The Call (2013) Poster

(II) (2013)

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6/10
A ludicrous third act holds down an otherwise intense, realistic thriller.
Andrew Gold7 May 2015
The Call was an interesting watch. I don't think I've ever seen a movie build up so much tension in the first couple acts and just spiral out of control so badly in the final act. Did anyone like the end of this movie? I don't know, I tried to wrap my head around it but I just can't. Anyway The Call is about a 911 operator Jordan played by Halle Berry who gets a call from a girl who has been kidnapped by a serial killer. Turns out this is the same killer that Jordan had dealt with a few months earlier who ended up killing the girl she was on the phone with. Jordan took responsibility for her death because she inadvertently got the girl caught by calling her back on the landline which allowed the killer to hear the phone ring and ultimately find her. Since then Jordan stepped away from being an operator and took on teaching until the day the call came in about the same guy with the same MO and Jordan is the only one who can talk the girl through this delicate situation.

I love the premise of this movie - it's heavy on the dialogue but it doesn't go overboard with the drama. Everything is down-to-earth and realistic for the most part. It feels like you're genuinely watching a 911 operator help someone through a kidnapping and this is largely due to the acting by both Berry and Abigail Breslin who plays the girl in the trunk. The first couple of acts are fairly slow on action, but there are plenty of nail-biting scenes and overall tension building that keeps your eyes glued to the screen. Now, the third act kicks things into overdrive in every possible way. I won't spoil anything if you haven't seen it, but it essentially goes from Halle Berry the psychologically unstable 911 operator to Halle Berry the idiotic superhero. She starts doing things that are horribly out of character and it lessens the believability to the point where the tension falls flat. It was still fun to watch and I don't think it ruined the movie by any means, it just dampened what could've been a really effective down-to-earth thriller.

The antagonist of this movie is a mixed bag. The actor Michael Eklund is great in the role. He has played creepers before, namely the Dollmaker in Arrow which I thought he was fantastic in. Here he's your standard psychopath, or at least he starts out that way. As the movie progresses you find more things about this guy and his motive becomes really confusing. We discover that he has a shrine to his sister who died of cancer in his room, and there are pictures of what looks like an incestuous relationship between he and his sister before she died, and then it turns out he's a hair fetishist who scalps his victims while they're alive to preserve their hair and puts it on a mannequin head, presumably to keep the memory of his sister alive. All of his victims are blonde girls like his sister was so that's the only reasonable motive I can think of, but they explain it so poorly and throw all these weird character traits at the guy that it just gets confusing and weird. I'm sure the filmmakers just wanted to make him as creepy as possible so yeah I guess it worked.

Again, I really enjoyed The Call and was invested throughout, despite the drastic tone change in the final act. Seriously I have no idea what the writers were thinking with the ending but wow. There are many things you can pick apart about this movie but I rate things on how much I enjoyed them and I thoroughly enjoyed The Call. I'm not sure I'd ever watch it again, but it was gripping in the moment and I recommend it to any fan of serial killer movies or psychological thrillers.
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7/10
Engrossing thriller despite a weak closing act
Roland E. Zwick23 October 2013
"The Call" is a tidy little thriller, modeled, in large part, on the movie "Speed." Halle Berry plays the Southern California 911 dispatcher who's in a race against the clock to rescue a teenage girl (Abigail Breslin) locked in the trunk of a serial killer (Michael Eklund).

Director Brad Anderson keeps the action going at a breakneck pace, providing pulse-pounding, edge-of-the-seat suspense that helps us to overlook the stray inconsistency and implausibility that wander into the narrative, particularly towards the end (the movie doesn't entirely escape the Third Act curse common to the genre). There's also an unfortunate tendency towards the sadistic that spoils some of the fun.

The really distinctive feature is that writer Richard D'Ovidio has made Jordan, the dispatcher, a compelling, easily identifiable figure by emphasizing not only her strength and craftiness but her insecurity and self-doubt as she does her best to assist people in making it through sometimes unimaginable crises.

The movie is a bit overwrought at times (again, looking at you, last half hour) and it ultimately succumbs to too many serial-killer clichés, but "The Call" is a whole lot better than many of the more highly publicized, big-budget thrillers of recent times.
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7/10
Good thriller with a couple of weak spots
hotsocket14 March 2013
I enjoyed this film quite a bit: it kept a good pace of tension which makes for a good thriller. The acting is good (no academy awards), and it did a good job of giving a glimpse into the operations of 911 call centers which is a fresh topic - and it did so without dragging the pace.

The main bad guy becomes ever more creepy as the plot progresses which helps build the tension. The ending takes an interesting twist which, in the moment, doesn't feel quite as out-of-character as others describe - mainly due to a good segue shot that probably took more than a few takes to get right.

The weak spots consist mainly of some CSI style technology leaps that only technology morons would buy into, and a single bit of clumsiness that just feels scripted. Unfortunately the CSI technology leaps are very popular in Hollywood (to my dismay) and the bit of clumsiness is key to the plot progression.

