Phone Booth (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

Phone Booth (2003)



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

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 on the other end (voice of Kiefer Sutherland) informs him that if he hangs up the phone, he'll be shot. The red dot of an infrared rifle scope convinces Stu that the caller means business, and when another man tries to make his way into the booth, he's shot mere inches from Stu, calling the attention of the police. Captain Ramey (Forest Whitaker) naturally assumes that Stu was the killer, as Stu struggles to find a way to convince the police of what's happening before more lives are lost, without leaving the booth and putting his own life on the line. At one time proposed as a vehicle for Jim Carrey, Phone Booth was directed by Joel Schumacher, from a screenplay by exploitation icon Larry Cohen. ~ Mark Deming, Rovimore
Rating: R (adult situations/language)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Larry Cohen
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 8, 2003
Box Office: $46.5M
20th Century Fox - Official Site


Colin Farrell
as Stu Shepard
Forest Whitaker
as Capt. Ed Ramey
Radha Mitchell
as Kelly Shepard
Dell Yount
as Pizza Guy
James MacDonald
as Negotiator
Katie Holmes
as Pamela McFadden
Mia Cottet
as Lu Ann
Josh Pais
as Mario
Yorgo Constantine
as ESU Commander
Colin Patrick Lynch
as ESU Technician
Troy M. Gilbert
as ESU Sniper
Seth William Meier
as Officer McDuff
Troy M. Gilbert
as ESU Sniper
Tom Reynolds
as Richard
Julio Oscar Mechoso
as Hispanic Medic
Karara Muhoro
as Nigerian Vendor
Zidu Chen
as Korean Husband
Dean Cochran
as Reporter No. 1
Tuan Shu Lan
as Korean Wife
Amy Kowallis
as Reporter No. 2
Tory Kittles
as Reporter No. 3
Bruce Roberts
as Reporter No. 4
Dean Tarrolly
as Newscaster No. 1
Paul Fontana
as Dispatcher
Mary Jo Randle
as Dispatcher
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Phone Booth

Critic Reviews for Phone Booth

All Critics (208) | Top Critics (42)

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.

Full Review… | May 16, 2003
New York Observer
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | September 15, 2012

This movie doesn't make sense on any level.

Full Review… | December 27, 2010
Common Sense Media

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

Full Review… | August 10, 2009

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

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

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

February 25, 2005

Audience Reviews for Phone Booth



Super Reviewer


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.

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

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Phone Booth Quotes

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 (4 years ago)

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