Phone Booth

April 20, 2019 - A publicist's life becomes way too public when a sniper traps him in a phone booth in New York City. Colin Farrell is the unlucky target. Forest Whitaker is the hostage negotiator who tries to help him out. Kiefer Sutherland is the voice on the other end of the line. Joel Schumacher directed this R-rated film.

Farrell plays Stuart Shepard, a young, married publicist who's trying to hustle his way up the ladder. Despite his hectic lifestyle, he still finds time to woo a young wannabe actress (Katie Holmes) by calling her every day from the same phone booth. The ritual attracts the attention of an unnamed citizen who makes it his business to kill men who don't live up to his own moral code.

One day, Stuart stops in the phone booth to make his usual call. He rudely shoos away a pizza delivery man who says he's been told to deliver a pizza to him. Then, as he's about to leave the booth, the phone rings. Stuart answers it, and thus begins the worst day of his life.

Overall review: **, although I might have given it three stars if I had seen it when it first arrived in theaters in 2003. The movie is less than 90 minutes long and it did hold my attention. But, watching it some 16 years after it came out, it felt dated. There are references to network news anchors including Peter Jennings, Katie Couric, and Dan Rather. And, these days, wouldn't Stuart just use a burner phone to call Katie? I'm also not sold on the premise of the movie – that a ringing phone has to be answered. Of course, if Stuart doesn't answer this phone, we don't have a movie.