If one or two minor transgressions make you feel like you wasted your money, wait for it to show up on Netflix. If you enjoy a good edge of your seat thriller and can overlook the transgressions, go see it!
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Loved it - intense and interesting
hyprsleepy18 March 2013
The Call kept my interest and had everyone wanting to scream at the screen and tell the characters what to do and urge them along. The characters would alternate between overcoming their emotions and rising to the challenge and falling prey to them at just the wrong moment. There was a constant sense of tension during the 911 call and the walk through of getting the girl to safety. Be prepared to feel that adrenaline and tension for longer than your body is normally used to. You may feel just as drained after a call as a 911 operator does...

I really enjoyed the level of detail the film makers put into showing us the world of a 911 operator and what they go through on a day to day basis. It's pretty fascinating. I know I could never do that kind of job. That kind of stress day in and day out has to wear on a person and probably often hardens them.

The ending involves a twist I wasn't expecting, and gains my respect for that, but it was still somewhat disappointing because I wanted it to go further. Those who have seen the movie will know what I mean.

If you found yourself at all interested in the trailer go see this movie! You'll like it!
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7/10
The Call is a well executed,Intelligent,Riveting piece of work
Vishal Verma7 April 2013
'The Call' is one of those movies where the feel dictates everything- Either you find yourself deeply engrossed,excitedly anticipating what's next or you feel disconnected and cant sit through it.With 'The call' it's the former.The movie wastes no time in getting things started and once they do,there's hardly a dull moment.The actors are well cast. Halle Berry plays a gutsy 911 phone agent who is desperate not to repeat a mistake made.Frankly she was amazing...way better than i expected.

The movie works because it has it's ingredients well cooked.The acting is superlative,the pace exhilarating.The background score is brilliant and adds another dimension to this thriller.The movie captures perfectly the horror and terror of being a kidnapped victim to a psychopath,the tension of being a 911 phone helper(Who needs to display equanimity,sympathize and be nimble-minded,all at the same time).It is a genuine tale,thrilling,intriguing .......and at times even scary.Definitely worth a watch.Go for it.
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9/10
Good Movie... will keep you on the edge of your seat.
biggdoggreal15 March 2013
This was a good thriller and it sucks you in right from the start. There is no down time and at no point does the movie get slow as many thrillers do. One thing is for sure, You wont be able to take a potty break!

Of course the movie does have some weak points but what movies don't? My main grip would be the ending, it seemed kind of lazy, but I think they wanted to make it somewhat realistic... maybe? This movie is not going to win any awards or anything like that, but it is fun to watch. So, if you enjoy thrillers, you won't be disappointed with this one! So, go ahead and check it out, don't be over critical, just enjoy it for what it is, a fun, on the edge of your seat thriller that will get and keep you engaged from the first minute.
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7/10
The First Half Makes the Movie Worth Watching
Claudio Carvalho5 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The skilled 911 operator Jordan Turner (Halle Berry) receives a phone call from the teenager Leah Templeton (Evie Louise Thompson) reporting a burglary at home. Jordan instructs Leah to hide herself in a room, but Jordan commits a mistake with tragic consequences, affecting her career.

Six months later, Jordan is a trainer of rookies in the 911 service haunted by her past. While showing the operation to the group, a new operator faces the call from the teenager Casey Welson (Abigail Breslin) that tells that she has been abducted. The operator panics and Jordan assumes the call, trying to calm down Casey and to get information to identify where she is and who kidnapped her. Now Jordan faces the chance of redemption and gives her best efforts to help Casey. Will she succeeds in her intent?

"The Call" is a thriller with a breathtaking first half that makes the movie worth watching. It is amazing how tense I was with the realistic despair of Casey in the trunk of the car, a type of crime not difficult to happen in Brazil. Unfortunately the writer Richard D'Ovidio does not resist to the Hollywood clichés and destroys the believable story that could have been a great thriller. Who in the world would investigate a dangerous murderer without a weapon or telling at least to her boyfriend that is a police officer the findings in the crime scene before exploring the location? Further, wouldn't be much easier to use the mall cameras to identify the red car? My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Chamado de Emergência" ("Emergency Call")
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4/10
Keeping it short and simple.
Reid Sweatt24 June 2013
The Call is good solid entertainment for the first 2 acts. Until the girl is taken out of the car and into the basement, it all goes to hell. The ending makes no sense for the characters and makes me wish that I had left as soon as the hour mark hit, so I could make up my own ending. That way I wouldn't have to sit through ridiculous plot twists and generic meltdowns. Halle Berry was good but her performance in Cloud Atlas was so much better, and that is probably do to the writing and direction. Brad Anderson isn't talentless and perhaps his next film will be an improvement. But the final act just screws this movie up so much. Overall I like the film to the lowest rating I can go and still go positive but the film doesn't deserve anything higher than a 5.5/10
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9/10
Even the few predictable turns of events are delivered with suspense
Wolfgang Koch13 March 2013
There is the main character who is good but not perfect, and there is the one mistake she makes that almost destroys her. And there is her nemesis, engaging her at a challenge greater than any she has had to confront before.

