User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 202 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 202
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  1. JinC.
    Apr 11, 2002
    5
    Fincher seems to be unable to carry good ideas to completion. the events of the movie seem to suggest a theme of how hostilities between opposing parties escalate needlessly without communication. this is played out again and again in the movie. but if you watch the beginning and end of the film, there is absolutely no indication that that is what the movie was supposed to be about. there Fincher seems to be unable to carry good ideas to completion. the events of the movie seem to suggest a theme of how hostilities between opposing parties escalate needlessly without communication. this is played out again and again in the movie. but if you watch the beginning and end of the film, there is absolutely no indication that that is what the movie was supposed to be about. there is a kernel of an idea that is completely undeveloped. instead, the movie plays out simply as one event after another without any unifying core. same goes with his predilection for visual trickery. yes, the fact that he traverses the entire of a three story house in a shot without cutting is impressive but it could have been more than just visual gimmickery. ok, so fincher likes to go through walls. good for him. but if he did this trick through all walls EXCEPT for the panic room itself, where we always transition into with hard cuts, it would have been a cool kind of visual analog to the 'imperviousness' of the panic room and a metaphor for how porous and vulnerable the rest of the house is. instead, it's just a gimmick. sigh. a movie full of wasted opportunities. also, is it just me or are no fincher movies in any way ever scary? the guy wants to make thrillers but he can't commit to genuine violence and horror. you never feel frightened because you know that fincher is rather squeamish and there are lines that he simply will not cross. if the audience never feels that you are going to violate their eyes, you add a comfort level that's inappropriate for thrillers.... implication only goes so far contrary to critical opinion. instead of ratcheting up the tension by making all the bad guys truly reprehensible as in soderberg's out of sight, fincher pads it up with whitaker.... actors do a good job across the board though. Expand
  2. RolandC.
    Sep 23, 2002
    4
    Movie was doing fine until Dwight Yoakum turned into Jason from Friday the 13th. How does he get his hand crushed, get smacked in the head with a sledgehammer, fall over 15 feet straight onto a hard wood floor and still manage to nearly beat Jodie Foster to death?
  3. IsabelC.
    Sep 23, 2002
    6
    I agree with others who complained about the script - some really ridiculous dialogue between the mother and daughter. It was suspenseful, with lots of exciting action, but marred by a weak beginning and formulaic ending. The most irritating character in the movie was the daughter. I was glad to see her get a good smack in the face at the end, frankly.
  4. RyanM.
    Sep 29, 2002
    6
    This movie suspense and plotwise is middle-of-the-road, but once again Mr. Fincher shows us that he's the best guy on the block.
  5. PatC.
    Sep 23, 2004
    4
    An average movie in every way. Nothing objectionable, nothing memoriable. With Foster, Whitaker & Yoakam all playing roles that demanded little of their talents, it is slightly less than the sum of its parts.
  6. amarl
    Jan 19, 2010
    6
    Yes engaging thriller but it could be better.
  7. AdamX.
    Apr 20, 2002
    6
    Suffers from gee-whiz camera shots and seemingly shock-attempt violence. Has several fairly predictable scenes, and a couple of "Why didn't they do X" questions, one of which Whittaker even asks close to the end of the movie.
  8. Richard
    Sep 20, 2002
    4
    Well-done, I guess, but in the end, so what.
  9. ChadS.
    Apr 13, 2002
    5
    "Panic Room" fails to generate the suspense required to work an audience over because the intruders needed to be more menacing. Jarod Leto's character is too feeble. Forest Whitaker's character might feel at home with a flick like "Hope Floats". Only Dwight Yoakam's character is capable of killing the hostages.... The movie doesn't need criminals with feelings. And "Panic Room" fails to generate the suspense required to work an audience over because the intruders needed to be more menacing. Jarod Leto's character is too feeble. Forest Whitaker's character might feel at home with a flick like "Hope Floats". Only Dwight Yoakam's character is capable of killing the hostages.... The movie doesn't need criminals with feelings. And that is why "Panic Room" is just an exercise in genre and a time-killer. Expand
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. An above-average thriller.
  2. 75
    The movie resembles a chess game; the board and all of the pieces are in full view, both sides know the rules, and the winner will simply be the better strategist.
  3. 90
    There is something horribly apt in the way Fincher closes the drama in joyless exhaustion, leaving you certain that there will be a sequel to these events, not onscreen but in someone's home, tonight. [8 April 2002, p. 95]