Safe House

Release Date: February 10, 2012

Tough to be King Kong when I'm in cuffs.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
3/5 David Mumpower I legitimately guessed the shocking heel turn the moment that character spoke for the first time. Some tense drama is undone by the predictability of the plot.
38/169 Max Braden Good pace. If you didn't know any better, you'd think it was written and directed by the guys who did The Bourne Identity because of similar scenes.

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Perhaps no actor in the movie industry is as reliable as Denzel Washington. In the 2000s, 11 out of his 14 releases to date have opened north of $20 million. And only three of his features have earned less than $60 million in domestic release. Remarkably, for all of his heroism, Denzel Washington’s most popular movie is the one where he played the bad guy.

After 15 years of watching him play the same sorts of roles, audiences hungered for something different. With American Gangster, they were finally given exactly this as Denzel Washington played against type as the bad guy. The results were impressive. American Gangster opened to $43.6 million and finished with $130.2 million, both of which are career highs for the vaunted actor.

Fast forward five years and Denzel is ready to once again portray a bad guy, a wanted terrorist who used to work for the United States government before they deemed him a viable threat. Tasked with bringing him to justice is a young federal agent portrayed by Ryan Reynolds, making Safe House a great combination of grizzled veteran facing off against a still-green spook.

Reynolds has struggled to establish himself as an action star in recent years (see: Green Lantern). He remains a very popular actor due his natural charisma, though. Safe House feels like perfect casting and should perform nearly as well as American Gangster if not better. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Safe House
Main Cast Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds
Supporting Cast Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, Vera Farmiga, Fares Fares, Robert Patrick, Nora Arnezeder, Liam Cunningham, Joel Kinnaman, Ruben Blades
Director Daniel Espinosa
Screenwriter David Guggenheim
Distributor Universal Pictures
Official Site
Rating R
Running Time 115 minutes
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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