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Phone Booth (2002)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 175,252 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 620 user | 213 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

Stuart Shepard finds himself trapped in a phone booth, pinned down by an extortionist's sniper rifle.

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Title: Phone Booth (2002)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Captain Ramey
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Negotiator (as James Macdonald)
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ESU Commander
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Storyline

A slick New York publicist who picks up a ringing receiver in a phone booth is told that if he hangs up, he'll be killed... and the little red light from a laser rifle sight is proof that the caller isn't kidding. Written by Ryan McIntosh <Ryanmcintosh01@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Your life is on the line. See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

4 April 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Enlace mortal  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$379,269 (Japan) (21 November 2003)

Gross:

$1,787,367 (Japan) (12 December 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Bay considered directing. When he met with the writer and producers, the first thing he asked was "How can we get him out of the phone booth?" See more »

Goofs

The body of the deceased man disappears in the shot where the police cars come around the corner and park, but reappears in subsequent shots. See more »

Quotes

The Caller: And I wanted to fuck her.
Stu: And I wanted to sleep with her.
The Caller: No, and I wanted to fuck her. Say it. SAY IT!
Stu: And I wanted to fuck her. I'm sorry.
Kelly Shepard: Whatever you did, I don't care.
[sobbing]
Kelly Shepard: Please just... come out of the booth, okay?
Stu: That's all I did. That's all I did, I'm sorry.
[to the Caller]
Stu: All right, I've done what you asked. That's it. I've had enough of this game.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The 20th Century Fox logo blends into the white clouds that open the film. See more »

Connections

References Bette (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Six Days (Remix featuring Mos Def)
Written by Josh Davis and Brian Farrell
Performed by DJ Shadow
Courtesy of Universal-Island Records Ltd.
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
(Contains a sample of "Six Day War"
Performed by Colonel Bagshot with vocals featuring Kenneth Perry
Courtesy of Splash Records Ltd.)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Small scale and slightly flawed but gripping and very enjoyable thriller
28 February 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Stu Shepherd is in public relations and uses lies and deceit everyday in his job to get things moving. When calling a client from a phone booth in the hope of getting her to a hotel. When he hangs up the phone rings and he answers to what he assumes is a prank call. However the caller reveals more and more about Stu exposing his lies. When Stu tries to leave the caller reveals that he has Stu pinned down with a sniper rifle and the death of a man by the booth proves it. The police arrive and surround Stu while the caller continues his game.

Everyone knows that it had a small budget, a shooting window of just over a week and that it was made years ago and shelved as Farrell's star power increased and real life terrorist attacks and snipers came and went in the media and the mind of the American public. So I'll not dwell on that and instead talk of the film! The pitch was enough to get me interested – `man is held in phone box by sniper' – sounds great! I really wanted to see this film but was put off by the trailer, but not of the films I saw wrong in the trailer were to the detriment of the film as over 80-odd minutes it really runs like a race horse.

Starting with humour and a free-flowing pace it turns sinister early on but keeps the pace. In terms of plot it has many good twists and turns that will keep you interested and on the edge of your seat. The only issue for me was accepting why the sniper was doing it and how he was able to get access to the equipment he would have needed as well as the information – not to mention the WILL to do it! Also little things bugged me, but the film carries itself over these obstacles well enough and reservations are soon forgotten. It sounds simple but the simple ideas work best and, although low on action (sorry, teen boys!) it is driven by dialogue and simply not knowing what will come next.

The direction helps the film by constantly moving and using split screens etc to give the impression that a lot is going on at once – again making the film feel like it has a fast pace. It feels a little gimmicky (especially now that we've had 2 series of 24 doing the same thing) but it works regardless. I wrote in an old review (8mm I think) that I would never pay to see a Joel Schumacher film ever again, and I DIDN'T pay to see Phone Booth! However I was surprised because he didn't ruin it! He did a good job – yes, you heard me! His usual excesses seem to have been controlled by a good producer and editing team and the film works – much to my surprise and relief!

Farrell may not be a bona-fide Hollywood star yet but he takes the task of being onscreen for almost the whole film and runs with it. He makes a comically cruel character someone that reveals himself to be a loser but never loses the audience – and that takes talent. Sutherland's voice on the trailer didn't work for me (too normal and slow) but in the film he is excellent, like the director said, no-one else could have done the role, he is right for it. Whitaker makes up the third lead and he holds his corner well.

It may not be without the odd flaw but this film manages to be simple, gripping and very effective. Well worth a look.


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