Despite not being a box office success, Panic received universal critical acclaim from critics, some of which called it one of the best movies of 2000. The performances of William H. Macy, John Ritter, and Donald Sutherland were hailed by critics.
Widespread panic 2000 04 07 huntsville al complete show
Alex (Macy), a sad-eyed mournful man, goes into psychotherapy disclosing that he is a hit man. He also tells the doctor (Ritter) after a few sessions that he is attracted to a young woman he has met in the waiting room. She is Sarah (Campbell), 23, quick, edgy, and perhaps attracted to him as well. But he is married, the dutiful father of a young precocious boy, so Sarah brushes him off. In flashbacks we see him get his start as a killer, at his father's prompting since it is the family business. Dad gives Alex his next assignment: to kill the therapist. Alex keeps returning to Sarah, calling her, stopping by her apartment, as he decides what to do about the hit, his father, his marriage and his malaise.
William H. Macy as Alex
John Ritter as Dr. Josh Parks, Alex's psychotherapist
Neve Campbell as Sarah Cassidy, Alex's love interest
Donald Sutherland as Michael, Alex's father
Tracey Ullman as Martha, Alex's wife
Barbara Bain as Deidre
David Dorfman as Sammy, Alex and Martha's son
Tina Lifford as Dr. Leavitt
Bix Barnaba as Louie
Nicholle Tom as Tracy
Andrea Baker as Candice
Miguel Sandoval as Detective Larson
The film received critical acclaim from critics, and holds a 91% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 56 reviews, with a consensus stating "This quirky little film about a gangster in therapy feels fresh and well-crafted." Roger Ebert gave the film four stars. Leonard Maltin gave the film two and a half stars but praised the acting, calling it "excellent." Many critics highlighted on the performances of John Ritter, William H. Macy, and Donald Sutherland, which received heavy praise. Lisa Nesselson of Variety wrote "Pic’s title implies frenzy and wild activity, but the film’s charm evolves from its measured, unhurried rhythms, and originality from the tone: quirky yet convincing, irreverent yet moral."