Panic Room

"Excellent"

Panic Room Review


It's Home Alone for grown-ups. And just like kids ate up Macaulay Culkin and his homebound adventure, Panic Room is a real (yet creepy) crowd-pleaser for adults.

David Fincher directs this long-awaited follow-up to his groundbreaking Fight Club, with Jodie Foster in her first lead role since 1999's Anna and the King. The story is deceptively simple: Imminent divorcee Meg (Foster) is gaining a boatload of a settlement and, with her bratty, diabetic daughter Sarah (newcomer Kristen Stewart), decides to buy a cavernous, four-story brownstone in Manhattan's upper west side. The night they move in, three burglars pay a visit, searching for an alleged $3 million hidden somewhere in the house. Meg and Sarah hightail it to the secret "panic room," an impenetrable safe room off the master bedroom - only to learn that the money is secreted inside the panic room as well. A game of cat and mouse ensues - only the mice are definitively trapped in one tiny room.

After a rocky start, Panic Room really picks up, surprises waiting at every turn. Fincher is the perfect director for this project, something that in the wrong hands could have turned into an Eric Roberts special, and while the plot is hardly the mindbender that Fight Club was, Fincher is able to keep most of the film's secrets under wraps until just the right time (though some of the twists are glaringly obvious from the get-go).

Foster (in a role originally given to Nicole Kidman) does a good job in the lead, but it's the burglars who steal the show. Played by Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto, and Dwight Yoakam, the trio initially appear to be everyday thieves with a nugget of special knowledge, but slowly they reveal their true motives. It's this slow doling out of information - about characters, plot, and the house itself - that keeps you on edge, eyes glued to the screen for fear you could miss something. Fincher (working from a David Koepp script) is almost too clever about it.

When the burglars aren't center stage, Fincher's impressive photography - an extension of the macro/zoom/dolly shots he experimented with in Club - is dazzling. Long dolly shots traverse the entire house and snake through walls and ducts. It's art in motion.

Altogether, Panic Room earns the (dubious) distinction of being the best new film I've seen this year, a rollercoaster ride through the worst "first night" in a house ever experienced. And I thought I had problems with real estate!



Panic Room

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 112 mins

In Theaters: Friday 29th March 2002

Box Office USA: $95.3M

Box Office Worldwide: $196.4M

Budget: $48M

Distributed by: Sony Pictures

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures Corporation, Hofflund/Polone, Indelible Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
Fresh: 138 Rotten: 44

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Meg Altman, as Sarah Altman, as Burnham, as Raoul, as Junior, as Stephen Altman, as Lydia Lynch, Ian Buchanan as Evan Kurlander, as Sleepy Neighbor, Paul Schulze as Officer Keeney, Mel Rodriguez as Officer Morales, Richard Conant as SWAT Cop, as SWAT Cop, Victor Thrash as SWAT Cop, Ken Turner as SWAT Cop

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Advertisement
Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.