Panic Room

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 301 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 301

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User Reviews

  1. Nov 26, 2015
    7
    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.
  2. Sep 1, 2015
    10
    Director David Fincher elevates the suspense while the script by David Koepp (Mission: Impossible, Spider Man and Jurassic Park) keeps us interested into the characters and their survival and they manage to make an above average thriller, anyway their not the stars the person who really shines in the film is Jodi Foster. Fincher lets his actors fit into the characters and into the film'sDirector David Fincher elevates the suspense while the script by David Koepp (Mission: Impossible, Spider Man and Jurassic Park) keeps us interested into the characters and their survival and they manage to make an above average thriller, anyway their not the stars the person who really shines in the film is Jodi Foster. Fincher lets his actors fit into the characters and into the film's world, Foster shines as a heroine and so does Kristen Stewart under the direction of Mr. Fincher. It's gory alright but it's under ratted film, it's over the top and it's not extremely gore film like "Seven" or "Fight Club" but who cares really. Meg Altman (played by Jodi Foster) is divorced and cannot get over her cheating ex-husband pharmaceutical magnate Stephen Altman (Patrick Bauchau) - and their street wise pre-teen Sarah (Kristen Stewart) are spending their first night at in brownstone in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The conversions, which include an elevator and a secure panic room, while the previous owner built the panic room a wealthy recluse whose family is now fighting over the whereabouts of his vast estate. Meg doesn't know part of the estate - is 3$ million dollars is hidden in the floor in the panic room something that the burglars Burnham, Junior and Raoul know. Junior (Jared Leto) is the grandson of the previous owner, Burnham (Forest Whitaker) works for a security system that monitors the security system for the brownstone including the panic room and Raoul is hired by Junior to help him and Burnham on the plan. The three men plan on retrieving the money. But they don't know that the house is empty, the three men break into the brownstone but realize the house isn't empty as they believed. When all five people realize there are unexpected people in the house, Meg and Sarah make into the panic room safely, unfortunately the phone doesn't work which Burnham knows of course. Also he knows him and his criminal partners can't get into the panic room. Meg and Sarah are not leaving the panic room, while the three criminals aren't leaving til they get their money which is in the panic room. As Meg and Ryan try to get the message outside. Their working against time as Sarah is a diabetic who doesn't have insulin. While Meg and Sarah are trying to solve their problems, the three criminals are having trouble too, the three are differing personalities and having trouble with the motivations for the money, each of them are having thoughts about how far will they go to get the money. The film engages you and is a nail biter, after you watch this movie you'll be satisfied. Grade A Expand
  3. Apr 24, 2015
    7
    Grafting twist after twist onto a classically simple setup, Panic Room plunges a dream home into a storm-drenched nightmare out of the grimiest pulps, dragging an unsuspecting mother (Jodie Foster) and child (Kristen Stewart) along for the ride. The latest from Seven and Fight Club director David Fincher, Panic offers a model of tightly orchestrated suspense, compressing Fincher'sGrafting twist after twist onto a classically simple setup, Panic Room plunges a dream home into a storm-drenched nightmare out of the grimiest pulps, dragging an unsuspecting mother (Jodie Foster) and child (Kristen Stewart) along for the ride. The latest from Seven and Fight Club director David Fincher, Panic offers a model of tightly orchestrated suspense, compressing Fincher's technical mastery into a pressure cooker of a film. As its unlikely heroine, Jodie Foster scares up deep reserves of cunning from beneath a surface that's all vulnerability. The newly divorced mother of a diabetic pre-teen (Stewart, making a deep impression in her second screen role), Foster takes over what fussy real-estate broker Ian Buchanan describes all too accurately as "a very emotional property," a three-story Manhattan behemoth of an apartment, most recently home to a sickly millionaire with a contested estate. It comes with all the amenities—six fireplaces, multiple bedrooms, a working elevator, stylish original fixtures—and one new addition, a hermetically sealed "panic room" outfitted with survival supplies, video monitors, and everything else needed to protect its wealthy inhabitants against home invasion. After only one night in their new home, Foster and Stewart realize why the room is necessary, when, as they sleep, three men (Forest Whitaker, Dwight Yoakam, and Jared Leto) come looking for the millions reportedly left in the apartment. Moments later, in the first of many shifts in the balance of power, the pair realizes the downside to their home-within-a-home: The treasure is in the panic room, and their guests have no intention of leaving until they have it. From there, a true battle of wits ensues, playing out through a series of gambits and countermeasures that turn the apartment into a war zone. Like past masters of suspense from Hitchcock to Spielberg, Fincher recognizes that a working knowledge of elementary physics improves any thriller. When action erupts, it does so in moments as carefully timed as Howard Shore's ominous score, but every moment carries an unsettling believability. That believability extends to the film's real masterstroke: its ability to invest all the players with such desperation that they seem capable of almost anything. Working from a screenplay by the estimable David Koepp, a top-form cast keeps the stakes higher than even the panic-room jackpot could cover. An old-house thriller retrofitted for the 21st century without any touch of unneeded flash, Panic Room is scary enough to do for downtown living what Jaws did for beaches.

