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Plot: Recently divorced Meg Altman and her daughter Sarah have bought a new home in New York. On their tour around the mansion, they come across the panic room. A room so secure, that no one can get in. When three burglars break in, Meg makes a move to the panic room. But all her troubles don't stop there. The criminals know where she is, and what they require the most in the house is in that very room. Runtime: 112 mins Release Date: 28 Mar 2002
Way ahead of it's time. If you can come up with a story based in a single room and make it as engaging and exciting as this one... you deserve to be frozen and preserved for future teaching of inspiring film makers. This is a fantastic film and I'm glad Jodie Foster was available for the lead when Nicole Kidman got knocked up and bailed. I loved the off-character casting of Jared Leto and the unbelievable casting of Dwight Yoakam... DWIGHT YOAKAM. Everything worked. Another great, and yet again... underrated film by David Fincher. How long is it going to take for an established <more>
directed like Fincher to take a chance and roll the dice on trying to make a script like this work again? ...No one has the guts.
I went to see this movie the other night with high expectations. David Fincher has directed 2 of my fav. films, Fight Club and Seven. Jodie Foster is one of my fav. actresses. She has yet to give a bad performance in a movie.Now, usually when expectations are high, the film doesn't deliver. This film delivers.Foster plays Meg Altman, who is buying a new home for her and her daughter after the break up of her marriage.The new house has a 'panic room', a room that is secure and can not be broken into. It has it's own phone line, security cameras monitoring the whole house and <more>
basicly everything you would need to survive if you had to hide there. The house is broken into, and what the bad guys want is in the panic room.And so starts the fun! Jodie is great, as is the girl who plays her daughter. The relationship between them seems real. The bad guys are bad, but they are human which is great. They aren't two dimensional characters, which most bad guys in the movies are these days.Any one who likes thrillers, which are few and far between these days, should see this film. It is definitely one of the very few thrillers that thrills!!!!
THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THESE COMMENTS As a "suspense thriller" "Panic Room" does its basic job - lots of tension and scares. But in some ways, it isn't scary-thrilling in the same way as many others. Meg and Sarah aren't dealing with invulnerable monsters, nor with genius homicidal maniacs. The bad guys here are seriously flawed - that's the point. One of the three, Junior - the more or less leader, is an emotional and intellectual dimwit. Raoul has about a dozen more IQ points, but his invented-sinister nature make us rightly wary of him he enters the picture <more>
in a ski mask for effectiveness - Junior calls "Joe Pesci" . Burnham is the genius of the outfit; he had worked on the design of the house's complex security systems and knows the girls' protective strengths and weaknesses. But he is by nature non-violent, unwilling to go all the way to hurt or kill. But together the three are a truly scary potent force, all together possessing: twisted emotions, amorality, and brilliant mind. Their imperfections give them a more realistic unpredictable sinister-ism than the typical scare movie villain. But the girls are flawed too. Meg Jodie Foster is recently divorced and is emotionally brittle. Eleven year old Sarah Kristen Stewart has serious diabetes. Her blood sugar must be constantly watched with a wrist monitor; over-excitement can send her blood sugar level plummeting, requiring an emergency shot to prevent her slipping into a coma. At the start of the movie, she has more or less alienated herself from her parents; she puts up with them, but is rapidly losing confidence in them. But she possesses a typical naive eleven year old ability to cooly assess situations and possibilities. Her impulsiveness becomes a power. The growth of the characters of Meg and Sarah, individually and together, is the beauty of this movie.MORE SPOILERS AHEAD I've put "Panic Room" down as one of my all-time favorites, and I'm looking forward to its someday DVD release. The characters of regular people Meg and Sarah fit right up there with the best of superheroes. They are human, with human weaknesses, which they rise above, and indeed use, in their battle for life. The panic room starts as a prison for the girls, but is later ironically turned into a prison for the bad guys, who cringe in fear of the intrepid mother. But the story isn't just about politically correct women's empowerment. SPOILER If they escape, it will require the cooperative effort of each of four flawed humans.As usual, Jodie Foster is outstanding as Meg, the brittle single mom who digs deep into her character to find the power required to battle for the life of her child. Kristen Stewart's Sarah is one of the truest depictions of the heart of an eleven year old I have ever seen.
