Critic Reviews



Based on 35 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Wall Street Journal
Provides a reminder of the power of unadorned drama and language -- whole torrents of eloquent words -- in the service of a nifty idea.
Chicago Sun-Times
The movie is essentially a morality play, and it's not a surprise to learn that Larry Cohen, the writer, came up with the idea 20 years ago--when there were still phone booths and morality plays.
Farrell is a dynamo. And Kiefer Sutherland, whose sniper role is essentially a voice on the phone, matches Farrell subtle shift for subtle shift.
The result is a movie that combines a seriousness of purpose with an impish delight in craft, in a way Hitchcock would have appreciated.
A lean, mean tension machine, setting up its premise, executing it with smarts, throwing in enough twists to keep things interesting, and wrapping it up before anyone can get fatigued or reflective. It's on the money.
Has undertones of serious commentary on American violence, thanks to the screenplay by Larry Cohen, who often uses horror-film plots to explore cracks and contradictions in society.
New York Post
A tabloidy, nail-biting thriller.
Entertainment Weekly
It's an energetic stunt of a movie, and it wants to make us sweat like it's 1974.
Superficially gritty yet soullessly slick melodrama.
New York Daily News
Farrell, adding to the case for his impending stardom, locks into his role with the laser precision of the sniper's rifle scope.
Without question, the whole thing's absurd -- this is, remember, about a guy stuck in a phone booth -- but for its first 40 minutes or so it's also mildly entertaining, fueled by the nuttiness of the setup and Schumacher's energy.
Philadelphia Inquirer
A high-concept hostage drama of absolutely no value to anyone -- except maybe Bell Atlantic, whose titular street-corner pay phone is on screen for almost every agonizing frame.

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