Cellular [2004]

Just when you think it's getting silly, Cellular serves up another tantalizing twist. In the time-honored tradition of Sorry, Wrong Number and Wait Until Dark, Kim Basinger is well-cast as a resourceful damsel-in-distress who thwarts her kidnappers by connecting with a n'er-do-well cell-phone user (Chris Evans, later seen in The Fantastic Four) who races against time to rescue her from afar. One good cop (William H. Macy) assembles clues to uncover conspiracy, while first-time writer Chris Morgan and pulp-movie master Larry Cohen (who conceived the plot, similar to his own Phone Booth screenplay) serve up a consistently satisfying string of high-tension surprises. Jason Statham continues to prove his rising-star status as the film's tenacious villain, and director David Ellis (Final Destination 2) takes advantage of his experience as a veteran stunt coordinator and second-unit director, making good use of locations in his native Santa Monica, and wringing credible suspense from a deliriously far-fetched premise. --Jeff Shannon

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