Well acted action-thriller, weak conclusion (by long-ford)
David Fincher directs this cleverly conceived thriller about a mother and daughter trapped inside a panic room by three criminals. The film is well-paced and the camera work is slick. The film does well in exploring the confines of the house. Jodie Foster is effective and maintains a high intensity throughout. Kristen Stewart is decent as her daughter. Forest Whitaker plays a slightly sympathetic criminal and does well. Unfortunately, after an engrossing game of cat and mouse, the conclusion is weak. Staple clichés crop up and the film goes for a crowd-pleasing finale that doesn't quite <more>
Every so often a an off-the-wall director plays it straight. Sometimes it blunts their edge, like Robert Altman's Grisham-by-numbers adaptation of The Gingerbread Man. Sometimes it produces an entrancing oddity, like David Lynch's The Straight Story. However it sometimes brings out the best of the director, and Panic Room is a massive example of this, showing David Fincher's class through and through. The story revolves around Meg, a recent divorcee who moves into a cavernous property in Manhattan that looks for all the world like the dream property to take care of her daughter. <more>
However on their first night in the house a trio of burglars break in and a stand-off ensues with Meg and daughter trapped in an impenetrable bunker in the middle of the house the titular Panic Room and whilst the burglars trying to get in to access a hidden safe. It is the greatest credit to the cast, writer and director that a stock genre situtation is shown in such a fresh and vital light throughout. From Forrest Whittaker's compromised morality to Jared Leto's drug addicted craziness each role seems so real it would be an injustice to attempt to describe them in a few lines. These are not characters, these are people and people can only be defined in a few sentences by a great artist, and here there is definate evidence of greatness at work. However where the film finds real depth is in the character of Meg. After Nicole Kidman withdrew because of injuries sustained during Moulin Rouge, Jodie Foster was brought in and the character of Meg toughened up and made less glamourous. This change in the character opens up completely different areas of the film. With the absent husband / father having left for a young model, Kidman would have lent the film an air of rejected fragile beauty being slowly crushed before finding her inner strength. A classic tale of having to reach the bottom to find a way up. However with Foster's tougher screen personna we have a battle of the rejected woman trying to re-assert her ability to function in the world alone as stronger as she did before and determined to lose no diginity along the way. The trio of intruders become like phantoms of her husband whilst her claustrophic fear of the Panic Room mirrors her fear of this strange and new world closing in around her. Given the trust of writer and director, Foster lets her body do all the acting and gives a master class in showing how dialogue should illustrate everything the character isn't saying. Fincher's visual style builds on Fight Club, even from a credit sequence that recalls North By Northwest but stands on its own in invention and execution. The whole film seems to be shot in a new form of 3D where every object seems perfectly natural, but with heightened depths, as if you were admiring the craftsmanship of a perfectly rendered computer simulation, but without being able to see any flaws. This works perfectly in the claustrophobic confines of Panic Room where the viewer is drawn into each room of the house and left standing next to the protaganists. Despite featuring a couple of scenes which will have you screaming at the screen because of the characters stupidity to do the sensible thing, it is hard to find fault with David Koepp's taught script. However without Fincher's obsessively bleak vision to give it an edge Panic Room would have been another slick forgetable thriller, instead it is classic film-making that truly deserves the title of 21st century Hitchcock.
