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
Codec h264
Bitrate 1536 Kbps
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Type HQ DVD-rip
Resolution 720x304 px
File Size 1929 Mb
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Bitrate 2346 Kbps
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Reviews
Not the greatest movie, but excellent!
I have read the comments here and was shocked, and not so shocked at some of the negative reviews. The movie is well written, dialogue and character development is superb. Not to mention, while albeit somewhat predictable, the plot progression is perfectly paced.

Tobin Frost, played by Washington, was slightly disappointing in that he does not get into the heads of others nearly as well as his reputation would have suggested. The depth of his character only comes into play after a majority of the movie is completed, but the depth is extreme to those that have the mental capacity to understand it in it's stoicism. He needs a little work on his action sequences in this film, nowhere near up to par with previous performances this phenomenal actor has portrayed.

Matt Weston, brought to life by Ryan Reynolds, green and ambitious agent that he is brings a dynamic that would be hard to replicate. His side-plot with the girlfriend was woefully lacking but it did not detract from the movie. The surprise was how well he enacted the hand to hand combat sequences, I am a trained martial artists of over 14 years in direct instruction and, I could only take a couple exchanges apart and find major flaws.

Now to touch on the pseudo-buddy cop dynamic between these two, it is quickly established and honorably brought into the light. Without going into my past, I can say that I have had similar, albeit under very different circumstances, friendships of necessity that came into existence in very nostalgic to myself ways. The dialogue between these two is not award winning, but is completely believable and realistic.

While the plot points have been done before, this movie still does them well. It did not bring anything new to the genre but it exemplified it with great care and nearly flawless execution. I recommend this movie to anyone who wants an endearing and entertaining ride. I know a couple guys that have worked on the covert side of the military, each of them said these two reminded them of one CIA guy or another they met throughout their careers which to me is high praise for this type of movie.
2015-12-01
Well Paced Tension With Good Chemistry From Washington & Reynolds
Though you've seen this story before, intelligence agencies running amok complete with moles, here you get compelling performances by Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. Set in the post "wiki-leaks" aftermath, but before the Snowden debacle, it would seem the timing of a story about a host of rogue agencies and agents, who answer to no one, isn't too far fetched if somewhat hackneyed.

Safe House takes the viewer on a ride. Starting with Denzel's character, Tobin Frost, securing an ultra-sensitive file of who's who among international spies, it simply doesn't take but a few minutes to segue into heavy action. The filming of Frost's escape from a cadre of eastern types immediately engages the viewer. As Frost exhausts his "outs" he simply finds himself at the doorstep of the American Embassy in South Africa. Frost, a turned ex-CIA agent, realizes he'll be arrested. He'll take this outcome over the sure death which was quickly closing in. Being an extreme high-value target with, perhaps, a most damaging piece of in tel, Frost is moved to a "safe house". Naturally, the safe house is anything but and true to the steady pace of the action it quickly goes sideways. Enter Matt Westin, the safe house host, whose boring job is about to boil over into deadly territory - so much for boredom. What follows is a harrowing run from those who would seek to kill Frost with Westin still believing his job is to bring in Frost.

The problem is a mole from within constantly gives Frost's location away. Combine that with a CIA director who would rather "kill 'em all" instead of risk the file seeing the light of day and everyone is expendable. Thus, as Westin seeks to bring Frost in he begins to realize the real enemy isn't Frost. It's the excellent interplay between Denzel Washington's Tobin Frost and Ryan Reynold's Matt Westin that keeps a story you can basically guess urgent. As already mentioned, the story is constant motion. Inserted are some fully realized excellent chase scenes both on foot and in vehicles. Yes, these scenes are done really well as they drive home the dire situation Westin's job has suddenly become.

The ending has a few twists too which make for a satisfying finale. All in all, a recommended spy conspiracy film despite a lack of originality. Well done.
2013-12-27
Too much of too little.
From the trailers you know it's not such a safe house. Denzel Washington doesn't break a sweat. Ryan Reynolds never stops sweating. Vera Farminga is unconvincing as a high level CIA agent spouting exposition.

Plenty of redundant shoot outs, car chases and fights. Generic bad guys kill plenty of we didn't know them good guys. Up close, and in the actors face, digital photography is far too grainy.

Trendy CIA bashing. Quick pace. Plenty of action but not much new or interesting in this except perhaps the South Africa locations. Wait for the DVD.
2012-02-10
I'll take it from here
Not much to write about. I'm a little surprised that the movie got so many good ratings, but then most of them probably came from action fans. That being said - yes, if you are an action lover you will probably enjoy this movie. A lot is happening, shots are being fired constantly and the chase never stops. What I enjoyed most about it were the filming locations. Captivating shots of Cape Town and South African landscapes - big props to the filmmakers for choosing such a stunning scenery. The acting was good, but then again there is not much acting involved in making a movie like this. It was a little disappointing when Denzel Washington's mumbling made it very difficult to understand what the real cause for the mess depicted in the film was really about. About that - the whole idea of a file incriminating numerous agents all over the globe - I believe that if the writers tried to come up with something more original, maybe the movie would get a better purpose and become more sharp. All in all, this is only my opinion - I'm sure thousands of people will really enjoy 'Safehouse' for the non-ambitious piece of work that it was.
2013-04-30
A satisfying film for a Bourne fan
Let me start by saying that I am a great fan of Bourne series and always look for films to get the similar enjoyment that I derive from that series. It's sort of a benchmark for me in spy-thrillers. When I saw the trailer of Safe House, I was impressed and was so tempted that I downloaded it in 15 minutes and was watching it by the 20th minute. The film started rather slowly but that was fine, most films do. there were, however, some points in the middle and the second half of the film where I literally yawned. Being a Bourne film, I really loved the action sequences, they were fast, logical and impact leaving ones. The story, however, I won't say straight but rather conventional, we have seen the similar thing in spy-thrillers, tinker tailor soldier spy being the last such film I saw. Acting was awesome, at least on the part of Denzel Washington. Story could have been more compact, thrilling and could have a good ending.. I heard they are working on a sequel and hope that they figure all those low points, specially a good start to cover up the low ending they gave to this film in that sequel. Overall, a good film to watch but only if you have two long free hours.
2012-09-15
Nothing new, a dumb actioneer that has to reach an end somehow
When I first heard about the movie I was expecting more of a "Safe House" suspense, an 'Assault on Precinct 13' kind of single-location tense thriller. Then the trailer gave away it was all out action, but it still looked cleverer than it really is (and I think I know what to look for in those nicely packaged samples).

