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The Call builds plenty of suspense before taking a problematic turn in the third act.
All Critics (130)
| Top Critics (27)
| Fresh (58)
| Rotten (72)
| DVD (1)
This is a cleverly made, smartly written, totally satisfying armrest-gripper.
A promising picture turns into gibberish. Shame.
Just when the movie has us in its grasp, the script falls to pieces and turns into a crass female-in-peril button-pusher.
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.
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.
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.
There is a particular twist and/or spoiler alert that cannot be revealed but let's just say that it still cannot compensate for much of The Call's stillborn material that plays like an annoying cellphone ringtone.
This film is a whole lot scarier than you think it's going to be.
It's difficult to hold an audience pretty much alone for 70 minutes but [Halle Berry] does a much better job than the screenplay deserves.
A surprisingly proficient thriller - even more proficient for the viewer who bails before the final scene.
A simple but tense thriller told from the perspective of kidnap victim and 911-responder.
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.
Pretty good thriller. Though it drags out long at the end, the scenes in the car kept me on the edge of my seat.
A conventional thriller that doesn't try anything new but is developed in a relatively satisfying way for most of its running time - until it collapses in a ridiculous, laughable third act that only insults the viewers' intelligence and believes to be much smarter than it is.
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.
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
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