Panic Room is a 2002 American thriller film directed by David Fincher and written by David Koepp. The film stars Jodie Foster, Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto, Dwight Yoakam, Kristen Stewart, and Patrick Bauchau. The story is about a mother and daughter taking refuge in a safe room during a break-in of their home by three burglars who are after millions of dollars stored in a safe.
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Recently divorced Meg Altman (Foster) and her 11-year-old daughter Sarah (Stewart) have just purchased a four-story brownstone on the upper west side of New York City. The house's previous owner, a reclusive millionaire, installed an isolated room used to protect the house's occupants from intruders. The "panic room" is protected by concrete and steel on all sides, a thick steel door, and an extensive security system with multiple surveillance cameras and a separate phone line. On the night the two move into the home, it is broken into by Junior (Leto), the grandson of the previous owner; Burnham (Whitaker), an employee of the residence's security company; and Raoul (Yoakam), a ski mask-wearing gunman recruited by Junior. The three are after $3 million in bearer bonds, which are locked inside a floor safe in the panic room.
After discovering that the Altmans have already moved in, Junior convinces a reluctant Burnham, who assumed the house was unoccupied, to continue with their heist. As they begin the robbery, Meg wakes up and happens to see the intruders on the video monitors in the panic room. Before the three can reach them, Meg and Sarah run into the panic room and close the door behind them, only to find that the telephone is inoperative. Intending to force the two out of the room, Burnham introduces propane gas into the room's air vents; Raoul, in conflict with Burnham and Junior, dangerously increases the amount of gas. Unable to seal the vents, Meg ignites the gas while she and Sarah cover themselves with fireproof blankets, causing an explosion which vents into the room outside and causes a fire, injuring Junior.
The Altmans make several attempts to call for help, including signaling a neighbor with a flashlight through the opening of a ventilation pipe, but the neighbor ignores it. Meg then taps into the main telephone line and gets through to her ex-husband Stephen (Bauchau) before the burglars cut them off. Sarah, who has diabetes, suffers a seizure; her emergency Glucagon syringe being in a refrigerator outside the panic room.
When all attempts to get into the room fail, Junior lets slip that there is much more money in the safe than he let on, and gives up on the robbery. About to leave the house, he is shot by Raoul, who forces Burnham, at gunpoint, to finish the robbery. Stephen arrives at the home and is taken hostage by Burnham and Raoul—who severely beats him. After using an unconscious Altman to trick Meg into momentarily leaving the panic room, Burnham enters it, finding Sarah motionless on the floor. After retrieving the syringe for Sarah, Meg struggles briefly with Raoul, who is thrown into the panic room, his gun knocked out of his hand. As Meg throws the syringe into the panic room, Burnham frantically locks himself, Raoul, and Sarah inside, crushing Raoul's hand in the sliding steel door. Meg, now with the gun, begs the two intruders over the intercom to give Sarah the injection, which Burnham does.
Having earlier received a call from Stephen, two policemen arrive. With Raoul threatening to kill Sarah, Meg lies to the officers and they leave. Meanwhile, Burnham opens the safe and removes the $22 million in bearer bonds inside. As the robbers attempt to leave while using Sarah as a hostage, Meg hits Raoul with a sledgehammer and Burnham flees. After a badly injured Stephen shoots at Raoul and misses, Raoul disables him and prepares to kill Meg with the sledgehammer, but Burnham, upon hearing Sarah's screams, returns to kill Raoul and leaves again. The police, alerted by Meg's suspicious behavior earlier, arrive in force and capture Burnham.
Later, Meg and Sarah, having recovered from their harrowing experience, begin searching the newspaper for a new home.
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