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
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.
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.
Crazy Time Traveler looking to meet sassy magazine intern. Are you game? by SundayDumbDay
My review from sundaydumbday.com
A funny little film about a magazine company that needs material for an article so it sends out a reporter and two interns to find a man that believes he can time travel. They have to get the whole truth no matter how shocking it may turn out to be.
Aubrey Plaza plays Darius, a girl that wants to one day become a reporter so she takes an internship with a local magazine company. Plaza is an interesting actress to watch perform as she has a stiffness but easy to understand quality about her. Her relationship with her co-star onscreen is a very well played goofiness.
Mark Duplass plays Kenneth, a grocery store clerk that believes he can time travel but needs a partner that can brave the adventure with him. Duplass is so good at so many different roles that his ability as an actor truly shows in this film as an eccentric time traveler.
Safety Not Guaranteed by info314
Safety Not Guaranteed is the best movie I have seen in some time. It utterly avoids all the traps of 'look how cool we are' and 'how fun is this gimmick' that throw so many independent films into eye-bleeding insufferability.
This film is completely fresh with incredible performances, deft direction and writing that has not graced an independent film since In the Soup, 20 years ago. To capture the sadness, anxiety, hope, hilariousness and ultimately the true 'wonder' of being alive is to catch lightening in a bottle. Connolly and Trevorrow, in their writing and direction have taken a small set of individuals and circumstances and made a statement which amounts to movie magic.
Stand out performances by Aubrey Plaza, Jake Johnson, Mark Duplass and Jenica Bergere set a new standard for independent film. The music is terrific (especially one musical surprise I would never give away). This film earns the oldest and greatest movie compliment "I laughed - I cried".
A Wonderful Surprise by Baldowl
I went in to see "Safety Not Guaranteed" with my expectations raised based only on the positive buzz. I'd read a few Fandango user reviews and seen the poster with the little indie film accolades. I just figured it would be a pleasant way to kill an hour and a half away from work.*
I loved this movie. It's sweet and funny, often hilarious, and I've never seen anything quite like it. I cannot wait to own it on DVD.
*I should mention, however, that I would merrily guzzle Aubrey Plaza's bath water.
Uniquely Funny...A Fresh Brand of Humor. by Alon Patterson
This is a little film with lots of heart and a whole lot of funny. While it's absent super heroes and special effects, at times its sound levels waning, it does deliver first rate humor in a novel and entertaining context. I recommend you see it if you're not too sensitive to plot absurdity and enjoy stochastic dialog-based humor, with lots of subtext. See it. This movie's worth its ticket price. You won't be disappointed.
Odd, but entertaining by NYPerson1
I expected this to be much better than it was. Most of the characters seemed more disturbed than quirky, which made it less fun to watch.
Safety Not Guaranteed, but great story and performances are! by raggson
After seeing the trailer for Safety Not Guaranteed, it looked like a great concept with an excellent cast. However, I did fear that it would fall victim to the trend of indie-style hipster movies where the characters lack depth and the narrative disappears under cheap laughs and pseudo-existential nonsense. I was pleasantly surprised when this movie not only met, but exceeded my expectations. The story is great, the characters are well developed and engaging, and while there is plenty of humor, the more serious elements of the movie are well balanced. The performances by Mark Duplass, Aubrey Plaza, and Jake Johnson are fantastic. This is not a movie for everyone, but fans of any Duplass brothers' films will most likely enjoy it. If you can find it in a theater, go see it. I can't wait for it to come to DVD/Blu-ray.
Great Movie, That Shows it All by SuperCougFan
When a movie has a premise, similar to Safety Not Guaranteed, it has a tendency to cheat the viewers in the end. This movie didn't do that. It showed it all and finished it the only way it could. Great little movie, great writing, and great job fitting the right song into every scene. I loved this movie!
This is why movies are made by Ronniestillman
Safety Not Guaranteed is a must see for real movie fans. There is not a dull moment, from start to finish. Great casting, great dialog, believable characters. I wish more movies were made like this. Go see it and you will not be disappointed.