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Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  18 October 2012 (Australia)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 95,846 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 239 user | 265 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lauren Carlos ...
Coworker (as David Leo Schultz)
William Hall Jr. ...
Alice Hung ...
Hassan Cristos Messiah ...
Boyfriend in Car (as Hassan 'Cristos' Messiah)
Keli Schurman-Darby ...


Darius is a young intern at a Seattle-based magazine and jumps at the chance to investigate the author of a classified ad seeking someone to travel back in time with. Along with Jeff, the staff writer, and Arnau, a fellow intern, the three go on a road trip to a coastal town. While Jeff just wants to chase after his high school crush and Arnau wants some kind of life experience, Darius spends her time with Kenneth, a man who believes that he has built a time machine. The closer they become and the more they understand about each other, the less clear it becomes if Kenneth is just crazy or if he actually is going to successfully travel back in time. Written by napierslogs

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


What would you change if you could go back? See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

18 October 2012 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

I asfaleia sas den einai eggyimeni  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$750,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$97,762 (USA) (8 June 2012)


$4,007,792 (USA) (12 October 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The part of Darius was written for Aubrey Plaza, because writer Derek Connolly wanted to work with her. Jake Johnson was likewise director Colin Trevorrow's first choice for the part of Jeff. See more »


When Darius is backing up the van to pick up Kenneth during the laser robbery, it is obviously a shot of the van driving forward (used a few shots later), but run backwards - exhaust goes into the tailpipe. See more »


[first lines]
Darius: How far back do you want me to go?
See more »

Crazy Credits

John Silveria is credited as a Time Travel Consultant See more »


Referenced in Safety Not Guaranteed: Time Capsule Easter Egg (2012) See more »


Hard on Your Man
Written by Robert Trevorrow, Michael Low and Jack Kane
Performed by Hearts on Fire
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Not perfect, but quite interesting
16 November 2012 | by (Argentina) – See all my reviews

Travel in time is definitely my favorite sub-genus of science fiction, and even though I equally adore the creativity of the Back to the Future trilogy, the historical humor of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and the apocalyptic solemnity of The Terminator, I also appreciate the independent films which deal the subject with more sobriety and philosophy. Films like Primer and Suspension have compensated their low budget and visual simplicity with provocative ideas which leave the mechanics of travel aside in order to focus on the melodrama created by the characters, proving that there's no need of flying cars or phone booths when there's an ingenious narrative inhabited by realistic and interesting human beings. Even though I didn't like it as much as Primer or Suspension, the film Safety Not Guaranteed fits into that group, even though it doesn't necessarily include too much time travel. Or maybe it does. I'm not sure...but that uncertainty is one of the best elements from this film.

Safety Not Guaranteed isn't a traditional sci-fi film. There may be time travel, there may be not...but the point of the screenplay isn't finding temporal paradoxes nor playing with historical chronology, but gradually discovering the nature and interaction between interesting characters, each one of them focused into their own "adventure". Screenwriter Derek Connolly built a complex but accessible narrative tapestry, free of unnecessary filler and with ingenious parallels which aren't always apparent, but eventually lead us to a satisfactory ending.

Connolly shows an efficient control over the multiple sub-plots, and they all share subjects in common. And then, we have the perfect performances from the whole cast. Mark Duplass brings a simultaneously likable and mysterious personality to his character, something which is very appropriate. Jake Johnson is very funny in his role; his performance is similar to the one he brings in the sitcom New Girl, even though it feels more emotive and sincere in here. Karan Soni is credible in his character, and supports the other actors very well. However, the revelation of Safety Not Guaranteed is definitely Aubrey Plaza, who is able to express multiple emotional levels with the grim face and cynical attitude of her character.

On the negative side of Safety Not Guaranteed, I can't deny that there are a few pretentious and auto-indulgent scenes. And even though Ryan Miller's score generally complements the scenes well, it occasionally feels a bit affected. Nevertheless, I think Safety Not Guaranteed is a very good movie, and I can recommend it mainly because of its screenplay and its performances.

27 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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