142 of 156 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2012
When the title of a movie is Safe House, one can assume that this CIA safe house in South Africa is any but safe for its intended guest, Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) a rogue CIA agent. Daniel Espinosa keeps the movie moving at a good clip with smart cinematography. Denzel Washington is believable and classy. Ryan Reynolds provides a good supporting role as a CIA safe house keeper. Overall, one of the best thriller action movies in the past year.
If you are interested in other great CIA movies, please check out Body of Lies(Leonardo Dicaprio), The Recruit(Al Pacino with Colin Farrell), and Spy Game(Robert Redford with Brad Pitt).
184 of 210 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2012
These are how my reviews will go from here on.
Sex Scenes: None
Violence: A+ and alot of it
Worth a rental or Purchase: A+
Hope you enjoy the movie.
90 of 105 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2012
The action/drama/mystery film opens with a quick character build up of the multifaceted CIA agent Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds). He operates a safe house with nobody in it. He wants a European field assignment, but lacks department seniority.
The movie switches to Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) obtaining an embarrassing electronic file from the MI6 in South Africa. "Frost", because he is cold. Denzel uses his expected savvy to escape. He is a rogue super agent who free lances, buying and selling information. In order to escape the bad guys, Tobin surrenders to the CIA. Now the questions are: Was this his original plan? What is on the file?
Tobin is taken to our aforesaid safe house for intense interrogation.
I loved the opening of the interrogation scene. The interrogator says, "I'm here to advise you of your rights. You're being held under national security order 600 which means you have none."
Frost is too important of a person and the top secret safe house comes under attack. The young low level highly trained Matt Weston is now on the run with a man who is a master manipulator of people. To our list of unanswered questions we now add, "Who is the mole?"
Ryan and Washington give us excellent performances. It had elements of the Bourne series that made this story interesting, but it doesn't quite measure up to that film. Cliche ending. I would say if you are a fan of the trilogy, check this one out.
Multiple chase scenes, torture, killings, shoot outs, minor "roof top" jumping, car wreaks without explosions.
1 f-Bomb, no sex, no nudity. Rated R for violence.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2012
The acting was well done. Denzel is as good as always. Ryan Reynolds did a fabulous job. The two characters actually worked well together. The action was better than most films. For once in a film someone fired a shot in public and the police showed up also. The plot was not as tight as it could have been; but it worked. Not much of a thriller. This really was an all around good film and worth the price. I will recommend it.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2012
this mirrored the Bourne movies too closely . . . agent stuck in the middle of action, woman leader trying to find him, rogue internal agent giving away the secrets. And of course the CIA is the corrupt agency . . . tired of the same old
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2012
I thought it was good even if most professional reviewers hated it. Very exciting movie. I left the theatre saying it was better than the Bourne movies. The script is pretty tight and the acting is good.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2012
Safe House is an intense spy-themed action thriller about a young CIA agent, Matt Weston, (Ryan Reynolds) stuck at a dead-end job as a "housekeeper" of a CIA safe house. After an attack on his facility, he must protect a potentially deadly, and rather devious, traitor, Tobin Frost, Denzel Washington) who's being pursued by terrorists hoping to recover a secret document. Frost comes to Capetown, South Africa to receive a highly-sensitive piece of information from an MI6 contact, he finds himself surrounded by enemy assassins, with little other choice but to surrender himself to the American Consulate, lest he be shot down in the street. Matt and Frost go on the lam, trying to stay ahead of their pursuers, while also entering into a deadly cat-and-mouse game of their own.
