“Phone Booth” is a one of a kind thriller even though the movie is under 90 minutes long, a rarity now a days for a feature film, not a minute or even second is wasted in the movie.
“Phone Booth” could have easily been padded with extra and useless footage to make it seem impressive as a feature length film. It’s film-makers wisely left it at 80 minutes which gave the movie the unrelenting and heart stopping action and suspense that made it the success that it is.
Stu Shepard, Colin Farrell is a publicist who lives like the publicity that he gets for his clients which is for the most part an illusion. Stu grew up in the mostly low to middle class borough of the Bronx but he likes to dress and act like he’s from the rich and luxurious Upper East Side and Sutton Place in Manhattan. This is Stu’s way of trying to come across as super impressive to those who he works for, and those who work for him, as well as people that he meets socially.
Sharp and fast talking Stu spins tales of him knowing and associating with top Hollywood and Madison avenue honchos as effortlessly as if he were ordering breakfast at the local neighborhood diner. This may be OK for Stu, it’s part of his job, to BS people in order to get their attention and business. What really irked off Stu’s secret and hidden antagonist is his infidelity that he has for his wife Kelly, Radah Mitchell. For some time he’s been watching and planing to get Stu into a trap that he set for him on the corner of 53rd and 8th avenue. In a phone booth that Stu has been calling his girlfriend Pamala McFadden, Katie Holmes, so he wouldn’t have to use his cell phone. Which Stu’s wife Kelly could easily find who Stu has been calling from checking the monthly phone bill.
Tense and powerful drama in midtown Manhattan with an excellent cast of characters. As the city is shut down by an unseen sniper who has a personal grudge thats reached public proportions. With the entire media focused on the private life of his helpless victim, trapped inside a phone booth, and forced to spill his guts out not only to those who know him but to the whole world on live TV.
The movie is so packed with action that you can’t believe that it’s under 90 minutes long, it seems more like 190 minutes as your riveted to the screen throughout it’s entire showing. “Phone Booth”is another feather in the cap for Larry Cohen who gave us such low-budget but high quality classics over the years like “It Alive” in 1974 “God Told me To” in 1976 “Q” in 1982 “Maniac Cop” in 1988 and “Ambulance” in 1990. With “Phone Booth” possibly being the best of them all.
What works so well in the movie “Phone Booth” is how the dialog and the action is synchronized in the movie. Where it practically telegraphs everything thats going to happen and yet still jolts you when it does, even as you see it coming! Strong and hefty performances in this small and modest movie by Colin Farrell, Forest Whitaker, Radah Mitchell, Kaite Holmes, Keith Nobbs, Richard T. Jones and many many more that would take up too much space to mention; and lets not forget Kiefer Sutherland. “Phone Booth” is an action suspense movie that stands head and shoulders above all the big budgeted films with multi-million dollar stars that Hollywood has made through the years.
“Phone Booth” is a powerhouse of a movie that never lets up for a moment of the 80 minutes it’s on the screen and with an ending that will literally knock you out cold.