Safe House
Year:
2012
Country:
USA, Japan, South Africa
Genre:
Crime, Thriller, Action, Mystery
IMDB rating:
6.8
Director:
Daniel Espinosa
Vera Farmiga as Catherine Linklater
Stephen Rider as Richards
Jenna Dover as CIA Analyst
Nora Arnezeder as Ana Moreau
Fares Fares as Vargas
Joel Kinnaman as Keller
Rubén Blades as Carlos Villar
Liam Cunningham as Alec Wade
Ryan Reynolds as Matt Weston
Denzel Washington as Tobin Frost
Tracie Thoms as CIA Analyst
Sam Shepard as Harlan Whitford
Brendan Gleeson as David Barlow
Robert Patrick as Daniel Kiefer
Storyline: Matt Weston ( ) is a CIA rookie who is manning a safe house in Cape Town, South Africa, when Tobin Frost ( ) the CIA's most wanted rogue agent is captured and taken to the safe house. During Frost's interrogation, the safe house is overtaken by mercenaries who want Frost. Weston and Frost escape and must stay out of the gunmen's sight until they can get to another safe house.
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Resolution 1920x800 px
File Size 7828 Mb
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Bitrate 1536 Kbps
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Resolution 720x304 px
File Size 1929 Mb
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Reviews
doesn't let up the tension. Reynolds & Washington are firmly on the action hero map!
Denzel Washington in a film more or less guarantees it's gravitas and/or watchability; the man is an acting demi-god. Ryan Reynolds is always good for a laugh, good to look at and is very slick but I'd not seen him do mega-action before (Green Lantern doesn't count): CIA agent running tough throwing himself around with die-hard commitment to role ie all physicality and gung-ho! Welcome to Safe House. Oh my goodness what a roller-coaster film. Wish I'd seen it at the cinema on the big screen, and the DVD had been of sufficient quality to not interrupt the flow of action.

The chemistry between Reynolds and Washington is brilliant. At first I thought that being on set with Washington was upping Reynolds' game but soon I realised they were both acting their socks off and the emotion, action, stunts, fight scenes and general all guns blazing and car chases were just superb. Clever, intelligent and twisting plot (okay not totally unpredictable) with clever use of time wobbling to make the story a fraction less linear and not spelling everything out (other than explaining that Hamburg is in Germany and Paris is in France (!)); it didn't treat the audience like idiots, and you had to jog a bit to keep up.

Brilliant film with some really incredible acting... can't emphasise that enough. Brilliant stunts, great fight segments, edge of the seat stuff. Vera Farmiga, Sam Shepherd, Brendan Gleeson and Robert Patrick were also very good, as well as Nora Arnezeder as Reynolds' French girlfriend. A very international film, filmed in South Africa predominantly, about a supposed rogue CIA agent who has a list of world wide agents and their dirty laundry that could compromise many Agencies - about who wants to keep it out of the light of day and what they will do to protect their reputations.

Oh just watch it. If you like Speed-type fast paced action, intelligent plot, Pelican Brief type intrigue and slick fluid acting/direction/script reminiscent of Ronin or Bourne you'll really get a kick out of this. Reynolds and Washington were a powerful on-screen duo. Really entertaining and enjoyable (although stressful and a little uncomfortable at times.) Must see.
2013-07-08
Fulfills Its Popcorn Intentions But Little Else
Safe House is a movie that fulfils its popcorn intentions, but metaphorically brings to mind the image of a bobble-head – a bloated brain supported by little else, springing uncontrollably in different directions. When the action ramps up, Safe House is at its best, providing ample energy, a plethora or gunplay and a number of gritty combat sequences. When pausing to forward the plot, spew exposition or focus on perfunctory romances, it grinds to a halt. Safe House would be better viewed with a remote equipped with a fast forward button nearby.

Thankfully for Safe House, the sequences with action outnumber those without, so it comes out on top on a percentage basis alone. What makes it slip just out of the realm of solid praise is that it really fails as a tense, psychological duel of wits. I mean c'mon you have the one of the coolest actors working today (Denzel Washington of course) trying to escape his confines with only a lowly safe house guard (Ryan Reynolds) in his way – use it! The trailers and radio ads prominently feature the line "I'm already in your head", but the movie itself offers little in the way of subtle manipulation or mind games. All we get are a few scenes where Washington's Tobin Frost intimidates the crap out of the inexperienced operative and forebodingly warns that the CIA will screw him one day.

