Safe House - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Safe House Reviews

Top Critic
Bruce Diones
New Yorker
February 26, 2012
The film's super-saturated look and quick cutting are mere substitutes for any real sense of intrigue.
Top Critic
Nigel Floyd
Time Out
February 21, 2012
While director Espinosa hones in on the ambiguous battle between Weston's idealism and Frost's cynicism, British cinematographer Oliver Wood - who filmed the last two Bourne movies - shoots the hell out of everything.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
February 14, 2012
This is a naive director with so little insight you wonder what comic books he's been reading.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
February 13, 2012
I won't deny that the movie hooked me with sheer brute energy and dragged me along with it most of the way.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
February 10, 2012
Nothing really new here, but the cast is first-rate.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.0/5
Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
February 10, 2012
"Safe House" has just enough bone density to emit some satisfying cracks and pops whenever the action gets going.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
February 10, 2012
Whatever its flaws, the film gives you no chance to get bored.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
February 10, 2012
"Safe House" is a safe bet if you're in the market for a conspiracy-driven action drama. There are times you wish it wasn't quite so safe, but it does deliver the bang for your bucks.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 10, 2012
While other stars of his generation stoop to self-parody, Washington stands tall. We cannot tell a lie: Yes, he makes us nervous, but in a good way.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
John DeFore
Washington Post
February 10, 2012
As fun as the movie occasionally is, it can't make its own drama convincing, much less give Reynolds the nudge he needs toward Matt Damon-ville.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
February 10, 2012
"Safe House" may strike you as a brilliant movie, provided you've seen fewer than, say, 10 spy thrillers. I've seen more than 10 spy thrillers.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
February 10, 2012
A movie with a double-crossing intelligence plot that's so generic it's an irritating intrusion in a lively chase through the streets and shantytowns of Cape Town, South Africa.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
February 9, 2012
It's pretty good.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
February 9, 2012
"Safe House" is an idea for a movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
February 9, 2012
Washington's Tobin is a pedantic cipher and Reynolds' Weston a dull Dudley Do-Right, and the resulting mix, apart from a few good chases, is bland enough to bottle for Gerber's.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
February 9, 2012
The scenes of fighting, shooting, and car-chasing are all quite breathtaking, but you'll be twitching for the fast-forward button during the seemingly endless sequences of plot development and dialogue that connect all the thrilling stuff together.
Top Critic
John Anderson
Wall Street Journal
February 9, 2012
"Safe House" is a sturdy enough thriller, but one that consistently defaults to the less interesting of its two lead characters.
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
February 9, 2012
It ... shows how much can be done with a business-as-usual CIA-thriller script when it's bolstered by effective acting and expert direction.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
February 9, 2012
Excellent performances from both Washington and Reynolds can't can't save Safe House from its boilerplate-thriller bones.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/10
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
February 9, 2012
Safe House is a bracing action thriller made all the more watchable because of its two lead performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
February 9, 2012
Safe House plows through its familiar twists with efficient brio and a distinguished supporting cast.
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
February 9, 2012
If Denzel Washington isn't the coolest dude out there, I don't know who is.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
February 9, 2012
The ethical breaches and double-agent stuff have no sting. So many people are risking and giving their lives, and we barely care.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
February 9, 2012
[Reynolds] still doesn't quite match up with Washington. And while that doesn't sink Safe House, it certainly makes it a little less of a ride than it might have been.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
February 9, 2012
"Safe House" devolves into unexciting action scenes that feel left over from the "Bourne" flicks and are peopled with cloak-and-dagger stereotypes.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Justin Chang
Variety
February 9, 2012
A viciously energetic South Africa-set actioner that makes up in sweaty atmosphere and brute force what it lacks in surprise.
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
February 9, 2012
"Safe House" is essentially and very effectively a rollicking smash-and-crash chase movie that happens to be surprisingly well acted.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
February 9, 2012
Even at its most frantic and mechanical, the movie relies on Washington to provide a visual anchor, some sociopathic calm amid the storm.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
February 9, 2012
Too often Washington is made to simply sit and observe -- which is not a fatal mistake because he is such a good actor that even then he's worth watching.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Soren Anderson
Seattle Times
February 9, 2012
In the midst of "Safe House's" predictable mayhem and unoriginal plotting, Washington is fun to watch as he outsmarts everyone again and again.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
February 9, 2012
Thanks largely to Washington's sly performance and Daniel Espinosa's taut direction, Safe House gets off to a strong start, but the tension slackens halfway through and never recovers.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
February 9, 2012
Ultimately, "Safe House" reveals itself to be more interested in bombastic, bloody thrills than provocative, analytical thought.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
February 8, 2012
It's plain most of the well-known players are on hand for purposes of refreshing their bank accounts.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
February 8, 2012
The movie, as if on an action time clock, punches in the standard set pieces: bloody fights, clattering shoot-outs, an escape through a packed soccer stadium. Some of this stuff is well-done, and some of it has been done a lot better.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Karina Longworth
Village Voice
February 8, 2012
[A] scattered but not totally disagreeable CIA conspiracy thriller...
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
February 8, 2012
Dramatically, the film hangs together well enough but the repetitive nature of the action and lack of stylistic shadings and nuance ultimately prove rather grinding.