Phone Booth is a better-than-average psychological thriller, pitting the voice of “The Caller”, wonderfully played by Kiefer Sutherland, against the life of Stu Shepard, played by Colin Farrell. Shephard is an almost stereotypically flamboyant publicist living in New York with his estranged wife, Kelly, percolating a potentially adulterous relationship with a young actress played by Katie Holmes, and stringing along the most current of a long line of unpaid interns. “The Caller” observes Shepard calling Katie Holmes‘ character each day from a telephone booth so his wife will not be able to see the calls on his cellular telephone bill. Upon discovering the web of lies that Shepard’s life consists of, “The Caller” one day calls the telephone booth while Shepard is in it and explains to him that if he hangs up, or leaves the booth, he will be shot and killed. Shepard’s apparent monopolization of the booth, leads to several confrontations and eventually a police presence surrounding him. Several plot turns erupt in the due course of the film, and despite almost all of the events taking place in only one, very small set, the audience’s attention is successfully grabbed and their tension constant even until the slightly surprising ending.
Phone Booth is a surprisingly positive contribution to the world of film from one of the worst offenders in crimes against the cinema, Joel Schumacher, whose previous attempts at movies were such horrors as Bad Company, Batman and Robin, and Batman Forever. Despite his train-wreck of a career previous to Phone Booth, Schumacher pulls this film off very well indeed, besting the challenges of an unchanging set to bring us a very entertaining picture. Perhaps the only obvious possibilities for improvement are the introductory scenes, which are supposed to explain how prevalent and dominating telephones are to each of us, in spite of the fact that this is just so obvious to everyone, but Mr. Schumacher. The acting is very strong and the storyline and writing leave very little to be desired. Overall, this movie rates an easy seven out of ten and is certainly a title to be seen by the film lover.