Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 224 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Tobin Frost is the CIA's most dangerous traitor, who stuns the intelligence community when he surfaces in South Africa. When the safe house to which he's remanded is attacked by brutal mercenaries, a rookie is forced to help him escape. As the masterful manipulator toys with his reluctant protege, the young operative finds his morality tested and idealism shaken. Now they must stay alive long enough to uncover who wants them dead. (Universal Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Feb 10, 2012
    The action is contained within a coherent dramatic structure and the puzzle-box paranoia of spy-agency protocol.
  2. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Feb 9, 2012
    Though Safe House may be too violent and nihilistic for everyone's taste, it does have several crackerjack action sequences.
  3. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Feb 9, 2012
    Safe House has two powerful performances at its core, a hectic plot, a huge body count and a mild sense of déjà vu amid the pulse-quickening tension.
  4. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Feb 9, 2012
    Crash. Kick. Stab. Punch. Talk (briefly). Smash. Chase. Screech. Shoot. Mumble. That's the wearying pattern of Safe House. Had "think" been an action verb, the movie might have risen above the knee-jerk excitement of the second-tier, "Bourne"-style spy thriller. But it never does.
  5. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Feb 27, 2012
    Moderately enjoyable, in its exhausting way. [5 March 2012, p. 87]
  6. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Feb 9, 2012
    Safe House is a sturdy enough thriller, but one that consistently defaults to the less interesting of its two lead characters.
  7. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Feb 9, 2012
    Safe House is an idea for a movie. It's a few blustery gestures in the direction of a story, with five good actors doing their best, trying to hold up the barest frame of an idea, while investing the surrounding emptiness with all the truth they can muster.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 72
  2. Negative: 6 out of 72
  1. Jun 22, 2012
    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 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. Collapse
  2. Feb 17, 2012
    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, 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.
  3. BG3
    Jul 2, 2012
    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. Expand
  4. Apr 2, 2012
    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, this being another victim. Expand
  5. Jun 18, 2013
    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. Expand
  6. Nov 4, 2012
    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. Expand
  7. Feb 12, 2012
    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 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

See all 72 User Reviews