    Fincher eschews quick cuts in favor of long, leisurely ones. He knows what he's doing, and the proof is in the result. The suspense in Panic Room never ebbs, and that makes for a thoroughly entertaining -- if somewhat exhausting -- 108 minutes.
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  4. Mar 28, 2015
    8
    Strong performances and a script that never fails to decrease It's intensity, Panic Room is successful thriller by an early director, David Fincher. The film proves you don't need a huge set and million dollar effects to make a thriller film entertaining.
  5. Feb 24, 2015
    9
    David Fincher once again gives his viewers the feeling as though they are omnipotent as we look as a frighteningly realistic and heart stopping thriller. The performances are flawless, the direction is flawless, and the only flaw I have with it is a pretty basic plot and set up. And emotional and thrilling film.
  6. Jan 16, 2015
    8
    Jodie Foster E Forest Whitaker são o que há de melhor no filme Whitaker mostra uma incrível atuação.
    Um suspense bem executado pelo David Fincher,
    Dwight Yoakam e Jared Leto também fazem bem os antagonistas.
  7. Sep 3, 2014
    8
    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.
  8. Jun 8, 2014
    7
    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.
  9. Apr 20, 2014
    7
    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)
  10. Apr 4, 2014
    10
    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, andPanic 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
  11. Mar 17, 2014
    7
    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 DwightThis 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.
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  12. Jan 11, 2014
    7
    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. IIn 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.
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  13. Nov 12, 2013
    7
    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.
  14. Aug 19, 2013
    9
    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.
  15. Jun 8, 2013
    10
    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.
  16. Nov 24, 2012
    10
    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
    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.
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  17. Oct 30, 2012
    10
    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!
  18. Jul 15, 2012
    7
    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 quitePanic 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
  19. Jan 7, 2012
    8
    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..
  20. BlakeJ
    Mar 11, 2007
    7
    Somehow it manages to be "good". I don't know how. It must have something to do with Jodie Foster, Forest Whitaker, and David Fincher being rolled into one...the acting wasnt great, but it kept me glued to the screen, somehow.
  21. AlexB.
    Dec 29, 2005
    9
    I love the idea of this movie as much as the movie itself. If you like Audrey Hepburn's film "Wait Until Dark," you will love Panic Room. It is very much like an updated version of that classic. Many people found that this movie wasn't thrilling enough and if you start watching it expecting a jump-out-of-your-seat thriller you will not be satisfied either. My advice for enjoying I love the idea of this movie as much as the movie itself. If you like Audrey Hepburn's film "Wait Until Dark," you will love Panic Room. It is very much like an updated version of that classic. Many people found that this movie wasn't thrilling enough and if you start watching it expecting a jump-out-of-your-seat thriller you will not be satisfied either. My advice for enjoying this movie the way it was meant to be, is to just sit back and put yourself in the situation and not expect startling experiances. Love this movie; it's one of my favorites! Expand
  22. Jake
    Dec 14, 2005
    8
    Fincher just never seems to be able to make the transition from a good director to a great director....oh well, this is pretty damn good movie, very suspensful at parts, and contradicting what Pat said, pretty memorable in my mind at least. But when it comes down to it, it's pure entertainment.....there's not much susptance to the idea, and there could have been (maybe had M. Fincher just never seems to be able to make the transition from a good director to a great director....oh well, this is pretty damn good movie, very suspensful at parts, and contradicting what Pat said, pretty memorable in my mind at least. But when it comes down to it, it's pure entertainment.....there's not much susptance to the idea, and there could have been (maybe had M. Night written the screenplay) but what the film does well, it does very well. Expand
  23. MarshallM.
    Oct 29, 2005
    10
    Amazingly intelligent! one of my favorites! muss -see!!!
