Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 35
  2. Negative: 4 out of 35
  1. A high-concept hostage drama of absolutely no value to anyone -- except maybe Bell Atlantic, whose titular street-corner pay phone is on screen for almost every agonizing frame.
  2. 30
    A movie that's laughable without, alas, even being enjoyably awful.
  3. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    The premise is admittedly a killer--fun to think about, fun to see realized, not so fun to see screwed up in the last half-hour.
  4. Bogus on every level, right down to its half-hearted trick ending.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 110 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 55
  2. Negative: 15 out of 55
  1. Sep 28, 2011
    "Phonebooth" demonstrates that Director Joel Schumacher, despite the massive Cliches and disjointed script he created, can actually direct decent movies. Full Review »
  2. Feb 19, 2014
    Who would have thought a movie about a guy in a phone booth would be as interesting as it was? I suppose when Joel Shumacher is directing an all-star cast, anything, even an entire movie that takes place in a phone booth, can be interesting! Colin Farrell stars as a man who lies, cheats, and does anything it takes to get to the top of his profession. He thinks he's on top of the world, with a wife, a girlfriend, and a group of clients, who don't know what scum he is, but someone has noticed the real Stu Shepard and has trained a rifle on him. Shepard has to do as he is told or risk becoming yet another victim, of a man who has been targeting New York City's businessmen. Colin Farrell is a very versatile actor, it's always been his biggest strength, but generally I find his performances to be kind of flat. Farrell has never been someone who I would consider a top tier Hollywood actor, but looking back on this early performance, I have to tell you, I was impressed. The setting of the film was so limited, that the only way it works is if you have a strong and believable cast, which Phone Booth certainly has. Every character has a unique back story and everyone is interconnected, in a film that is full of intrigue and edge of your seat action. People may not know what a phone booth is anymore, but this film is far from outdated. It is an excellent edge of your seat thrill ride that is perfect for the person who wants a short, but exciting movie. Full Review »
  3. Nov 1, 2013
    An interesting and perhaps hidden ploy within ‘Phone Booth’ is its subconscious poke at those who lead a sinful and disillusioned life, it goes with the belief that such a life will catch up on you, this film obviously does this in a dramatic and ridiculous way, but it still throws a few stones in to ripple the water and give us a thought in the short running time of the movie, it takes place almost entirely within this area where the phone booth is, but keeps the pulse going with its sometimes unpredictable plot and mysterious caller. We are introduced to the fast talking publicist that is Stu Shepard, phone to the ear and barking various orders to his lackey, he lies and cheats his way through life, which comes back to bite him, he uses a pay phone to call his mistress Pamela (Katie Holmes) so as his wife Kelly (Radha Mitchell) is unaware when she checks his phone records, ruling out the possibility of her becoming aware of his adultery. What dear Stu doesn’t anticipate is answering the pay phone to a confidently spoken man who knows just about every single thing about our now edgy publicist, oh yeah and the man on the other line has a sniper pointed at Stu, under the illusion that Stu deserves to die for his life of shame and fakery, he’s essentially playing God and yet he is only a voice, but a commanding voice is also one not to be messed with, something that Stu finds out all to soon after a run in with some irritated street walkers and their pimp, his day just eta worse and worse. As the intention starts to grow on Stu and police start arriving, Captain Ramey (Forest Whitaker) starts figuring out that perhaps Stu is actually incapable of putting down the phone for fear of getting a bullet through his head, they are under the belief that Stu has a gun, yet aren’t completely sold on the whole story that they’re being fed. Director Joel Schumacher knows how to heighten the tension as he often focuses the camera on what appear to be menial objects at first, but soon play out to be much more vital, he also gives the whole thing a sense of humour, which is a nice touch. Most of the humour and tension comes from the voice on the phone, the anti-hero perhaps. The voice is Kiefer Sutherland, who brings a soft yet effective tone that is refreshing to listen to but menacing when need be. It becomes unclear wether he has any intention of killing Stu, but it makes the film much more enthralling when he never seems to lose his cool and has Stu in all sorts of knots, a snappy and enjoyable film that seems to hold so much more under the hood and has more pressing motives that it doesn’t play. Full Review »