Panic

Panic Image
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Alex (Macy) is dissatisfied with his family life, and his work in the father's (Sutherland) business...as a professional hitman. When he seeks the help of a counselor (Ritter), an encounter with a troubled young woman (Campbell) in the waiting room changes his perspective.

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Mr. Showbiz
    Reviewed by: Kevin Maynard
    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. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    90
    A handsome, absorbing debut feature by the fiction and television writer Henry Bromell.
  3. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Robert K. Elder
    88
    Graced by bleak, stylized direction and an insightful ending that suggests that nothing ever really ends, this first feature film by "Northern Exposure" and "Homicide" writer and producer Bromell is a promising debut.
  4. 80
    A small movie, to be sure, but it's also a thoroughly original one.
  5. A small gem in the postholiday depression.
  6. A nifty little neo-film noir that's a lot more intriguing and watchable than half the films that make it to the multiplexes.
  7. New York Post
    Reviewed by: Jonathan Foreman
    50
    Boasts some genuinely intelligent and funny sequences and some nicely painful scenes of domestic tension - as well as surprisingly strong performances from actors like Neve Campbell and Donald Sutherland.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  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 usualIn 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
  2. TonyB.
    Apr 14, 2006
    9
    excellent movie i cant believe this movie wasnt bigger. i didnt even hear about it until i saw it on tnt. i also found it extremely hard to excellent movie i cant believe this movie wasnt bigger. i didnt even hear about it until i saw it on tnt. i also found it extremely hard to find in stores but fortunatly i did find a copy today so happy excellent movie a deffinatly worth a viewing. Expand
  3. NickA.
    Nov 17, 2007
    9
    In his first go as a Hollywood director, Henry Brommell whips an enthralling yarn that is all of penetrating relatable marital issues with In his first go as a Hollywood director, Henry Brommell whips an enthralling yarn that is all of penetrating relatable marital issues with melancholic authenticity, and lacing such with an equally absorbing subplot of a father-son hitman business. The film is directed astutely and consists of a wonderfully put together cast as well as a swift, family-conscious screenplay (also by Brommell) that brings life to an otherwise fatigued genre. As a bonus, 'Panic' delivers subtle, acerbic humor Collapse
  4. JayH
    Aug 9, 2009
    6
    Fine story, a little too slow moving, but the cast is great, particularly William H. Macy. Good writing. Barbara Bain is fine in a supporting role.
  5. Dec 30, 2013
    5
    Pretty good little movie here and an interesting character study. However, it is a tad too short and it feels as though it glosses over farPretty good little movie here and an interesting character study. However, it is a tad too short and it feels as though it glosses over far too many key issues that it should go more in-depth into. Ultimately, it is enjoyable and provides a few unexpected laughs. Expand

See all 11 User Reviews

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