Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jun 14, 2012
    100
    It's equally endearing as a sweetly funny romance between two likable oddballs and as a low-tech time-travel thriller, and has something profound to say about making the most of the present.
  2. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jun 13, 2012
    88
    Safety Not Guaranteed not only has dialogue that's about something, but characters who have some depth and dimension.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jun 22, 2012
    80
    Even if something feels crazy -- whether it's falling in with a self-taught time-traveler, or buying into a charming but faintly flawed movie premise -- if you listen to your gut, wonderful things can happen.
  4. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jun 14, 2012
    80
    This is the rare movie with no one to root against, a film filled with good guys and weird guys (and gals), all of whom you hope find what they're looking for, even if you know that's not possible.
  5. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Jun 11, 2012
    80
    The real revelation here is Plaza, whose shtick - the willowy cutie deadpanning about how lousy her life is - should be grating and tired, but it works remarkably well for some reason.
  6. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Jun 7, 2012
    80
    Delightful proof that money and fame have nothing on ingenuity and wit, Safety Not Guaranteed is worth a million meaningless blockbusters.
  7. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Jun 4, 2012
    80
    Aubrey Plaza proves she can carry a film with this multiplex-friendly comedy about time travel.
  8. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Jun 4, 2012
    80
    Develops into an endearingly scrappy and romantic romp that serves up some nice soul-searching moments alongside a steady stream of laughs.
  9. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Jun 14, 2012
    75
    Call me biased, but I'm quick to put out the welcome mat for any movie – good, bad or indifferent – that resists easy categorizing. That's certainly the charm of Safety NotGuaranteed, which flirts with two very different genres yet never goes steady with either.
  10. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jun 14, 2012
    75
    It's brisk and assured and never begs the audience's indulgence. No time is wasted. The movie is, at every moment, either funny or pushing the story forward, or both.
  11. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jun 14, 2012
    75
    It's about time: Aubrey Plaza gets her own movie!
  12. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Jun 14, 2012
    75
    As happens with many time-travel films, this one ultimately paints itself into a bit of a narrative corner.
  13. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jun 14, 2012
    75
    The final scenes deliver a payoff worthy of the film's scrappy optimism, but that may not be the reason you walk out of the theater on a cloud. It's the sight of a character coming rapturously into her own at the same time as the actress playing her.
  14. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jun 14, 2012
    75
    You may buy the ending or not. The filmmakers certainly do, which helps. And the film is modest but skillful and heartfelt, spiced just so by Plaza and company.
  15. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jun 12, 2012
    75
    For the most part, Safety Not Guaranteed is a pleasant viewing experience, but there is a flaw. While Darius is bonding with Kenneth, Jeff is reconnecting with his past. This subplot goes nowhere.
  16. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Jun 7, 2012
    75
    The main flaw is that, as an actor, Duplass isn't able to make the audience love him. Picture "Bottle Rocket"-era Owen Wilson in the role, and you've got something special.
  17. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jun 7, 2012
    75
    Director Colin Trevorrow and writer Derek Connolly keep the film humming with funny and touching surprises. And Plaza is a flat-out enchantress.
  18. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Jun 6, 2012
    75
    It's a tribute to Plaza and Duplass that they're able to make such slight material resonate at all, let alone with the poignancy they occasionally find.
  19. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Jun 6, 2012
    75
    Safety Not Guaranteed is a fable of ''redemption,'' and it's too tidy by half, but it is also very sweetly told.
  20. Reviewed by: Jesse Cataldo
    Jun 4, 2012
    75
    More focused on emotion than adventure, it teases out the possibilities and perils of time travel without embroiling itself in the confusion inherent to the subject.
  21. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Jun 7, 2012
    70
    Safety Not Guaranteed is permeated with that aura of unfocused melancholy common to so many indies these days -- what are we all so damn sad about? -- but by tying it back to characters that don't seem popped from any too-familiar mold, the film allows its sense of regret, its alarm at time passing, to feel earned.
