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|Index||256 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I must say that this film delivered on the real substance of being a
911 Dispatcher. This film gave us a look into the real moment to moment
split second decisions made by these seldom praised messengers of help.
Halle was spot on in her portrayal of Jordan. The film was totally
believable up to the ending I'm sad to say. I say this with a degree of
modesty that I could have scripted a better ending given the chance.
Who ever decided on the ending dropped the ball.
I can't praise the cast enough on their solid performances. This movie gave the viewer a great ride and was worthy of 8 stars. As to the "BAD GUY" played by Michael Eklund, He was outstanding and ever so believable. I also think that the directing and cinematography well crafted.
As to a better ending ...I would suggest that the (boyfriend cop) worried as to Jordan not responding to his calls, he comes to the rescue of her and the teenage victim. All because of this electronic age of GPS and cellphone location.
*** This review may contain 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.
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*** This review may contain 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.
*** This review may contain 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
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.
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!
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!
This is a film that can keep you on the edge of your seat a couple of
times, or just keep the suspense much of the time. It has great acting
by both the main part Jordan Turner played by Halle Berry, but also the
young girl Casey Welson played by Abigail Bresling and the bad guy
Michael Foster played by Morris Chestnut are very convincing.
The film has a good pace, a lot of talking back and forth and both the people in the film and us behind the screen trying to figure out what is going to happen next. There are some predictability in it, but not in a bad way and it will have you wanting more at some points.
The ending is a surprise whether you like it or not, is it a good ending or a bad one, well that would be up to yourself to decide, but it is an enjoyable film and worth a watch.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The call is a film about a 911 operator who takes a call on a home
invasion that leads to a young girl's murder. Six months later another
girl is abducted and the kidnapper is the same guy who killed the girl
six months ago.
The premise of the film is great, as it delves into the job of a 911 operator. The film was very realistic and believable, up until the end. The film did a great job in keeping pace and suspense, and make the whole situation plausible.
However the ending and few other things in the film are what ruins it. The motives of the killer aren't exactly clear except that he had a sister who had cancer, who presumably ends up dying from it. In the movie though it shows a photo of the killer kissing his sister on the lips. So there could have been an incestuous relationship. Its weird because he killed the first girl, and kidnapped the first girl to cut off there scalps for a reason that was never explained.
Lastly what really ruined the film was the ending. So Halle Berry goes to the killer's old house to look for clues, but finds the killer's secret cellar. Halle Berry starts to call the police,but conveniently drops her phone into the cellar. She then goes down to get her phone decides to explore and ends up sneaking up behind the killer and knocking him out. Then after freeing Casey the killer gets back up and chases after them. Only to be stabbed by Casey and knocked out from a fall back into the cellar. Then Casey suggests not to call the cops, but instead they lock the killer in the cellar.
There are several things wrong with this. For example she could have still dropped her phone, but walked back out to call the police, and then try to rescue Casey. How does Halle Berry go from being a traumatized nine one one operator to a bad ass? Also them locking the killer up in the cellar was super dumb. First off there is a chance off the cops finding the killer and taking prints which would screw over the two. When ever Halle Berry gets Jordan to safety the police are going to ask question, especially about the cut to her head and the bruising Casey sustained.
The film overall was good till the last five or ten minutes then it became garbage. They could have ended the film differently and it would have been so much better.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Call (2013): Dir: Brad Anderson / Cast: Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin, Morris Chestnut, Michael Eklund, David Otunga: In what could have been a compelling thriller about the traumatic aspects to working as a 911 operator turns into a contrived formula driven showcase about making a difference. Halle Berry plays a 911 operator who loses a caller when she makes the impulse mistake to redial a number upon disconnection. This results in a murder. Six months later the same villain strikes again and the victim is a teenager, played by Abigail Breslin who is abducted in a parking garage. Directed by Brad Anderson with some creepy atmosphere and a few effective action scenes on a highway otherwise what starts as a worthy premise gets dogged down in formula and an ending that seems to justify revenge. Berry is well cast as the lead who is traumatized by the events in the film's opening. However she proves smart and resourceful willing to risk her life for a stranger. Breslin also does well as the central victim who follows Berry's instructions while trapped in the trunk of a car. We even have wrestler David Otunga taking a break from his several in ring ass kicking session to plays a cardboard role. Other roles are flat or just absurd. The villain might have been more effective had he not been such a moron. He takes unnecessary risks that a thinking criminal might have avoided. Plus we have a male victim who is stabbed to death because remaining calm and listening to Breslin would have been the intelligent move. And let's not forget that Breslin is sixteen and on call here to be seen in her bra. Score: 5 / 10
Name any Halle Berry movie and you can't deny she has talent, despite a few hiccups like Catwoman, she is one of the all time great actresses and audiences like her. She's an X- Men favourite and whenever she's in a new movie I'm drawn to watching it, and as soon as I saw she was starring in The Call I set out to watch it. In this nail biting thriller Berry plays Jordan Turner, a 911 call operator who answers a call of a kidnapped young girl, but the twist: The kidnapper is potentially one from Jordan's past, one that was never brought to justice. Utilising all her skills Jordan attempts to rescue the girl before her kidnapper disappears. Brad Anderson is the director and he stirs suspense and tension superbly, he focuses on close ups of the characters and their expressions are clear and in our faces meaning we feel what they feel. The performances are excellent, I'm annoyed Halle Berry was Razzie nominated for her performance. Abigail Breslin is excellent, playing terrified and scared perfectly and Michael Eklund is one heck of a bad guy, he genuinely freaked me out. Would I watch this again? Definitely, it's tension and dread build superbly despite a cut short ending.
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