Box art for Safe Haven

  Safe Haven

  • Rated PG13
  • HD and SD formats available

romance, thrillers

An affirming and suspenseful story about a young womans struggle to love again, Safe Haven is based on the novel from Nicholas Sparks, the best-selling author behind the hit films The Notebook and Dear John. 

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 14
3 out of 5
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
3 out of 5
2 out of 5

Predictable romantic drama deals with pretty heavy themes.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Safe Haven (based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks) is a romantic, at times suspenseful drama that's heavy on cliches and formulaic plot twists and light on chemistry and inventiveness. While the romantic stuff is pretty tame for teens, save for one session in bed that reveals bare shoulders, the film does deal with heavy subjects such as death and spousal abuse. One character clearly has an alcohol problem (he's shown drinking while driving), which colors his decisions at work and at home. He also turns violent, resorting to guns and worse. There are also scenes with a destructive fire and a bloody knife, as well as some swearing ("s--t" is the worst of it).

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how Safe Haven portrays relationships. Parents, talk to your kids about the signs of unhealthy (and even abusive) relationships.
  • Is this a typical damsel-in-distress movie? If so, in which way? If not, how?
  • Discuss Katie's decision in the beginning of the movie: Did she have any other recourse?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 20
    see all Safe Haven reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: The best thing that can be said about "Safe Haven" is there is a cute romance in there somewhere.

- Adam Graham, Detroit News, Thursday, February 14, 2013

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

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Thursday, February 14, 2013

Rotten: Long on beauty shots, short on depth and seriously intent on tugging your heartstrings. Indeed, it demands you reach for those tissues. Sob.

- Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Josh have my heart. This was just wonderful. Sweet. Funny. Complete, and utter chick flick happiness....oh, and what an ending. I had no idea. Good job...

- itsjustme2004, Wednesday, September 18, 2013

1 star

*1/2 "Safe Haven" is the latest Nicolas Sparks adaptation, and stars Julliene Hough. She's a woman on the run from her husband, when she comes across a small seaside town and tries to create a new life with a new identity. She starts a relationship with Josh Dehumal, a widower with two kids. Things seem to be going good until her husband catches up with her and her true identity is revealed. This being a Sparks movie means it's predictable and there are boats, rain, drama, and maybe a death or two. It's funny when watching this my wife and I would mention every Sparks clich we would see. "Oh look, their kissing in the rain!" If you do that, this movie might make a good drinking game. Having said that, I was bored with the movie overall. The acting isn't that good, and the story is "meh, been there done that". There's a little twist at the end, that did nothing for me. I think Emily thought it was OK, but this is definitely one of worse Sparks movies out there. I'm sure a lot of women will like it, but guys don't waste your time, it's not worth it, and I saw it for free.

- fb100000145236770, Thursday, May 30, 2013

2 stars

Better than some Nicholas Sparks movies, at least this one does have a plot and some darker themes. But I still felt like I was watching a Hallmark movie, and who the hell is Julianne Hough? No one who can act, that's for sure. I didn't buy her as a coupe with Josh Duhamel for a minute. The good part of the movie is about 15 minutes before the end - finally some drama and scares! The actual end, however, had me reaching for a vomit bucket with that note, and actually I didn't get who the wife was until I read someone else's spoiler. She kind of looked different in the writing scene. So yes, fail.

- romy861, Friday, April 26, 2013