A well-regarded spec script by A-list screenwriter David Koepp became this stylish thriller from director David Fincher. Jodie Foster stars as Meg Altman, a single mother of an diabetic preteen daughter, Sarah (Kristen Stewart). Meg's going through an unhappy divorce that forces her and Sarah to move into a new home. They choose a deluxe New York brownstone that coincidentally boasts an unusual feature: a "panic room," a vault-like hidden space capable of literally sealing itself off from the rest of the building. With its thick steel door on springs, separate ventilation and communications systems, and video monitors linked to cameras mounted throughout the home, the room is an impregnable fortress. It quickly comes in handy when the Altmans' new residence is invaded by a trio of thieves: Junior (Jared Leto), Burnham (Forest Whitaker), and Raoul (Dwight Yoakam). Meg and Sarah are able to secure themselves in the panic room before the robbers can get to them, but it turns out that Sarah's medication is still on the outside, the phone's not yet connected, and the loot the gang's seeking is inside the panic room with them. A cat-and-mouse battle of wits ensues, with Meg trying to outwit their captors over the course of one very long night, as her daughter's health dissipates. Panic Room (2002) co-stars Ann Magnuson, Patrick Bauchau, and Koepp's fellow screenwriter, Andrew Kevin Walker, in a cameo role.
by Karl Williams synopsis