Parents' Guide to

Safe House

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Interesting characters clash in extremely violent thriller.

Movie R 2012 115 minutes
Safe House Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 18+
age 12+

Too much prolonged violence

Ryan Reynolds and Denzl Washington are pretty good in this. But, it's the typical violent (over the top violence), macho "lone wolf" who can survive anything story. I don't know why it's rated R. The language is relatively tame for an R (lots of sh*t, h*ll, d*mn...I can't recall if f* was used). Aside from 1 scene where a woman gets into the shower with her boyfriend (altho you don't see anything but her back) right at the beginning, there's no sex or innuendo. There's just lots & lots of gore and violence. Some of the scenes go on & on. Even toward the end when you think it's over, there's more gore. My 6th grader watched it and I wasn't uncomfortable aside from the over the top violence. Denzl is a former CIA agent so all kinds of bad guys are after him and they have top notch guns and fighting skills. Did I mention it's gory? The plot was not even that clever. We saw it free on HBO, and I'm glad I did not pay good money.

This title has:

Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8):
Kids say (9):

A pair of relative newcomers, writer David Guggenheim and director Daniel Espinosa were in charge of SAFE HOUSE, and their inexperience shows. Though the movie has a vicious, inky look, it also has junky, hand-held camerawork, with crazy shaking during action scenes. The script includes such old-time chestnuts as a mole within the CIA and a secret file with the names of all the corrupt agents in the world.

But at the movie's core is the very interesting, opposing relationship between the leads, the seasoned, cynical Tobin Frost and the young, optimistic Matt Weston. Washington and Reynolds genuinely click into their characters and provide several shades of grey between them. They clash in intriguing ways -- sometimes visually, sometimes in dialogue -- and their meeting of minds is by far Safe House's most interesting element. It's too bad all the "normal" stuff couldn't have been jettisoned in favor of deepening this relationship.

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