Safe Haven 2013

Critics score:
12 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Amy Nicholson, Birth.Movies.Death.: Their love story has a mellow ease -- as neither of them has much of a personality, we're just watching two swell people decide to bone Read more

Mary F. Pols, TIME Magazine: Apologies to Hallstrom, but an adaptation of a Sparks novel always ends up being a Sparks movie. Read more

Tom Russo, Boston Globe: A movie that passably ambles along in generic-melodrama mode before finally insulting audience intelligence one time too many. Read more

Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle: Hallstrom's understated approach clashes with the blunt-force drama of the Sparks story line, which is definitely a matter of taste. Read more

Kate Erbland, MSN Movies: On its own merits, Safe Haven is about as satisfying and filling as a Valentine's Day conversation heart, with far less to say. Read more

Stephen Holden, New York Times: The climactic inferno, which explodes whatever credibility the movie built up, is immediately followed by a cheap, out-of-the-blue supernatural twist. The equivalent of a forged signature, it attests to the movie's essential falsity. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: Plods along with dialogue just above the level of crayon scribblings, and the direction by the usually reliable Lasse Hallstrom is dismayingly sluggish. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Very little in this movie makes any sense, even as glossy Valentine's Day fare. Read more

Scott Tobias, AV Club: There's some theoretical appeal to the story of two emotionally damaged people learning to love again -- "theoretical" because the film needs better actors than Hough and Duhamel, and richer conversation than a shared enthusiasm for kale. Read more

Barbara VanDenburgh, Arizona Republic: "Safe Haven" plays out less like a love story than it does a two-hour audition tape Julianne Hough commissioned to land a lucrative lip-gloss-modeling contract. Read more

Drew Hunt, Chicago Reader: Keeping up with the movie's inane plot twists makes for a capricious good time, but an unimaginative denouement turns the whole thing into a fool's errand. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: This is such stuff as paperback-rack and February multiplex dreams are made on. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: The latest Nicholas Sparks-derived weepfest, Safe Haven, is being marketed as a Valentine's Day special, but the plot line is closer to a stalker thriller. It's sudsy-scary. It's also not very good. Read more

Michael Granberry, Dallas Morning News: It's as though the filmmakers lacked the confidence to stick with the basic story, which served every element needed in a Sparks-infused guilty pleasure. Read more

Adam Graham, Detroit News: The best thing that can be said about "Safe Haven" is there is a cute romance in there somewhere. Read more

Laremy Legel, Hough doesn't stand a chance against shoddy pacing, horrific editing, and plot direction disastrous enough to make your toes curl. Read more

Wesley Morris, Grantland: A movie whose punch line is so delightfully absurd that even after you pretty much know what's coming you spit out your Pepsi anyway. Read more

Stephen Farber, Hollywood Reporter: Routine romantic thriller lacks acting and directing flair. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: Long on beauty shots, short on depth and seriously intent on tugging your heartstrings. Indeed, it demands you reach for those tissues. Sob. Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: Lasse Hallstrom's new film does exactly what an adaptation should: It turns the original material's greatest flaws into assets. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: "Safe Haven" is passably engaging and almost works as a proper thriller. Then -- wham! Sparks throws that schmaltz pie right in your kisser. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: The problem with the romantic "Safe Haven" isn't that it plays it safe, but that it plays it cheap. It's also about 10 minutes too long. And there's a final twist that, well, if you have any popcorn left by the scene, you'll want to throw it at the screen Read more

Miriam Bale, New York Daily News: The problem is that most of the pieces to the shoddy puzzle ultimately don't fit, making things less believable and successful. Read more

Sara Stewart, New York Post: A cinematic valentine you'll be reasonably content to watch on a flight in a year or so. Read more

Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer: Like its equally weepy predecessors, it's a pretty-looking, wonderfully facile bit of emotional froth that's likely to clean up at the box office. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: It's trash - entertaining and escapist, perhaps - but trash nonetheless. Read more

Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times: Either the filmmakers were out of their minds, or they must think we're out of our minds to buy into this schmaltz. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: I hate Safe Haven. It's a terrible thing to do to your Valentine. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: The Nicholas Sparks universe finally gets the crime thriller it deserves, an erratic amalgam of mush and mystery, with an 11th-hour dose of supernatural visitation. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Hallstrom makes the mishmash palatable, and romance mainstay Duhamel provides some sweet-and-salty charm, but there's not much they can do with Sparks' canned dialogue and Hough's undercooked acting. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: Why make a movie when making a Hallmark-card-with-dialogue is so much less risky? Read more

Linda Barnard, Toronto Star: Another Nicholas Sparks-penned romantic potboiler about commitment-shy, G-rated lovers who find romance, overcoming dark secrets and unhappy pasts. Read more

Trevor Johnston, Time Out: [The] final reel ... descends into the Vortex of Bonkers, delivering fits of unexpected laughter. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Safe Haven may not be the most dangerous place to spend Valentine's Day - but it's hardly a worthwhile romantic choice. Read more

Justin Chang, Variety: Safe Haven offers an unsurprising but not unsatisfying tour through recognizable Sparkville terrain. Read more

Melissa Anderson, Village Voice: Hough emits all the charisma of a personal assistant ... Read more

Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine/Vulture: We genuinely like watching Hough and Duhamel circling around one another, and the movie has a nice sense of place. That all eventually vanishes with a doozy of a third act. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: "Safe Haven" is one of those Valentine's Day confections that satisfy your sweet tooth until you get to their weird, off-putting center. Read more