Panic Room

Question: I don't really understand why Jodie Foster's character didn't tell the police something was wrong when they came to the door. I know she was worried for her daughter but the robbers couldn't overhear and she could have asked the police to come back later, giving her a chance to smash the cameras. Also, considering that she emphatically denied there was anything wrong, why did the police return later with all the guns etc?

Answer: But if Jodie Foster was so keen to placate the burglars and protect her daughter's life then why did she smash the cameras after the police left? It doesn't make sense.

Answer: The cop told Jodie "if you can give me some kind of signal." Jodie runs her fingers through her hair, that's the signal.

Answer: One doesn't ask the cops to come back later, especially when one's daughter's life is a stake. Also, the cops came back because they just didn't believe her and felt that something was up (call it intuition).

Not only that, Jodie Foster said that "they were good", why would she say that they are good if not that they were right?

Answer: They wouldn't in real life. This was a plot contrivance.


It does happen in real life, and it is sadly a common occurrence in big cities. Living in Los Angeles, I've had to dial 911 a few times. I was on hold for 5 minutes once, and I've read articles about people who have been on hold for way longer. With this film being set in New York city, this did not surprise me. Even Meg and Sarah don't seem too surprised by it, and they opt to call Sarah's father instead.


Answer: There could be a serious major event happening nearby where all the resources needed to be sent ASAP. The 911 operator had to prioritize and assumed the current caller's emergency - whatever it was - was less urgent. There could have been a shortage of operators for whatever reason.


Question: Can someone please tell me what happened to Jodie Foster's ex-husband? Did he live or die?

Answer: He survived. His injuries were serious but not life-threatening.


Question: How did the robbers know of the money? There was no mention of inheritance from the main crook.

Answer: Junior (Jared Leto) was a grandson of the deceased former occupant. He told his cohorts that he was the only one in the family who knew that his grandfather had hidden the bearer bonds (worth about $22 million) inside the panic room. He wanted it all for himself, so that is why he enlisted the other two to help him break into the safe.


Question: When Burnham came back from getting the tool kit, he didn't lock the door. Why didn't Meg grab a jacket from the bedroom and escape outside?

Answer: One obvious reason being she didn't want to leave her daughter alone in the house with them. Another reason being she is in a panic and it's not uncommon to suspend logic in a panic and just do the first thing that comes to mind. You'll find many stories of survivors saying they wish they had done something else, they were just too scared to think of it in the moment.

Question: Why did the robbers stick around after smashing the phone lines in the basement? Were they not at all concerned that Meg had enough time to call the police in that time?

Answer: It was a risk they took. They didn't know for sure if she called or not, but they probably figured that since the lines were down, that she may not have had enough time, and it was a risk they took. As seen later on, they find out that she only called her husband and not the police.


Question: Why did they keep holding signs up to the camera? Burnham's company builds the rooms and security systems, wouldn't he have known he can speak to them using one of the security panels like Meg does later in the film?

Answer: Meg was using the P.A. from inside the panic room and it only works one way; everywhere else would have a room-to-room intercom system. If there was another P.A. system working the other way, it would have been too loud, as the cop mentioned when he spoke to Meg at the front door. The neighbors heard Meg broadcasting on it. Burnham would know that it would draw unwanted attention and, if heard, could be incriminating.


There are two possible reasons that I can think of 1) Burnham probably simply forgot that he could do it, the same as none of them thought to smash the cameras until Raoul saw Meg doing it. They were under a lot of pressure as the plan had changed so it probably just slipped his mind. 2) Burnham knew he could do it but didn't want the other two to know. The other two seemed like loose cannons and Burnham seemed to be the only one who didn't want to hurt anyone. He might have been worried that they'd use the intercom to send threats or something.

Question: Why didn't Meg quietly leave the room with her cell phone and go somewhere else in the house to phone the police? She had plenty of opportunities, like when they were running around trying to disable the phone lines, when Raoul killed Junior, etc.

Answer: It was too risky that she would get caught and she would not leave her diabetic daughter unattended. Even with the security cameras, she could not know where each guy was all the time. As she had already left the panic room to retrieve the phone (and was nearly caught), they would be aware she might try it again. Burnham would know that the cell phone would not work inside the room.


Other mistake: Near the end of the movie Dwight Yoakam is holding Jodie Foster's daughter captive as he tries to exit the house. Jodie Foster sneaks up behind him with a sledgehammer and swings it at his head. He turns to face her and the metal end of the hammer catches him firmly in his temple, knocking him down a flight of stairs. A few minutes later he comes up the stairs and tackles Jodie Foster to the ground, seemingly unhurt by the impact of the sledgehammer.

More mistakes in Panic Room

Junior: She's coming down to you.
Burnham: Hey, I told you, I don't hurt people.

More quotes from Panic Room

Trivia: The role of Raoul was offered to Tool and A Perfect Circle vocalist Maynard James Keenan, the latter whose music video for the song "Judith" David Fincher also directed. Keenan had to decline due to commitments to Tool.

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