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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Bitrate 2346 Kbps
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Reviews
An overall good movie!
Matt Weston, played by Ryan Reynolds, is a young CIA operative charged of taking care of a CIA safe house located in South Africa. He lives a life between his job and his girlfriend, a job that turns out to escalate outside his comfort zone and experience. Tobin Frost, played by Denzel Washington, is a fugitive on the run from everything and everyone. The two protagonists clash together trough unexpected events. The story grows from there, where two men, one professional and one novice forms a bond, where the novice keep getting challenged in the fight of survival.

Safe House follows the line of almost every espionage/conspiracy classic out there, even so it keeps you interested and involved in the story. Sadly the camera work was bit too fast at times to hang along and you have to rewind to see what people actually did or say.

Overall this is a good movie, enjoyable, lots of action and excitement. Though it was bit thin in some areas, it held up.

I give it a 7/10!
2014-02-08
Engaging thriller
Tobin Frost(Denzel Washington) a former CIA agent that went rouge, and is now on the run, turns himself in to CIA headquarters, to avoid being captured by terrorist. Matt Weston(Ryan Reynolds) join the others on his first assignment, but when headquarters are shot down by the people trying to capture Frost. Matt takes Frost out of there safely, and the two soon become hunted. But who can they trust, or can they trust each other, and will they get out this alive?

I'm surprised by the bad reviews, this was a gritty real action movie, it never tries to be a simply guilty pleasure. Ryan Reynolds was great, never plays it real goofy, and so was Denzel Washington, I like how we where not sure what to of his character is he good or bad? Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleason, and Sam Shepard are also great too.
2012-02-17
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
Watchable but pretty unremarkable
Opens with a brief bio of Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds). His relationship with his partner is going smoothly unlike his career where he complains to his boss about passed over for promotion. Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) is a wanted man for selling secrets.

Action, espionage thriller that is claustrophobic and fast paced. Subtly is nowhere to be seen. The action sequences get monotonous - punch, punch, bang, bang, repeat, repeat.

Everyone performs well enough but it feels as though they are well inside their comfort zones. The performances are not memorable but the material they are working with is somewhat banal. The script is okay but the storyline lacks any real originality.

Safe House is watchable but not memorable.
2013-08-08
About 30 minutes of plot padded with an hour and a half of car chases
The plot- A CIA bureaucrat minding an seldom used "safe house" in South Africa plays host to the CIA's most notorious turncoat. Things break bad, and the facility is attacked, leaving the minder chasing the turncoat while being chased by unknown goons who want them both dead. A bit of espinoge and who can trust who leaves you guessing until you don't really care.

Denzel is okay in this, but the action scenes were repetitive and mindless. They also wreck a bunch of cars.. so there's that.

Barely worth watching once.

There was also the subplot with the French girlfriend which goes nowhere and is just filler.
2012-12-02
A cheap imitation Bourne
Nothing original or fun here. Lots of continuity and what I perceive to be technical errors IMHO, but what do I know:

1. CIA guys guarding the safehouse in Capetown are armed with long guns, when they knew they would be indoors. They would use subs. 2. When the door is breached, these guys would know that a FB is coming in, yet no one covers their ears. 3. In the rolling car chase with full auto fire from carbines, the bad guy adds a suppressor to his handgun which he is firing from a hand extended out of the vehicle. If her were firing in the vehicle, this might be a good idea so one's eardrums are not blown, but useless otherwise. 4. Reynolds character kills a cop in a Capetown Stadium, home of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The news reports have neither a surveillance shot of his face, not his passport pic, despite knowing his name. 5. In another rolling gun battle, the hammer on Reynolds Sig is not cocked back after it has been discharged. 6. Pretty sure that was a Sig P226 in 40, as that is the duty weapon of choice for CIA diplomatic cover case officers. Pretty sure I counted Reynolds firing 14 rounds. It holds 10 plus 1, or 12 plus 1 with a high-cap. 7. Bad guys charging their automatic weapons in the middle of a firefight. Really?

Any experts out there have thoughts? Am I mistaken?
2012-02-12
It's Denzel, Nuff Said
I started watching this movie with a bias in its favor to begin with. I like both, Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington so I was expecting it to be good.

Ryan Reynolds plays a CIA (or FBI) agent that is putting in his time babysitting a safe house. Denzel is a rogue agent that appears on the grid after years of being hard to catch.

The movie was as advertised. A good thing you can expect from a Denzel crime/action thriller is that the acting will be good and the action won't be over the top. There will be enough action to keep you locked in but not so much where you mentally check out and don't care about the story. This wasn't the best Denzel movie, but at least it had a good cohesive story and some substance.
2014-06-05
Conventional but Effective Action-Thriller
In Cape Town, South Aftica, the rookie CIA agent Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) is a safe house keeper and is in love with his French girlfriend Ana Moreau (Nora Arnezeder) that does not know about his double life.

