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Phone Booth (2003)



Average Rating: 6.5/10
Reviews Counted: 188
Fresh: 134 | Rotten: 54

Quick pacing and Farrell's performance help make Phone Booth a tense nail-biter.


Average Rating: 5.9/10
Critic Reviews: 37
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 16

Quick pacing and Farrell's performance help make Phone Booth a tense nail-biter.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 409,260

My Rating

Movie Info

One man's life is thrown into turmoil by picking up a telephone in this claustrophobic thriller. Stu Shepard (Colin Farrell) is a brash, cynical, and self-centered public relations man who juggles a busy career with both a wife, Kelly (Radha Mitchell), and a mistress, Pamela (Katie Holmes). Stu steps into a phone booth on a busy New York street to make a call to Pamela without Kelly being the wiser, but as soon as Stu hangs up, the phone begins to ring. Curious, Stu picks it up -- and a stranger


Mystery & Suspense

Larry Cohen

Jul 8, 2003


20th Century Fox - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (206) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (134) | Rotten (54) | DVD (35)

Raises more questions than it answers as it attempts to convince us that a moralistic sniper would torture a sleazy publicist into tears of guilt and remorse over what amounts to a few paltry, venial sins.

May 16, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Observer | Comments (2)
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If this sounds like a Kafkaesque spoof thrown together for the annual Publicists Guild of America luncheon, Larry Cohen's script is only occasionally that clever.

April 22, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The premise is admittedly a killer -- fun to think about, fun to see realized, not so fun to see screwed up in the last half-hour.

April 22, 2003 Full Review Source: Slate
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A first-tier thriller, Phone Booth will make you think twice before you ever enter a public phone facility again, but while it curls your hair, it makes you think.

April 15, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[A] taut thriller that hooked me from the outset.

April 7, 2003 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A superficially gritty yet soullessly slick melodrama.

April 4, 2003 Full Review Source: USA Today | Comment (1)
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of the few artistically decent and commercially viable films Joel Schumacher has made over the past decade.

September 15, 2012 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

This movie doesn't make sense on any level.

December 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Comments (4)
Common Sense Media

The next time I hear a payphone ringing, I definitely won't pick it up.

August 10, 2009 Full Review Source:

Gives a fond remembrance of the days when a thriller actually used its title "Thrill"...

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Phone Booth est un excellent suspense, mais aussi un drame psychologique qui s'aura vous divertir.

February 25, 2005

... a solid 90 minutes of well-intentioned entertainment, but it will do more to fuel urban paranoia than it will to make anybody re-examine their lives.

January 15, 2005
Looking Closer

Way beyond plausible, but mercifully short.

July 6, 2004 Full Review Source: F5 (Wichita, KS)

As pure entertainment, Phone Booth succeeds as well as any movie released in the past few years.

January 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

Phone Booth is a much better movie than it has any right to be, given its absurd premise...

January 4, 2004 Full Review

Joel Schumacher's latest film is a thrilling, suspenseful 90 minutes... and it's great entertainment.

October 7, 2003 Full Review Source: EDGE Boston
EDGE Boston

Stationary in concept and at the same time manically unhinged and psychologically multilayered

September 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Long Island Press
Long Island Press

Farrell and Sutherland deliver such strong performances that it's easy to overlook the script's melodramatic dialogue and insane lapses of reality.

September 9, 2003
Radio Free Entertainment

'Enlace Mortal es un sólido thriller que representa una de las mejores opciones de escapismo que han llegado a las pantallas en lo que va del año. Verdaderamente recomendable.'

July 4, 2003 Full Review Source: Moviola

Phone Booth is a movie completely disconnected from what suspense should be like.

June 26, 2003 Full Review

Phone Booth is a great call.

June 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Um suspense bem realizado que se beneficia principalmente da personalidade fascinante de seu vilão.

June 16, 2003
Cinema em Cena

As a cinematic experiment, Phone Booth is a resounding success. Even with its shortcomings, the film is destined to do well at the box office if only on the sheer charisma of Farrell.

May 28, 2003 Full Review Source:

...there's no denying that Phone Booth is mostly an exemplary thriller...

May 26, 2003 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

A sloppy film filled with cheap moralizing. The plot holes are so large it's a good thing the streets were shut off from traffic.

May 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Experience
Film Experience

. To use phone language, it doesn't put you on hold for one second. .

May 18, 2003 Full Review Source: Sunday Times (Australia)
Sunday Times (Australia)

Audience Reviews for Phone Booth

Joel Schumacher gets the most out of a telephone call with Phone Booth.It's a simple title for the movie and it's backed by a simple story. The plot details are straightforward, thus creating a picture that is easy to follow and make sense of. There is only so much to do with a film that takes place in a single phone booth 90% of the time, but this picture makes the most of it with an intriguing concept behind the phone call.Most of the R-rated material is in the language, without much in the way of violence or action, which this film doesn't need since it thrives off of its thrills and suspense.Colin Farrell proves to be a solid choice for the call recipient, while the voice-work of Kiefer Sutherland is absolutely fantastic. Forest Whitaker steps in with a nice supporting role.With only a 75 minute run-time, Phone Booth uses its time well. Recommendable.
October 12, 2013
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

This is exhibit I can't remember which letter in the case for why Joel Schumacher is at his best when given smaller efforts with lower budgets.

Filmed mostly in one location and predominately in real-time, this is the tense and gripping tale of a really douchey, cynical, self-centered, and arrogant publicist named Stu held hostage in a phone booth by a menacing sniper. Communicating through the booth's phone, Stu is informed that if he hangs up, leaves the booth, he will be shot. Anyone who tries to interfere and use the booth or phone will likewise be shot. Well, long story short, one of those thigns happens, and when the cops get involved, Stu finds himself not only having to deal with the sniper, but the cops too.

This is a really tense and suspenseful film. It apparently had origins going back to Hitchcock, and I can see that. The film actually does have a purpose with the sniper and Stu, but I'm not sure if I really want to reveal all of that. I will say that the results are quite satisfying, though.

Since Colin Farrell
December 19, 2012
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


I never dreamt until I saw Phone Booth that I could sit and watch a movie where a guy has a telephone conversation that almost never ends for over an hour. This movie is intense, thrilling and has a phenomenally energetic Colin Farrel. What more does a thriller need?
March 31, 2012
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Pure definition of underrated! A thrilling pressure cooker showcasing one of Colin Farrell's best performances, and is also the only Joel Schumacher film I've liked, too.
March 17, 2012
Tyler Christian

Super Reviewer

    1. The Caller: Isn't it funny? You hear a phone ring and it could be anybody. But ringing phone has to be answered, doesn't it?
    – Submitted by Nusfish K (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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