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Phone Booth Movie Review (8/10)

Posted on July 10th, 2003 filed in Movie Reviews    |   

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Colin Farrell plays Stuart a ‘fly high’ stuck up publicist who finds hismself hostage in a phone booth when he answers its ringing phone. With a laser red light pointed to his chest, the message is unambiguous: “Hang up and You’ll Die”.


Reportedly shot in a record 10 days, Phone Booth is a very enagaging thriller and one the best this year. Kudos to Joel Shumacher (Falling Down, Batman & Robin,…) for a job well done and non stop masterful suspense that leaves one at the edge of his seat throughout the movie’s 80 minutes.

The script is simple yet freaky and disturbing. It manages to both feed on and aggravate urban phobia as any big city dweller watching this movie would undeniably recognize that what is rolling on the screen may happen to anyone including himself. Of note here is that the film release was delayed from last year due to ‘runway-belt’ sniper attacks in DC.

Screenwriter Larry Cohen originally discussed a purely-phone-booth film to Hitchcock back in the 1960s. But the idea was shelved as no reason was deemed credible enough to constrain the movie to the booth. It took 35 years for Cohen to conceived of the sniper and the script was then written in weeks.

Collin Farrell (Minority Report) is perfectly cast and delivers a very credible and intense performance that will undoubtedly mark his career and advance it significantly. Shumacher insisted on giving him the role despite expressed interest from heavyweights such as Jim Carrey and Will Smith.

Keifer Sutherland (The Caller) is phenomenal. His voice is so powerfully nerve wrecking and has such a richness in nuances that he uses with significant skill to convey the essential mood to make this movie the success it is. Forrest Whittaker also shines as the police detective.

Overall, Phone Booth is a very enjoyable and well executed thriller with class act performances and a simple but brilliant script. Highly recommended.

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