It was in Afghanistan covering the war that photographer Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) lost her eyesight due to a suicide bomber but three years later life is sorting itself out. She now lives with her boyfriend Ryan (Andrew W. Walker) in a spacious New York penthouse where she feels comfortable despite her sister Blake (Kaniehtiio Horn) and brother-in-law Danny (Trevor Hayes) voicing their concerns over how honest Ryan is. And it seems that they were right as whilst a New Years party is going on in the apartment block a man named Hollander (Michael Keaton) and his partner Chad (Barry Sloane) trap her in the apartment as they look for some stolen jewels.
You know some times it is hard not to sound sexist when reviewing movies but some times it is hard not to and "Penthouse North" which also goes by the name of "Blindsided" is one of those times. You see "Penthouse North" is a movie which is all about the look be it the look of the swanky apartment which Sarah lives in, the look of the steam which comes out of the actors mouths when they are on the balcony because it is a cold day and so on right down to the fact that Michelle Monaghan looks very attractive. There are some also important look moments, those intentional close shaves which has Sarah in danger.
Now in fairness "Penthouse North" has some nice touches; the sadistic nature of Chad who enjoys toying with Sarah is okay whilst some of the blind technology aspects makes things occasionally interesting but on a whole we are in familiar territory. And that is in many ways the issue with "Penthouse North" as the woman under attack in her own home has been done many a time and this doesn't raise the bar to make this stand out from the crowd, not managing to make us think anything but the obvious when it comes to what is going to happen. In fact some fake looking effects come close to being the most memorable parts of the movie.
So okay I mentioned Michelle Monaghan being attractive earlier but she is also a good actress yet in a way her performance is better than this movie deserves as she is in fact remarkably restrained, too restrained in many ways. Less restrained is Michael Keaton who arches his eyebrows and goes for big and bad as best as he can which in truth is quite entertaining even if it didn't work well with what Monaghan was doing.
What this all boils down to is that "Penthouse North" is a bit of middle of the road entertainment which reworks a familiar storyline and does so with an attractive cast but fails to lift it to new heights.