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Safe House (2012)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 133,153 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 259 user | 288 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

A young CIA agent is tasked with looking after a fugitive in a safe house. But when the safe house is attacked, he finds himself on the run with his charge.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Vargas
Jenna Dover ...
CIA Analyst
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CIA Analyst
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CIA Analyst
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CIA Analyst
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Storyline

Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) is a CIA rookie who is manning a safe house in Cape Town, South Africa, when Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) 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. Written by Douglas Young (the-movie-guy)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

No One Is Safe


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence throughout and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

10 February 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Protegiendo al enemigo  »

Box Office

Budget:

$85,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$40,172,720 (USA) (10 February 2012)

Gross:

$126,149,655 (USA) (11 May 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an early draft of the screenplay, Matt Weston's ability to catch up to Tobin Frost was explained thusly: during his time at the CIA's academy for new agents in training, "The Farm", Frost's file was assigned to Weston as his case study. Weston had memorized Frost's history and used this data to explain to the CIA leaders where Frost would go once he was on the run. The scenes where Weston tracks down Frost in the South African township were kept for the final draft, but altered so Weston used ad hoc research skills to locate his charge. See more »

Goofs

In the shootout scene amongst the shipping containers, when Matt Weston jumps out of his truck and fires his first shot, the slide locks back on his gun, showing either a malfunction or that it's empty. Yet a moment later, he's shooting again. See more »

Quotes

Tobin Frost: You're a good boy, Matthew. You know what you are?
[gasping]
Tobin Frost: I know what you're not... You're better than me.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.85 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

No Church in the Wild
Written by Kanye West, Jay-Z (as Shawn Carter), Mike Dean, Charles Njapa, Gary Wright, Phil Manzanera, James Brown, Joseph Maloy Roach, The Dream (as Terius Nash), Frank Ocean
Performed by Kanye West & Jay-Z featuring Frank Ocean
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
Contains a sample of "Don't Tell a Lie About Me and I Won't Tell the Truth About You"
Performed by James Brown
Courtesy of Universal Records
and Contains a sample of "Sunshine Help Me"
Performed by Spooky Tooth
Courtesyof Universal-Island Records Ltd.
and Contains a sample of "K-Scope"
Performed by Phil Manzanera
Courtesy of Virgin Records Ltd.
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A fast-paced race against time featuring an experienced mentor and an up-and-comer.
20 February 2012 | by (Richmond, VA) – See all my reviews

WEEKLY MOVIE REVIEW: SAFE HOUSE

MINI-REVIEW: A fast-paced race against time featuring an experienced mentor and an up-and-comer.

RATING: Wait for the instant download (Rating System: "See it in theaters," "Wait for the instant download," "Don't waste your time."

Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) is a green CIA agent looking to make his transition from ordinary agent to field agent. He is stuck with the boring job of sitting in a "safe house" - a secret location for detaining prisoners ("house guests") until they can be moved to a more secure location.

Things are pretty boring until Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) is brought it. Frost is a notorious double agent known for his ability to evade capture. No sooner is Frost secured in Weston's safe house than a bunch of bad guys storm the place to capture Frost. Weston takes charge and ushers Frost out of the building. Weston wants to get Frost to a new safe house but he is nagged by the question of how the bad guys knew where to find Frost – there must be a mole in the CIA. Now Weston must deliver Frost, discover Frost's secret, and expose the CIA mole before they find him. And we're off…

"Safe House" uses the device of the mature, older, agent as mentor to push the Weston character to look at himself and ask hard questions: Is this the life I want? Will I ever have a decent relationship? Who can I ever really trust?

Denzel Washington walks effortlessly through the role of Tobin Frost. He manipulates Weston by forcing him to think about things that, as a younger man, Frost had to confront himself. I haven't seen Washington in a movie in a long time. I was pleasantly surprised to see the actor that I remembered from such fine movies as "Philadelphia" and "Crimson Tide." He was just as good as ever, and had mellowed with age.

Ryan Reynolds held his own against Washington, playing the younger, inexperienced agent who learns fast. Reynolds has had a lot of screen time recently in such movies as "Green Lantern," "The Proposal," and "The Change Up." He usually plays a comic character – which is appropriate as he holds a comic resume ("Van Wilder," and TV's "Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place.") Here, he plays a full-on action hero to Washington's more experienced mentor.

The dynamic between these two players is exciting to watch. There is no apparent competition on-screen (which is so often the case when mega- personalities come together). Instead, there is a wonderful creative collaboration that results in an entertaining action flick.

Sadly, the surrounding plot is pretty predictable and does not support the two players. The action is acceptable, but the real movie is about the older, wiser man guiding the younger man. Perhaps it isn't just the characters who are playing out the mentor/mentee relationship, but the actors as well.

So, for a predictable action/spy plot with two fine actors playing their roles perfectly, I can only recommend that you wait for the instant download.


11 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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