The Call models just about all the techniques of good storytelling. Character, plot, action, and suspense—all the ingredients of a good thriller are there, and blended well. Halle Berry gives a superb performance heading a cast that is capable overall. We can sense and feel the story as it happens.

The bad guy is always a step ahead. Except when he is two steps ahead. Except when the protagonist undertakes a bold new move and, if it works…. A big "if," that is.

On a couple of occasions, this movie gives stinging reminders of human fallibility, specifically lapses of good judgment that can cause a situation to deteriorate. We want to beckon the characters in front of us to do certain things, and fast. But they are either too daring or too guileless to anticipate the curveballs that are about to hit them.

Frustrating as that may be, the ending holds a twist gratifying enough to compensate for those frustrations. That even glosses over a certain lack of dénouement—perhaps the one part of storytelling this movie could have used more of. Or was it part of the plan to leave a few things to our imagination?
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9/10
This is one "Call" definitely worth answering...
Troy (Troy2Slick)17 March 2013
It's been quite awhile since I've reviewed a movie, but this one warranted one.

I had seen the previews for this movie left and right over the past few weeks and it did a sufficient job of pulling me in, so I decided to go to to the theatre and check it out. I didn't have too many expectations going in, but were they definitely fulfilled and then some.

This movie has an old-school vibe and feel to it. It doesn't rely on heavy CGI to get it's point across. In fact, it has a very meagre budget, but it doesn't show or feel that way one single bit. I was on the edge of my seat for much of the film. The tension was top notch, the tones were absolutely spot on, the close-ups of the actors and actresses faces showed their true nervousness, stresses and worked effectively.

The story is over the top, but the acting is very good. It's been awhile since I've seen Halle Berry in a film where I deemed her performance to be honest and believable until this one.

Some people may not like some of the camera work during the "cruel" scenes, but I happen to like it.

There were a few unintentionally funny scenes, but I chalk it up to dark comedic moments and it isn't detrimental one bit.

I highly recommend you check this movie out if you love a top notch, edge of your seat, over the top plot, well acted thriller. You will most likely not be disappointed.

9 out of 10 stars, easily!
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10/10
The Call
Jonas Mejdal1 October 2013
This movie will keep you on the edge of your seats. It's definitely one of the best movies I've seen for years. Movies are having quite a hard time making a good impression on me, but this one did for sure. Only great recommendations from here.

It's really intense and it's always giving you the "What now?"-question in your head, which will make you continue watching the movie because you really just want the answer.

Great, action filled scenes with a lot of suspense, - and Halle Berry plays the leading role so great. No one could've done it the way she did.

I still want to mention, though, that you will definitely get a bit frustrated by watching this movie. I don't want to tell you why, but I'm sure you'll have the same feelings as I had when you're watching it. Enjoy!
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4/10
Do Yourself A Favor, and Don't Waste Your Money
obiwan40014 March 2013
I saw this 2 days before it was released because I won a free screening of the film, and I figured it couldn't be that bad. I went in with low expectations and this movie met those expectations. I'll try to avoid doling out spoilers, but just be wary of the next few paragraphs.

Simply on a plot based level, its very cliché. Halle Berry is a 911 operator in LA, who just happens to look so much better than everyone in the building, who makes a serious mistake that gets a caller killed. She ends up being emotionally scarred from this. Wait- stop me if you've heard this one.

Then, Abigail Breslin gets kidnapped after exchanging some terrible dialogue with another similar aged girl-the dialogue sounds more like something you'd hear from teenage guys on an irregular basis with lines like "I'm starving like a motherf**ker" and "He totally wants to bone you." So Breslin calls 911 and gets a newbie operator. The newbie freaks out and so Halle Berry steps in, begging the question of why anyone in their right mind would let someone take a similar call to the scarring call that happened only 6 months ago.

There are plenty of moments like this in here where the viewer is left to wonder "Does that even make sense?". There are cops overreacting, irrational and risky moves by the heads of the 911 operator office, and the movie tops it all off with Halle Berry making the dumbest decision anybody could make, which is something that everyone has seen in these movies before and not many will be surprised by it.

Speaking of surprises, the big plot twist of the movie is in the plot description here on IMDb, even though the twist was a fairly predictable move in the beginning. The whole movie ends up playing out like a bad episode of Criminal Minds, trying too hard to be a psychological thriller.

The ending is terrible, by the way. My father, who I saw this with and actually somewhat enjoyed it (his exact words were "It wasn't bad for a free movie") admitted that the ending was hokey and bad. It suddenly changes both Berry's and Breslin's characters and takes away any protagonistic features they possessed with one action. When the screen cut to black and the credits showed, somebody stood up in the audience and screamed "That was the worst ending ever!" and many laughed in agreement. As I left, I overheard people pointing out many of the logical flaws I too had noticed.

