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Review: Panic Room

It’s all about the opening credit sequence and Jodie’s slow-mo dashes into the panic room. That and those elegant wine glasses.

2.5
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Panic Room
Photo: Columbia Pictures

Meg Altman (Jodie Foster) moves into the posh home of an eccentric millionaire who hid his fortune inside his safe room which doubles as a makeshift hideaway against domestic invaders. Panic Room feels an awful lot like the movie an exhausted director would make after something like Fight Club. A seemingly disinterested David Fincher allows cinematographer Darius Khondji and a slew of special effects wizards to turn an Upper West Side apartment into a 3-D dollhouse for a recently divorced mother of a diabetic tomboy. Aggravating yet incredibly punchy, Panic Room brings to mind a PoMo Home Alone, though Rear Window For Dummies is more like it. A blabbermouth Jared Leto is insufferable as one of the film’s trio of intruders though Whitaker wonderfully keeps the lid on the John Coffey heart-of-gold in his good-guy-gone-bad Burnham. While overly mechanical and shamelessly self-obsessed, Panic Room is nonetheless replete with some incredible set pieces. Actually, it’s all about the opening credit sequence and Jodie’s slow-mo dashes into the panic room. That and those elegant wine glasses. Panic Room may lack depth but it’s great eye-candy nonetheless.

Cast: Jodie Foster, Kristen Stewart, Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto, Dwight Yoakam, Patrick Bauchau, Ian Buchanan, Ann Magnuson Director: David Fincher Screenwriter: David Koepp Distributor: Columbia Pictures Running Time: 120 min Rating: R Year: 2002 Buy: Video, Soundtrack

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