Panic Room

  • 15
  • David Fincher (2002)
  • US
  • 107 min
Panic Room
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Following up the superlative Fight Club was always going to be a Herculean task for director David Fincher. It's little surprise, then, that from its innovative title sequence onwards, this dark thriller bristles with the nervous energy of a film-maker desperate to succeed. Here, Fincher exploits modern society's home-security paranoia, as a bunker-like safe room becomes a source of escalating horror for a mother (Jodie Foster) and daughter (a young Kristen Stewart of Twilight fame) trapped by thieves in their New York brownstone. Though the plot is formulaic, it's ruthlessly executed, with the tension building to claustrophobic levels. However, Fincher seems obsessed with breakneck camera movement and unconventional angles, which means at times his extraordinary visual style gets in the way of the action. Fortunately, this doesn't overshadow the cast: Foster is particularly fine as the gutsy heroine, while Forest Whitaker gives a poignant performance as one of the intruders. Ultimately, this is slick and sure entertainment, yet you can't help feeling that Fincher could have done so much better.

Plot Summary

Thriller starring Jodie Foster. During the first night in their new home, a lone mother and daughter become trapped by intruders. Securing themselves in a safe room designed to protect a family under siege, they wait for the criminals to take what they came for. But the loot is actually hidden inside their refuge and the robbers will do anything in their power to get to it.

Cast and crew


Meg Altman
Jodie Foster
Forest Whitaker
Dwight Yoakam
Jared Leto
Sarah Altman
Kristen Stewart
Lydia Lynch
Ann Magnuson
Evan Kurlander
Ian Buchanan
Stephen Altman
Patrick Bauchau
Officer Keeney
Paul Schulze
Stephen's girlfriend on the phone
Nicole Kidman


David Fincher

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Columbia TriStar
Violence, swearing.
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Released 3 May 2002
Certificate 15