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Phone Booth (2003)

A movie directed by Joel Schumacher

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Phone Booth - Enticing Idea Falls Short, Rings Hollow

  • Jul 23, 2003
This film has a good cast, solid performances, and an interesting idea to launch the story. Unfortunately, the plot is thin, too short (less than 90 minutes for a live action movie!), and depends mostly upon the verbal dialogue of a character who is not on screen until the last moments of the film. It also has a somewhat dark ending which may disappoint many viewers (though I think the ending is actually creative by not having a feel good resolution). The film can make the viewer begin to think about the topic of integrity and self-honesty, although it is hard to do so when the character who invites the topic is a meticulous serial killer. The DVD has a wide screen version on one side and the TV screen version on the other, with limited bonus features. This is a movie to see on video or TV - if you watched it in the theater you may feel short-changed and peeved at the director for leaving you hanging.

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More Phone Booth (2003) reviews
review by . December 05, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****      "Phone Booth" is one of the finest thrillers of this past decade. It nearly defines the term "thriller" in ways that, by Joel Schumacher's standards, should by all means be undiscovered. Why is it so good? Why is a Joel Schumacher film good in the first place? Well, I'll make sure to answer your question. The film is so good because it's actually thrilling. It's not every day that you encounter a film which just never stops …
review by . July 14, 2003
You don't know who to root for in this fast-paced modern morality tale, Colin Farrell as the self-absorbed, abusive and manipulative publicist or the murderous and unseen presence voiced by Kieffer Sutherland (with near-perfect syrupy malevelance).Farrell has a routine that utilizes one of the last freestanding phonebooths in New York City to make the phone calls he doesn't want his wife to know about. Unfortunately for him, a high tech sniper with a penchant for morality judgements is all too familiar …
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By some lucky quirk of fate,Phone Boothlanded on Hollywood's A-list, but this thriller should've been a straight-to-video potboiler directed by its screenwriter, veteran schlockmeister Larry Cohen, who's riffing on his own 1976 thrillerGod Told Me To. Instead it's a pointless reunion for fast-rising star Colin Farrell and hisTigerlanddirector, Joel Schumacher, who employs a multiple-image technique similar to TV's24to energize Cohen's pulpy plot about an unseen sniper (maliciously voiced by24's Kiefer Sutherland) who pins his chosen victim (a philandering celebrity publicist played by Farrell) in a Manhattan phone booth, threatening murder if Farrell doesn't confess his sins (including a potential mistress played by Katie Holmes in a thankless role). In a role originally slated for Jim Carrey, Farrell brings vulnerable intensity to his predicament, but Cohen's irresistible premise is too thin for even 81 brisk minutes, which is how long Schumacher takes to reach his morally repugnant conclusion.--Jeff Shannon
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Director: Joel Schumacher
Screen Writer: Larry Cohen
DVD Release Date: July 8, 2003
Runtime: 81 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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