Safety Not Guaranteed - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Safety Not Guaranteed Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2012
A personality piece of a sci-fi story: a guy advertises for a partner to go time traveling with. An indie rag decides to look into the possible story by sending one reporter and two interns to look into it. What's really up for grabs though is the idea that all of us have the experience of the-one-that-got-away, the regret inherent with that, and the consideration: would we go back if we could? It's a personality piece cause that's what keeps us in the tale, the personalities involved, and not the time travel angle at all. It's not bad at all.
Super Reviewer
September 20, 2012
Got to admit, nearly gave up on this early on. Glad I persevered.
Strange little movie about an unlikely pair getting together. I was so happy with the ending as I really feared it was going to turn out the other way and I si didn't want it to. Yes, this movie got me to care!
Super Reviewer
August 11, 2014
An adorable indie movie with charming characters (Plaza and Duplass have a great chemistry together), but it almost gets ruined by how Jeff's subplot is discarded without much thought into it and by a disappointing end that comes off as meaningless and inconsistent.
Super Reviewer
June 27, 2014
Safety Not Guaranteed manages to a highly entertaining comedy drama film with a terrific story and wonderful cast of actors. Here we have a film that has a well crafted story that is highly entertaining and is very good for what the filmmakers have created here is a worthwhile picture that is charming, fun and enjoyable. There are things that could have been improved upon, but for the most part, it's a near perfect example of a film that uses a good idea to its advantage to create something that goes beyond what you expect it to be. The characters are likeable, the story is well thought out with minor tweaks that could have been made in order to really make it a bit better. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this film, and felt that despite the fact that it was a small studio production; it succeeded far more than big time Hollywood films because of its plot, cast, direction and its characters. If you enjoy small budget films, then I strongly recommend this film. Sometimes, it's always great to see films like this because it really shows some terrific and talented filmmakers that turn out a very good film. With Safety Not Guaranteed we have a film that is entertaining from start to finish, one that is smart, witty and boasts terrific performances. For a drama / comedy, this one works well enough to keep involved from start to finish. If you're into these types of movies, you'll surely appreciate Safety Not Guaranteed for what it is. This is a film worth your time, and it is a fine film that has unique ideas and for that, it makes for a truly satisfying film going experience.
Super Reviewer
½ April 24, 2013
Since I saw this movie before I started watching "Parks & Recreation," I really dug Aubrey Plaza's ever-present sideways glower and so-hard-she-shits-nails deadpan. Now that I know awkward snark-a-chino is her drink of choice, I'm actually more enamored of her sweetly abashed romanticism. That coy Spy vs. Spy meet-cute is gold! "New Girl"'s Jake Johnson is also great in the scene where Jeff, after a humiliating rejection, man-cries while smoking, swigging, and speeding around a go-kart track.

Quarter-life ennui meets time travel. The former is charming and bittersweet (with Jeff's reformed playboy and subsequent revenge-relapse at the expense of and to the benefit of the nebbish Arnau), but the latter lacks both psychological and scientific explanation. *Spoilers* Kenneth IS revealed to be delusional if not paranoid, so I'm guessing his real reason for going back wasn't to bring back his assumed-dead sweetie but to keep himself from driving her away. Is he aware of this somewhat alarming coping mechanism? Is he still legit kerazy? It doesn't take much for Darius to trust him again. Then if they're going back to save Darius's mom, shouldn't they further consider the butterfly effect consequences trumpeted in nearly every time travel movie?

Upon rewatch though, I just like it for the undeniable goofy goodness of its characters and storyline. There's also a [too short] snippet of one of my favorite Guster songs in the beginning, AND I hadn't realized that Guster frontman Ryan Miller scored the music!
Super Reviewer
December 28, 2013
Colin Trevorrow directs this masterpiece to perfection in every way possible. Hiring his first-time feature scriptwriter, Derek Connolly, the words magically fly off the pages. The story goes from simple to extravagant in a matter of seconds and you don't see anything coming in this film, aside from a few romantic side plots that are inevitable. When a magazine is looking for some cool stories to share with the world, they find some guys classified ad stating that he wants somebody to go back in time with him. Sure these people laugh, but what they don't realize is that he os very serious about it and honestly believes that it's possible. "Safety Not Guaranteed" is filled with heartwarming dialogue, great life lessons, and an impossible story that will become more believable than you may think. This film is textbook perfection, and it's one of my favourite films.
Super Reviewer
September 18, 2013
SNG weaves a humorous tale of overcoming seclusion, and the strength it takes to have hope in the most skeptical of places, from the prospects of time travel to the human heart.

