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Safe House (15)

Action, Crime, Mystery

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.

More information on this production is available at

The critical consensus

A brutally slick, if flawed, action thriller.

***(*)(*)Rob Carnevale, The List, 08/02/2012

Bring earplugs and you’ll enjoy an efficient vehicle for Denzel that makes good use of its South African scenery. Espinosa nimbly combines flash with Paul Greengrass-style flair.

***(*)(*)Neil Smith, Total Film, 13/02/2012

It helps that Denzel and his apprentice Reynolds have terrific chemistry – to the point that you get irritated when the film keeps cutting back to Reynolds’ low-wattage romance with a French medical student.

***(*)(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 21/02/2012

Tolerably exciting spycraft, but stuck with a see-through plot. Washington and Reynolds are watchable, but not exactly stretched by these roles.

***(*)(*)Kim Newman, Empire Online, 21/02/2012

A safe bet for Bourne fans.

***(*)(*)Henry Fitzherbert, Daily Express, 22/02/2012

Despite all of these positives, however, Safe House is neither as memorable nor as satisfying as it should be.

***(*)(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 23/02/2012

With a magisterial disregard for plausibility, everyone survives gunfire and Armageddon, over and over.

**(*)(*)(*)Nigel Andrews, Financial Times, 23/02/2012

There’s much to be said for nuts-and-bolts action thrillers when they are competently assembled. But this one is falling apart at the fastenings.

*(*)(*)(*)(*)Robbie Collin, The Telegraph, 23/02/2012

An efficient, well-tooled thriller that makes a perfectly acceptable Saturday night at the movies.

***(*)(*)Allan Hunter, Daily Express, 24/02/2012

A big, dumb, boring beefcake of a film.

*(*)(*)(*)(*)Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 23/02/2012

Safe House is a generic slam-banger, seemingly engineered to be forgotten almost while you're watching it.

**(*)(*)(*)Anthony Quinn, The Independent, 24/02/2012

Despite some impressive action scenes, the characters' motivations are underdeveloped, while Ryan is unconvincing and Washington looks rightly bored.

David Edwards, Daily Record, 24/02/2012

An espionage film by numbers.

Philip French, The Observer, 26/02/2012

Daniel Espinosa keeps the action pumping and the plot twisting; just a pity you'll probably guess the destination a touch too soon.

***(*)(*)Alison Rowat, The Herald, 23/02/2012

Features about Safe House (15)

Safe House: director Daniel Espinosa talks tough

Gwilym Mumford, The Guardian, 18/02/2012

Safe House (15)

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

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