  22. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Jun 7, 2012
    70
    That time machine - a wonderful-looking gizmo with some lasers stolen from a medical laboratory - really exists. Whether it works or not, you'll have to see for yourself. It's worth the wait.
  23. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Jun 7, 2012
    70
    Touching, generous, sweet, this little slip of a movie puts you under some kind of spell.
  24. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Jun 5, 2012
    70
    A viewer's patience with some of Safety's more rote stretches is rewarded in the film's final 15 minutes, when the plot takes a truly unexpected turn. As a DIY answer to the Spielberg generation's nostalgia for movie magic, the film's fully earnest, fantastic climax beats something like "Super 8" at its own game for a fraction of the cost.
  25. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Jun 13, 2012
    67
    I found myself falling for it, hard. It's Trevorrow's feature debut and we'd like to see more, please.
  26. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Jun 7, 2012
    67
    The movie shifts awkwardly from slapstick firearms training sessions to tender campfire kisses to straightforward suspense (who are those mysterious trench-coated figures?). Combined with unconvincing behavior from all of its characters, that's enough to leave this a disappointing realization of a potentially fascinating idea.
  27. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jun 22, 2012
    63
    Eccentric enough to get mistaken for an uplifting fantasy, but it's Plaza who belongs in the penthouse.
  28. Reviewed by: Drew Hunt
    Jun 14, 2012
    60
    Where the narrative and characterization work, the visuals are lacking. Director Colin Trevorrow's digital cinematography occasionally resembles a YouTube video in mid-buffer, making the gorgeous and picturesque setting of the Pacific Northwest coastline appear bland and texture-less.
  29. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jun 10, 2012
    60
    I was onboard with the gentle charm of Safety Not Guaranteed until these last few scenes, when the genuine trauma suffered by these characters - especially Kenneth, whose paranoia and isolationism seem like symptoms of real mental illness - gets glossed over in an unconvincingly Spielbergian happy ending.
  30. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Jun 5, 2012
    60
    Safety Not Guaranteed doesn't quite know what kind of comedy it wants to be; the humor works best in its first hour, when the news-of-the-weird plot takes on a suggestive dimension of romantic desperation.
  31. Reviewed by: Vadim Rizov
    Jun 5, 2012
    50
    Not sure if you'll enjoy Safety Not Guaranteed? Here's a quick litmus test: how do you feel about watching Mark Duplass, accompanying himself on zither (!), singing a heartfelt song about how "everyone in the big machine tries to break your heart?"
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 130 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Jun 26, 2012
    9
    I really enjoyed Safety Not Guaranteed, and it was mostly because Aubrey Plaza is very enjoyable/interesting to watch. My crush on her aside, this movie was very well done, in that it didn't sell out and explain everything going on but gave some tidbits here and there to keep your imagination going. There are laughs throughout, some times where you might feel some tears lingering behind your eyes, and other times where you are confused on what to feel- but that's a good thing. Everything about this movie is interesting and well played by the cast and every one else involved with the film. Definitely recommend anyone in their late teens and older to go check this out. Full Review »
  2. Jun 17, 2012
    6
    There is not really much to like or dislike in this film as it is not a complete film. Like many in of its type, its lacks any real depth and tries to get by on some teenage or SNL type charm. The result is a movie that has no real story, no resolution, no real characters that you give a damn, and you just leave the theater shaking your head. Why this was a crowd pleaser at Sundance may be because everything else was so lame? I don't know but this is a paper thin attempt at novelty that doesn't work. Full Review »
  3. Aug 11, 2013
    9
    I don't know why but I really liked Safety not guaranteed. It has great story and plot and it's really smart. It shows how important friendship is. It had some extremely funny moments and it was humouristic but it also had some sad moments. It had also sci-fi moments and the combination of those three is really good and the result of that film was excellent. The actors were ok and the film had many things going on which made it really interesting. I liked it I didn't know the film but when I read about it I knew that I would like. An indie-low budget-must-watch. I guarantee you that you will like this film! Full Review »