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Panic Room (Three Disc Special Edition)

3.9 out of 5 stars 486 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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 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.

Additional Features

The three-disc special edition of Panic Room is a virtual film school that raises the bar on explaining everything that goes into the making of a movie. Everyone interviewed mentions how director David Fincher is a stickler for details, and it shows in this set, which even tops the loaded two-disc release of his Seven and more than makes up for the lack of features on the earlier Superbit DVD release. The second disc is mostly devoted to the pre-production process, particularly the "previs"--animated storyboards--that were used at a level unprecedented for a live-action film. Also noteworthy is a 52-minute production documentary comprised of good interview and "fly on the wall" footage. The third disc is anchored by 20 visual-effects featurettes totaling about an hour and a half (a play-all option would have been nice), plus scene breakdowns, spotlights on sound design and scoring, and more. A text-and-diagram explanation of Super-35 film gets a bit technical for the casual film fan, but offers useful insight into such oft-mentioned terms as "anamorphic widescreen," "pan and scan," and "matting."

The three commentary tracks accompanying the main feature are all excellent. Fincher offers background information and insight into his filmmaking process, and insists that his movie shouldn't be taken too seriously ("We're not curing cancer; we're just making a movie with actors pretending to be burglars"). Jodie Foster has the most to say on the actors' commentary, but Dwight Yoakam and to a lesser extent Forest Whitaker also contribute. They were recorded separately, though Foster and Yoakam acknowledge each other's comments now and then. Writer David Koepp is joined on his commentary by a "special guest" (hint), a fellow screenwriter who in an interesting interplay peppers Koepp with questions and prods him for answers. Everyone discusses the differences between Foster and the originally cast Nicole Kidman, but there's only one brief glimpse of a Kidman scene in the supplemental material. The DTS track is the biggest loss from the Superbit DVD, but the Dolby 5.1 track is powerful and immersive. --David Horiuchi

Special Features

  • Six featurettes on the pre-production phase
  • Interactive previsualization
  • "Shooting Panic Room": an hourlong documentary on the principal photography phase
  • Makeup effects featurette
  • Sequence breakdowns
  • 21 documentaries and featurettes on the visual effects
  • "On Sound Design" with Ren Klyce
  • "Digital Intermediate" and other featurettes dealing with the post-production phase
  • A multi-angle look at the scoring session conducted by Howard Shore
  • Plus a few surprises!

Product Details

  • Actors: Jodie Foster, Jared Leto, Forest Whitaker, Dwight Yoakam
  • Directors: David Fincher
  • Producers: Cean Chaffin, David Koepp, Gavin Palone
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 30, 2004
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (486 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001AVZCQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,419 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Panic Room (Three Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Desired FX VINE VOICE on April 3, 2002
I had to wonder, coming out of the theater, if PANIC ROOM wasn't David Fincher's attempt to Keep Hollywood Happy. After his brilliant FIGHT CLUB suffered mixed reviews and box office failure, he must have been aware that he needed a Big Hit if he wanted to keep making movies.
Enter PANIC ROOM, a dark, sharp thriller which showcases the talents of Jodie Foster and Forest Whitaker in a cat-and-mouse game between the new owner of a house and the builder of its security systems who is hoping to steal something the previous owner left behind: Whitaker and his crew break in, thinking the new occupants haven't yet moved in, and Foster has time to rush herself and her daughter into the house's Panic Room, an extremely secure high-tech saferoom: the room keeps the intruders out, but it also keeps their intended victims in.
Foster is brilliant as the claustrophobic mom who will do anything to keep her daughter safe, but the film comes up short when she makes choices that most of the audience will perceive as short-sighted at best and stupid at worst. Foster overcomes this script shortcoming by playing the choices convincingly--you can read the conundrum in her face and believe in her reasoning when she makes the poor choice.
It's a credit to Whitaker that his "villain" character remains sympathetic throughout--he's not the sort of terrorist-cum-robber that made Alan Rickman famous in DIE HARD. You find yourself hoping that some accord can be reached--that he can just get what he wants and get out safely. Unfortunately, his psychotic partners-in-crime make that an impossibility.
Fincher has always done an excellent job of taking us to the dark side of things, leading the camera into places that the human eye could never see.
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David Fincher has always been a very visual director. He understands the most innovative and revolutionary film techniques to appeal to every sense. This is apparent in his films 'Se7en' and 'Fight Club'; however in this outing delivers a film that keeps the audience on the edge of their seats for 100 minutes in the thriller 'Panic Room'.
The premise when first looked at is rather simple. Recently divorced mother Meg Altman (Jodie Foster) moves into a huge new house on Manhattan's West Side, which is not only enormous but has something most places don't; a panic room. This room is solid concrete, on top of steel, fixed out with surveillance cameras; in short nothing can get in, or out.
On their first night Meg and daughter Sarah (Kirsten Stewart), whose relationship has been strained since the divorce, are awoken by three criminals (Jared Leto, Dwight Yokam, and the socially minded Forest Whitaker) who are hell bent in entering the house. Thus Meg and Sarah run into the panic room hidden behind a mirror in the master bedroom, expecting the thieves will ransack the house and leave. The plot twists from here, as the criminals actually want the 22 million dollars in bearer bonds hidden in a floor safe in the panic room. What ensues is an intense pseudo game of `hide and seek' with Meg and Sarah trapped by the three criminals.
The characters that Fincher establishes are amazing. The film wouldn't have the same feel if Nicole Kidman (who was due to be cast) were in the role of Meg. It is the dichotomy Foster portrays between a sensitive, maternal Female, who is forced to react in a very masculine way. In this sense Foster plays a character much like Clarice in `Silence of the lambs', who's femininity in brought to the forefront but extenuous circumstances.
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By h on March 30, 2002
There is more psychological suspense in this thriller than even Hannibal could contribute. Jodie Foster plays Meg Altman, a recently divorced woman searching for a home in a wealthier area of Manhattan. She and daughter Sarah decide on a beautiful multi-level apartment that seems to have a rather unusual lay-out. The seriously intellectual Meg quickly notices that there seems to be square footage missing from the home. One room seems smaller than it should.
How interesting...Meg is right. Behind a secret wall lies the infamous "Panic Room", designed it seems, to withstand (and I am partially joking here) an atomic bomb explosion. The Room is entirely self-sufficient, able to operate and sustain life independently from the outside world. Everything needed to survive is packaged neatly behind the heavy steel doors (think War Games). In fact, the presence of the panic room is so omnious and claustrophobic, it becomes an acting character itself.
How lucky then, are Sarah and mother Meg when a group of burglers, headed by Burnham, (Whitaker)...break into the home in search of a cache of money supposedly hidden in the panic room. And how unlucky are the two women when it comes to our realisation that Burnham used to be a designer and architect of "panic rooms" himself. He is confident that he can break into the room, using his knowledge of a panic room's inherent design.
The real game becomes a slow evolution from -Can they escape?- and -Will they get in?-, cat and mouse style, to who is most strategic. Burnham may seem to have the upper hand, but Meg is quick-witted and familiar with her own home. She plays her cards well and it is exciting to see her instinctual skills come to life.
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