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The Call (2013)

tomatometer

43

Average Rating: 5.2/10
Reviews Counted: 125
Fresh: 54 | Rotten: 71

The Call builds plenty of suspense before taking a problematic turn in the third act.

42

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 26
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 15

The Call builds plenty of suspense before taking a problematic turn in the third act.

audience

66

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 52,889

My Rating

Movie Info

When veteran 911 operator, Jordan (Halle Berry), takes a life-altering call from a teenage girl (Abigail Breslin) who has just been abducted, she realizes that she must confront a killer from her past in order to save the girl's life. (c) Sony

Jun 25, 2013

$51.9M

Sony Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on The Call

August 6, 2013:
Halle Berry's The Call Sets Redbox Record
Someone's decision to take home the Halle Berry thriller made it the service's three billionth...
July 22, 2013:
The Call Director Brad Anderson Pushes Restart
He's helming a thriller about "an ordinary man who discovers that his entire life is being...

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All Critics (125) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (54) | Rotten (71) | DVD (1)

This is a cleverly made, smartly written, totally satisfying armrest-gripper.

January 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Grantland
Grantland
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Just when the movie has us in its grasp, the script falls to pieces and turns into a crass female-in-peril button-pusher.

September 17, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Crude as it is, The Call milks its jump scares and don't-go-down-to-the-basement tension for all they're worth. See it with a full house, if you absolutely must see it at all.

March 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Let's call The Call what it is: high quality trash that both diminishes and is redeemed by all the talents who have deigned to bring it to life.

March 15, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If you're going to watch a movie in which two people talk on the phone for most of the film, it's not the worst thing in the world for one of the folks involved to have the face of Storm from the X-Men.

March 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is as brain-dead as a movie can be and it assumes the audience will have the I.Q. of a rutabaga.

March 15, 2013 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For the first 45 minutes or so, The Call is surprisingly tense and effective. As soon as Berry leaves her desk, however, it unravels quicker than you can say "poodle perm".

January 16, 2014 Full Review Source: Flix Capacitor
Flix Capacitor

It seems at odds with itself thanks to a generous helping of tropes from two distinctly different genres: fast-paced action thriller and creepy serial killer horror.

November 20, 2013 Full Review Source: TheShiznit.co.uk
TheShiznit.co.uk

Rides completely off the rails by the finale, and the film seems to completely embrace its stupidity...

November 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Halle Berry delivers an emphatic reminder of her star status in this tightly-plotted low-budget thriller.

October 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Star
Daily Star

Relentlessly suspenseful, this lean thriller has an emotional subtext that makes it almost unbearably involving.

September 27, 2013 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

The Call delivers taut no-frills thrills for two-thirds of its brisk, hour-and-half running time. But the plot falls apart spectacularly as soon as Halle leaves the 911 control room and the ludicrous finale will leave you groaning.

September 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

A film that was just highly improbable for 75 minutes loses its mind thereafter and invites you to do the same.

September 20, 2013 Full Review Source: The Ooh Tray
The Ooh Tray

While plausibility is often stretched to the limit, the sense of threat will keep you on the edge of your seat, even during a ridiculously gratuitous denouement.

September 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Birmingham Mail
Birmingham Mail

The familiar serial-killer flick gets a welcome shakeup, upending the woman-as-victim cliché and offering a bracing new perspective on an oft-told tale.

September 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Film4

The Call is the kind of vaguely smart, extremely gory gloop you should watch on TV, preferably when you're tucked up in bed with a delirium-inducing fever. That way, you won't notice when the script goes bonkers.

September 20, 2013 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

The Call begins as a moderately effective thriller, showing us a side of the LA police we haven't seen before. Then it gets dumb. Then it gets much dumber.

September 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

Berry and Breslin make a good women-in-peril double act.

September 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

A promising picture turns into gibberish. Shame.

September 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

The story and set-up feel conceptually flawed from the get-go. This was never going to end well.

September 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

It's a neat nerve-frayer with lessons for anyone finding themselves trapped in a confined space and needing to alert the outside world.

September 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

It's the trashy premise that hooks you in.

September 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

After this unusually well-made thriller builds suspense to almost unbearable levels, the filmmakers nearly throw everything away with a gear-change so contrived that we can't help but laugh.

September 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Contactmusic.com
Contactmusic.com

Smartly directed and sharply written, The Call is a suspenseful and engaging thriller with superb performances from Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin, though it stumbles a little in the final act.

September 19, 2013 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

It's a tense, taut thriller that only eases off the tension in the final reel.

September 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Audience Reviews for The Call

Brad Anderson is a good director, he's just made a couple of bad decisions. The Call starts off a great thriller, a really great thriller, it just betrays itself towards the end. The same can be said for most of Anderson's films to be honest. The intensity displayed in the first half of the film is exhausting, it is compelling viewing, real edge of your seat entertainment. The problems begin when they try to explain the reasons behind why our 'Bad guy' is bad. It raises lots of unnecessary issues and handles each one poorly and leads to one of the most unsatisfying last scenes I think I've ever seen. Credit due for its highlights but with that ending I'm probably being generous with my rating.

http://cinephilecrocodile.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/the-call-dir-brad-anderson-2013-brad.html
April 24, 2014
SirPant

Super Reviewer

I stopped watching on the first ten minutes when the 911 operator tells the girl to lock herself in a room and then the girl runs up the stairs. >_> I do not know which is worse, the advice or the girl.
March 2, 2014
Raajay

Super Reviewer

A surprise hit last spring, The Call is a simple but rather effective thriller that wavers a bit in the end but not enough to derail your entertainment. Halle Berry stars as a 911 operator talking through a teen girl (Abigail Breslin, spending far too much time in a bra for my comfort) kidnapped in the trunk of a car. It has the hallmarks of the typical action thriller genre, namely our heroine working through her past trauma of inadvertently getting another young girl abducted by the SAME killer. The Call plays best as we think alongside our two embattled heroines, going step-by-step how to determine where she may be, what car she may be inside, and how to draw attention to her predicament. The writing is economical and fast-paced and mostly smart, having the police act like actual professionals. Director Brad Anderson (Session 9, The Machinist) employs plenty of extreme close-ups that effectively draw upon the claustrophobia and urgency. For a solid two acts, the movie seamlessly transitions form one obstacle to another. Then the third act arrives where Berry decides to leave her post and take matters into her own hands. The film becomes far more predictable, conventional, and veers into the absurdity it had avoided for so long. The creepy killer has a half-hearted creepy back-story/fetish, Berry behaves far too cavalierly when she should be notifying the cops, and the ending defies all sensible logic. It's meant to be a poetic punishment but, upon minor reflection, it's entirely possible that this loose end will come back to haunt everyone yet again. In total, The Call is a breezy, suspenseful thriller that is well-acted and directed with style (the pounding electronica score doesn't fit, though). The downturn at the end is disappointing but The Call is still a movie worth taking.

Nate's Grade: B
October 16, 2013
boxman
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

Enjoyable bum on the edge of seat thriller!
Greatly acted, slightly predictable but surprising ending, enjoyable and worth a watch!
September 9, 2013
FiLmCrAzY
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

    1. Jordan Turner: It's already done.
    – Submitted by Frances H (7 months ago)
    1. Jordan Turner: What's your favorite movie?
    2. Casey Welson: Bridesmaids.
    – Submitted by Yoshi S (12 months ago)
View all quotes (2)

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