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Safe House
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Reviews & Ratings for
Safe House More at IMDbPro »

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9 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Simply put, you will not see a better movie this year

10/10
Author: James Culver (culverjames@hotmail.com) from Spokane, WA
2 May 1999

What an incredible movie this is! Patrick Stewart masterfully portrays a rich man who is trying to come to grips with the threat of Alzheimer's, and is plagued with paranoia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. This is nothing like Stewart has ever done before, and he deserves an Oscar more than any of the nominees this year did. Kimberly Williams (the bride in Father of the Bride) plays a psychiatrist who is assigned by the man's daughter to help him keep hold of his sanity, and the movie (most of the time) is about their growing relationship, which thankfully stays out of tired old romantic cliches and feels very real and very interesting to watch. It will no doubt remind many of movies like Rain Man and Good Will Hunting, and it is just as good, if not better, than them. It manages to be funny, touching, powerful, and clever, all in about equal doses. And rather than just confine itself to this plot, it moves back and forth between his paranoia and flirting with the notion that it may not be completely unfounded. Yet despite this jumping back and forth, it never fails to be as entertaining and interesting as any movie you'll see this year. This is a wonderful, highly overlooked gem of a movie, and I suggest you give it a look if you get the chance.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Captain Picard it ain't

Author: Scott Peterson from Rolla, MO
24 January 1999

"Safe House" is a movie in some ways similar to "Conspiracy Theory," with the central figure of neurotic Mace Sowell. He's getting old, but keeps his skills sharp by constant physical exercise and target practice. He lives in a fortress house, endlessly watching the routines of the neighbors and the world around him; he's got enough surveillance to put the FBI to shame and enough firepower to take on an army. He also practises drills with his pool man.

All this is very trying for his daughter, especially as she goes through one maid after another who encounters the wrong end of the "drills" until she finds a finds a keeper for her father up to the task.

Stewart is not only fighting his "enemies" but the encroachment of alzheimer's disease. He may win the battle, but not know what happened. However, the movie knows when to add in comic relief, and several scenes were incredibly funny.

"Safe House" took several turns in the plot; just when you thought you knew what was about to happen something different happened. Is Stewart really just a paranoid old man?

I can't say I liked the ending, but true to the movie's form it was unexpected, and did fit in with the overall theme of the story.

Well worth seeing.

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5 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Captain Picard almost falls through holes in weak plot

5/10
Author: kismit from Canada
24 September 2000

Stewart is either ex-secret service assassin or Don Quixote tilting with espionage windmill. In the first case he makes no reasonable excuse why he could not convince his family of his true occupation and in the second case the considerable humour potential was totally ignored. The villains are barely visible and the character connections lack interest. The Alzheimers backdrop gives the film what little dramatic punch there is and of course Stewart is a presence. I can't help but feel the screenplay was banged off in a weekend.

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6 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Warning: Twinkie scene spoiler ahead!

1/10
Author: Boris Koyfman (boris82@usa.com) from Staten Island, New York
19 April 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

How could Safehouse attain an imdb rating of over 7? That's beyond me. I'll tell ya what else is beyond: the plot of this movie. It was simply incomprehensible. Unfunny, trite sitcom antics, espionage and pathos involving Alzheimer's Disease add up to a boring and unintentionally funny movie experience. To call this a B-Movie would be an insult to the alphabet.

Patrick Stewart stars as Mace Sowell. I like Patrick Stewart. He has a natural charisma and he's a Shakespearean actor for god sakes. How could he lower himself to star in this pathetic picture? The awful dialogue and clumsy romantic scenes with Kimberly Williams made me not only cringe but also chuckle uncontrollably. Sample Dialouge between Kimberly Williams (Andi Travers) and Stewart (Mace Sowell) :

ANDI: Mace? That's an unusual name. What does it mean? Mace.

MACE: It's short for IN YOUR FACE!

Huh? What the hell is goin' on? Dont' ask me. Even more pathetic is a dinner scene between them, the one where Mace loudly sucks cream out of a twinkie. Other scenes include Mace showing Andi his sound-detector alarm system by telling her "if you so much as break wind it will go off."

Oh, and I can't forget the awful comedy stylings of Craig Shoemaker. He plays Mace's assistant. He also (pathetically) impersonates several celebrities and doesn't get a measly laugh out of that. And he's a comedian!

All and all, this movie deserves a 3. But I gave it a one because it's present rating is a 7.1.

