they always have assortments of safe houses just waiting to be temporarily populated, free of all pursuers at least until the next scene. As Safe House would say it, instead of only a vacant house, there's actually someone watching over the house called housekeepers and not always a thrilling job. Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) is an agent in charge of a safe house in Cape Town who is unsatisfied with his low ranking job. It will soon change as Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington), a high value target for selling vital information is captured and brought to his secure residence.



    Ironically after Frost set foot in there, it's not that safe anymore as a mysterious party chases him desperately and determines to kill everyone in sight, Weston now included. Then off they go in a cataclysmic run across the town, leaving trails of bodies and broken cars. It becomes apparently and painfully clear from the start that the editing and cinematography suck, horrible even. Majority of the shots are blurry, excruciatingly dark, from odd angles and questionably shaky. I can't comprehend what's the point of the shaky cameras. If the director wanted to do rawer outlook, certainly it didn't require him to use epilepsy point of view.

    The same goes with the action, compared to recent Haywire which had quite similar chase scene, this one feels too forced and out of focus. The editing is a pure mess, it steals the rhythm and really takes you off the action which could be decent otherwise. Its use of color is a bit drab, which in itself is not bad considering Denzel's previous movie, Unstoppable, also had dreary look to it. But the way Safe House is presented is headache-inducing, especially in darker scenes with lots of camera changing.

    The cast however gives an excellent performance through out. Denzel's acting is superb, he exudes confident and experience, continuously changing from silently harsh to ice cold with charisma. Ryan is just as good, perhaps even better in some scenes. His depiction of young agent is cleverly filled with emotions. He is sort of an idealist faced with predicaments that could alter his beliefs. Sometimes he looks like he's about to fall apart, only to get back up and encounter even direr problems.



    Aside from these two, the rest are also great talents. Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air), Brendan Gleeson (One-eyed guy In Harry Potter), Sam Shepard (Black Hawk Down), each plays CIA agen. One of them might, or might not be involved in the mess. Weston is constantly tested as he tries to figure out where his allegiance lies. Some of the lines are somewhat dull, unfortunately impede their brilliant performances. In fact, the better moments come from more quiet ones, not in the midst of loud gun shots and screeching tires. And it is unapologetically horrifically loud. Fight and chase scenes have appeal, but again the camera and editing ruin them. There are little bits of Bourne trying to squeeze its way to the surface fruitlessly. The script is predictable and story isn't that original. Regardless of poor directing and flaws, the cast manages to pull this one to an enjoyable height. 7/10
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  22. 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
  23. Mar 6, 2012
    7
    This film was decent. The acting by Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds was pretty good and the action sequences were the best part of the movie. The script played a little thin on the edge but other than that you should see this movie.
  24. Mar 12, 2012
    7
    Not a masterpiece by any stretch but I enjoyed the performances of both Denzel and Reynolds. Denzel was especially good as the jaded black ops veteran gone rogue while Reynolds had the enthusiasm of youth down. The action was good but ultimately the twists were a bit predictable.

    All in all, a good one to catch if you have some time need a rental or stream.
  25. Mar 27, 2012
    7
    Set in Cape Town, Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds are the two CIA operatives, past and present playing cat and mouse with each other in Daniel Espinosa's first major US film. The film was shot in location in Cape Town, and this was obviously something that Espinosa felt keen to impress on the viewer, who is reminded this perhaps once too often with stunning shots of the area. It almostSet in Cape Town, Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds are the two CIA operatives, past and present playing cat and mouse with each other in Daniel Espinosa's first major US film. The film was shot in location in Cape Town, and this was obviously something that Espinosa felt keen to impress on the viewer, who is reminded this perhaps once too often with stunning shots of the area. It almost felt like the location was selected for this purpose first and the plot made to fit second. Equally strong performances from both Washington and Reynolds keep the viewer engrossed throughout the film in between the hit and miss action sequences until the slightly formulaic ending. Overall a fairly routine spy thriller that ticks all the boxes without setting the world alight. Expand
  26. Apr 1, 2012
    7
    Pretty good movie. Action was cool. Story was solid. No real complaints. Washington was awesome as usual. No need to get into the details. See this movie if you like action, CIA, or spy movies. Acting makes the movie worth it.
  27. Apr 12, 2012
    7
    this film was something i wasn't expecting to be good but it surprised me quit a bit. the acting was good and the writing of the scrips was OK but the escaping should of been worked on and the fighting scenes to short. def give it a 7.5 but not as good as it should of been. this is short review but over all its something to see if u like watching these types of movies.
  28. May 29, 2012
    7
    In some instances, having a good idea of how the movie is likely to go can be a killjoy; then, all that can make that movie watchable, if it indeed has a predictable ending, would be very good and relentless action, in the case of action thriller, or extremely interesting characters in a psychological drama. This movie is by no means the latter, but as an action thriller, the former, itIn some instances, having a good idea of how the movie is likely to go can be a killjoy; then, all that can make that movie watchable, if it indeed has a predictable ending, would be very good and relentless action, in the case of action thriller, or extremely interesting characters in a psychological drama. This movie is by no means the latter, but as an action thriller, the former, it does provide almost non-stop action, once the basic prologue scenes are done. Denzel Washington plays the role of Tobin Frost, a veteran intelligence operative who is wanted as a traitor by the US, since he went off the grid ten years prior. He resurfaces after getting his hands on the most incriminating bit of information, the kind that would ruin the careers of high-ups in international intelligence, including the CIA. Not since his role as Creasy, in Man on Fire? did I find myself cheering for the bad guy, who, after all, is not as bad as the system. Frost seeks refuge at a US consulate in South Africa, to dodge assassins; he is moved to a safe house where the CIA hopes to extract information from him. The minder of the safe house is Matt Weston, played by Ryan Reynolds; he was bored out of his mind until he got call into action. He has all the skill sets to be an operative and has been preparing for that. When the safe house is besieged by the same assassins, Weston is left to deal with Frost. All the while at CIA headquarters, the team that heads the safe house operations starts budding heads with other CIA sections and from that point, the story becomes rather predictable. Yet, the characters of Weston and Frost, in addition to those of Barlow, played by Brendan Gleeson, and Linklater, played by Vera Farmiga, sort of keep you interested in watching the rest of the action. The supporting cast of Farmiga, Glesson, Sam Shepard, Robert Patrick and Ruben Blades certainly adds a bankable element to the production. Washington and Reynolds do justice to their roles; their characters are compelling enough.There are no big surprises plot-wise, but it's actually that tried and true paradigm of corrupt security intelligentsia that we find comfort in seeing again in the throw of much action. Why make up a nonsensical plot when we are already sold on a given premise? I got what I expected and watched it for that reason; I'd be hard pressed to be too negative. I'll go out on a safe ledge and recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Man on Fire. Expand
  29. Jul 9, 2012
    7
    Director Daniel Espinosa adds nothing new to Safe House that you haven
  30. Jul 18, 2012
    7
    It's not the best action movie out there, but it manages to do it's job. Keep you, the viewer, entertained for 2 hours. It's faults: A very boring first half.
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.