Panic Room (2002)

Justin at Today I Watched A Movie reviewed this flick a few months ago (exact time frame I don’t remember) and he gave it full score 3/3 and said that Kristin Stewart could act.  I have nothing against Kristin Stewart but I have NEVER seen anything remotely memorable from her.  So I went on the hunt for this movie, then last month I found it on special somewhere and I snatched it up.  After having it sit on my table for the past month, I finally picked it up and saw it a few days ago.  I have seen this before on TV or somewhere, not in full though so this is technically my first time seeing the whole thing.

panic room posterDirector: David Fincher

Cast: Jodie Foster, Kristen Stewart, Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto, Dwight, Yoakam

Meg Altman (Jodie Foster) is recently divorced and is seeking a house for her and her daughter Sarah (Kristin Stewart) in an area closer to her ex-husband.  We start with her looking at a gigantic house and we see that there are 3 floors, basement.  The best part is that there is a secret room connected to the main bedroom called panic room which is not only a 3 feet steel box, but has an elaborate security system and is a place to hide if ever there are burglars, which has its line and all that.  As uncomfortable as Meg originally was with that idea, they ended up getting the house and on the first night, three men, Burnham (Forest Whitaker), Junior (Jared Leto), Raoul (Dwight Yoakam) breaks in not knowing that Meg and Sarah had already moved in.  They are after something valuable that was left behind by the previous owner.  As Meg realizes that they are in danger, she gets Sarah and they lock themselves in the Panic Room.  What they didn’t know is that what the three men want is in exactly where they are hiding, and they find ways to get Meg and Sarah to come out while inside the panic room, they are trying to find a way to be rescued.

panic room 1

This is a crazy movie: Intense action thriller to say the least.  It had me extremely anxious the whole time.  There were some times where I felt it was slightly stupid, but then thinking about  if I was in Meg’s shoes, I’d probably have done the same stupid things.  So it was forgiven.  I mean not connecting the panic room separate phone line, I can get that.  I have my cellphone, its not totally crucial.  Who actually expects to get broken in on the first night? This flick is even more intense as everyone is locked into one place: the house.  As much as we had a tour in the beginning of the movie, a lot of it was still new.  Not knowing what was around the corner, made this a thrill to watch. Plus, ever since Phonebooth, I’ve been attracted to movies with only one setting.

panic room 2

Ever since Silence of the Lambs, I’ve been a HUGE fan of Jodie Foster.  I haven’t seen all her movies and far from it, according to IMDB but I adore the movies she’s in.  In this one, she’s just totally awesome as a woman that strives to protect herself and her daughter from the dangers that keep coming and repelling it in intelligent ways.  Kristin Stewart is an alright child actress….just what happened to her now? She actually was decent in this one.  At least she didn’t have one expression through the whole thing, that’s already good enough for me. Thats what scares me though, how child actors do okay but after they grow up, they forget how to act.

panic room burglars

Any good hero is always carried with their villains.  The bad guys in this one are played by Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto, and Dwight Yoakam.  The last guy, I’m not familiar with, nor do I remember any of the movies that he’s in.  However, the characters themselves were done pretty well because the 3 guys each had their own motives, different personalities that balanced their actions and played off of each other really well.

I’m definitely recommending this movie.  I had me at the edge of my seat and genuinely worried about the two main characters.  It made me wonder about what next move the theives would do to force them out and how they would intelligently (and sometimes not so much) counteract.  This is a fantastic thriller!

Whats your favorite thriller? What do you think of Jodie Foster?


27 thoughts on “Panic Room (2002)

  1. Ha! I keep telling people it’s Bella, not Kristen, who’s terrible in Twilight.

    Dwight Yoakam was in Bandidas. How’d I forget he was in this, too?


  2. I saw this movie for the first time last year. I liked it. But I also found it far-fetched. The whole scene where the thieves were trying to smoke them out of the safe became laughable. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the mounting tension in the film. It kept escalating and escalating. It made for a great rush!


    • There was a lot of really out there scenes but I think that it all comes down to whether you buy it or not. I was alright with this one…I mean if it came to being in extreme situations..I guess you’d use extreme measures, right? At times, I was like NO WAY! and then others, I was going COME ON..still, I liked it quite a bit. Its hard to find thrillers that really do a good job at building tension 🙂


  3. I have never seen Panic Room, because it seemed like there was no real way the story could go. They are in the panic room. People want to get them in the panic room. Stay in the panic room and you are alright? Right? Why would you come out? If they set the building on fire I guess, but that would just destroy whatever you are trying to get out of the panic room. Nope I don’t see any logical way this movie could end, other than calling the cops. Jodie Foster? She is OK I guess, a good actress but not great. Thank you for the thought this afternoon. Other movie plots for this title. The delivery room of your first child. Panic Room! A wedding chapel just before you get married, Panic Room! (or maybe, second thoughts room?)


    • You do have a point. But the deal is that thats what its about, the burglars want something thats in the actual panic room and they are trying to find ways to get them to come out. Its a spoiler, I guess, I never saw the trailer, but its one of the men who makes these things knows ways to, like Jack says, smoke them out. And these men could pretty much stay there and wait for them to run out of food and water, right?
      There are definitely some plot holes here and there but the intensity they manage to build does compensate for least to me..haha!


  4. Good review Kim. Fincher really seems like he’s having with this premise and I was so surprised by what he was able to do, with such a small-amount of filming going on. I heard that Nicole Kidman was supposed to be the lead, instead of Foster, but I think they made the right pick. Foster just has that feel and look to her that knows you cannot mess with her.


    • You know, when you mention it that way. Nicole Kidman did something similar with The Others, right? Also one setting, and also getting all tough..just with invaders. I really love that movie too. Foster is really good at these tough woman roles..I think in The Brave One she was in that sort of role too…but I don’t remember that movie too well.


  5. Love Jodie Foster. Enjoy pretty much every movie she’s ever been in. Loved this movie too. I think it’s my favorite role for Forest Whitaker. He did an absolutely outstanding job. This one ranks near the top of my list of thrillers.


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