Stephen Whitty, The Newark Star
Keeping the pace going, too, are energetic performances
from some top actors including Sam Shepard, Vera Farmiga
and Brendan Gleeson.
Film critic Kam Williams:
The talented co-stars not only acquit themselves well in
the convincingly-choreographed fight sequences, but
their credible chemistry cultivated during downtime
enables the audience to forgive the periodic holes in
the picture’s Swiss cheese script. They are helped
immeasurably in that endeavor by equally-powerful,
support performances on the part of several consummate
thespians, including Oscar-nominees Vera Farmiga (for Up
in the Air) and Sam Shepard (for The Right Stuff) as
well as Brendan Gleeson and Ruben Blades.
Michael Smith, Tulsa World:
Sam Shepard and Brendan Gleeson play the C.I.A. big
wigs who try to push the right buttons in Reynolds,
keeping him oblivious to the big picture. The two do
credible work, carefully avoiding chewing too much
scenery... Despite a debut screenwriter and
director, Washington as star and producer makes the kind
of film that his audience can rely on: fast-paced, full
of quality character actors like Brendan Gleeson and Sam
Shepard, and thoroughly entertaining.
Film Critic Devin Faraci:
Ruben Blades makes an exceptionally rare appearance, and
there are a couple of wonderful character actors dotted
throughout - Sam Shepard and Robert Patrick especially.
Rebecca Murray, About.com:
Espinosa surrounded the two with a talented cast of
supporting players that includes Vera Farmiga, Brendan
Gleeson, Sam Shepard, and Liam Cunningham, and he keeps
the action coming with nary a break for the best part of
the 2 hour runtime.
Kenneth Turan, LA Times:
"Safe House" has a fine cast, including co-star Ryan
Reynolds and potent supporting players Vera Farmiga,
Brendan Gleeson and Sam Shepard, but it is star
Washington who sets the tone.
Richard Corliss, Time magazine:
Safe House plows through its familiar twists with
efficient brio and a distinguished supporting cast (Vera
Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, Rubén Blades,
Robert Patrick). It’s a decent February movie that
smartly extends Washington’s God-on-the-run character.
NY Daily News:
Vera Farmiga and Brendan Gleeson have thumbnail-sketch
roles — she’s an Agency lieutenant, he’s a sneaky field
general — while Sam Shepard is barky perfection as chief
Lawrence Toppman, The Charlotte Observer:
Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, Liam
Cunningham and Rubén Blades provide classy, useless
window-dressing in supporting roles.
Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle:
At its heart, Safe House is a chase film, but the
top-drawer ensemble cast – Gleeson, Farmiga, and Shepard
all have key, nuanced roles as Weston's Langley-based
higher-ups – and a pair of seriously intense
performances from Washington and Reynolds elevate the
whole above the clichéd sum of its parts.
Christopher Lloyd, Herald Tribune:
The action scenes, especially the car chases and
hand-to-hand fisticuffs, are crisp and well-staged. And
the supporting cast is top-notch, including Vera
Farmiga, Brenda Gleeson and Sam Shepard, not to mention
Ryan Reynolds, who for once is not doing that smarmy cad
with the heart of gold thing.
Carole Mallory, The Wrap:
The CIA is headed by Harlan Whitford (Sam Shepard),
who reminds me of Dick Cheney. He is smooth, cunning and
hides his involvement in this intrigue from everyone.
Captivating as only Sam Shepard can be, he is assisted
by Catherine Linklater (Vern Farmiga) who is her dynamic
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune:
Sam Shepard and Vera Farmiga lend easy authority to
their basically functional roles.
John Hazelton, Screen Daily:
Washington is as solid as ever but this is not one of
his juicier roles. Reynolds is convincingly muscular in
the action sequences and nicely vulnerable in some of
the quieter moments. The strong supporting cast includes
Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, Ruben Blades
and French up-and-comer Nora Arnezeder.
Matt's Movie Reviews:
While Washington is his usual smooth talking, no BS
taking, cool cat self, the real surprise here is
Reynold’s who turns in one of his better dramatic
performances as a man way over his head and struggling
with the consequences of his profession. Brendan
Gleeson, Vera Farmiga, Sam Shepherd and Robert Patrick
are solid in supporting roles.
Joanna Langfield, The Movie Minute:
The other smart move on Espinosa’s part was to hire on a
roster of very good actors. Even though Gleeson, Vera
Farmiga, Sam Shepard and Ruben Blades don’t have much to
do, it’s a pleasure to see them bring some real starry
gravity to their short scenes.
Film Critic Rene Gross:
"Standard" probably isn't a word you would expect to be
used when describing a film starring Oscar winner Denzel
Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Brenden Gleeson, Vera Farmiga
and Sam Shepard.
Joe, Tyrell, New Jersey Newsroom:
Denzel does have some firepower on hand. The supporting
cast includes Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, Rubén
Blades, Sam Shepard - a good start toward repopulating
the world with an acting troupe. With all that talent on
hand, though, director Daniel Espinosa takes the
chancier route of building on Ryan Reynolds.
Paul Mazursky, Vanity Fair:
The supporting cast—Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, and
Sam Shepard—is very impressive.
Jeremy Kirk, Firstshowing.net:
While three possibilities for who the villain is doesn't
give much room to work with - it's not difficult to sort
out early in the film who the main baddie is - casting
actors like Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, and Sam
Shepard in those roles is a big advantage. You know
whoever ends up being the villain will bring scenery
chewing to a new level once they are revealed, and he or
she doesn't disappoint.
Alex DiGiovanna, Moviebuzzers.com:
The movie also stars the calm and collected Brendan
Gleeson (The Guard), the talented Vera Farmiga (Up in
the Air) and the versatile Sam Shepard (Blackthorn) all
of whom do a decent job of making this action film move
at its appropriate pace.