Panic Room is your basic, run of the mill, early 2000s thriller, but it's loaded with a heavy dose of talent that a lot of these films didn't have. Obviously, that's owed to David Fincher, who commands a great deal of respect in the film community. Granted, this one feels like a work for hire, but that doesn't make it a bad film. It's surprisingly pretty good. Very intense. I think I was just expecting a lot more because of the name attached to it. When compared to films like Se7en, Zodiac, The Game, or Gone Girl, Panic Room just doesn't hold a candle to any of them. But hey, artists need money sometimes too.
Meg Altman (Foster) is a recently divorced, highly wealthy woman with a teenage daughter named Sarah (Stewart). They recently moved in to a gorgeous brownstone house in Manhattan, a million dollar property. The previous owner, however, was a recluse who may have left millions in a safe somewhere in the house. On their first night, three crooks break in to get it, and Meg and Sarah wind up trapped in the panic room, which is where the safe is. The crooks are Jared Leto, the dipshit grandson of the millionaire who organized all this, Forest Whitaker, the down on his luck guy who doesn't want to hurt anyone, and Dwight Yoakam, the quiet new guy who turns out to be a psycho. The whole movie is a battle of wills between Meg and the crooks over how she'll get out and if she'll get away. It's a decent watch, mostly for the intensity.
While I don't think Panic Room ranks among Fincher's greats, that's only because his greats are really fucking great. This one is a paycheck gig that he probably did to pay the mortgage or something else mundane. Still, it's a good flick with some fantastic performances and the horrifying image of Jared Leto with cornrows that will stay with me for the rest of my life.