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Phone Booth (2002)

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

Director:

Joel Schumacher

Writer:

Larry Cohen
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4,699 ( 340)
1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Farrell ... Stu Shepard
Kiefer Sutherland ... The Caller
Forest Whitaker ... Captain Ramey
Radha Mitchell ... Kelly Shepard
Katie Holmes ... Pamela McFadden
Paula Jai Parker ... Felicia
Arian Ash ... Corky
Tia Texada ... Asia
John Enos III ... Leon
Richard T. Jones ... Sergeant Cole
Keith Nobbs ... Adam
Dell Yount ... Pizza Guy
James MacDonald ... Negotiator (as James Macdonald)
Josh Pais ... Mario
Yorgo Constantine ... ESU Commander
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Storyline

Stu Shepard is a fast talking and wise cracking New York City publicist who gets out of trouble and lies with his clever charm, connections, and charisma. Stu's greatest lie is to his wife Kelly, who he is cheating on with his girlfriend, Pam. Upon answering a call in a phone booth in belief it is Pam, Stu is on the line with a dangerous yet intelligent psychopath with a sniper rifle. When realizing it is not a joke, Stu is placed in a powerful mind game of wits and corruption. The New York City Police eventually arrive thereafter and demand Stu comes out of the phone booth- but how can he when if he hangs up or leaves the booth he will die? Written by commanderblue

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Your life is on the line. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Swahili

Release Date:

4 April 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Enlace mortal See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,021,088, 6 April 2003, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$46,566,212, 31 July 2003

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$97,837,138
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

None of the extras were given instructions on what was happening, just that they should react accordingly. All of their reactions to shots being fired (and Stu's confession) are genuine. See more »

Goofs

The caller's intent to frame Stu for the murder of the pimp is flawed in several ways. Firstly, Stu would have had no gunshot residue on his hand. Second, hollow-point bullets do not fragment on impact, but flatten out to achieve a larger wound, so there would've been a bullet left behind. Third, when investigating deaths by gunshots, the investigator fires comparison bullets to help match the bullet found in the victim or the wound caused by the bullet. Fourth, the entrance wound would show that the pimp was shot from behind, but when he was struggling with Stu they were face to face, meaning Stu couldn't have possibly shot him in the back from that position. See more »

Quotes

Stu: I have never done anything for anybody who couldn't do something for me. I string along an eager kid with promises I'll pay him money. I only keep him around because he looks up to me. Adam, if you're watching, don't be a publicist. You're too good for it. I lie in person and on the phone. I lie to my friends. I lie to newspapers and magazines who, who sell my lies to more and more people. I am just a part of a big cycle of lies, I should be fuckin' president. I wear all this Italian shit ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

The FX Network airs this movie with Jared Leto's deleted scene reinserted to bring up the film's running time to fit a two-hour block. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dinner for Five: Episode #2.1 (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Six Days
(Remix featuring Yasiin Bey)
Written by DJ Shadow (as 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

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User Reviews

Small scale and slightly flawed but gripping and very enjoyable thriller
28 February 2003 | by bob the mooSee 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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