So go see this if you don't mind having your intelligence insulted. But if you're like me and plan on only spending your money on things that are worth it, do yourself a favor and don't see this.
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1/10
Save your money
joed166722 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Are the days gone when Hollywood could turn out a good movie and not fill it with a bunch of cliché's and utter ridiculous? I too was looking forward to seeing this movie after seeing the trailers but was very disappointed. A young girl calls 911 because of someone breaking into her residence. An officer is immediately dispatched and in a large metropolitan area it's taking 8-10 minutes to get there? The girls house is rather big and dark but of course the suspect goes right to the bedroom she's hiding in then when he hears the phone from downstairs, he pinpoints it right back to that room and under the bed? You also have a major police department with a large communications center. You have separate people who take the 911 phone calls and type in the information which is then transmitted to the separate and actual dispatchers but here we had Halle Berry doing both. And does it instantly go dark in California at a certain time? The officers are at the suspects residence and determine he has a cabin in the woods. It's still light out but when they raid the cabin, it's completely dark. Did they stop off to have dinner first, get caught up in rush hour traffic, the helicopter and it's thermal imaging system was in the shop?

Then the most ridiculous part was Berry showing up herself and checking the cabin then when realizing this is the location he was calling from, does she call 911 or her boyfriend? Nope, she has to investigate further and of course,she has to drop her phone but rather than getting in her car and driving to the nearest checkpoint, she has to be the hero then vigilante. God I miss the movies of my generation!
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5/10
Promising Start, Disappointing Finish
rebecca-ry4 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
'The Call' is a drama/ action film starring Halle Berry who plays a 911 operator. She goes through a traumatic day at work after failing to save a young girl from being kidnapped and brutally murdered. Six months on, she finds herself in that situation again and is determined to save the killer's next victim.

A lot of films now take the 'everything approach' - where the story involves an entire city under siege or a full country in peril. 'The Call' does not do this; it has a very niche story which really only revolves around three characters - the victim, the serial killer and the call operator. Despite the small scale, it proves to be gripping. The opening act where we see Jordan (Halle Berry) try her best to protect a teenage girl from the killer intruding her home is tense and becomes quite scary. Because the audience goes through this ordeal with her, they can understand why she has been left so shaken and doubting her own ability.

Six months later she is training new recruits and finds herself taking a call from yet another terrified teenage girl who has been kidnapped. Suddenly, she is thrown back into her old job and has to try to make sure history does not repeat itself. Most of the film is the phone call between Jordan and Casey (Abigail Breslin) who is trapped in the boot of the killer's car. Having over an hour of exchanges via phones can make a boring movie but 'The Call' keeps you interested every step of the way as you see the pair think of new ways to draw attention to the car.

Halle Berry gives a good performance; with most of the screen time dedicated to her it would have been easy for her to become boring. She portrays her character in a very realistic manner for most of the film unlike the rest of her workplace. Her colleges are overly friendly, strange people who do not appear to do anything else but watch Jordan with pride, all misty-eyed. Her 'hard-ass' boss doesn't actually act like a hard-ass at all! In fact, she is very understanding and helpful! Abigail Breslin gave a decent performance - all her character did was cry and scream but if a person was stuck in the boot of a car, all they could do is scream and cry anyway. The serial killer does not really get enough time to cover his back story; the audience gets brief flashes of a shrine in his office for his dead sister and there are also a few possible hints of incest. He just looks like a normal guy you could walk past on the street. His performance starts off pretty restrained and creepy but slowly develops into more of a maniac in a horror B-movie.

Unfortunately, 'The Call' takes a turn for the worst; the final act jumps off realism and dives down into the depths of stupidity. It becomes less gripping and more befuddling to the audience as we see Jordan take matters into her own hands and set out to find Casey herself. When we see the killer's lair (which literally looks like every other killing room in movie history) the audience gains a better understanding of his motive. There is a terrifying sequence where he prepares his victim and we realise he was more than one murder under his belt. Despite being given some more information about the killer, a lot is left out and by the end the audience still does not fully understand his reasoning.

The final act is quite generic and boring and sends the film spiraling downhill as a result. It is very reminiscent of the finale of 'Silence of the Lambs' as it turns out Buffalo Bill and this killer are not so different. The last 20 minutes are not all bad; there are some scenes thrown in to really creep the audience out and bring back the suspense and tension. 'The Call' is a thriller with an ending better suited to a 'Saw' film - it does not fit with the tone of the film and it does not seem like something the characters would do. Without giving too much away, it is a dumb and lazy ending that appears to have been written up in the last minute. It is quite deflating because it doesn't quite give the audience a satisfying conclusion or give them any further information about the killer's motives.

Overall, 'The Call' had a fantastic and promising start that was dampened by its lazy ending. The story was simple but executed well and just needed a simple, positive ending to make it succeed. Unfortunately, it would appear the director and writer thought the film would be a bit too bland and tried to mix things up by adding an ending that just did not fit.
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8/10
Whats with all the hate? I really enjoyed it!
fatelovesthefearless5 August 2013
I just watched this movie and thought it was really good. I currently have an injury so am on bed rest and have watched a lot of movies lately and am getting bored with lots of them but i found this one to be thoroughly entertaining.

The plot in my opinion was great! It was different from the average thriller and to have it be from the point of view of a 911 operator was very interesting. I think it's a profession that gets over looked a lot so it was nice to show what there lives are like.

I thought the acting was great also, Halle and Abigail both did a great job. And considering Abigail hasn't really done anything like this before i thought her performance was excellent.

