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United Kingdom, United States · 1995
Rated R · 1h 59m
Director Todd Haynes
Starring Julianne Moore, Peter Friedman, Xander Berkeley, James Le Gros
Genre Drama

Carol White, a sweet and caring Los Angeles suburban housewife, has it all: a wealthy husband, a wonderful house, housekeepers, beauty and many friends. But when she becomes symptomatic of a mysterious environmental illness, it unexpectedly and irreversibly changes her life as she knew it.

Stream Safe

What are people saying?

Mina Rhee Profile picture for Mina Rhee

Amazing and prescient in so many ways - Julianne Moore's incredible performance and the perfectly tonally pitched undercurrent of horror aside - totally predicts the clean eating/goop types of feminized anxiety marketed as health and empowerment today.

What are critics saying?


ReelViews by James Berardinelli

Safe does not succeed at everything it attempts. The film is overlong and there are times when more aggressive editing might have improved the pace. However, despite certain dramatic shortcomings, Safe is an insightful and darkly comical social commentary.


The New York Times by Janet Maslin

Brilliantly as it begins, Safe eventually succumbs to its own modern malady, as the film maker insists on a chilly ambiguity that breeds more detachment than interest.


Los Angeles Times by Kenneth Turan

Insidious and provocative, Safe refuses to lend a hand, avoids taking sides or pointing the way. Everything that happens in this beautifully controlled enigma is open to multiple interpretations, and that extends finally to the title's meaning as well.


Chicago Tribune by Michael Wilmington

Though Haynes' methods are austere and his style dry, the terror of his narrative becomes more palpable as the film unwinds. The picture's eerie delicacy, meticulous technique and rapt formality may distance us, but they also steadily strip bare the panic at its core.


Washington Post by Rita Kempley

This spooky film's ostensible subject—an environmental illness known as multiple chemical sensitivity—is merely a starting place for this mesmerizing horror movie, feminist tract and medical mystery.


Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

Maybe the environment is poisoned, and the group is phony, and Carol is gnawing away at her own psychic health. Now there's a fine mess.


Slant Magazine by Sal Cinquemani

We know nothing of this woman’s inner-traumas, the repressed memories or hidden pains of her youth, yet Moore, in an extraordinary milestone performance, gives us a glimpse inside Carol’s frail and lonely soul.


The Dissolve by Scott Tobias

As a piece of filmmaking, Safe is brilliant for the way Haynes, in concert with cinematographer Alex Nepomniaschy and composer Ed Tomney, blankets the mundane in the eerie tone of science fiction and horror, especially in the first half.

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