User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18

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  1. Oct 22, 2013
    9
    In the opening five minutes of 'Panic', we are introduced to three characters, we meet a therapist (John Ritter) going about his usual patient routine, we meet a quirky and talkative girl in the waiting room of the same place called Sarah (Neve Campbell), these two have one thing in common, they interact with Alex (William H. Macy), a tightly wound middle-aged man who wants out of theIn the opening five minutes of 'Panic', we are introduced to three characters, we meet a therapist (John Ritter) going about his usual patient routine, we meet a quirky and talkative girl in the waiting room of the same place called Sarah (Neve Campbell), these two have one thing in common, they interact with Alex (William H. Macy), a tightly wound middle-aged man who wants out of the family business, he openly tells his therapist that he gets paid to kill people, here we see a dark and witty approach at how the film will play out. Macy has been raised in the family business by his father (Donald Sutherland) who was a hitman, much like Alex, but Alex wants to move on with his life, he wants to stop lying to his wife and spend more time with his funny and curious son, Sammy (David Dorfman). Macy has the ability to bring a certain type of sadness to a role that reeks of unhappiness and humility, his talent for this has never been more apparent, he's still stuck in his fathers shadow and unable to tell him he wants out. The remarkable edge that 'Panic' has is its ability have so many themes rolled into a short film, Alex has a close relationship with his very inquisitive son, while also sharing a quirky friendship with Sarah, he doesn't know her, but seems to reap the benefits of her carefree attitude but average existence, finding hope in his own life again. The writing is sharp and often very funny, but only really if you catch it, it's blends so evenly with the sombre and downbeat story that its the characters who pass of the wit onscreen. It's immediately easy to feel sorry for Alex, his mother doesn't want him out of the business, his wife doesn't know about is real life as a killer, and Sarah has her own misfortunes to the point where these two intertwine. The film has the ability to lay everything out on the table, going head first into obvious plot points that it is quick to defuse, it's honest and forthright in its delivery, while also succeeding in character emotion and impact, Alex always seems to want to please his father, but not in what his father wants him to do. They are two very different people, Sutherland brings an eerie and unpredictable persona to his character, his actions are often villainous and his son does nothing about it, but Macy is observant, regretful and hesitant to show emotion. He lets his guard down when Sarah is around, who won't directly admit her feelings towards Alex. This is a surprising and easily likeable film for its cast, writing and easy going direction that lets the characters explore each others boundaries, Alex is always in a rut and tries so hard to get out of it, the only thing possibly able to shake it is a young girl. Expand
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. 100
    Unfolds like quietly engrossing short fiction, reminding us that there are few things more pleasurable than being in the hands of a good storyteller.
  2. 100
    Seeps with melancholy, old wounds, repressed anger, lust. That it is also caustically funny and heartwarming is miraculous.
  3. The atmosphere is more compelling than the plot, but the story does pack a surprise or two.