Yes like any movie there were some things that if you think too hardly don't make perfect sense and maybe could have been done differently, but it was entertaining and had me in suspense the entire time. I didn't have very high expectations but was pleasantly surprised.

So i think it's definitely worth a go. It's not meant to make you think too hard it's meant to entertain you which is exactly what it does.
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10/10
This was an Intense,Disturbing,and On The Edge Of Your Seat Movie
pumpkinspice9816 March 2013
This movie was excellent. It had me on the edge of my seat more than any other movie I have seen. Halle Berry gave a strong performance and had such great strength and she was very brave. Abigail Breslin never disappoints, she was amazing as well, having to deal with what she was going through, she convinced me she was really about to die. This movie is one of the best movies I have seen so far this year, this is a true thriller, and a very suspenseful movie. It will not disappoint you what so ever. The ending was good to, Halle who plays jordan had so much care for abigail's character that she finds her and fights that freaking freak that took gails character in the beginning of the movie. I just loved this movie so much, so go see it right now, it is very well written, and directed! You will have a blast watching it and you will be on the edge of your seat!
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3/10
Not good at all
toc_932 June 2013
Was not a fan of this movie. The concept of demonstrating the stresses of a 911 call operator is a good one and the first half of the movie was promising. Round about halfway it began to leave the tracks and became quite implausible. Too much unnecessary violence which did not really fit in with the genre made it uncomfortable watching. The ending was just plain silly and totally out of context with the rest of the film. The ending of the movie actually paints the the 2 characters with which we are supposed to sympathise as quite malicious, does not at all fit in with how they are portrayed in the rest of the film. Bizarre finish to a promising start, would not recommend.
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6/10
Good Concept - They Should Have Stuck With What Worked
JSplend9549 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The Call centers around a 911 Operational Center based in Los Angeles, CA. The producers administer a realistic setting in dealing with the position of being a 911 Dispatcher. Each day they handle a wide variety of incoming calls, and this movie depicts the importance of how they relay pertinent information to emergency services. In most crisis situations the 911 Operators are the initial contact and their decision making could make the difference in someone's well being.

At the beginning of the movie we hear a wide variety of incoming calls dealing with different situations. The operators are gathering information and coding the call with a color coded system, based on the severity of the situation. We hear a frequent caller who routinely gets intoxicated, lonely, and calls for advice.

Halle Berry plays an experienced 911 Operator who has an understanding of Law Enforcement as her father was a Retired Police Officer and her boyfriend is with LAPD.

She receives a 911 call from a victim regarding a break in. She provides the victim with good advice, and she relays the necessary information to the authorities. But, she lets her emotions get the best of her, as she makes a costly mistake.

Berry decides she needs a change, and takes a position within the operational center as a trainer. When a new recruit receives a call regarding an abduction in progress, Berry knows because of her experience she has to handle the situation.

Again, she gives the victim great advice, but to a degree the Police do a somewhat shoddy job in an attempt to locate an abduction in progress. LAPD is a big agency, yet they didn't seem like they allocated their resources too well.

The way in which they identified the suspect was somewhat disbelieving. The technology(fingerprint comparison) which was used was accurate, but it took the Police too long to find the physical evidence, and the suspect seemed smart enough not to leave behind a clue of that nature.

Now, this is where I disagree with the direction of this movie. Berry is very competent as a 911 Operator. I think the matter should have been resolved through the 911 Center. Berry could have maintained communication with the victim, and she could have utilized different clues that actually provided a location. Then she could have informed LAPD of her findings and have them locate the victim and arrest the suspect.

Instead, Berry's character decides to take matters in her own hands and use investigative skills to provide a valiant accomplishment.

I think this is where the movie started to go downhill, and the director lost sight of the concept of the movie.

The ending - Based on how Berry's character left her element I honestly expected some sort of vigilante justice. The problem with the ending is the way the crime scene was displayed, there were other victims that could have been identified, not too mention the amount of manpower LAPD would allocate looking for a serial killer in which the victims knew his whereabouts.
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8/10
Intense thriller
tr9111 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
'The Call' is an intense thriller right from the start. It is about Jordan Turner (Berry), who is a 911 operator. The 1st scene is a call from one girl who has a crazed man breaking into her home, this is very intense and quite shocking. It doesn't end well.

6 months later, Jordan takes over a call when another 911 operator can't handle the pressure of the situation. This time it is from Casey Welson who has been abducted by Michael Foster and is trapped in the boot of his car when she makes the call. She has no idea of her whereabouts.

For about an hour or so, the film revolves around this. We see Jordan and Casey talking, coming up with suggestions of things to do to get help. This is really intense, shocking and the pure emotion that both show makes it quite scary too. They try everything. After a series of events, the police finally get a few pieces of vital information. Halle Berry also takes matters into her own hands towards the end of the film as she also realises that this also links to the phone call at the start of the film.

This is a really intense thriller, it may be predictable in places but it was definitely gripping. The acting was just brilliant, Halle Berry absolutely superb. Michael Eklund was crazy. Abigail Breslin gave a fantastic performance, you really felt for her and she made the situation seem so real. As a massive fan of The Sopranos it was nice to also see Michael Imperioli (Christoper from The Sopranos) have a 10 minute role.

