A former government agent turns his home into a fortress to protect himself from assassins. His family wonders if hes crazy or clever. Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 01/16/2007 Starring: Patrick Stewart Hect... more »or Elizondo Run time: 111 minutes Rating: Nr Director: Eric Steven Stahl« less
1998 independent thriller which aired on Showtime. Stewart excels in encompassing paranoia, OCD, and Alzheimer's all in one role. Enter his caregiver, who is in for the ride of her life. This is actually quite claustrophobic, and strangely enough, you'll find yourself chuckling at several bits of wry humor. Then again, quite a bit of this is heart-rending as we witness Alzheimer's tearing control away, and Stewart being aware it the whole journey. Safe house will be one of the best films you'll watch in a long time.
Paranoia in the Hollywood Hills with Captain Picard
Joseph Haschka | Glendale, CA USA | 02/28/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I pulled SAFE HOUSE, a made-for-cable thriller, off the video rack solely because it stars Patrick Stewart. I mean, how bad could it be? In reality, it was much, much better than expected.Stewart plays Mace Sowell, a reclusive widower living in the Hollywood Hills inside a house packed with more security systems and personal weaponry - pistols hidden in every room - than were ever aboard the Starship Enterprise. Mace claims to be a retired deep-cover agent for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), a fact that has put him in mortal danger for a reason he leaves unspecified. He's also obsessively disturbed by the political progress of a certain presidential candidate, who's apparently on his way to winning the Oval Office by a landslide. His fears are given little credence by his daughter, her husband, or the psychiatrist retained by the former to treat her Old Man's apparent delusions. The daughter has also just hired Andi, a perky young college graduate, to be Mace's live-in cook and housekeeper. Kimberly Wiliams plays Andi, short for Andrea, whose character displays a delicate beauty and charming appeal somewhat reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn.It's been made perfectly clear to Andi that she's not Mace's employee to fire, so the cardinal delight of the film's first third is watching the curmudgeonly Sowell (with a capital "C") engage in a battle of wits with Andi for turf rights as she gamely carries out her assignment. Luckily, Andi is made of tough stuff. She cleanly fields the verbal and psychological abuse that Mace throws at her, and sometimes manages to give back as good as she gets. Eventually, they reach a working compromise and a certain friendship, at about which time Mace begins to display the symptoms of advancing Alzheimer's Disease, thus further hindering his ability to "stay sharp" and repel any assault made on his home or person.From the beginning, any watcher of SAFE HOUSE will assume the truth of the adage that even paranoids have enemies. So, when will Mace's doomsday materialize? Even Andi begins to wonder as Sowell's convictions begin to draw her in. Stewart gives a performance that is alternately dramatic, witty, and poignant. Williams is positively beguiling. During the scene when she is first alone with Mace and struggling to establish a verbal rapport, her facial expressions as she deals with his silent recalcitrance are priceless. Although some things go unexplained, as to how the neighbors or the LAPD would tolerate Mace's live-fire pistol practice in his back yard, I enjoyed this film very much."
Quality Entertainment from Showtime. No, Seriously.
Brent A. Anthonisen | Alpharetta, GA, USA | 01/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With the long-running James Bond franchise now disintegrating into simple body-counts-and-explosions action fare, it really is good to see a proper espionage thriller that was filmed in the same vein as the classic Sean Connery (or even early Roger Moore) Bond protrayals.This one has a twist; our protagonist is British and equipped with charm by the truckload...but he's also quite possibly crazier than a ...rat.The beauty of this movie is that from the very beginning you're aware that there is definitely SOMETHING going on...you're just not sure what. The plot moves on through the eyes of someone who might not necessarily be seeing reality as clearly as he should; is this man, merely eccentric? Is he completely insane? Or is he...well, who and what he says he is?Patrick Stewart is just fantastic. He's definitely not one to spend his time traveling from one Star Trek convention to another now that his time serving the small screen franchise of Gene Roddenberry's "generational" vision is done. His propensity for bombast and overacting that he brought to "A Christmas Carol" isn't found here; he does a fantastic job relaying the problems experienced by a man for whom the borders or reality seem to be in various stages of dissipation. You don't know whether to laugh or cry at times.And the supporting cast plays off of him brilliantly. It's obviously Stewart's show, but the interaction with characters whose attitudes range from enabling to pessimistic to completely disbelieving (and questionably sinister) makes for an intense viewing experience. How far will things go? How far will Stewart's character go? What is real and what is fabrication? It's a terrific ride, a truly engaging thriller that Cubby Broccoli (or Alfred Hitchcock) himself would have been proud to direct."
Is it a serious comedy or a comic action flick?
JD Schaefer | San Rafael, Ca USA | 12/30/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I recommend this movie for the craft that went into it. I also recommend it for the story and its unexpected sensitivity.For the first half I thought it was very funny but took itsef too seriously. When Patrick Stewart, disguised (so as to be incognito while away from his home) as a construction worker, asked his shrink if he thought the shrink felt Stewart liked leaving his house dressed as one of the Village People, I thought I'd fall over laughing. Then it got quite serious and I started enjoying it on a totally different level.Patrick Stewart claims, without any supporting evidence, to be a retired government spy who has fatal information regarding a current presidential hopeful. Fatal to Stewart and fatal to the candidate's future.A housekeeper is hired by Stewart's daughter to avoid having him committed. After various humorous interviews, a sprightly young woman is hired and the war of nerves begins. The plot is complicated as Stewart realizes he is sucumbing to Alzheimer's. I particularly enjoyed where he tries to memorize the standard quizzes asked by shrinks so the level of disease advancement wouldn't be so apparent during his regular shrink visits.The acting by all is superb. Stewart continues to show why he isn't a one-trick pony.Yes there are a few unexplained occurrences but the movie is quirky enough to not be bothered by these little things. The ending is well done and one doesn't need those silly little text messages to explain what the director forgot to or how to put in the movie.This is a fun movie, enjoy it!"
"James Bond gets old"
scott welles | los angeles, ca United States | 01/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"That's the premise of this little made-for-cable gem, according to the writer / director, and it's a pretty cool exploration of the idea. Patrick Stewart is never less than convincing, either as a retired military intelligence legend obsessed with his own security, or as an old man whose mind is failing long before his body.
Suppose Sean Connery's Bond had aged gracefully, settled down somewhere and tried to live a normal life. Would he still be spending his evenings with lovely ladies and vodka martinis? Or would he be a prisoner of his own past, constantly fearful that all his old enemies would come back to haunt him? And what if his friends and family didn't really believe he'd ever had those grand old adventures?
The beauty of 'Safe House' is that there's no evidence to support the lead character's paranoid claims of government conspiracy, and it's entirely possible that he's imagining the whole thing. Yet the film keeps flirting with the possibility that his fears are real, teasing us with suggestions of menace that never entirely come to fruition. Is there a true danger, or is it all in his mind?
Watching 'Safe House', we don't find out...until the very last scene. I wouldn't dream of letting you know which it is in this review.
Patrick Stewart is a classic actor
Kori L. Carothers | Orange County, CA USA | 12/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was not sure if I would enjoy this movie, but it was a surprisingly well done movie. It is about an aging father who at one time was an agent in the gov't and is somewhat an eccentric person. Find out what happens when he is diagnosed with alzhiemer's! It is a thrilling movie with Patrick Stewart as the lead. He is truly one of the more brilliant actors out there, that is IMO not given credit where credit is due!"