Directed by Joel Schumacher (The Lost Boys, Flatliners, 8MM, Town Creek), Phone Booth is one of those rare mainstream movies that features an interesting concept along with a great cast and screenplay. Although shot in 2002, it feels like a nineties movie, especially when you consider the righteousness, occupations and general vibe. Speaking about the vibe, I have to mention a slight neo-noir vibe that enhanced the atmosphere greatly. Basically a hostage situation seen many times before in movies like Dog Day Afternoon, Cadillac Man, Mad City and many others. I bet they went: okay, we want to make a hostage situation but set in the smallest possible room, anybody got ideas? And actually that’s what happened. Writer Larry Cohen pitched the idea to Alfred Hitchcock in the 1960s, but the two of them could not figure out the rest of the story. If you haven’t checked out Hitchcock’s Rope, now’s the time. Fun Fact section for this movie is truly funny.
Stuart “Stu” Shepard is a douchebag publicist, living the life in the great city of New York. As all industry men of that age he’s cheating on his wife and spends most of his time being an arrogant dick. As he enters a phone booth to make a call, a pizza delivery guy asks if he wants free pizza but he insults him instead of receiving a free pizza. This is when the phone rings and Stu learns that a psychopath with a sniper rifle has him in his cross hairs.
This is a great movie, lots of suspense and intense scenes where you do not know what is going to happen. Led by an experienced director and featuring a great cast, Phone Booth is a movie that you should not miss. I just keep coming back to that Hitchcock vibe, it’s amazing what can you do with just 13 million dollars as a budget and ten days of filming in one location. One wonders how in the hell they manage to fuck up these big productions.
Director: Joel Schumacher
Cast: Colin Farrell, Kiefer Sutherland, Forest Whitaker, Katie Holmes, Richard T. Jones
Fun Facts: Michael Bay considered directing. When he met with the writer and producers, the first thing he asked was “How can we get him out of the phone booth?”
IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0183649/