Now that I've kicked this movie while it's down, let me tell you what it does very well: bloodshed. I already mentioned the ample high-octane set pieces, but of course volume of action does not always translate directly to a solid film ("Transformers" springs to mind) it has to bring something to the table. Safe House earns its R-rating in many an instance with sometimes uncomfortably realistic shootouts, brutal interrogations and wonderfully choreographed (but wince-inducing) hand- to-hand combat sequences. If you think that John McClane looks rough at the end of a "Die Hard" flick, wait until you see how Reynolds looks when the credits roll. Refreshingly, this is not the kind of movie where a character is shot, grits his teeth a little bit, holds his wound and then ten minutes later they have apparently forgotten about it. You feel every punch and when somebody gets stabbed they writhe on the floor in pain and when somebody gets shot they are likely not getting back up.

There are also a handful of lengthy chase sequences through the streets of Cape Town, a soccer stadium and the slums of Langa and in all instances deliver. They are easy to follow, high-energy and far more real-world than we're normally accustomed when talking about a Hollywood car chase. In all of these sequences (automotive or otherwise) we have Reynolds front and center. Safe House is really a Ryan Reynolds movie masquerading as a Denzel Washington film, though that is not to say Washington is relegated to a just supporting role, it is simply more focused on our in-way-over-his-head rookie than the lethal pro. Reynolds is the surprise here, not only holding his own against the veteran but delivering his best mainstream performance to date (there is not a hint of his wise-cracking The Green Lantern or Deadpool characters to be found here).

Curiously, there were very few one-liners delivered by Washington and though he oozed charisma through his presence alone, I would have liked to see a little more sizzle; one more duty that lands on the script, which just offers nothing in the way of interesting dialogue, insights into the mind of a killer or even a brisk pace for that matter. As a movie to pop in the DVD player with some buds, however (one that you can tune out the downtimes between action set pieces) it delivers absolutely and does offer one of the rarer instances for Washington to do his bad guy thing – a welcome sight.

Rating: 6.5/10
2012-02-12
authentic
We all watch action movies, some good some bad, I expected the usual but was pleasantly surprised. The action was very good, the crowd scenes were exceptional, it looked so real with hundreds of people instead of just being suggested with close up shots.Then something else, it was not a vehicle for gratuitous action,it did not insert any old dialogue just to pass the time or impress.It was made by people proud to produce quality, if the writer does not have first hand experience in the field, he really listened and understood someone who has. You could sense all the guys wishing they could trust in something, but knowing if they did it would make them vulnerable.If you are not easily impressed this will impress you. The cynicism and lack of trust, really help to illuminate the tacit meaning. Tense,subtle,brutal first class.
2015-05-29
Superbly executed
Thrilling: CQB scenes are very well captured and realistic. Sound editing is well timed and close to perfection. Camera's sweeping angle is fast but did not cause motion sickness. The noise at the stadium maintained a very high level of tension.

Plot: I know this is an action movie but it is an action movie with a decent plot.

Acting: The acting did displayed quite a bit of skill. Denzel was the more skillful one, of course. The supporting actors and actress who were playing the roles of CIA managers were somewhat undistinguished and pretty hackneyed in their character development.

Comparison with other similar movies: I would put this movie on par with Body of Lies and significantly better than Bourne Legacy (2012).
2012-08-13
CIA agent Ryan Reynolds tries to get ex-agent Denzel Washington to a safe location
"Safe House" is at best an average modern-day action movie, a 6. The story is all right. It has a reasonable plot from which an excellent screenplay and movie might have been built, and portions of that potential do appear at times that lend the movie some appeal, and they are when Denzel Washington appears and counsels the younger CIA agent played by Ryan Reynolds. Washington has a well-written part, and he surely can put a role like this across with great charm that makes you enjoy being in his company.

