PANIC

A Hopeless Spiral

Content -2
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: December 01, 2000

Starring: William H. Macy, Donald Sutherland, Neve Campbell, Tracey Ullman, & Barbara Bain, John Ritter, & David Dorfman

Genre: Drama/Thriller

Audience: Adults

Rating: R

Runtime: 88 minutes

Distributor: Artisan Entertainment

Director: Henry Bromell

Executive Producer: David Cooper

Producer: Andrew Lazar, Lori Miller & Matt Cooper

Writer: Henry Bromell

Address Comments To:

Mark Curcio, Chairman/CEO
Artisan Entertainment
2700 Colorado Avenue, 2nd Floor
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Phone: (310) 449-9200
Fax: (310) 255-3920
Webpage: www.artisanent.com

Content:

(B, AbAb, H, Ro, Ho, LLL, VV, SS, A, MM) Very mild moral worldview showing the wages of sin & protagonist’s son has questions about God during profound, hopeful discussions with his mixed-up father, but characters have a twisted, anti-biblical sense of moral values in story about a hitman facing a “mid-life crisis” while desiring to express his unresolved anger, plus movie contains some humanist, romantic & homosexual elements; 3 blasphemies, 16 profanities, 32 obscenities (with 21 “f” words), & 7 vulgarities; several execution-style shootings, including the killing of a policeman, child forced to shoot & kill a small animal, child cruelly teased by grandparent, muggers beat man, & woman accidentally cuts hand; implied adultery & promiscuity, seduction, woman confesses to being a lesbian, two women kiss then briefly shown sleeping in bed together; woman in underwear & woman removes her shirt in front of man (though nothing is shown); drinking; smoking; and, movie explores themes of adultery, jealousy, seduction, lying, & family dysfunction, father radically distorts morality to son in flashback, & mother breaks promise to her son.

Summary:

William H. Macy stars in PANIC as an unhappy hitman who seeks therapy as he struggles with unresolved anger and his idea of a mid-life crisis. A stellar cast makes this a fascinating movie, yet it is darkly disturbing and filled with strongly offensive language and subject matter.

Review:

William H. Macy (FARGO and MAGNOLIA) stars in PANIC as an unhappy hitman named Alex who seeks therapy as he struggles with unresolved anger and his idea of a mid-life crisis. Alex (Macy) tries in vain to hold his marriage together, be a loving father to his 6-year-old son and fulfill the demands of his father’s “family business.”

Alex desperately wants to quit his line of work but is easily manipulated by his controlling father, played by Donald Sutherland. His profession demands absolute secrecy, but it leaves Alex craving for intimacy. Embracing the myth of a mid-life crisis, Alex pursues an adulterous affair with a younger woman to attempt to fill the emotional void thrust upon him by his father. His distorted view of morality and his desire to break the cycle of dysfunction with his own son are poignant and tragic realities of this story. Ultimately, the actions of his repressed anger create the very dysfunctional pain he wants his own son to avoid.

Throughout PANIC, there are profound and touching conversations between Alex and his 6-year-old son, Sammy, that are sweet, loving and hopeful. Sammy (David Dorfman) is particularly moving as he discusses God, infinity and other deep truths of life with his father. The movie’s climactic confrontation is prompted as Alex is moved to defend and protect Sammy from the cruel intentions of the boy’s grandfather.

PANIC’s title is clearly a reference to “suddenly destroying self-control and impelling one to some frantic action.” It is painful to watch hopeless and helpless characters trapped in the vicious cycle of sin. A stellar cast makes this a fascinating movie, yet it is darkly disturbing and filled with strongly offensive language and subject matter.

In Brief:

William H. Macy stars in PANIC as an unhappy hitman named Alex who seeks therapy as he struggles with unresolved anger and his idea of a mid-life crisis. Alex tries in vain to hold his marriage together, be a loving father to his 6-year-old son and fulfill the demands of his father’s “family business.” Alex desperately wants to quit his line of work but is easily manipulated by his controlling father. His distorted view of morality and his desire to break the cycle of dysfunction with his own son are poignant and tragic realities of this story. Ultimately, the actions of his repressed anger create the very dysfunctional pain he wants his son to avoid.

Throughout PANIC, there are profound and touching conversations between Alex and his son, Sammy, that are sweet, loving and hopeful. Sammy is particularly moving as he discusses God, infinity and other deep truths of life with his father. The movie’s climactic confrontation is prompted as Alex is moved to protect Sammy from the cruel intentions of the boy’s grandfather. A stellar cast makes this a fascinating movie, yet it is darkly disturbing and filled with strongly offensive language and subject matter.