One can argue the story is simply a romantic fluff piece, but the beauty is that it never feels like one and it constantly captivates our suspense of belief with it's premise and through authentic conversations.

With great actors to boot, there's very little going wrong here. The only thing that I had gripes with was how loosely the subplots played into the main plot, I understand that they intertwined through their themes but I couldn't help but notice a lack in focus.

Still very little to complain about, a true delight!
Super Reviewer
August 20, 2013
An interesting love story. One with time travel... so what's not to like?
Super Reviewer
March 30, 2012
Deeeeeelightful!!!!! Charming. Funny. A great flick that has you rooting for the crazy guy, and the ending does not disappoint...
Super Reviewer
April 9, 2013
I would risk the trip! Quirky, offbeat, fun, happy, sad, this movie has it all HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!! We all know of something in our past that would make us forget that guaranteed " safety" could be optional!!
Super Reviewer
½ March 31, 2012
An awful, awful romance tossed into a charming indie adventure.
Super Reviewer
½ May 9, 2012
A strange little indie gem, "Safety Not Guaranteed" has a lot of creative support to its rosters of stars, which is where most of the magic that surrounds this film emanates. Comprised of mostly television actors, some of the cast go to extraordinary lengths to play people they don't normally get to. That of course is not true for "Parks and Recreation" cast member and all around strange human being Aubrey Plaza. Playing yet another role where she's a sardonic and dispassionate young woman with little ambition and yet a lot of attitude, she outshines everyone else yet again with her intentional dark humor and sullen disposition. A prime example of someone playing a character outside of their general repertoire is Jake Johnson from "New Girl" fame as a seasoned and pompous newspaper reporter who leads his two interns (Plaza and newcomer Karan Soni) to a nowhere town for a story for Seattle Magazine. It involves a placed ad looking for a companion to time travel with, and through the intern's efforts they find a despondent and possibly crazed man who takes on Plaza's character (which is obviously just her playing herself) and trains her for a top secret mission. Each of the characters go through a kind of change throughout the film, whether it's Johnson realizing true happiness and then having it diminished instantaneously, Plaza realizing how cloistered she is thanks to the death of her mother, or Soni finally summoning the courage to follow his gut feeling. The ending is spontaneous and unthinkable, which was great for such a modest film. Most of the off-the-wall comedic moments come from the heartfelt performance of Mark Duplass (of the directing team of the Duplass brothers) that really goes beyond the normal call of duty as the time travelling and delusional blue collar worker. It was definitely heady and interesting, to say the least, and though it slows in places and Johnson's storyline is superfluous, it all simply works.
Super Reviewer
½ March 10, 2013
This is a funny and unique film that keeps you interested until the very end. The story has you wondering where it may go the entire time and the actors are very nice in their roles. Their is not a whole lot more to it, this is just a rock solid film.
Super Reviewer
½ December 14, 2012
True to it's main characters, the film is quiet, cautious and reserved. It is charming and honest, with some good laughs, but it just feels like there's something missing. I very much enjoyed the fact that I kept doubting whether or not I knew what was the truth. However, the storylines of half the leads seem irrelevant to the end goal, and maybe I'm shortsighted, but I don't see the reason for their inclusion.
Super Reviewer
February 24, 2013
Kenneth: I'm going back for you now. 

Safety Not Guaranteed is a movie that exemplifies the indie genre. The film is quiet, real, and weirdly sci-fi like. The movie was much better than I could have ever anticipated. From the offset I was struck with the indie feel of the movie, which I loved. When it finally got into the story more, I began falling in love with it. There's something I appreciate so much in these quiet, but smart indie comedies. The Duplass' being involved as executive producers and Mark Duplass actually acting in the film should give you an idea of what the movie is going for. 