As I say, the plot's all right. Washington's an ex-CIA agent who used to be a star agent but abandoned the agency because of its corruption and rogue elements. He turned to trading information. He's doing a trade of a capsulized document that reveals the names and activities of illegal activities of intelligence agencies across the world. But one of these elements at the CIA knows this and has sent a team of shadowy foreign pursuers after him in South Africa. Washington is pursued into a CIA safe house where there is carnage, but Ryan Reynolds helps the manacled Washington escape and tries to find a new safe location for him. But back at Langley, among the three main guiding officials (Sam Shepherd, Vera Farmiga and Brendan Gleeson) is someone untrustworthy. When Washington has a chance later on to look at the micro-data, he doesn't catch who it is and tell Reynolds, a bit of a plot hole.

Most all of the story is depicted in a fantastical and unrealistic way. The attacks, escapes, pursuits are beyond any semblance of belief. Reality only creeps in during the quieter moments of the story. This would not be so bad if these chases and shootouts were shown in an understandable way that generated real tension and suspense or showed us precisely how the principals and their attackers went about their respective roles. This is not done. The film has one gap after another. We surely do not see clearly how critical matters are accomplished. The movie then becomes nothing more than a magic show, where the key elements are hidden, covered over by a jumble of rapid editing and movement. Even what should be an exciting car chase degenerates into a boring series of disconnected scrapes and jumps. The way that the action is done herein is exactly how it should not be done in my estimation. To me, it's a crashing bore and mindless. It's also a clone of a good many other such action sequences in other movies. Character development, even through action, is a weak point too. The trio at the CIA are stick figures, going through clichéd motions we've seen before.

Ryan Reynolds projects blandness. The opening scenes with him and his girl friend are directed clumsily. We are never given much to make him out as a solid and sympathetic character, and he, as an actor, doesn't fill in this gap by his personal capacity to project a person. Looking dazed and confused, looking ungroomed, and being inarticulate do not inspire confidence. Coming across like a schoolboy is not a charm recipe. He does take action, but too often we do not see how he accomplishes it and sometimes he does dumb things. Should he not be more shrewd and cunning in handling his challenge? The script disallows this.

"Safe House" is a run of the mill action movie in which the good parts with Denzel Washington contrast sharply with the rest of the movie, and I have to say that even those good parts are by now in danger of becoming too familiar as carried by Washington. There is not enough challenge in it for him as an actor and a bit too much comfortable revisiting of previous roles.
2015-07-25
High octane action that rarely lets you breathe
Going into Safe House, I was expecting a more stylistic movie with interesting lead performances. So I was a little surprised to see a more basic and conducted movie that had great action scenes and impressive lead performances. The story follows a young CIA Rookie (Reynolds) that is tasked with the objective of guarding a captures rogue agent (Washington). But after their safe house is attacked, he must go on the run with this experienced operative who will stop at nothing to gain the advantage. Throughout the movie both protagonists showcase their characters correctly and seem to be on the same level. As far as supporting cast goes, the roles are handled very well by experienced actors such as Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson and Sam Shepard. However the star of the film has to go to its great action sequences which offer high octane chases and gritty combat scenes. Considering you have the Denzel Washington among your leading stars, you are halfway to assuring success for your film. Thankfully the rest of the cast & crew deliver and the movie ends up being quite satisfactory for what it is.

Rating: 6,5/10
2014-06-07
Fast-paced fun with two outstanding leading men performances!
'SAFE HOUSE': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

Denzel Washington is teamed with Ryan Reynolds for this action/thriller buddy film. It was directed by Daniel Espinosa and written by David Guggenheim. It tells the story of a rogue CIA agent fugitive and a rookie CIA agent on the run together after the safe house the fugitive was being held at is attacked. Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson and Sam Shepard costar. The movie is intense, fast-paced fun with two outstanding leading men performances.

Washington plays Tobin Frost, a former CIA agent who is said to have gone rogue and is now their most wanted fugitive. Reynolds plays Matt Weston, a rookie CIA agent who is tasked with guarding a safe house in Cape Town, South Africa. When Frost turns himself in to the American Consulate, in order to avoid capture by mercenaries pursuing him, he's taken to Weston's safe house. While Frost is being interrogated mercenaries attack the safe house and Frost and Weston flee. Weston tries to keep Frost under control while avoiding their pursuers and trying to make their way to another safe house. In the process he learns from the veteran CIA agent and begins to question his guilt as the two, of course, oddly bond.

Washington and Reynolds aren't the best pairing but both do their parts well. Their characters are fully developed and interesting. The directing is energetic and sufficiently flashy as well, keeping the story going at just the right pace to keep it involving. Not a masterpiece but still an entertaining suspense thriller.

