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Panic Room

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Panic Room Movie Poster Image
Extreme suspense, graphic violence; not for kids.
  • R
  • 2002
  • 112 minutes
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 27 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.


Constant peril and suspense.




Very strong language.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Character drinks to excess.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie has extreme suspense and some graphic violence. A child is in peril. Characters use strong language.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAshnak April 9, 2008

Good Psychological Thriller

This movie was nothing like what I expected. It will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Adult Written bySwiftyROCKS097 November 23, 2012

Is it suitable for teenagers?

Last week my 15 year old son asked me if he could watch this movie. As a cautious parent, I told him I would watch it, and decide if he is mature enough to watc... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old January 5, 2010

This movie isn't scary, but not appropriate for 11-

I'm a 10 year old girl, I went to my 11 year old friends house for a sleepover and wanted to watch a horror, her mum gave us Panic Room to watch, at first... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byModa October 12, 2010

I loved it :)

I really loved this movie! The number one thing that i liked about it was the fact that it wasn't too scary. Some of my friedns really dont like scary movi... Continue reading

What's the story?

This thriller, in the claustrophobic mode of Rear Window, finds Meg (Jodie Foster), a recent divorcee, and her combative daughter Sarah (Kristen Stewart), trapped in the secret vault/bomb shelter/safe room set up by their apartment's previous owner, a paranoid millionaire with a squabbling family. The least favorite cousin, Junior (Jared Leto), has broken into the apartment with the help of security expert Burnham (Forest Whitaker) and tag-along psycho Raoul (Dwight Yoakam). The bad guys want in to the vault, where the old millionaire hid his millions. The girls just want to get out, but the protected phone line inside the room hasn't been activated yet (they just moved in). Meg's inner mama tiger takes over escalates as the burglars take more and more drastic steps to try and enter the impregnable vault, and Sarah moves from being a tough, sullen teen to a tough, sullen, wily teen.

Is it any good?

PANIC ROOM is not a movie about insight into the human condition or subtle, complex characters; this is just a movie about scaring the heck out of you, and it does that very expertly. On the outside, Forest Whitaker gets to play the good bad guy, while Mr. Leto and Mr. Yoakam act progressively more evil.

For a story which should have been a claustrophobic battle of wits, too often it's simply a battle of violence, although there are some riveting action sequences. And while the family dynamics are underdeveloped, the film does show how divorced parents and their children can remain a family even after separation.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what the characters do to escalate the level of violence, and how acting from emotions as opposed to reason can aggravate problems, no matter how satisfying it may seem at the time. Divorced families will be especially interested in Sarah's father, who has in no way abandoned his daughter.

Movie details

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