Safe House

  • 1999
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy, Drama, Spy

Claiming to be a former CIA agent, prickly Mace (Patrick Stewart) lives in a home refashioned as an impenetrable fortress. Believing that her retired father merely pushed paper for a living, Mace's indulgent daughter Michele (Joy Kilpatrick) regards his preoccupation with security as a forerunner of dementia. Could Mace's paranoia about the ruthless political...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Claiming to be a former CIA agent, prickly Mace (Patrick Stewart) lives in a home refashioned as an impenetrable fortress. Believing that her retired father merely pushed paper for a living, Mace's indulgent daughter Michele (Joy Kilpatrick) regards his preoccupation with security as a forerunner of dementia. Could Mace's paranoia about the ruthless political aspirations of Admiral Thomas Michaelmore (Richard Livingston) be justified? Why are so many of Mace's agency colleagues biting the dust? To humor him, Michele hires a live-in caregiver, Andi Travers (Kimberly Williams), who participates in Mace's safeguards and doesn't dismiss his fears. Is Mace just a delusional old man? Would placement in a nursing home be a death sentence? How can Mace anticipate Michaelmore's attacks as his memory fades? Because the outcome of this whacked-out exercise in escapism depends on a surprise betrayal, no further plot points can be divulged, but suffice it to say that anyone who's actually lived with a sufferer of Alzheimer's is likely to find the entire movie in very poor taste. With its tongue-in-cheek treatment of Mace's symptoms — like having him disguise himself as an Hasidic Jew when Michele insists on taking him to a shrink — the filmmakers betray little understanding of the despair that Alzheimer's wreaks. What they're clearly interested in, however, is indulging Stewart's vanity. Hear him play guitar! Sway to his graceful ballroom dancing! Check out his admirably tight glutei! Listen to him overwork his Master Thespian voice — and his tearducts! If only Mace had figured out a way to expose Michaelmore earlier, it would've spared viewers the sight and sound of Stewart's shameless showboating.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Claiming to be a former CIA agent, prickly Mace (Patrick Stewart) lives in a home refashioned as an impenetrable fortress. Believing that her retired father merely pushed paper for a living, Mace's indulgent daughter Michele (Joy Kilpatrick) regards his pr… (more)

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