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2012-05-15
Safe Bet on Washington.
Safe House (2012): Dir: Daniel Espinosa / Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Denzel Washington, Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard: Interesting idea about trust. Ryan Reynolds plays a safe house agent assigned to watch an ex CIA agent turned criminal, played by Denzel Washington who possesses files that are sought after by people from both sides. After a massive blood bath shootout, Reynolds escapes with Washington and from there the screenplay becomes one big chase and violent encounter after another but we know these two will be on the same side. One problem with this film is its making Washington a hero figure simply because viewers like him period. That is not to say that the film isn't entertaining. Washington and Reynolds are an electrifying pairing with Washington's soft spoken presentation that conceals a deadly consequence for those who oppose him, verses Reynolds's frantic race to maintain composure in the midst of turmoil. The ending works and director Daniel Espinosa allows for several great action sequences but perhaps supporting roles could have been broader. Vera Farmiga and Brendan Gleeson are two effective actors but here their roles seem more like props leading to revelations that many viewers will likely already see coming. Sam Shepard is a veteran actor lost in cardboard material. While the film doesn't always work, it maintains an entertaining pace thanks to its two leads that rise above what the material might have been without them. Perhaps next time the screenwriters will spend more time in the safe house and produce a more convicting film. Score: 6 / 10
2015-05-06
The usual action guff
SAFE HOUSE is a South Africa-filmed action flick that inevitably finds itself heavily indebted to the whole Paul Greengrass BOURNE style in the tale of a cop and a crim who have to team up when they find themselves pursued by a ruthless and murderous gang.

What we have here is an entirely familiar film that nevertheless manages to score a few points along the way, mostly in the action stakes. For SAFE HOUSE is a fast paced, action-oriented movie that features a handful of breakneck shoot-outs, and a film that's held together for the most part by another assured role for Denzel Washington.

Washington can do these kinds of roles in his sleep by now, and it's fair to say that the character of Tobin Frost is hardly a stretch. Nevertheless, he's the best thing in the film by far, delivering a kind of laconic toughness that really works in its favour. Ryan Reynolds is, inevitably, less impressive as the forgettable younger lead, but there are a handful of decent supporting parts for the likes of Liam Cunningham, Brendan Gleeson, Vera Farmiga, and Robert Patrick.

While the plot is routine to say the least, SAFE HOUSE at least looks good and the cinematography is strong. The plot has its share of twists and turns to keep viewers engaged, and I thought the violent but inevitable climax was particularly decent. Not a great film then, but a solid one nonetheless.
2014-10-21
Nothing great, but well worth a watch
Safe House is cut from the same cloth as many a spy movie, but this horse doesn't have quite as much pisss and vinegar as other ones in the stable, notably the Bourne trilogy. It's more of a slow burn, peppered with a few purposeful action sequences and quite a lot of time spent with Denzel Washington's world weary spook Tobin Frost, a veteran operative who has gone severely rogue after escaping the grasp of a nasty CIA interrogator (Robert Patrick). He's soon in the hands of rookie agent Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) who has been left to guard an agency safe house in Europe, now overrun with shadowy special ops dudes out to snuff Frost. The two of them are forced on the run together, and attempt to smoke out those behind the chaos, who turn out to be a little closer to home than they thought (don't they always, in these types of movies?). Weston is young, naive and idealistic, Frost is bitter, jaded and ready to burn the agency down around him for what his career has made him do. They're a formulaic pair made believable by the two actors, both putting in admirable work. Brendan Gleeson is great as Westons's dodgy handler, Vera Farmiga shows moral conflict in those perfect blue eyes as another paper pusher in Langley, and Sam Shepherd smarms it up as the CIA top dog. It was nice to see Ruben Blades as well, who doesn't work nearly enough, and watch for a sly cameo from Liam Cunningham as an ex MI6 agent. It's not the greatest or the most memorable film, but it does the trick well enough, has a satisfying R rated edge to its violence and benefits from Washington being nice and rough around the edges. There's a downbeat quality to it to, as Weston watches the futility inherent in the life of a spy unfold in Frost's actions, which are leading nowhere but a self inflicted dead for a cause that's bigger than both of them, but ultimately leaves them in the dust. Solid, if just above average stuff.
2016-07-22
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