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Overall Rating

Awesome: 17.24%
Worth A Look37.93%
Average: 24.14%
Pretty Bad: 12.64%
Total Crap: 8.05%

5 reviews, 57 user ratings

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by EricDSnider

"Listen, whiny kidnapped ho: STOP CALLING ME!"
3 stars

I often receive phone calls from friends who are standing outside multiplexes trying to decide which movie to see. They have eliminated the ones they've already seen and the ones that don't have a start time that fits their schedule, and now they're left with two or three options from which they'd like me to help them choose. "Cellular" is a good movie for that situation.

Should you buy tickets in advance for "Cellular"? No. Should you plan your schedule around "Cellular"? Heavens no. But if you've seen everything else, and if you're standing outside the theater at 7:10 and there's a showing of "Cellular" at 7:20, then by all means, go ahead and see "Cellular."

It's implausible, every minute of it, and often outrageously stupid. (Good thing there's a dirt road leading to a cell-phone store at the VERY MINUTE he needs a charger!) But golly, it's kinda fun sometimes, and a few parts are funny on purpose. (Many other parts are funny accidentally.)

It gets right down to business: Within moments of the film's beginning, wife/mother/science teacher Jessica Martin (Kim Basinger) is kidnapped from her Los Angeles home by five men who clearly mean business, since they shoot her housekeeper without asking questions. Jessica is taken to a ranch house somewhere and locked in an upstairs room -- a room that happens to have a phone. The lead bad guy, Greer (Jason Statham), smashes it with a sledgehammer, but since Jessica is a science teacher -- the film keeps putting her in situations where this fact is useful -- she is able to splice wires together and place a call to a random number.

The number belongs to Ryan (Chris Evans), a college-age dude who has just this very moment been told by his ex-girlfriend that he's selfish and irresponsible. What do you know, he then gets a desperate call on his cell phone from a woman who says she's been kidnapped and needs help. I'll show that ex-girlfriend of mine who's unselfish and irresponsible! is what he's thinking now.

He goes to the police station and gives some basic information to Sgt. Mooney (William H. Macy), a 27-year veteran who's about to open a day spa with his wife. Alas, there are some plot contrivances that prevent Ryan from getting his cell phone with Jessica still on the line to a detective, but we can guess Sgt. Mooney will become involved anyway, since he's played by William H. Macy and why else would he be in the movie?

Much of the film consists of Ryan driving frantically from one place to another, trying to prevent the kidnappers from reaching Jessica's husband and son. He is aided in this by a series of astounding coincidences: Take all the astounding coincidences out of this movie and you have a two-page screenplay about a woman who gets kidnapped, has no access to a phone, and dies.

I don't get why Kim Basinger would take this role. It allows her to do nothing but whimper into a phone for 90 minutes; surely she realizes this is not stretching her acting muscles. Macy, on the other hand, classes up any joint he walks into, and you can tell he's a better actor than the movie deserves. Chris Evans -- meh, whatever. He does what's required of him.

The screenplay, by first-timer Chris Morgan, is based on an earlier draft by Larry Cohen, who wrote last year's "Phone Booth." Obviously the guy's got a phone thing. The director is David R. Ellis, a stuntman, second-unit director and occasional lead director ("Final Destination 2") who deserves credit for making this thing zip along almost fast enough for you not to notice how dumb it is. Almost.

