OK for kids 16+
Fresh sci-fi comedy has strong language, a little raciness.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Safety Not Guaranteed is a genre-crossing indie movie with elements of science fiction, comedy, romance, and drama. It has been a word-of-mouth success at film festivals and has the potential to become a long-running sleeper hit with high teen interest. Language is probably the biggest issue, with many (though not constant) uses of "f--k" and "s--t." Characters have sex and talk about sex, but nothing more than a kiss is actually shown. Characters also shoot guns at targets, but actual violence rarely gets worse than insults and arguing. One character seems to drink regularly, but his behavior is played for laughs. Two characters share a night of hard partying (one cigarette is shown) and wake up hung over.
- Families can talk about how sex is portrayed in Safety Not Guaranteed. What role does it play in the story and the characters' lives?
- If you could travel back in time, where would you go, and what would you do? Would you change a major historical event or do something more personal?
- Do you know anyone like Kenneth, whom everyone thinks is "weird" but could actually be a nice person? How are people like that typically treated?
- Why do you think Jeff drinks so much (and smokes) after getting rejected? What message does that send?
The good stuff
Messages: Safety Not Guaranteed rewards empathy and tolerance. It also raises the question of how we could possibly help others if we had the ability to travel back in time and right wrongs (i.e. regret).
Role models: Darius is a positive female role model in many ways. She stands up for herself, shows bravery, and isn't easily perturbed. Best of all, she shows empathy and love for a societal misfit, someone who others consider a "weirdo." She stands up for him, even when most others don't.
What to watch for
Violence: Some sports clashes during a few shots of a football game. Characters also argue and insult one another, and in one or two scenes they grow angry. Two main characters practice shooting guns at targets but never at people. (There's no blood.)
Sex: Two of the main male characters have sex with women off screen. The main female character shares a passionate kiss with a man. Frequent sexual banter and innuendo.
Language: Language includes many uses of words like "f--k," "s--t," "vagina," "retards," "laid," "a--holes," "jerk," and "freakin'."
Consumerism: Cans of Campbell's soup are shown at length during a key scene.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: One of the major characters (a man around 40) is seen drinking in several scenes. He's thrown out of a high school football game for drinking beer. He also drinks heavily (and smokes a cigarette) during a "party" sequence, mainly to kill the pain of a broken heart. Two characters wake up to hangovers.
Fan Reviews provided by
Yes by Billyray75
This is a surprisingly sweet and funny film with great performances from Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass and Jake Johnson. This was a hit at Sundance and SXSW and for good reason. If you're looking for a feel-good alternative to the Summer blockbusters. Check. This. Out.
A Treat for the Mind, Heart and Spirit by jzactor
This fillm grows on you moment by moment. The acting is excellent, the story is very unusual and compelling, and the end I must keep a secret! The movie is about a a couple of young adults who are checking out a man who claims to be building a time machine to go back in time. The film keeps us all curious, mystified, very interested, and entertained, drawing us in deeper and deeper and making us like the trip a great deal. That is what a compelling film like this does which has very good, natural actors in it who fulfill there prospective roles very well with honesty and integrity. There is humor, pathos, confusion, conflict, and mystery throughout, which makes the audience more and more interested at every small revelation. There are a few excellent subplots since all 3 lead characters have needs and histories which keep getting the audience more involved and curious and mystified as to where it is all going This is a very, very good, entertaining, touching and beautiful mystery.
A little bit of everything by iracohencc
This is a quirky movie with quirky characters that find themselves in quirky situations. The actors become the characters making you care much more than you would in real life. The story never disappoints the viewers expectations without letting on what those might be until they're in your face. This was a wonderful escape from all the doom and gloom put forth in the summer comic blockbusters. I would recommend this to anybody who has loved in their life.
A movie what makes you "aww" by manci85
I love independent indie movies and "Safety Not Guaranteed" is one of the best I've seen. It's very well written, smart and has no plot holes. The actors are believable and you can relate with at least one of them. It's full of real life situations and moments what will melt your stony heart.
Quality not expected by Madman007
I went to this movie only knowing Aubrey Plaza from Parks & Recreations and Mark Duplass from Your Sister's Sister. I knew some of the plot from the trailer but I took the Time Travel aspect with a grain of salt. I figured the movie would be more than most time travel stories. No discussions of paradoxes or confusing extra past selves in this story. It turns out that time travel becomes a metaphor for what both Darius and Kenneth are going through. The difference is Darius is based in reality but Kenneth may not be. Or is he? Some may disagree with the end but I think it was perfect. You'll have to decide for yourself.
Wonderful by kippib23
The film was great. It really spoke to me. Aubrey Plaza was amazing, no surprise there. I really loved it. Everything was pretty darn perfect to me.
Surprisingly Surprise Ending
I was determined for about two weeks that I had to go see this movie, and was going to get a group of people to drive from Tuscaloosa, AL to Atlanta, GA for it, had all the plans prepared, had people chosen and suddenly everyone backed out on me. I went anyway and it was well worth it (I ended up meeting up with people in Atlanta to see it, anyway). The movie kept me interested at every moment and Darius' (Aubrey Plaza) self-deprecating, analytic look at herself is refreshing from most heroines useless flopping about of unrealized self-worth. The unexpected and well done love stories and coming-of-age stories were a nice touch. In the end, this is the first movie in a long time that has surprised me in such a good way that I would recommend to anyone to go see it, even if you have to drive a few hours to do so. It was a stunning film, and the ending is something I never saw coming.
it's a great movie, it reminds you that good movies are all about story and acting and not about special effects and big budgets (i love those too of course). I'd definitely recommend it.
Safety Not Guaranteed by bonfireboy03
Fair but harmless. Not very well written. It goes more for situational humor than any real intelligent humor. While certainly not a stupid movie, it has the emotional and intellectual depth and character development of a cracker. Most of the good lines are in the trailer. Cast is competent enough but not stellar. Would spend my money on something more compelling and wait for this one on DVD.
Safety not guaranteed by shombo
I was very disappointed by this movie, given its tomato meter reading. The plot could have made for a complex character study, but the characters were mundane, boring, and had zero chemistry among them. The subplots (the reporter's fling with his former girlfriend and the reporter's goal to get his male intern laid) were inane and useless to furthering either the plot or the character development. It was too slow moving at times, and my expectation that it HAD to improve was unfounded.
There appeared to be no personality development in either of the main characters that would lead to her falling for him, and though I don't usually need a complete resolution, the movie needed an impressive ending, which might have including what happened in the couple's "time travel".