The setting is a house in Harlem, New York some time in the year 2000. The action takes place mostly in a room in the house.
After a divorce with her husband Meg and her daughter Sara move to Harlem, New York looking for a new start in life. The first night after moving into their new three story house, burglars broke in to steal the money which the previous owner has left in a room with a steel bolted door called the Panic Room. After noticing the intruders presence, Meg wakes Sara up and took her into the Panic Room, and locked the door. Being in the room without any knowledge of what the burglars want. Meg uses a microphone in the room to negotiate with the burglars. After their response that what they want is inside the Panic Room, Meg is scared that they are there kill them rather than their claimed purpose. Meg won't let them in. Struggling to survive ,Meg had to anticipate the next move as well as keeping her daughter from dying due to a medical condition. The burglars try to scare them, smoking them out with gas through an air vent and threaten to kill her husband when he come to the!.
ir rescue (who she managed to get a hold of through a cell phone). At the end Meg had to get medication for her daughter outside the Panic Room. When she run out of the room, Meg is caught by one of the burglar. After fighting him off, Meg got back to the Panic Room to see her daughter being taken hostage by one of the burglars. She got a hold of the burglar's gun and shoots one of the burglar. At the end, the burglars are arrested and Meg decides that they doesn't need to live in a big house after all.
Meg have two opposite characteristics. She is a submissive person by letting others push her around. For example, when a woman seduces her husband, she let him go instead of trying to save the relationship. One time at a mall with Sara, a saleswoman tries to sell her a blouse with a stain on it.