Today: June 16, 2024

Safe House

Rated: 4/5.
Bottom line: A thinly-plotted action movie elevated by two stars at the top of their game.

Run time: (DVD) 110 mins; (blu-ray) 115 mins.
Format: DVD & blu-ray.
Cast: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, Ruben Blades, Nora Arnezeder, Robert Patrick.
RRP: (DVD) £14.99; (blu-ray) £19.99.

Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) is the CIA’s most wanted—an ex-operative turned traitor—who comes back onto the grid after a decade on the run. When the South African safe house he’s remanded to is attacked by mercenaries, a rookie operator (Ryan Reynolds) escapes with him. Now, the unlikely allies must stay alive long enough to uncover who wants them dead.

Safe House was Director Daniel Espinosa’s big pre-Morbius hit, netting $208 million worldwide from an $85 million budget. In fact it was so successful that a sequel of sorts was commissioned, though it never materialised. 

As far as buddy movies go, Safe House doesn’t offer up anything especially new. The plot is so thin as to be transparent. And, to be honest, the action sequences—while there’s plenty of them—often fall flat. What keeps you watching is two great actors, on top of their game, making every scene count. There’s some real magic here. Washington absolutely eats up every second of screen time with a performance that oozes lethal charm. Reynolds ain’t bad either—and it’s great to see what he’s capable of outside of that Deadpool groove. What a shame we never got to see any more.


  • Making Safe House.
  • Hand-to-Hand action.
  • Shooting the safe house attack.
  • Building the rooftop chase.
  • Inside the CIA.
  • Safe Harbour: Cape Town.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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