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Inconsistent but powerful

6/10
Author: John Hammond from Durham, North Carolina
30 November 1999

This movie concerned the life of a paranoid retiree who was formerly employed with the Defense Intelligence Agency who was convinced, with good reason, that there was a plot made on his life. This role is not quite the role in which Patrick Stewart shows his genius, but he gave a stimulating performance nonetheless. There were also a few scenes which were positively Hitchcockian in their broken suspense. There were certain scenes which were quite fragmented and did not keep a very good sense of forward motion and continuity. However this movie was a very interesting and rather well acted piece.

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Patrick Steward kicks ass in this action thriller.

10/10
Author: Ed Crowe from California
25 January 1999

When I saw this movie on Showtime yesterday, I was like "Sweet". Patrick Steward gives one of his best acting performances playing Mase Sewell. His house is secure like Alcatraz. His mind leaks at spots. His actions are always safe. One of the trickiest, exciting, entertaining, hyper-linked movies I've seen in months. I enjoyed watching "Safe House" with Patrick Steward. This should win someting: Best Movie of A Showtime Production/Picture. It deserves. Steward delivers. Great movie making, acting, and directing.

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Well done, poignant, deep, and something for all at all levels

8/10
Author: Jay Libove (libove@felines.org) from Barcelona, Spain
24 January 1999

From the capsule review of this film, I wouldn't have chosen it at first.. but having seen it more or less by accident (I caught the start unexpectedly, and within minutes was hooked), I would strongly recommend it. It is very well done, with a poignant story line about Alzheimers disease, couched in an action/mystery setting, with just a hint of romance, and just scattered bits of very well placed subtle humor. Patrick Stewart does a magnificent job playing the several facets of his character, and Kimberly Williams provides a strong performance. The ending takes one by surprise, and is complete, so it does not leave one dangling.

I'm very glad that I saw this film - it really affected me.

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3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Tremendously inventive idea, great writing, wonderful acting!

8/10
Author: AlabamaWorley1971 from NJ, USA
3 May 2000

What a brilliant idea: A former secret agent, who'd lied to his family about his real career, can't make anyone believe that his life is in danger from his old colleagues. Plus he's suffering from Alzheimer's, so is the conspiracy all in his head or for real? You sure want to believe him, but it gets harder as the film goes on. I was amazed and touched by Patrick Stewart's vulnerability as this proud man realizes he can't remember names and faces. Kimberly Williams was impressive, and I enjoyed Craig "Love Master" Shoemaker in the supporting role. Originally aired on Showtime. Go rent it!

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4 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Great sets -- a shame they're wasted

Author: Jaime N. Christley (j_christley@hotmail.com) from NAS Whidbey Island, WA
10 July 1999

I usually don't rent movies from the video store that I haven't heard of before, except from another video store. Chances are I'll end up watching something that deserved the straight-to-video fate it received. Every once in a while I need to be reminded why. "Safe House" is that reminder.

The house that Patrick Stewart's character lives in is a real beauty. If I had that kind of money, I'd be happy to live there -- Mace Sowell wouldn't even have to take any of the decor or furniture with him. I mean, aside from the fact that it has more weaponry than the United States Marine Corps and Ghengis Khan's army put together, Sowell is really living it up. If there's one line of truth in the screenplay, it's when Kimberly Williams compliments him on his great taste.

Plot holes are too great in number to count, and it's a waste of energy to resent a ludicrous twist ending when the whole movie has been pulling the rug out from under you up until then. What I did resent was the really awful acting job by Stewart. I know he's a good actor; he did "A Christmas Carol" on stage, and played all the characters. He gives the "Star Trek" films, like the TV series they are based on, a solid foundation. He gave an outstanding supporting performance in "Conspiracy Theory." Here he just isn't suited for the role. I wasn't able to accept him as an Alzheimer's sufferer, or even an infirm old man. He's about as believable as Denzel Washington would be as a movie villain -- who's going to buy that?

Minus Stewart, I would have liked to have seen a movie about a man suffering from Alzheimer's disease, and his dealings with his beautiful young caretaker (though you might skip the romance angle). That part of the story thankfully manages to avoid the "Driving Miss Daisy" cliches, if not the "Charly" cliches. Even better, I wouldn't mind a movie about an ex-DIA operative shacking himself up in a SoCal mansion with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of high-tech security equipment and heavy artillery, and his constant "drills." But both? I don't think so. By the end of "Safe House" I was tired of the characters, tired of being jerked around, tired of the laughable dialogue, and tired of the pool cleaner's movie star impersonations. But I was not tired of looking around that house.

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5 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Boring, boring, boring

3/10
Author: freezerguy006
30 August 2000

The end is fairly good, but the movie's setup drags on and on forever. By the time anything really happened, I didn't care anymore. If I hadn't rented it I probably would have turned it off before the end. Bottom line: Boring.

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