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originally posted: 09/12/04 04:22:58
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell killer thriller 4 stars
9/19/07 JM Synth Hugely contrived and a little dull but it is cheerfully silly 3 stars
6/10/07 R.W. Welch Not a bad premise but too contrived. Average acting. 3 stars
4/27/07 mb Lots of action, fun movie. 4 stars
1/30/07 Matt Welcome back the ever gorgeous Kim. Silly but reasonably original plot-and it does work! 4 stars
7/14/06 Stanley Thai A very thrilling film. VERY fast paced and some funny moments. The best thriller of 2004. 5 stars
6/07/06 Asif I like cheese(deal with it) 4 stars
4/10/06 Fabi Very good movie. 5 stars
3/23/06 The Talking Elbow Reminds me of watching porn without any sex in it. 2 stars
2/11/06 Loopt Low quality film for the brainless masses, don't bother 2 stars
2/03/06 Steve Newman I enjoyed this film immensely - good idea although extremely far fetched!!! 4 stars
1/05/06 me better than the film I shot of paul smith sucking off his dad 4 stars
10/26/05 Paul Smith This movie was absolute rubbish, the acting and plot were woeful 1 stars
9/27/05 Daniela Great movie, got it on DVD 5 stars
9/07/05 Taylor Fladgate Decent action flick, which some twists. 4 stars
9/05/05 Lenny Went Movie. Best Movie I Ever Saw. 5 stars
8/27/05 Dane Great movie 5 stars
8/21/05 Doremimi WHAT A RIDE! An utterly ridiculous ride, but a blast nonetheless! 4 stars
8/19/05 ES trailer tells us bad guys were cops, did we need to know that? save a little for the film 3 stars
7/09/05 ALDO Well Worth watching 4 stars
6/28/05 Steven This movie is garbage 1 stars
6/18/05 gray dave It was pretty damn good save 1 or 2 problems 4 stars
5/28/05 Indrid Cold A slick, MTVesque actioner. Not bad. 4 stars
4/19/05 David Awesome 5 stars
3/31/05 Nick Boyd Highly implausible but moderately suspenseful 3 stars
3/29/05 albert ˇRYAN!ˇJESSICA!ˇRYAN!ˇJESSICA! 3 stars
3/06/05 Susan Sunderland Way better than I expected. Enjoyable 5 stars
2/15/05 American Slasher Goddess It's not nothing we haven't seen before, but it's passable. 3 stars
2/05/05 LilyM I didn't expect it be good at all, but I was on the edge of my seat the whole time! 5 stars
2/04/05 Barbara Long I thought this was really good film, I'd watch it again 5 stars
1/28/05 Charlie A little fast paced, but interesting plot with a ton of action 4 stars
1/23/05 Dan Great Movie!! 5 stars
1/22/05 Tjalda L. Schiel Not a slow moment. Action and suspense deluxe in a well done B+ movie. 5 stars
1/14/05 Turtle Nothing more than a Nokia commercial. And a shitty one at that. 1 stars
1/09/05 Feliciano man, its a really good movie, well done and zero cheesyness 5 stars
1/01/05 Mike Predictable popcorn crap. Contrived, unbelievable and ridiculous. 1 stars
12/15/04 Etheridge Hoogendijk Kim Basinger is GOOD in it. Why so much damn sullen distress about her role? 4 stars
12/14/04 Evangelica Schnapfenschalz Yep, Jessica Biel plays too many obnoxious girlfriends of guys too pussywhipped to dump 'em 4 stars
12/14/04 Hilary Adamson Could've been awesome without Jessica Biel's character mucking it up. 4 stars
12/01/04 nick2k no real plot, but not bad if you see what the movie is driven by. but 'phone booth' owns! 4 stars
10/20/04 Steve Kelley Breaks the rules by giving extras the best lines. But fresh because of it. 4 stars
9/24/04 Agent Sands Actually nothing like "Phone Booth." More like "Speed." Statham makes a good villain. 4 stars
9/23/04 jcjs terrible, beyond contrived, can't believe Ebert gave it 3.5/4.0, my first 'Total Crap' 1 stars
9/22/04 Maz Not bad. Suggest it for a cheap ticket, or a rental 4 stars
9/20/04 Robin Kept me in deep suspense 5 stars
9/20/04 jeff cheesy, good nokia and porsche adv, the hot chick from texa chainsaw mas is in it :) 3 stars
9/20/04 doug bad idea to begin with; the plot is ridiculous and the acting is average; I walked out 2 stars
9/17/04 me A good film 4 stars
9/17/04 ANDREW Awful signal coming from Screen in form a horrid movie 1 stars
9/17/04 Kyle Wellcome Interesting plot, little cheesy at times, but overall good flick 4 stars
9/15/04 Master of Sinanju Kim basinger's facelift is MUCH too tight.She should have had her box tightened too! 2 stars
9/14/04 Mark D Fulwiler Hang up on this phone call! 2 stars
9/14/04 Elizabeth Entertaining "popcorn movie"; Evans a charismatic lead. 3 stars
9/13/04 me A great film 5 stars
9/12/04 Galadie I've seen better made-for-tv movies 1 stars
9/11/04 SB Suspenseful, funny & a HOT leading man! 5 stars
9/11/04 Verizon not a sponser If they were, then Kim would be dead in 10 minutes 3 stars
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  10-Sep-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 18-Jan-2005



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