Phone Booth (2002)

(In theaters, April 2003) There is something… pure about this location-locked thriller, and this purity is what director Schumacher (yep; who would have thought?) best achieves. The dynamic camera whips, cuts and twirls around one man, one phone… and one booth. Indeed, once the fantastic opening is over (“this is the story of the last user of this phone booth”), the movie loses interest whenever the camera stops focusing on the lead protagonist. Collin Farrell proves that he possesses a certain movie-star quality by carrying pretty much the whole film on his shoulders. (Though Kiefer Sutherland does excellent voice work) The screenplay is able to wring much out of few elements, and it knows enough to stop whenever the film threatens to become tiresome. There are flaws (an underwhelming justification, a diffusion of tension in the last act, disposable female roles) but none are big enough to derail one of the crunchiest thrillers in recent memory. Delicious from beginning to end through the magic of good writing, directing and acting, Phone Booth isn’t likely to be forgotten anytime soon.

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