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2012
It was a good movie but not great. Much was made of Frost as the ultra spook in the beginning of the movie and that was where this movie goes awry. It devolved quickly into an action film rather than a thriller. I expected the plot to utilize his psychological skills; pitting him against the CIA; but instead it became one long chase seen with no real surprises. Safe movie, guaranteed payday with Washington as lead, but disappointing.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2012
This movie features an excellent cast coupled with an interesting story. I'll watch anything that Denzel does; however, there are very few things more annoying to me than the "jumpy camera technique" that was popularized by the Blair Witch Project. Seriously, The only thing that I can think of that might be more irritating would be a baby screaming it's lungs out in the theater while this movie was playing. But wait, there's more...the producers of this thing have also added crummy audio-you can't understand what's going on when the characters are speaking quietly...Blair Witch didn't even have that! Save the jumpy camera for fight scenes, auto accidents and plane crashes, not the whole darned movie. To the creators of great movies please, please, I beg you, make movies that we can both see and hear! To the consumer I would say, Safe House is worth renting; however, you should allow plenty of time, because you are going to have to watch it 2 or 3 times to be able to catch everything that's going on.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2012
Safe House(Feb/12)is one of the few movies I have actually gone OUT to see in recent years,and I must say I was very impressed with it.This film ,once it gets started,just never stops;as the action is constant and can even at times take your breath away.The camera stays in fairly tight throughout which also adds to the intensity and immediacy of what you`re seeing.While the DVD`s sound cannot match the dynamics of the theatrical sound system(every shot,punch and bang sounded like a bolt of lightning packed into a millisecond)it still is quite good.
The plot involves a CIA safe house in Cape Town,South Africa.It is manned by one person,Matt Weston played by Ryan Reynolds.For almost a year he has been withering away in this stifling post and he has been itching for a transfer....anywhere.Into this relatively boring routine steps one Tobin Frost,played by Denzel Washington.Frost is a former member of the CIA,just like Weston,but who climbed the ladder and became a first class interrogator.Frost has obtained a list made by Israeli intelligence listing all the bad apples in similar organizations around the world.A friend in MI6 has given him the list and he is now on the run from those who wish that list captured and destroyed.In other words Frost is a dead man.He turns himself into the local US embassy and he is in turn moved into Weston`s safe house.
It is not long before the safe house itself is under attack and Weston is fleeing across town with his prisoner.Weston is ordered to go to a stadium during a soccer game to retrieve a GPS which will tell Weston the location of the nearest safe house.However during this time Frost manages to escape.Weston reports in that he has lost his prisoner and is also on the run from the local police himself,due to a scuffle at the stadium.Meanwhile Frost has gone to the house of an old friend to have him make him a passport.During this time Weston has an idea on where Frost may be and heads out.The men who attacked the safe house have followed Frost and are now bashing in the door of his friend`s home.His friend lies dead as he flees.Weston has arrived on the scene and helps save Frost and abscond with him to a new safe house.
Frost and Weston arrive at the new location and are just settling in when the safe house attendant turns on Weston and he is again in a struggle for his life.Weston barely comes out alive and he makes it back to Frost who he cuffed to a pipe in a room.Weston asks what exactly these people are after and Frost tells him exactly what it entails.Frost then grabs the cuff keys from a semi conscious Weston and escapes.When Weston regains consciousness he is in a bed with his CIA boss from the States beside him,asking what has happened and the whereabouts of Frost.The answer is not long coming as Frost suddenly reappears shooting his way back into the house to get Weston.Frost gets blindsided and shot by Weston`s boss and eventually dies.Weston`s boss is shot in turn by Weston and Weston now has the secret Frost carried.
Back at CIA headquarters Weston submits his report to the director who asks about the documents Frost had.Weston feigns innocence,knowing how damaging those secrets are.The film ends as the CIA and agencies of similar ilk around the world,have their top agents arrested for illegal activities.Frost`s original intentions come to fruition thanks to Weston.
The film starts out slowly as we are introduced to the two main characters.The moment Frost is driving away with his MI6 contact,who suddenly gets shot while driving,the heat,as they say,is on and the film never stops until the end.One doesn`t know who to trust and the cold,calculating killer and traitor that Frost is first portrayed as,starts to unravel,slowly but surely.And everywhere Frost goes,assassins follow,which is just another on-going mystery on top of many others thrown into the mix.
Washington and Reynolds are both outstanding in their roles and play their roles with an intensity that is right on the beam.Washington as Frost is as cold and stoic as his name implies and Reynolds plays the bored CIA agent whose life is suddenly turned topsy turvy and who is soon fighting for his life,wonderfully.Washington also directed this thriller and does a great job at that post also.
Technically the film is clear and crisp in it w/s a/r of 2:40:1.Extras include four featurettes and the trailer.
All in all a highly recommended piece of film making.As a highly intense drama/thriller they do not get much better than this.It is violent,but it is all justifiable within the film`s context;not violence for violence sake.Buy it today.