Foster, Fincher Take Suspense To A Higher Level (by jhclues)
Everyone likes to think that they'd know what they would do-- without hesitation, yet-- if suddenly and unexpectedly confronted with a perilous, even life-threatening, situation. It's human nature; we all want to feel, or at least believe, that we are always in control of everything that happens in our lives. But, upon reflection, if that IS, in fact, what you think, then you're probably not being entirely honest with yourself. Because unless you're Dirty Harry, or someone of that ilk and take note, the key word here is `are,' not `think' you are , you're not <more>
really going to know how you'd react to any such situation until the moment of truth is actually upon you. And it's that moment that director David Fincher enables you to experience, albeit vicariously, in `Panic Room,' a suspense/thriller that very quickly takes you to a very dark place-- a place few have actually ever been or would care to go, if given the choice. But, of course, when it comes to a situation like the one depicted in this film, that's the rub: You simply do not get to choose whether or not you want to participate. And when you really think about it, it's a concept that is more than a bit disconcerting, to say the least. Because whether or not you want it, if it happens, you are going to be confronted with that moment of truth; and in that moment, you will probably learn more about yourself than you've ever known before. As the film begins, recently divorced New Yorker Meg Altman Jodie Foster is being shown a property, a spacious Brownstone Townhouse, which she ultimately decides upon and secures for herself and her teenage daughter, Sarah Kristen Stewart . They move in, and prepare for their first night in the new house. What Meg cannot know, however, is that someone else has an eye on her house, but it has nothing to do with wanting to live there. His name is Junior Jared Leto , whom, as it happens, knew the previous tenant-- a wealthy, and apparently paranoid recluse-- more than just a bit. He also knows or at least thinks he does that there is something extremely valuable hidden in that house. And now that the previous owner has passed on, Junior wants it. Toward that end, he recruits a couple of acquaintances, Burnham and Raoul Forest Whitaker and Dwight Yoakam to help him get it. But as fate would have it, Junior makes his move on the very night that Meg and Sarah move into the house, which as far as Junior knows, is still vacant. They break in successfully, but it all goes south quickly when they discover the house is occupied, a situation for which Junior and his gang have no contingency plans; and their hesitation enables Meg and Sarah to make it to a safe room-- the `Panic Room' of the title-- a virtually impregnable room built by the previous owner as a safeguard against intruders. And with the aid of a closed-circuit video surveillance/security system, Meg is able to monitor the movements of the trespassers throughout the house from inside her fortress, and she has no intention of emerging until they are gone. But Junior is adamant; and he's not about to leave until he has what he came for. And at that point, the standoff begins. In his previous films especially `Se7en' Fincher has established his use of a dark, brooding atmosphere-- pregnant with foreboding-- to enhance the suspense and drama of his story, and this film is no exception. Night falls, and Fincher uses the oncoming darkness and the stillness of the house to create a sense of isolation that is the subtle beginning of the tension he will continue to build and maintain throughout the film. He also uses some imaginative camera work, slowly exploring the house from the audience's point-of-view, which-- combined with Meg's initial apparent trepidation upon entering the panic room itself-- gives it all a pointedly claustrophobic feeling. Those with difficulties in that regard, in fact, may experience some uneasiness during a good portion of this film because of it; and it simply demonstrates what a good job Fincher did in creating the setting he wanted, and which he uses so effectively here to keep you on the edge of your seat. The plot is fairly basic, with an inherently narrow framework within which Fincher must work; but he sets a perfect pace and has an inventive touch both visually and psychologically that enables him to take an average screenplay by David Koepp to a higher level in the finished product. Considering the storyline, some of what happens is-- some would say predictable-- though I prefer to call it inevitable granted, a thin line differentiates the two; in this case, however, I feel `inevitable' is more accurate , and there are some surprises, which Fincher uses to great advantage. It's no surprise, however, that what really elevates this film is the totally convincing performance by Jodie Foster as Meg. Long one of the best actors around, she has the talent and ability to turn any material she's given into so much more than any writer or director could possibly hope to expect. What makes her so remarkable-- as she is in this film-- is not only the fact that she can create such a believable character, but that she can do it with such intelligence and resourcefulness. You have but to look into Foster's eyes to realize how much is going on constantly behind them; this is one savvy lady whom you can readily believe is always one step ahead of everyone else in the room. And she goes a long way in proving that true beauty is, indeed, more than skin deep; she's attractive to begin with, but in a pair of black, horn-rimmed glasses, she looks ravishing. In the final analysis, `Panic Room' is Foster's film; and she makes it a satisfying cinematic experience for her audience. 9/10.
