THE CALL (2013)

the call pic

Starring: Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin, Morris Chestnut, Michael Eklund, Michael Imperioli, Denise Dowse

Directed by: Brad Anderson

Synopsis: When a veteran 911 operator takes a life-altering call from a teenage girl who has just been abducted, she realizes that she must confront a killer from her past in order to save the girl’s life.


Oh Hollywood, why? Why do you do it to yourselves? Every single time. You get a film, give it an hour and ten minutes of tense, fairly riveting drama and then let yourselves down with a stupid, cliched ending.

In the right hands The Call could have been a better than average “Phone Booth” style thriller. It was tense when it needed to be, Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin played their roles well, the premise was OK, the villain seemed vaguely like a normal person. And then the end came and ruined everything it had built before it.

The Call centres around Jordan Turner (Halle Berry), a 911 emergency call operator. She is haunted by a 911 call that went wrong, leading to the death of a young, pretty blonde girl. Jordan blames herself and consequently is a bag of nerves upon her return to work. Unfortunately for her, a new emergency is phoned through with a very similar set of circumstances, and Jordan must get over her anxiety to help the kidnapped Casey (Breslin).

This part of the movie worked well, both Berry and Breslin were good in their roles and there was a genuine sense of peril throughout. It was a mix between the Ryan Reynolds movie “Buried” and Colin Farrell starring “Phone Booth“, but that’s where the similarities end. In those two films we had fairly realistic endings. In The Call we have the usual Hollywood ‘have a go hero’ kind of ending. The kind of ending that see’s, not a police or SWAT team, but a 911 operator risk life and limb to track down and confront the murderer to save the girl. Sorry, but my enjoyment of the film just 100% collapsed at that point. It got worse still, but I won’t go into that.

In the words of Marlon Brando, The Call could have been a contender, but in the end it got KO’d in round 6 due to a horrendously misjudged, idiotic ending.

2.5 clappers


About thomasjford

I like Movies and Music and most things popular culture.


  1. Coincidentally I just watched this last weekend. I remembered it getting panned by critics, but as I was watching I was thinking, “this isn’t so bad, what were the critics so upset about?” Then I got to that ridiculous ending and was like, “oh, now I get it.” You’re spot on about the ending. Absurd.

  2. I completely agree, the ending completely ruined a perfectly good movie. It’s like they spend so much time and effort writing the screenplay but sort of lost interest towards the end and just tacked on any old ending.

  3. Started off tense and promising, and then it got terribly dumb once Halle Berry got away from her desk-job and jumped into the field. Such a dumb plot-device that movies never tire of using. Good review.

  4. Great film up until they dropped the ball. Truly an example of a film ruined by an ending and sheer dumbness….

  5. it’s a shame the film was so bad, especially since from the sound of it, it was quite decent up to the very end! Abigail Breslin and Halle Berry are both good actresses, so it’s a shame a bad script let them down

  6. Pingback: GRAND PIANO (2013) | MOVIES & MUSIC CAFE

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