Metascore
51

Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 23
  2. Negative: 4 out of 23
  1. Reviewed by: Leah Churner
    Mar 20, 2013
    67
    A pastiche of classic plot devices scrounged from "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three," "The Conversation," "Blue Velvet," and dozens of other movies, the story often feels familiar, but director Anderson (The Machinist) has a such a flair for suspense that even the most jaded viewers will find themselves in a sweat.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Mar 14, 2013
    50
    You’ve seen pieces of this movie in “Psycho,” “Silence of the Lambs,” and 2004’s “Cellular.” Still, the early scenes in the Hive give The Call a needed novelty: It’s a workplace drama, and the work is responding to other people’s desperate worst-case scenarios.
  3. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Mar 18, 2013
    50
    A sputtering, so-so B thriller with a neat hook but very little personality.
  4. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    Mar 15, 2013
    75
    Surprisingly good, and surprisingly gruesome, fun.
  5. Reviewed by: Laremy Legel
    Mar 14, 2013
    33
    An active affront to logic, placing us in a world we firmly know doesn’t exist.
  6. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Mar 14, 2013
    40
    It buzzes along for a while, the promising plot innovations inviting suspension of disbelief, before by-the-numbers implausibility, over-the-top valor and unsavory contrivances take over and the line goes dead.
  7. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Mar 13, 2013
    50
    Rare is the thriller that goes as completely and utterly wrong as The Call does at almost precisely the one hour mark. Which is a crying shame, because for an hour, this is a riveting, by the book kidnapping.
  8. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Mar 15, 2013
    40
    For 91 minutes of its briskly paced 94-minute running time, the film works as a tightly wound bit of pins-and-needles storytelling. Then, Anderson lets it all unravel in a three-minute stretch of cheap writing that not only betrays the characters he worked so hard to develop, but that also thumbs its nose at any audience members with a brain.
  9. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Mar 15, 2013
    60
    No one’s winning any awards for The Call. But at least the award winners know how to make it worth our while.
  10. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Mar 14, 2013
    38
    I’ll say one thing for The Call: Its ending is actually a bit of a surprise. Just when you think it couldn’t get any stupider, pow! I’ll be damned, Hollywood, you still have the power to blindside.
  11. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Mar 14, 2013
    45
    The shoddy attention to character, plausibility and detail is particularly surprising coming from Anderson, a director of smart indie thrillers like "The Machinist," "Session 9" and "Transsiberian." He's been a gifted filmmaker with a talent for creating chilling tension through meticulous control of just these elements.
  12. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Mar 14, 2013
    50
    The film is at once shamelessly transparent, manipulative, and far-fetched, and impossibly suspenseful. You'll want to take a shower afterward - that's how icky you'll feel.
  13. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Mar 15, 2013
    38
    Labeling The Call as "relentlessly dumb" would be an overestimation of its intelligence. This is as brain-dead as a movie can be and it assumes the audience will have the I.Q. of a rutabaga.
  14. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Mar 14, 2013
    75
    The Call might not be a classic for the ages, but for a Friday night? For a movie to take people out of themselves? And to make them marvel at the viewing experience that just happened to them? This one is hard to beat.
  15. Mar 14, 2013
    38
    Brad Anderson's film is defined by an often frustrating combination of cleverness and stupidity.
  16. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Mar 14, 2013
    50
    All that unsavory business aside, the biggest problem with the third act is how the film discards the novelty of its own premise in order to bring its star into the action. When Berry trades her headset for a rock, it’s the bluntest metaphor imaginable for a film that’s completely lost its mind.
  17. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Mar 14, 2013
    50
    For its last third, the entire thing gets a Frankensteinian head transplant, and turns into derivative serial-killer nonsense.
  18. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Mar 12, 2013
    70
    The Call for the most part is a tense, extreme-jeopardy thriller that delivers the intended goods.
  19. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Mar 14, 2013
    90
    An effectively creepy thriller about a 911 operator and a young miss in peril, The Call is a model of low-budget filmmaking.
  20. Reviewed by: Trevor Johnston
    Sep 18, 2013
    40
    Yet just when the movie has us in its grasp, the script falls to pieces and turns into a crass female-in-peril button-pusher whose shameless psycho-killer clichés insult the intelligence.
  21. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Mar 14, 2013
    50
    The action starts with a bang, but deteriorates and grows more absurd as the story strays farther from the LAPD call center.
  22. Reviewed by: Andrew Barker
    Mar 12, 2013
    50
    There’s little to differentiate this high-pitched screamer from a particularly feverish “Law and Order” rerun.
  23. Reviewed by: Chris Packham
    Mar 19, 2013
    40
    The middle third of the film comprises the phone call, a tight 40 minutes.
User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 113 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 39
  2. Negative: 3 out of 39
  1. Apr 29, 2013
    5
    The first two acts of this film are great. It is intense, suspenseful and emotional. All the performances are good and it is very well paced. The problem comes when the third act starts. It turns from a twisted thriller into a dumb generic "Silence of the Lambs" ripoff. I would recommend watching the movie and walking out an hour in. Full Review »
  2. Mar 16, 2013
    9
    The Call is a slow, gritty thriller because the end or the climax is wonderful and disappointing at the same time. This movie is so edge of your seat edgy, nail biting, bloody thriller. The Call deserves a 9 because its a wonderful thriller. Full Review »
  3. Jul 12, 2013
    8
    A very good film, has an awesome thrilling feel to it. The situation is somewhat cleverly executed and the film itself is something a little different which I like. It could had been less of a cliché but despite that, this film is still worth watching. Full Review »