When the most wanted rogue and former CIA agent Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) surrenders to the American Consulate to escape from an attack of dangerous soldiers of fortune, he is brought to the safe house to be interrogated by the specialist Daniel Kiefer (Robert Patrick) and his team. However there is a breach in the safe house and mercenaries break in the place expecting to capture Tobin Frost and they kill Daniel and his men. Matt escapes with Tobin and he contacts the CIA senior management Harlan Whitford (Sam Shepard), David Barlow (Brendan Gleeson) and Catherine Linklater (Vera Farmiga) that give instruction to Matt to reach another safe house with the prisoner. But Tobin warns Matt that there is an informer in the CIA and he shall not trust in anyone.

"Safe House" is a conventional but effective action-thriller with the usual shootings, car chases and explosions. But the great cast, with the charismatic Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds; great veteran actors Brendan Gleeson and Sam Shepard; the always excellent Vera Farmiga; and the gorgeous and unknown Nora Arnezeder, makes the difference. The Hollywoodian commercial happy end is unrealistic but certainly will pleasure a great number of viewers. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Protegendo o Inimigo" ("Protecting the Enemy")
2012-06-16
Mindful of Action, Mindless of Everything Else
BOOM, BANG-BANG, POP-POP-POP, BOOM! &c. As such, for a flabby 117 minutes, Safe House proceeds, leaving one's ears ringing but eyes fixated.

A self-indulgent and proud-of-it action bonanza, Safe House's grainy cinematography depicts CIA rookie Matt Weston's (Ryan Reynolds) desperate struggle to survive, as he attempts to transport the most- wanted Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) from an ambushed Safe House to a, well, safe Safe House.

Considering the appraisable coherency of my plot description, it's a shame that the film makes no such effort in clarifying the tortured narrative: we are simply left to deduce, from the familiarity of its iconography (complete with gun-toting Arab mercenaries and corrupt American bureaucracy), what's going on. But why concern yourself with what's going on, when, really, you're there (as I was) for the explosions, thrills, and the unimpeachable Denzel Washington. Any man named 'Denzel Washington' is bound to be cool, but the actor's effortlessly suave and engagingly modest portrayal of the ex-CIA-man (turned traitor) Frost is helplessly cool. Combined with that typical underlying pathos and affability, Washington's reprisal of the anti-hero (as opposed to sheer villainous) character is welcomed. (He can add it to the list including Training Day (2001) and American Gangster (2007), albeit, in terms of quality, beneath these.) Swedish director Daniel Espinosa has torn pages – quite loudly – from Tony Scott's book, who, in turn, is Washington's usual go-to director for action. Sub-Scott, regardless, Espinosa relentlessly pumps the gauge of (entertaining and well-orchestrated) action, complete with car chases and crashes, infinite ammunition, intense close-quarters combat, and thunderous sound-mixing (my ears really did ring!).

I yawned at the prototypical political coda disturbing the general mindlessness of the story. National Security is a disgrace, I know. The CIA is a hotbed of corruption, we get it. (But think, if it wasn't, you'd eliminate an entire generic motif!) The only glimpses of integrity offered by the narrative are those nuanced psychological instances of irony, as when Reynolds's rookie forces himself to torture an aggressor for information, having previously condemned the water-boarding of Frost. But they're scattergun in approach, and not as interesting as guns. I should (re)mention the cinematography, and commend the brave decision to purposefully dull and degrade the image, removing the gloss, and echoing (with deep nostalgia) those long-gone action extravaganzas of the late-80s and 90s. However, the film craves very little comedic relief (even Reynolds' tones himself down to become near-tolerable!) and stays away from awkward one-liners. Not much is said, in fact, as it flicks back-and-forth from Washington-and-Reynolds and the CIA headquarters, itching for the next startling explosion of action.

This much can be said for Safe House: it'll keep you crunching the popcorn as it crunches through skulls, without even making you hesitate to consider how dissatisfying popcorn (or skull-crunching, for that matter) actually is.

And so, I'm resolved to reward Safe House six stars: one for the choreography of the action, one for the anchoring performances, and one for its marvellously indulgent dedication to an increasingly gadgetised genre. But, left wanting narrative and stylistic fulfilment, I must keep them other four stars in my pocket.
2012-02-26
Do you want to be the guy that lost Tobin Frost?
The spy who came in from the cold. This time it's Denzel Washington, who has been hiding for 10 years. Why do they consider him a traitor? Why did he suddenly come in?

Fans of Bourne will see nothing new here, but it s Denzel, with Brendan Gleeson as a bonus. Add Robert Patrick and Sam Shepard, and you have the makings of a real action flick.

A lot of bullets flying as you try to figure out who the bad guys and who the good guys are. It switches fast and the action never stops.

Not Denzel's best effort, but I'll take any Denzel.

And, you just knew how it was going to end. I hate predictability!
2013-05-24
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