The Safety of Objects


Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 29
  2. Negative: 3 out of 29

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Critic Reviews

  1. The terrific ensemble acting and Troche’s genuine, nonjudgmental interest in exploring the weird places wounded people go, both internally and externally, amount to an insulated but moving portrait of the real nuclear family.
  2. 38
    The Safety of Objects is just another stilted comic-dramatic essay examining the mold in the white bread.
  3. 63
    The film leaves you dissatisfied, as though you'd just spent two hours with a menagerie of plastic white people.
  4. 50
    Troche's tone is so relentlessly, depressingly monotonous that the characters seem trapped in a narrow emotional range. They live out their miserable lives in one lachrymose sequence after another, and for us there is no relief.
  5. Presented with such confidence, such care, that we love all of the characters, even if we don't like them.
  6. The overall effect is imaginative but overambitious, though Troche unquestionably has cinematic talent.
  7. 80
    This is not the easiest film in the world to untangle, but our attentions are soon rewarded.
  8. The disciplined performances play against schmaltz, and the casting is inspired.
  9. 70
    A couple of unexpected revelations in the final act pack an emotional wallop that shifts the film (shot in clean, uncluttered takes) into the realm of old-fashioned tearjerker, but the tears are wholly earned.
  10. For all of Troche's skill and talent, The Safety of Objects (a splendid title) nevertheless tries to cover too much territory. In movies, as elsewhere, a little less sometimes can add up to a lot more.
  11. 63
    The Safety of Objects doesn't carry the power of Ang Lee's "The Ice Storm," a similarly themed work about WASPS in crisis. Objects is too artificial, clunky with too many preposterous situations.
  12. Troche is most interested in exploring the secret lives hidden inside freshly painted Colonials, and what she finds is that everyone's secret is exactly the same: a crushing inability to connect with the people closest to them.
  13. 50
    Although deft editing provides neat segues, "Safety" suffers from a case of too many dramas, too little time. Characters are given no chance to develop and, too often, their behavior turns on a dime, hurtling off into a parallel universe of extreme acts.
  14. Eloquently adapted from the collection of A.M. Homes stories of the same title, Troche's film derives its voltage from the way it burrows to find that the connections within -- and among -- families are very much alive.
  15. 67
    The film paints a by now familiar picture of suburbia as a pit of dysfunction, though some nice dark-humored moments and generally fine performances make up for a lot.
  16. 63
    Not a complete waste of time, but it doesn't make us FEEL the way better dramas do, and, in the end, it lacks the qualities that would make it memorable or powerful.
  17. Reviewed by: Laura Miller
    All the acting in it is flawless, an overflowing handful of polished jewels.
  18. A noble attempt that doesn't hang together.
  19. Outside of its star power, it reeks of indie film and doesn't hold much mainstream steam.
  20. It's a movie located in an interesting place, but without quite enough self-confidence really to inhabit it.
  21. The result is not a quilt, just a succession of story snippets that keep interrupting one another.
  22. With the help of an ensemble that is nearly flawless, she (Troche) assembles the damaged human elements of Ms. Homes's world with patience and precision, and more often than not chooses dry understatement over easy satire or obvious sentiment.
  23. 50
    Troche has bitten off quite a bit here, and it's too much for her to chew properly.
  24. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    The interwoven stories are haunting, but also darkly funny.
  25. Reviewed by: Eddie Cockrell
    A genuine and tangible fondness and respect for the characters and their eccentricities.
  26. 40
    Though agile edits keep things moving, in braiding several tales into one tight suburban tangle, character development takes more shortcuts than "Short Cuts."
  27. Although it has moments of charm and poignancy -- this is one of Glenn Close's best hours -- the scheme and scope of the movie are just too darned obvious.
  28. None of them is nasty enough to be interesting, nor nice enough to be sympathetic.

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