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Generally favorable reviews- based on 164 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 164

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  1. Apr 4, 2014
    Panic Room is a near-perfect suspense thriller by Fincher. Every aspect of it is intelligent, and the product is a very successful film. The movie benefits highly from the amazing cinematography. The camera pans the rooms, shows creative camera angles, and never misses an opportunity to produce amazing visuals. Fincher is the second master of suspense right next to Hitchcock himself, and knows how to keep us engaged and entertained throughout the film. The end result is a well-played, carefully executed, thrilling movie that never skips a beat. Expand
  2. Jun 8, 2013
    Intense old-house thriller ready to take your breath away. The cast here is excellent (Foster, Stewart, Leto and Whitaker) and Fincher's direction is exceptional as always.
  3. Jul 15, 2012
    Panic Room is a taught, clever thriller with a strong human core. The main body of the film is extremely enthralling - a battle of wits and endurance plays out between a caring, protective mother (Jodie Foster) and the good-natured "brains" behind a trio of home-invading criminals (Forest Whitaker). It's among director David Fincher's most fun and unpretentious films (though he quite unfairly seems to dismiss it in interviews), and his technical ability as a director marries well with an electric script by David Koepp. Foster and Whitaker both impress, giving layered and engaging performances as contrasting characters who in fact have a lot in common in their shared intelligence, determination and resilience. A young Kristen Stewart is also very good, with her now famous moody, deadpan acting style lending itself well to playing an insecure, diabetic pre-teen. Panic Room's finale is admittedly a bit scrappy, and the arrival of one of the characters seems to serve the sole discernible purpose of bringing proceedings to an end, which is a welcome reprieve to an extent, as by this point the film is just beginning to tire. As a whole, Panic Room is well-crafted, entertaining and tense, and it actually leaves a lasting impression on the viewer, no matter what its helmsman Mr Fincher may think of it. Expand
  4. Jan 7, 2012
    an amazing film by a great director,but it's not perfect, it has it's flaws but i give 8/10 because of the brilliant performances , and plot is also interesting..
  5. Sep 3, 2014
    One of the finest thrillers of her later career, Jodie Foster is exceptional in Panic Room. The film is fascinating beyond belief--and to this day, remains one of my go-to thrillers.
  6. Mar 17, 2014
    This one is pretty good. Overall, it does a good job of making you feel anxious as David Fincher does a great job creating suspense in this one. At every turn, there is yet another thing that makes that suspense build and build. Jodie Foster does a typically great job in the lead and I also found myself enjoying the performance of the three robbers; Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto, and Dwight Yoakam. Each one really represented a different type of robber, with one filling the "lawful evil", "neutral evil", and "chaotic evil", respectively. It was interesting to see this kind of shared focus in this film between Foster and her daughter and then the three robbers as they try to figure their way out of the situation they find themselves in. Overall, this one is not too complex, but that is not problematic, as it is quite enjoyable.

    My main complaint is concerned with the robbers. While I enjoyed watching them all fill the different roles of "evil", the film would have been better served if either A) we never saw the robbers' faces/heard them speak or B) they were all "chaotic evil". The added suspense from both of those options would have really elevated this one. Though, I am not complaining too much, because, as I said, I did enjoy the role to robbers played.
  7. Oct 30, 2012
    Brilliant movie loved it to bits, thrilling till the last minute, Sarah looks like a boy though.Perfect besides one aspect! One of the three crooks is way too likeable and should have never made it into the final cut!
  8. Nov 24, 2012
    One of the best thrillers I've ever seen.
    Starting with the wonderful production led by David Fincher. The camera movements are spectacular.
    The performances of Jodie Foster and Forest Whitaker are absolutely incredible. I believe that without these big names in the cast, the movie wouldn't be the same.
    It's like a chess game: Every movement, from both sides, is done with intelligence
    and shrewdness, which leaves us breathless. Expand
  9. Aug 19, 2013
    Boasting some stellar imagery from one of Hollywood's most recognizable modern directors, and an almost unbearable undercurrent of dreadful tension throughout, "Panic Room" easily makes for one of the most potent home invasion thrillers I've ever seen.
  10. Jan 11, 2014
    In slasher flicks like Scream (1996), break-ins are single scenes. Heist flicks like The Bank Job (2008) or The Score (2001) spend most of the films planning out the break-ins, and then only a scene or two actually carrying them out. So the fact that aside from the very beginning, Panic Room is just really one long break-in scene always made the film seem like a silly waste of time. I mean, it gives the whole plot away right in the title. A couple of thieves arrive and tear up the place, the family hides, problems occur. Hurray.

    The coincidence of everything just-so-happening to be available at the exact right time: the happenstance of the break-in coinciding with the idea that the house just so happens to contain a panic room, this seems too much to handle.

    Yet all the mighty forces align and provide the viewer with an experience that is actually quite satisfying. Although not an overly complicated plot, the script is very well written and includes explanations for exactly why these happenings occur as they do.

    For skeptic viewers like me, who usually find unexplainable exceptional coincidences a deal breakers, David Keopp’s logical, explanatory script (Jurassic Park, Mission Impossible) provides answers, and an excellent foundation for David Fincher to build his dark mess. (IMDB says Keopp got 4 million bucks for the script, so….).

    Seemingly, this film takes the primal fear of invasion, bad people coming into our homes in the night and doing bad things to us. But rather than exploit the concept a has been beaten to death, Panic Room does not rely on the traditional fear of invasion. It adds dimension, reason, even a kind of logic explaining how this whole event could have turned out right for everyone, if only it could have unfolded just a single day earlier.

    It is in considering the film’s simplicity that the profound difficulty of this film’s production is most realized. The decision for the director and crew to call “that’s a wrap” must have been murky one.

    Unlike any of Fincher’s other films, Panic Room is shot entirely on only one set, in linear time, and deals with only with a single event. It is minimal in its approach, like a play. It is essentially all based on the interaction of the actors stage together, almost.

    Forest Whitacker, Jodie Foster and even Dwight Yoakam all crank out great performances, but Fincher’s dark, perfectly influential shots, using unusual angles, intercoms and video cameras, small vs. open spaces, and of course, darkness and rain are what make this cinema, and not theater. Aligning open frames with great musical peaks, the score by Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings) intensifies the single track plot of Panic Room, pushing it along as a series of arcs, suspensefully running up and down, each arc increasing in intensity, until the film hits the peak, and even though we knew all along what was coming, we are still very satisfied with when it finally does.
  11. Nov 12, 2013
    Panic Room will make you jump with intensity.
    A very simplistic but extremely well crafted plot with heart pounding suspense that steals the show, Jodie Foster once again finds success.
  12. Apr 20, 2014
    This is a good thriller movie.There is one problem where is the action?It's all in the end and when they run away from the room.The best point in the movie is the cast(Forest Whitaker,Jodie Foster,Jared Leto)
  13. Jun 8, 2014
    Surprisingly entertaining little flick. Would recommend to anyone whose already seen the best in genre (as it doesn't quite reach theses heights) but it a gripping, suspense-laden movie.
  14. Apr 4, 2012
    Panic Room is actually quite scary and with a interesting plot it is filled with action and excitment. It kept me guessing what was going to happen next.
  15. Sep 10, 2014
    A fantastic thriller with a popular cast, well shot visuals and tightly wound suspense.
  16. Sep 10, 2014
    An intense thriller that has a realistic plot and taut thrills. Panic Room is a triumph.

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]