The only original thing was to have the action unfold in South Africa, still it was nothing more than a gimmick. The only plot point is about CIA not having backup teams available so far down on the overlooked continent, but aside from this the action could easily have been relocated to LA. When there's a furious car chase in a Bourne movie you know it's a different country, but Downtown Cape Town, sunny highways, what's the difference?

Safe House, the title, is still high concept, too bad they just used it as a starting point to yet another overblown actioneer. Characters are flimsy, even more so as they run to give and get lots of blows and run here and there until it's time to kill those who get in the way of a simplified ending.

Lots of dumb violence - I mean violence is not dumb with Jason Bourne, it's realistic, sharp and short - and then cut to a nice cute clean ending. Blah.
2012-03-02
Not the Safest Bet
Welcome to Denzel Washington's world of thrillers part umpteen. The report card this time though is quite mediocre. Why? Simply because the script unfortunately doesn't beg to differ from genre convention and makes use of overused and overdone story arcs.

If you ask me, the whole CIA conspiracy thriller concept is just beginning to become stale. There really is limited variation possible. It takes little thinking here to anticipate the next stages and the vital plot points not to mention the people of interest. Films like these tend to promise much and leave you half full. It took eons to ascertain why, what and how and as a result, all you can see on screen for a majority of the movie is people running around helter skelter with no solid reasoning or basis behind it. Just trying to capture someone doesn't tell the full story. It doesn't even reach the threshold of mindless action, I didn't find anything novel and cool about it in any way from that perspective. If the nifty almost intentionally slack camera work was supposed to make it feel different, I couldn't quite see it.

If we saw any dissimilarities from the status quo, it was in all likeliness, in the acting. Seldom do we see 'Mr. Thriller' Denzel Washington in an antagonist role and this time, his character Tobin Frost was a scheming, mind manipulating character rather than the regular crook we've seen in Oscar winner 'Training Day' and 'American Gangster'. He isn't the most extroverted actor, but his skill lies in how he can create a dangerous personality without coming out of his shell. I'd sum up Ryan Reynolds in two words, nervy and shaky. But those characteristics drove an inspired show as the naïve rookie. As a pair, they were okay I guess, but brilliant, no. I always admire Brendan Gleeson's involvement as well in spy, conspiracy thrillers and it was good to see him more heavily used.

Shallow as a conspiracy thriller and devoid of mentionable action, it just didn't have anything to set it apart. Feeble scripting makes it your average joe thriller albeit far from compelling.
2012-06-08
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
I only kill professionals.
An inept thriller, "Safe House" watches as CIA, Mossad and MI5 agents battle rogue CIA agents across South Africa and the United States. The source of their grievances? A leaked file which contains both the names of undercover agents and a record of their dirty deeds and dealings.

"Safe House" was released the same year as "Skyfall", a James Bond movie which opened with spies making the decision to "let people die" so that the "names of spies" don't leak into the public sphere. One of the most overtly crypto-fascist Bond movies, "Skyfall" operated under the premise that spies kill, and die, for the greater good. That agencies like the CIA and MI5 have the blood of tens of millions of innocent human beings on their hands, is carefully ignored.

"Safe House", though, is less interested in turning blind eyes. Here there is a sickness in the CIA, international agencies reek of corruption, and the "good guys" are repeatedly being drawn to the "dark side". Like 1975's "Three Days of the Condor", or the similarly themed Jason Bourne franchise, "Safe House" thus ends with our heroes "leaking information to the media", thereby shining a light on the nefarious doings of their own agencies. As CIA-bashing is itself a modern cliché, and as the film ultimately suggests that these spy agencies can nevertheless effectively police themselves (in the real world, whistle-blowers are demonized by the state, killed or systematically victimised), none of this makes "Safe House" especially honest, deep or interesting. The film stars the annoying Ryan Reynolds, a doing-it-for-the-pay-cheque Denzel Washington and an incessant stream of clichéd action sequences.

6/10 – Worth one viewing.
2015-01-23
This is the best movie I have seen in a very, very long time
When everyone is obsessed with series TV and piracy means being able to watch pretty much anything at any time, this is an incredible movie. It's ultra-realistic - I live in South Africa and all those details are 100% correct - but the movie is gritty and authentic in every way.

Ryan is really, really good - he really pulls this off, and setting him with Denzel works brilliantly. All bit actors, from Vera, Sam Shepard, and especially Rubén Blades, add important elements.

Though made in 2012, the backdrop of America's nationalism - where to speak against the USA may get you into trouble - and NSA surveillance scandals, and kids who died fighting in Iraq, believing in something - all make for real poignancy in an thriller/action movie that is still very relevant today.
2015-07-20
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