Phone Booth - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Phone Booth Reviews

Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
May 16, 2003
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.
Top Critic
April 22, 2003
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.
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
April 22, 2003
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.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
April 15, 2003
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.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
April 7, 2003
[A] taut thriller that hooked me from the outset.
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Mike Clark
USA Today
April 4, 2003
A superficially gritty yet soullessly slick melodrama.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
April 4, 2003
Anyone inclined to argue with the logic of the story -- and there's certainly much to argue about -- is advised to just sit back and watch how Farrell's Stu unravels before our eyes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
April 4, 2003
It's cinematic flash, tarted up with gritty gray-blue lighting and gimmicky photography.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
April 4, 2003
A movie that combines a seriousness of purpose with an impish delight in craft, in a way Hitchcock would have appreciated.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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John Anderson
Newsday
April 4, 2003
Nothing about Stu, in the end, is really important enough to justify the Sturm und Drang of Phone Booth or its tempest in a telecommunications teapot.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
April 4, 2003
This is a slight story enlivened by good acting, crisp pacing and some graceful comic touches.
| Original Score: B+
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Tom Long
Detroit News
April 4, 2003
The reason it works is simple: Farrell.
| Original Score: B
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
April 4, 2003
Short, suspenseful, funny, and profane.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
April 4, 2003
What keeps Phone Booth going, despite its premise, is the acting and the writing, both of which are top-notch.
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
April 4, 2003
A tense little sketch of a movie that catches you in a vise grip of tension and trickery.
| Original Score: B
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
April 4, 2003
This whole flick gives off a certain musty odour -- it's meant to be now but it sure doesn't smell that way.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
April 4, 2003
Farrell delivers a tour de force in this clever cross between Sweet Smell of Success and Dog Day Afternoon.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
April 4, 2003
The movie is Farrell's to win or lose, since he's onscreen most of the time, and he shows energy and intensity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
April 4, 2003
It's really more a gimmick than a movie, but it hammers you flat the whole way through.
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
April 4, 2003
A passable thriller.
| Original Score: 3/5
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
April 3, 2003
Bogus on every level.
| Original Score: 1.5/5
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times
April 3, 2003
If the whole thing flags, then dive-bombs at the midway point, it's not because Farrell and Schumacher aren't trying hard, but because the filmmakers struggle to wedge in some meaning where none belongs.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
April 3, 2003
A tense, thought-provoking drama.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
April 3, 2003
Despite the film's blessed brevity -- it's only 75 minutes -- it seems as artificially padded as a Reno showgirl.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
April 3, 2003
Loud and frantic and filled with all sorts of business, but it's also empty and inert, a creative exercise that would have played better as a 30-minute short.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 3, 2003
A high-concept hostage drama of absolutely no value to anyone -- except maybe Bell Atlantic, whose titular street-corner pay phone is on screen for almost every agonizing frame.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
April 3, 2003
Occasionally a film comes along that isn't very good but still rates a look-see because it taps into the zeitgeist.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
April 3, 2003
The makings of a taut little drama are rendered into a reasonably taut piece by a big name cast and a director who once ruined the Batman franchise.
| Original Score: 3/5
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
April 3, 2003
For all the coiled skill of Farrell's performance, the character remains a frantic, one-note hustler who gets no more interesting to watch as he unravels.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Chuck Wilson
L.A. Weekly
April 3, 2003
Schumacher ... tries to hide Cohen's logic-free plotting behind swooping camera moves and multipanel split screens, but to no avail.
Top Critic
April 3, 2003
A taut, compelling thriller that slowly sneaks up on you and nails you to your seat.
Top Critic
Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune
April 3, 2003
A lean, mean tension machine, setting up its premise, executing it with smarts, throwing in enough twists to keep things interesting, and wrapping it up before anyone can get fatigued or reflective.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bob Longino
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
April 3, 2003
Not only lacks the thrills and drama one might hope, it's not even half as terrifying as those Carrot Top commercials for AT&T.
| Original Score: C
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
April 1, 2003
Absurdly set in some pre-cell-phone, post-Amadou Diallo alternate universe and generously stocked with logical inconsistencies, Phone Booth is best appreciated as hilarious pulp metaphor.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
March 31, 2003
The best way to describe Phone Booth is preposterous but entertaining.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
March 21, 2003
Farrell is a dynamo. And Kiefer Sutherland, whose sniper role is essentially a voice on the phone, matches Farrell subtle shift for subtle shift.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
September 11, 2002
The stratagems that compel the film to stay put are as improbable as they are illogical.