Safe Haven (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

Safe Haven (2013)



Critic Consensus: Schmaltzy, predictable, and melodramatic, Safe Haven also suffers from a ludicrous plot twist, making for a particularly ignominious Nicholas Sparks adaptation.

Movie Info

An affirming and suspenseful story about a young woman's struggle to love again, Safe Haven is based on the novel from Nicholas Sparks, the best-selling author behind the hit films The Notebook and Dear John. When a mysterious young woman arrives in a small North Carolina town, her reluctance to join the tight knit community raises questions about her past. Slowly, she begins putting down roots, and gains the courage to start a relationship with Alex, a widowed store owner with two young children. But dark secrets intrude on her new life with such terror that she is forced to rediscover the meaning of sacrifice and rely on the power of love in this deeply moving romantic thriller.more
Rating: PG-13 (for thematic material involving threatening behavior, and for violence and sexuality)
Genre: Drama, Romance, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Dana Stevens, Nicholas Sparks
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 7, 2013
Box Office: $71.3M
Relativity Media - Official Site


Julianne Hough
as Katie Feldman
David Lyons
as Katie Feldman
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Safe Haven

Critic Reviews for Safe Haven

All Critics (139) | Top Critics (38)

A movie whose punch line is so delightfully absurd that even after you pretty much know what's coming you spit out your Pepsi anyway.

Full Review… | January 3, 2014
Top Critic

Keeping up with the movie's inane plot twists makes for a capricious good time, but an unimaginative denouement turns the whole thing into a fool's errand.

Full Review… | March 7, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

All the usual romance and idyllic locations-and-vengeful-violent-ex-husband, up until the weirdest, most out-of-nowhere plot twist ever.

Full Review… | December 26, 2013

few will leave the cinema feeling they've seen something original or affecting

Full Review… | October 18, 2013
The National (UAE)

While a predictable chick flick, Safe Haven is never dull. It's not particularly good, either.

Full Review… | October 9, 2013

...the feel-good finale is unable to pack the emotional punch that Hallstrom is obviously striving for...

Full Review… | August 31, 2013
Reel Film Reviews

Audience Reviews for Safe Haven


You know it when you find it.

Very Good Film! The whole film seemed so natural that there was an obvious, stark contrast to the drama and thriller aspect in the end. The script was given a twist, and I sat through most of the film not quiet sure what was going to happen next, it definitely kept me intrigued, although I found it a little slow at a few points, i still walked away liking the film as a whole. I highly recommend it and would go so far as to say it's a must see! Of course the romantic comedy fans will eat it up, but the men who are dragged along might enjoy it more than they think!

A young woman with a mysterious past lands in Southport, North Carolina where her bond with a widower forces her to confront the dark secret that haunts her.

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Josh have my heart. This was just wonderful. Sweet. Funny. Complete, and utter chick flick happiness....oh, and what an ending. I had no idea. Good job...

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

For a solid two acts, I couldn't hate Safe Haven, the latest in the bland, paint-by-numbers coastal romances based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks. It was chiefly inoffensive but predictable at every step, but I didn't mind. At this point, Sparks is a brand and you know what you're getting. Julianne Hough (Rock of Ages) plays a woman on the run from a corrupt Boston cop. She may or may not have killed a man. She hides out in a North Carolina fishing village and comes to love a hunky widower (Josh Duhamel) with a pair of annoying kids. Their coupling is somewhat restrained given the sudsy context; they don't kiss until close to an hour in. What benefited the film was having a dangerous external threat, the corrupt cop, circling in. This alone raised the stakes of what ordinarily would be a pleasant but mostly mild romance between two pretty people. However, it is that third act, the concluding half hour, where Safe Haven just loses its mind. One twist is a given, though it makes the Boston PD look either incompetent or collusive, but the final twist comes out of nowhere, bringing in a supernatural factor that left me gob smacked. All I kept repeating was, "What?" It's such a contrived, immediately stupid twist ending, trying to bridge a simple romance with something like The Sixth Sense. I can't say whether the twist existed in Sparks source material, but wherever it originated, I can predict you won't find a dumber twist ending to a film all year. Safe Haven is two part of a good-looking albeit mediocre movie with a final dash of half-baked lunacy.

Nate's Grade: C-

Nate Z.
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

Safe Haven Quotes

Jo: Promise me something Katie, you'll take a lot of pictures and only regret the ones that you didn't take.
– Submitted by Angelica S (2 years ago)
Alex: I'm so sorry... just please... stay. Just tell me the truth, just tell me what happened. I don't care, I'm not going to let him hurt you anymore. Listen to me, I'm in love with you. If you stay I promise there's no safer place in the world than with me. You don't have to be scared... I love you... please stay.
– Submitted by Angelica S (2 years ago)
Katie: At least I know when it's time to leave.
Jo: You know your right Katie, but some of us don't have that choice
– Submitted by Angelica S (2 years ago)
Jo: The good thing Katie, is that life is full of second chances.
– Submitted by Angelica S (2 years ago)

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