This was a very suspenseful and exciting thriller from David Fincher who is responsible for my all time favourite film which is Seven. This new film has another very good performance by Jodie Foster but the acting standout of the film has to go to Dwight Yoakam with awesome performance as Raoul. The only problem i had with this film was its ending which was a bit of a let down but did not really spoil the film at all.8 out of 10
A Mean But Very Involving Story (by ccthemovieman-1)
The movie gets high marks for getting you involved with the story. It grabs you early on and doesn't let go. The young girl is a punk with an attitude that is fostered by her too-liberal mother. The film in general is just a little too politically-correct, too, as there are three criminals all breaking into Foster's house and the black guy is the only one shown with a heart. The two white guys, of course, are heartless. Dwight Yokum plays an ultra-profane pig, but that's a normal role for him in films. Jodie Foster isn't real likable here, either, as the mom.The camera-work <more>
and David Fincher's direction is very good, especially with the low-angle shots in which the camera roams around the house at about floor level. That's very cool. His direction, along with a suspenseful story, makes this film intriguing.In summary: a mean-edged film that works.
Spoilers herein.Ambitious directors have two holy grails: mastery of the self-referential narrative and establishing a new grammar of space, usually with architecture.Fincher is an ambitious, intelligent director who in past projects has explored the first of these. This time around, he explores the second. Hitchcock did this in `Rear Window,' a film often compared to this one. It has NO commonality at all expect the architectural aspiration.One can see these architectural ambitions in the team he assembled: writer David Koepp did the amazing `Snake Eyes,' the most ambitious <more>
mainstream film that explores the architecture of narrative. Cinematographer Darius Khondji is one of the recent fellow travelers of this emerging expertise. See the poetic underwater architecture in `In Dreams.' See what he did for master Polanski in melding image and narrative in `Ninth Gate.' Look at how his camera creates a city in `The City of Lost Children.' He is not master of this yet not like Welles and Kurosawa but he is familiar with what can be done, and willing to take risks. Khondji was fired from the film by barbarian financiers because of his expensive pains. Some of his work remains, especially in the first third.Add in Nichole Kidman who had to drop out . I never could have guessed that this slight intellect, wife of a Scientologist, would become a force in intelligent films. But in `Eyes Wide Shut' she learned about projecting into the unseen narrative; in `Moulin Rouge' to the visual grammar; in `The Others,' she projected into the space around her as did friend and fellow Australian Crowe in `Gladiator' . She had to drop out, but her selection is illustrative. Jodie, bless her heart, has no idea what Fincher is about so takes the story at face value.Forest Whitaker is another telling choice. A director himself, he recently learned how to homeopathically place himself in an off-screen narrative, working the master of that trick in `Ghost Dog.' That film worked with architected reference, not space, but the idea is the same.One knows from the first that what Fincher has in mind an architectural exploration, starting with the titles. Each credit assigns a name to a building. Each name except Fincher's who is notably suspended in space.Slap, slap one is quickly introduced to the building in the part of the film where one normally meets the characters. The characters here don't matter: they are furnishings. What matters is the physical relationship of spaces: four floors, stairs, elevator, etc. Right away we are also introduced to the bank of video monitors. This house is not only seen, but sees. Shades of both `Fight Club' and `Snake Eyes.' Then we are given a remarkable tracking shot that outdoes de Palma, Altman, Andersen. This starts out with various angles on Meg in bed, then goes out the room, between the balusters and down the stairwell. It eventually takes us all through the house as the baddies break in. On and on it goes, in and out of a keyhole, through the handle of a coffeepot, through floors and walls. Each moment thrills.Then Khondji is fired and the tiresome wheels of the story grind and the requirements of the genre force us into bankable cliche. But that first third is nice.