I've seen a few people saying they didn't like the ending so much, I personally liked did like it. It was great for them to get their own back and then the rest can be up to your imagination.

Overall much better than I expected, may have a few plot holes and be a bit far fetched in places, but it wasn't over done. It was 90 minutes of pure intense action with superb acting all round. Definitely one to watch.

8/10.
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10/10
The Call is One to BEAT!
claymation824 March 2013
Before I start, let me just add that my friend and I have been waiting to see this film since we first saw the movie trailer two months ago. We were so afraid that it would take on the title of just being another decent flick with great actors... that is in no way what we got.

What a rush. This film had my friend and I literally holding onto each other's hands (and no, we're not dating) screaming and shrieking as the film took unexpected twists and turns every ten seconds. Here is why this film was the best we've seen of 2013 so far:

1) The acting was honestly brilliant. If this movie wasn't in this stereotyped drama and had a label of being a "horror" film, I guarantee you Oscars would be involved. If you were to add a drug-addicted mother or an estranged father or any other Oscar-worthy aspect of a film to this one, and we would probably be seeing nominations for both Berry & Breslin. So touching; so heartbreaking; so beautiful in an odd, unexpected way.

2) Realism. This film was not the typical romantic, idealistic type of horror film that us moviegoers see too often. Without giving away anything major, I will say this: everything that happens in this movie is completely realistic and in no way far-fetched. Each main and supporting character made decisions that HUMANS would make in this situation, not a fearless movie character. Real emotions are explored; real actions are taken; real words are spoken.

3) Lastly, the cinematography. Who's sick of the shaky, hand-held cam? I certainly am - unless you're looking at a girl in the back of a trunk. The use of hand-held is only used in the most action-packed, thrilling sequences - when necessary. Otherwise, the film takes on a beautiful intro overlooking the city and throws the viewer into an immediate pool of fear by what they even listen to in the first five minutes of the film. The steady camera made things seem stable, and the hand-held made things seem rushed or spontaneous. These choices fulfilled my expectations as a viewer, and made me a supporting role.

I cannot say enough amazing things about this film. It was truly a refreshing sight to see... a young actress turned emotionally adolescent; an Oscar winner strutting her well-deserved acclaim; an unknown actor portraying a truly troubled man in a non over-the-top way.

If you want to sweat, shake, and, yes, maybe even cry (we did at one part), then trust me... You've got great plans for tonight!
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4/10
http://filmfanboy.com/the-call/
SConIrish9 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
What's terrifying about the premise in The Call is the sad reality that this type of assault is not too far from today's headlines. Early in Brad Anderson's (The Machinist, Series 9) new film Jordan (Berry) the 911 operator receives a call from a terrified young girl trapped in a house whilst a man breaks in to assault her. This scene is expertly shot and performed and promises a film that might be a superior thriller. But the decision to cultivate more of a horror theme particularly in the last third turns the film into a formulaic and unpleasant experience.

This is disappointing because the film starts promisingly taking us behind the scenes into the 911 call centre which receives and dispatches emergency services to crime scenes throughout Los Angeles. The hardest part of the job is knowing that you may be the difference between somebody living and someone dying. This world is captured expertly and efficiently as Anderson takes his time to ensure we understand how this environment functions. Berry is Jordan who works in the call centre known as "the hive" and she seems to know what she's doing. She takes calls, understands classifications, sends squad cars out to the place of the call and knows how to calm panicked callers. Her work mates like her, but her manager Maddy (the excellent Roma Maffia) seems concerned by the intrusion of her cop boyfriend. She seems temporarily distracted and loses focus for a moment. Anderson economically sets the scene. The Call that takes her to the edge and almost breaks her involves the psychopath Michael (Michael Eklund) whose catch cry is "it's already done."

What keeps the Call interesting is the chemistry between two fine actors Berry and Breslin. First discovered in the indie hit Little Miss Sunshine Breslin is graduating into a fine young actor. As the helpless but tough Mary she conveys the fear and anxiety of a teenager trapped in the trunk of a car. The exchanges between her and Berry ensure the audience stays with them until the clunky climax. Berry has some character arcs to work with here and she's convincing but the character is thinly drawn.

Anderson working on limited budgets has a strong history of creating creepy atmospheric narratives. From Series 9, to the Machinist, to Transiberian he takes his audiences into mysterious dark worlds inhabited by troubled characters. He knows how to build tension and suspense supported by a strong script. But here the script by Richard D'Ovidio goes a bit bonkers. C'mon why does every serial killer in Hollywood have to be a raving lunatic? Subtlety is obviously not on the agenda in this contrived b thriller. The psychopath here appears to be in a constant state of sweaty panic. His back story or reason for killing sends the film to a precipice that will have you almost laughing. I'm pretty sure this was not the Andersons intent.
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9/10
"The Call" Dials Up Big Scares & A Fun Ride!
BreakawayDaily21 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I don't believe in call waiting because I rushed to the theater to see The Call during opening weekend.I went and saw it in an absolutely jam packed theater on my birthday, and I must say my expectations were pretty low because I didn't find the trailer that captivating. I thought it was going to be a "Speed" wannabe and have a typical, predictable plot. Boy was I wrong! It was freaking awesome and way better then trailer lets it out to be. It looks like it is just going to be a car chase movie with a kidnapped girl stuck in the truck the whole time (and while that is also true) it is so much more then that. Be sure not to answer your phone during this movie. You won't want to miss a second.

