I've always been interested in what other people are seeing and watching, and naturally, I love looking at Weekend Box…
It was supposed to be the safest room in the house.
Trapped in their New York brownstone's panic room, a hidden chamber built as a sanctuary in the event of break-ins, newly divorced Meg Altman (Jodie Foster) and her young daughter Sarah (Kristen Stewart) play a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with three intruders - Burnham (Forest Whitaker), Raoul (Dwight Yoakam) and Junior (Jared Leto) - during a brutal home invasion. But the room itself is the focal point because what the intruders really want is inside it.
From the director of Se7en & Fight Club, Panic Room arrives as another intensely gripping, nail-biting & edge-of-the-seat experience from David Fincher which further solidifies his position as one of the modern masters of thrillers, and beautifully balances its style with substance to succeed as one of the most captivating, entertaining & satisfying works of Fincher's career.
Set in New York City, the story of Panic Room concerns a recently divorced mother & her 11-year old daughter who purchase a new house which comes equipped with a safe room in case the security is breached. But on the very first night, three burglars break into their house in search for a missing fortune which is present in the very room where the two ladies…
I've never seen a single second of any of the Twilight movies. And I already know Kristen Stewart is 10x better in this, than she was in any of those movies.
I think few people give Panic Room the credit it deserves. The production design is a state-of-the-art masterpiece.
Looking through the background material for this film, it's impossible not to be impressed. For instance, the previsualization process was at the time the most thorough in movie history. Previz can best be described as an animated storyboard, and has never been used to this extent. In fact, with a few omissions in the opening and the end of the film, a complete animated version of the film exists.
The sets were constructed in their entirety at a Los Angeles soundstage («There is no house»). The way these sets are constructed are so meticulously planned that Fincher wore out an entire crew…
You won’t easily find another movie that is equally well shot, yet as average regarding every other aspect. Aesthetically, it is clearly a David Fincher flick, but as a viewer you are awaiting a Fincher-esque surprise to come. But it won’t. Frustrating, especially with all the foreshadowing that is going on here - “that automatically closing steel door is dangerous!” / “oh, but it has laser sensors that will keep it from shutting if something is stuck in-between, but only like twenty centimetres from the floor and the doorpost.” Hmmmm, will something or someone get stuck in-between, because it isn’t interrupting one of the two laser sensors? Will it? It is a bit of a lousy effort for such a brilliant filmmaker and that is noticed in the absence of a real heart to the story.
Panic Room, even with a multitude of flaws, is massively entertaining. It was one of the last Fincher films that I had to see, and when I found it on Netflix Instant; I happily dove into another dark and dreary Fincher Film.
Panic Room stars Jodie Foster as a separated wife and mother moving into a new house. In their first night spending the night, with many boxes left unpacked, a group of intruders enter; unaware that anyone has moved in.
That's all I'm going to say, because the rest is best left for your discovery. I couldn't imagine seeing this in a packed house on opening weekend, It would've been nuts. Basically, the film is tense. Really, really, REALLY…
It has been a while since the last time I laid eyes on Panic Room, and as a Fincher enthusiast I have always deemed it an effective yet lesser piece of his filmography. While this remains true, it is more a compliment to the rest of his work than an insult to this film, because Panic Room is a stylish and flat out entertaining exercise in the importance of utilizing setting and cinematography to build tension.
On the surface, Panic Room really is nothing special, a home invasion film that plays by some predictable rules like using a child to tug at the heartstrings and raise the stakes, a film that features flat and uninspired archetype villain characters, starting with…
Falls to the middle of Fincher’s filmography.
That probably sounds harsh (and feels it), but that’s not to say Panic Room is bad. It keeps up the tension throughout and gets a lot out of its environment for such a static seeming premise.
It just ends up feeling a bit…slight compared to the rest of Fincher’s films, which I do not grade lightly (this is the first to fall below 3.5). His, like main-line Marvel movies, appear to be incapable of falling beneath a base-line of quality, and that is impressive on its own.
Panic Room tells a straightforward and vicariously entertaining story built on a bunch of performances that are all quite excellent, with Foster and Stewart’s ostensible leads…
You can't help but gaze at some of the elaborate shots in this film with wonder. Even for 2002, this is still pretty technically impressive filmmaking, and Fincher's signature washed out/obsessively achieved colour tones and calculated camera movement are clearly the result of countless hours of hard work. The performances (including a solid early performance from Stewart and notable supporting work by Leto) round out an above-average film - and despite the thin layers of narrative holding all its visual prowess together, the sense of tension and command (thanks to Fincher's direction) is what allows it to work so well. It may seem a bit uneventful for some, but even purely on the basis of its aesthetics and key sequences, it certainly holds up even over a decade later.
Leave it to David Fincher to bring an epic sense of scale to a close-quarters, home invasion thriller. To adjust that old adage: There are no small films, only small directors.
Fincher's Hitchcockian follow-up to Fight Club is suspenseful and intense, with a great score, standout camerawork, and overall fantastic performances.
"Get out of my house!"
"Mom, 'get the fuck out of my house.'"
"Get the fuck out of my house!"
In many ways, this is an odd film for Fincher to direct as it's the type of film everyone else was making when he was too busy with films like Seven and Fight Club.
It's still very enjoyable though, and the final act - when Jodie Foster goes all Macaulay Culkin on the intruders - is hilarious and brilliant.
I like the concept of this film, but the acting, from the rarely makes a misstep Jodie Foster to Joker Leto. Technically, it felt like Fincher was on cruise control.
David Fincher is probably one of the most solid directors of all time, and while I haven't witnessed all his works, everyone I've had the pleasure of seeing has been near perfect. This movie is tightly paced, eerily suspenseful, and will have you biting your nails and sitting on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Also Forest Whitaker is just a big teddy bear.
The narrative of Panic Room unfolds like that of a cheap B-movie thriller, but its craft, direction and performances -- and not to mention its palpable, ever-building tension -- elevate it to near-greatness.
Let's give some credit to the unsung artisans responsible for setting the mood at the beginning of a film, or…
Stories about women. I originally started this list just as a reference for myself, but hopefully others will find it…