Darius is a young intern for a magazine. When one of the writers for the magazine pitches an idea for an article about a man who put an ad in the paper because he needed a partner to go back in time with; she finds herself as part of a three man team to try to figure out who this guy is and if he really believes he can do it. Darius goes undercover and acts like an interested candidate for the partnership, as she tries to piece together a story on this guy.

The film has more complexity to it by way of the characters, but I don't want to get into the characters and their relationships in the movie as it could ruin the film to a degree. The movie has a lot to say about love. Past love, future love, present love; all of it is touched upon in this great little film. The story is one that works well even when we should be saying, "What the fuck?"

Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass were absolutely perfect and gave this movie stability by perfecting their characters so well. The film was extremely interesting and all the pieces of the movie seemed to fit just about perfect. Safety Not Guaranteed is a film worth looking into. It's sweet and also pretty entertaining as well. It's well worth a look.
Super Reviewer
½ March 29, 2012
"Safety Not Guaranteed is one of those odd quirky indie films that I love finding. The story is original and unlike anything I have watched before. That is why I love indie films. They are always bringing something fresh to the screen.
I'm a fan of Jake Johnson. I love him in New Girl and I think he's very funny. I'm a fan of Mark Duplass as well. He's funny and plays odd characters. Aubrey Plaza I haven't seen a lot of, but I liked her in this.
The movie is funny, adventurous, and sweet. A good little romance film for V-Day.
If your a fan of odd and quirky and like out of the box films, this one is for you."
Super Reviewer
½ February 9, 2013
"Safety Not Guaranteed" is that rare indie gem that's sweet, heartfelt and funny without having to resort to that usual overwritten, over-indie sensibility. This is a film that has faith in it's characters and gives them room to breathe. The result is a surprise charmer.

I'm not usually a fan of Aubrey Plaza's brand of deadpan smug, but she was really good here... as was Jake Johnson and especially Mark Duplass.
Super Reviewer
½ January 18, 2013
A surprisingly sweet, delicately constructed character study concerning a news team who stumbles upon an advertisement in the paper of a "time traveler" (Mark Duplass) looking for a companion to accompany him for his next mission. While not as uproarious as it is made out to be, it still has a wonderful sense of humor to it, and the relationships between the characters are given the most attention and care, and it strikes a wonderful balance of subtle comedy mixed with romantic nostalgic studies. Plaza appears to just be an extended form of her "Parks and Recreation" character at first, but just like the film grows into itself, she exhibits some surprising versatility while still maintaining her trademark deadpan nature. Duplass (from the popular and hilarious TV show "The League") is fantastic, and the film even fits in time to color its supporting characters through nice, simple touches that, like the film, never cross over into self-indulgence.
Super Reviewer
½ January 10, 2013
Safety No Guaranteed is a hilarious, moving, heartfelt film that features an odd, but utterly original story, and strong performances from it's cast especially Mark Duplass and Aubrey Plaza. Deftly combining comedy, drama, and suspense, Safety Not Guaranteed is guaranteed to have you laughing and crying at the same time. You will leave the theatre having wanted a longer movie, considering it's run-time comes in at 85 minutes.
Super Reviewer
½ November 10, 2012
I'm a big fan of independent movies. They always seem to tell the most unique stories with some of the most offbeat characters. More times than not though the movies are boring, or just aren't as good as they could have been. But then, you'll watch a movie like "Safety not Guaranteed" that gives you everything you want in a smaller budget flick. A magazine reporter takes two interns on a trip to investigate an ad that was in the paper for a story to write. The ad is for a partner to travel back in time, but their safety couldn't be guaranteed. The cast is all perfect, with Mark Duplass giving an amazing performance as Kenneth the man who placed the add. He will definitely be up for a Spirit Award this year. He's kind of like an older Napoleon Dynamite, just not as awkward. There is a lot of funny moments here, and then there are some very sweet quieter moments. Running around 88 minutes, the movie never over stays it's welcome, and keeps you guessing on whether or not Kenneth is crazy up until the end. I really dug this movie, but I am into movies that aren't really like anything else out there, and this fits that bill perfectly. We need more movies like this, and I think people should give it a shot, you won't be disappointed.
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