If you think this is a Scream copy think again - although you might find yourself screaming! There are some similarities however between The Call and Scream like the phone connection, one of the main characters being called Casey, the recurrence of a one liner ("do you like scary movies"/"it's already done") and even the poster is a bit reminiscent.

This film has everything a good thriller should have - amazing acting, thrills, and great character development on both sides of the "good" and "evil" spectrum. There are some really scary and intense scenes a horror fan will also love, the woman in front of me kept going "oh my god!" The film delivered on the real substance of being a 911 Dispatcher, something rarely shown in thrillers. It gave the audience a look into the real moment to moment split second decisions made by these seldom praised messengers of help. Halle Berry was spot on in her portrayal of Jordan - the 911 operator.

Berry, who has a knack for finding the toughness beneath vulnerability, and vice versa delivers a tense and unfussy performance. She gets support from Denise Dowse as a co-worker and Roma Maffia (Nip Tuck, Nick of Time) as her supervisor. Jordan is a cop's daughter who's dating Paul (also a cop) and following their make-out session on the balcony of the call center during her break, Jordan receives an emergency call from a terrified girl whose home is being broken into. Jordan does her best to help, but after a series of instructions and a fatal mistake, the killer takes the phone and speaks words that will be repeated throughout the film - "it's already done." Later we find out that the girl has been murdered, as a news clip shows her dead body at the scene of the crime (which I have never seen in real life on the news yet!) Of course Jordan blames herself and this riveting scene pulls you into the story and hooks your attention for what's to come.

Jordan returns to the high-wire stress of the phones when teenager Casey Welson (played by Little Miss Sunshine's Abigail Breslin) calls from the trunk of a car. We find out later, that she has been abducted by the same deranged man with a plan. Conveniently for the film, Casey is using a prepaid and disposable phone, making her location harder to trace and thereby drawing out the tension. Listen for fitting music like "Puttin' On the Ritz" to be thumping inside the car (this also is useful as the kidnapper can't hear the 911 calls Casey is making).

This lifeline connection between Jordan and Casey is the heart of the film. Jordan talking Casey through this harrowing nightmare doesn't even begin to describe the 96 minutes of insanity you're in for when you go see The Call. Most of the film takes place in either the 911 call center (aka "the hive") or the inside of the trunk, yet the film is never dull with action being delivered by the second.

What I really enjoyed about the film was how they had an interesting back story for the "bad guy" Michael Foster, played by Canadian actor Michael Eklund. I recognized him right away from his work in Blood Ties, Walk All Over Me, and The Divide. This sort of Norman Bates mentally unstable character is really fun to watch. He was really believable (as he always is) as the sick and twisted abductor and serial killer. They could have just had it be a random killer with no motive, no back story, and whom lived alone in a rundown apartment. Instead it was more chilling because the psycho was a suburban family man, a seemingly "normal" guy.

When Casey gets abducted I knew he had some reason to want girls with blonde hair, because as his previous victim had blonde hair as well. He could have easily killed her many times during the drive, but he didn't. It is also interesting why he went for her and not her friend, since her friend left alone too - I guess she wasn't blonde enough!

The film takes huge turn (and becomes reminiscent of House at the End of the Street) when we learn Michael had a sister he was very close to.

To read the rest of the review please visit www.breakawaydaily.com

Breakaway Daily www.breakawaydaily.com
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3/10
Starts with a bang, then fizzles quickly
Convictions20 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
When a movie set for a March release date begins its marketing campaign two months before it hits theaters, you know that's not a good sign. However, I still had some hopes. The trailers look intriguing so I thought why not? What a mistake. When the words WWE studios flashed across the screen I realized what a fool I was and that I pretty much flushed $12 down the toilet (where this movie should have gone). Nothing against WWE, but they're not really known for putting out movies with great story lines or well-developed characters. The Call is a prime example.

I guess it would be unfair to label this as a complete crapfest because things start off with a bang and then fizzles once we reach the climax. The story is simple; Jordan Turner (Halle Berry) is a 911 operator who one day gets a call from a girl who is home alone. Someone is trying to break in. With the help of Halle Berry, the girl manages to fool the perpetrator and right when we think she's about to be safe, the line between her and berry disconnects. In a bone-headed mistake Berry calls back, giving away the girl. The girl ends up getting taken and is found the next day naked and buried in an undisclosed location. Fast forward 6 months later and we get to the central story. We see Berry is no longer behind the desk and is instead an instructor. However it's not long before we see Berry being sucked back into the same position she was 6 months ago when someone gets a call from a girl, Casey Weslon (Abigail Breslin). She's just been kidnapped and is currently in the trunk of a car. Through the guidance of Berry, they try to find ways for her to escape and then the movie starts to collapse as we reach the climax.