  24. AlexanderW.
    Oct 8, 2004
    9
    Loved the movie, looking forward to the 3DVD Special Edition on the way :-)
  25. YoonC.
    Sep 24, 2003
    7
    Fincher is a muscular visual stylist, a real gymast among the new generation of directors. Yet, he doesn't have much to do here except crank out the usual tricks of suspense. He has us biting our nails in a few scenes but it's essentially a steroid pumped tom and jerry routine. The ending, as usual in such offerings, is over-the-top, lurid, and ugly, or what passes for BIG Fincher is a muscular visual stylist, a real gymast among the new generation of directors. Yet, he doesn't have much to do here except crank out the usual tricks of suspense. He has us biting our nails in a few scenes but it's essentially a steroid pumped tom and jerry routine. The ending, as usual in such offerings, is over-the-top, lurid, and ugly, or what passes for BIG THRILLS according to Hollywood execs. Good but perfunctory acting by all the particulars. Expand
  26. raVen
    Jul 20, 2003
    7
    The moral of the story? That gigantic meat locker we all have in our upstairs bedroom isn't all it's cracked up to be. Whatever problems you have with the extremes of the situation, they are overcome in the end by the empathy Forest Whitaker builds for his character. I started rooting for him, too.
  27. MichaelS.
    Oct 9, 2002
    9
    Not only of the best thrillers of the year, but one of the best and original directors of the new century! David Fincher is going to bring more darkness, more reality and more 'beautiful' movies. After "Seven" & "Fight Club", now this great thriller. Yeah, Fincher is going to be the best in a new genre of moviemaking!
  28. MattR.
    Oct 3, 2002
    10
    Great film. The ONLY downside I see is the hollywoody ending and treatment of Uber-villain Yoakam. Kristen Stewart gives a great performance as a realistic (have kids, you'll understand) teen and Jodie is her usual dependable self.
  29. [Anonymous]
    Sep 28, 2002
    8
    Pretty straightforward stuff, but intense enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, and for sure, better than most movies out there.
  30. RachelE.
    Sep 18, 2002
    10
    I Thought this film was Brill Well done.
  31. JeffM.
    Sep 11, 2002
    9
    The criticism of the villain characters is valid, yet I still bought into this movie hook, line, and sinker. Combine one of my favourite actresses with a clever, clausterphobic plot (another personal favourite) and you'll always get a winner in my book.
  32. JessicaP.
    Jul 8, 2002
    8
    I won't say it's awesome, and I really recommend it cus I like it....but the movie was thrilling, every moment of the filmstrip made my skin crawl cold. It's so irritating sometimes to guess that if there's gonna be something scary when you hear that "slow thumping music" but then it could be just nothing out of the ordinary. I LOVE THESE MOVIES.
  33. JasonL.
    Jun 5, 2002
    10
    I have paid my $6.50 to see this movie a total of 3 times. Every time I see it I am thrilled and feel the same amount of suspense. My heart beat goes up as I sit white knuckled clutching my chair. Not because I am scared, but I am overwhelmed with suspense.
  34. MikeD.
    May 23, 2002
    7
    This movie is a masterpiece in suspence and creativity of plot. However, the scripting, casting and acting of the villain intruders were a major detriment to its grade. They were out of place and distracting. Overall, however, the movie instanstly controlled your nerves and held them with cinematic tweezers.
  35. VicM.
    Apr 21, 2002
    8
    Once the action starts, it doesn't end. A great adrenaline boost.
  36. JacquesR.
    Apr 14, 2002
    7
    Definitely an enjoyable film. Humanizing the bad guys is an effective tactic in filmmaking, for sure. Kristen Stewart is a breath of fresh air. And could Dwight Yoakam's character have had a better name than Raul?? Classic!
  37. SamW.
    Apr 13, 2002
    9
    A great movie! Filled with action and excitment. It kept me guessing what was going to happen next. Jodie Foster was great!
  38. Gabe
    Apr 4, 2002
    8
    In the hands of another director, this would have been forgettable studio dreck absent of resourcefullness. In Fincher's hands it is a suspenseful tug of war between two wily sides, a cat and mouse game thatactually thrills. A cut above.
  39. DonnySonny
    Apr 3, 2002
    7
    Good, interesting movie.
  40. LaurenA.
    Apr 1, 2002
    10
    This movie, was really a fantastic movie! The young girl did a great job, and Jodie Foster was just..really great. And Jarod Leto, he was hilarioussssss...the movie was awesome. :)
  41. Will
    Apr 1, 2002
    7
    Stylish, but a little loose. Not even close to being as good as "Fight Club" or "7."
  42. DavidL.
    Mar 31, 2002
    9
    Mr. Andy S, I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but you've gone insane. I guess that you must have no taste when it comes to good thrillers or good films.
  43. MichaelF.
    Mar 29, 2002
    9
    I really had a great time. Really heart-pounding and genious. I love Fincher and this reminded me of his past thrillers, like "The Game." Jodie Foster is amazing as usual, so is everyone, EXCEPT for Jared Leto. He was HORRIBLE! But his performance didn't harm this brilliant little thriller.
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. The New Yorker
    Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    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]