(1995)

Critic Reviews

76

Metascore

Based on 17 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Insidious and provocative, Safe refuses to lend a hand, avoids taking sides or pointing the way. Everything that happens in this beautifully controlled enigma is open to multiple interpretations, and that extends finally to the title's meaning as well.
100
Slant Magazine
We know nothing of this woman’s inner-traumas, the repressed memories or hidden pains of her youth, yet Moore, in an extraordinary milestone performance, gives us a glimpse inside Carol’s frail and lonely soul.
100
Washington Post
This spooky film's ostensible subject—an environmental illness known as multiple chemical sensitivity—is merely a starting place for this mesmerizing horror movie, feminist tract and medical mystery.
100
As a piece of filmmaking, Safe is brilliant for the way Haynes, in concert with cinematographer Alex Nepomniaschy and composer Ed Tomney, blankets the mundane in the eerie tone of science fiction and horror, especially in the first half.
89
What Safe does so brilliantly is to plunge us down this frightening rabbit hole with Carol.
75
Maybe the environment is poisoned, and the group is phony, and Carol is gnawing away at her own psychic health. Now there's a fine mess.
75
Though Haynes' methods are austere and his style dry, the terror of his narrative becomes more palpable as the film unwinds. The picture's eerie delicacy, meticulous technique and rapt formality may distance us, but they also steadily strip bare the panic at its core.
63
Safe does not succeed at everything it attempts. The film is overlong and there are times when more aggressive editing might have improved the pace. However, despite certain dramatic shortcomings, Safe is an insightful and darkly comical social commentary.
60
Brilliantly as it begins, Safe eventually succumbs to its own modern malady, as the film maker insists on a chilly ambiguity that breeds more detachment than interest.
50
Frequently fascinating, it never builds into anything profound.

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