Phone Booth [2002]

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
By some lucky quirk of fate, Phone Booth landed on Hollywood's A-list, but this thriller should've been a straight-to-video potboiler directed by its screenwriter, veteran schlockmeister Larry Cohen, who's riffing on his own 1976 thriller God Told Me To. Instead it's a pointless reunion for fast-rising star Colin Farrell and his Tigerland director, Joel Schumacher, who employs a multiple-image technique similar to TV's 24 to energize Cohen's pulpy plot about an unseen sniper (maliciously voiced by 24's Kiefer Sutherland) who pins his chosen victim (a philandering celebrity publicist played by Farrell) in a Manhattan phone booth, threatening murder if Farrell doesn't confess his sins (including a potential mistress played by Katie Holmes in a thankless role). In a role originally slated for Jim Carrey, Farrell brings vulnerable intensity to his predicament, but Cohen's irresistible premise is too thin for even 81 brisk minutes, which is how long Schumacher takes to reach his morally repugnant conclusion. --Jeff Shannon

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