It's sad to see a movie start off promising, only to break one of Berry's rules (never make a promise you can't keep) by being hugely let down during the last thirty minutes. Even before the climax though, the movie faces a lot of issues. First, is the relationship between Berry and Breslin, it feels artificial. I suppose this is (obviously) because their time on the phone together is limited, but there's never really a click between the two. It also doesn't help that their characters are hardly ever developed, they're about as one dimensional as they come.

I was surprised to see how much Abigail Breslin has grown up. Her vocal work in Rango was great but, the last time I actually saw her was in Zombieland. Boy, what a change. I adored her as a child actor but, I sincerely hope this was just a misstep and that she won't be starring in anymore movies like these. Amongst all the actors in this movie, she annoyed me the most with her unconvincing whining. It was also creepy to see her treated as a sex object in the last thirty minutes since she's pretty much running around topless with only her bra on. Meanwhile, Berry gets to keep her shirt on. Just goes to show how messed up Hollywood (or WWE in this case) is. Berry's performance is serviceable. It's not bad but, she gets the job done I suppose. Michael Eklund gives a chilling performance and his character is at least somewhat fleshed out. He has an interesting backstory but, it's never fully explored. The rest of the cast spits out their lines, picks up their paychecks, and leave.

This would have been a typical thriller had it not been for the last thirty minutes, which makes this movie go from mediocre to just bad. For whatever reason, the writers decided that Berry behind the computers wasn't enough. Instead they decided she should go play detective and try to find Breslin herself. Not once while she's out trying to locate Breslin, does it even look like the idea of calling back up crosses her mind. She's now Ms. Sherlock Holmes all of the sudden. Even when she finds the hidden place (yes! she finds Breslin... what??), the reason they give her for going down by herself and not calling the cops is because she "accidentally" drops her phone down there and can't get any service (that's right you heard me). Then her character becomes a complete idiot, you know the killer always gets up. Why would you turn your back on him while he's down? The movie continues to spiral out of control until the end credits finally begin to roll.

I guess I've been a bit harsh. There are some things I liked but, they're not enough to justify the existence of this movie or why you should even bother seeing this movie. Despite the bumps along the way, the director does manage to build some suspense and tension. There are clever scenes like Breslin kicking out the taillight and waving her arm to get someone's attention. Also, I've never seen a 911 call center before but, I can believe it looks something like the one presented here.

Overall, this is just another movie to add to the rapidly growing list of bad movies that have come out thus far. Sure, there are some suspenseful and clever scenes, and Michael Eklund gives a creepy performance. Also, the filmmakers did a nice job creating a believable and realistic looking call center. However, everything else about the movie is trash. It's not worth anyone's time or money, if you're still interested in this movie I suggest waiting for it when it comes out on DVD and renting it. Other than that, this is one call you don't want to answer.
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2/10
Successful attempt trying to entertain you. Thats it
Telvis Wilson22 May 2013
Just watched this with my wife and I'm not impressed with it. Yeah the acting is good but its so cliché. There are parts of this movie that make you believe that it's going to work out but it falls heavily. I don't know why Morris Chestnut appeared in this movie. Don't believe what everyone else is saying. This movie deserves a 3/10 at best. Don't waste your money. One thing I knew from a trailer was that Halle Barry would some how save the day. Oh never mind I didn't see that coming (sarcastic). It did try hard to keep you guessing but it wasn't that successful. The random encounters were so horrible. If you want to see this be warned
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2/10
Film student direction and a lack of subplots and twists spoil the potential.
Matt West23 March 2013
"The Call" is an average thriller that promises more than it can deliver. At some points, I wondered how the film could be improved if it was a novel instead of a screenplay, as the writer really did indicate some ability in crafting his characters and developing an engaging story. I thought the villain's understated backstory had so much potential if only a more talented actor were given the role and time allowed to develop his identity. Unfortunately, The Call only offers brief glimpses into his troubled mind that could have been much improved on. The Call is desperate to get to the chase, and rushes through exposition without giving us an insight into the lives and personalities of the cast. There are some interesting characters who are given just minutes (or seconds) of screen time who could have contributed to the plot, like "Terrence", a disturbed but entertaining ex-con who frequently calls our heroine in a drunken stupor. Unfortunately, the potential for a subplot is wasted as Terrence disappears after the first act, never to be mentioned again. He, like many others in The Call, could have helped elevate the film to greater heights than the final cut.

Other than poorly realised characters and a rushed feel, The Call also suffers from childish direction that one would usually expect from a first year film student. Rapid close ups and filters are the order of the day, sapping the energy and excitement from set pieces which should be suspenseful and nail-biting, but are demoted by full-screen close ups of teeth, grimaces and rolling eyeballs for poor dramatic effect.

That being said, it's not all bad. You can see the potential in every scene being steadily wasted by a writer trying to meet a deadline and producers who want to appeal to the limited attention spans of younger audiences.

Oh, and the ending? You'll have to watch it to see just how terrible it is.
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