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Panic Room
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Jodie Foster, Kristen Stewart, Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto, Dwight Yoakam
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Columbia Pictures
Kiddie Movie: Some parents brought their youngin's, six years youngin.  I hope the kids had nightmares keeping the parents awake all night.  Leave them at home.
Date Movie: She should get scared and snuggle.
Gratuitous Sex: Nah, Jodie keeps her shirt on.
Gratuitous Violence: Some pretty decent quality kills.
Action: People chase each other.
Laughs: There's a cute line or two to break up the terror.
Memorable Scene: One word: Sledgehammer
Memorable Quote: None really.
Directed By: David Fincher
Produced By: CeŠn Chaffin, Judy Hofflund, David Koepp, Gavin Polone

Panic Room
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - R

It's 1:48 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
Jodie Foster, in a spaghetti string shirt, swinging a sledgehammer. What else can you ask for? That was enough for me to like the movie, but I guess there should be more, and "Panic Room" had a lot. I was a little worried at first, I mean, so mom and daughter lock themselves in a panic room, also known as a safe room, where it is seemingly impossible to get in once the door is closed. The bad dudes want to get in but canít. Wouldnít the bad dudes just eventually give up? But the writers of "Panic Room" added just enough twists so the story wasnít totally ridiculous. Hereís the basic story, trying not to give away anything major.

Jodie Foster plays Meg. Sheís recently divorced from her cheating hubby and sheís also got custody of the daughter, Sarah (Kristen Stewart), who isnít too keen on the divorce. What kid is? Anyway, Megís looking for a new pad and is willing to spend a lot of ex-hubbyís money, and what better way than to buy a huge house on the upper west side of Manhattan, with more rooms than mom and kid could ever need. On the tour of the house Meg notices that the one bedroom should be a little larger, and that is where we are introduced to the panic room, an impenetrable hideaway in case of home invasion complete with food provisions, toilet, cameras showing every room of the house, and a dedicated phone line out of the house. Meg is a little freaked, Sarah thinks the room is cool, and, in the end, Sarah gets the top floor, Meg gets the third, and all is well, at least for a few hours.

It turns out, on their first night in their new digs, that three dudes break into the house. Our three dudes are Junior (Jared Leto), the one who started the plan because he knew what was in the room, Burnham (Forest Whitaker), the one who knows how to get what is in the room, and Raoul (Dwight Yoakam), brought in by Junior for reasons really unrevealed. After breaking in Burnham isnít too keen on carrying on the burglary with people in the house (according to Junior they shouldnít have moved in yet), but Raoul isnít about to let things stop now, and heís the one packing heat.

Making a little too much noise, our three burglars wake up Meg who scurries to wake up Sarah, and after creatively using the elevator (you mean to say your house doesn't have an elevator?) to elude the bad dudes, Meg and Sarah find themselves locked in the panic room, leaving our three hoodlums in a quandary. Why? Because what they broke into the house for is in the panic room, the room they canít get into unless Meg and Sarah come out.

As it turns out, Meg and Sarah do have to get out of the panic room, and for good reason, developed nicely but not overdone. Sure, there are some dumb things that happen in the movie, some "duh" moments, but for the most part this is a great suspense movie, although the ending is a little weak and predictable.

What drives "Panic Room", at least for me, is that each of the characters fit their roles perfectly. Jodie Foster is almost always great, and as the mom who will do anything to protect her daughter, she is fantastic. Kristen does a decent job as the daughter who is pissed mom and Dad had to get a divorce, but then supportive of mom. But the winners of this movie really are the three burglars. Whitaker is great as the family man kinda getting sucked into more than he thought; Leto does a fine job as trying to be the ringleader but not having the skills to do so, and Yoakam is downright creepy as the henchman with the gun. For most of the movie he wears a ski mask, which is creepy enough, but when the mask comes off, he plays sinister to the hilt.

When all is said and done I really liked "Panic Room." It did drag in a few spots, youíve got to admit that our hoodlums arenít too bright, and the end was a little calculated once it got going, but donít let that let that stop you if you are a fan of a decent suspense film with some really cool camera work. Iíll give "Panic Room" 4 stars out of 5. Go ahead, pay full price and buy some popcorn.

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

 

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