Film Review: Tense Thriller Has Halle Berry Answering ‘The Call’

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CHICAGO – “The Call” rises above the usual crime drama for a couple of reasons. First, it is a thriller that runs at a breakneck speed, using the driving culture of Los Angeles in a cat-and-mouse chase. Secondly, it symbolically emphasizes the plight of women, and honors their empowerment. Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

On the surface, the film deals with 911 emergency operators, especially lead actress Halle Berry, in an exceptional performance. Below the story, the film has a lot to say about the assault on women in society. By using a kidnapping and torture plot, it introduces two exceptionally strong women (the characters of Berry and Abigail Breslin) and allows them to use their guts, guile and intuition to rise above the violent captor. This doesn’t become apparent until a questionable last act, but once this symbolism becomes clear it evolves “The Call” from an everyday crime thriller to something deeper and more involving.

Jordan (Halle Berry) is an expert call receiver at a Los Angeles 911 center. In the city the size of L.A., the calls come in a furious rate, but one call changes Jordan’s life. It is a home invasion, with a girl trapped in a room on the second floor, while the intruder searches for her. After tricking the criminal that the girl has escaped, a redial by Jordan alerts him anew, and the girl ends up dead.

The trauma and guilt of the crime affects Jordan greatly and gets her re-assigned to training. Even her cop boyfriend Paul (Morris Chestnut) can’t shake her gloom. While training some operators, another desperate call comes in, and Jordan has to sit back in the chair. It is the same captor as the previous case, but this time his victim, named Casey (Abigail Breslin), has a mobile phone and a will to survive. Together, Casey and Jordan will attempt to pinpoint the perpetrator’s location on the miles of L.A. freeways, and stop another potential killing.

“The Call” opens everywhere on March 15th. Featuring Halle Berry, Morris Chestnut, Abigail Breslin and Michael Imperioli. Screenplay by Richard D’Ovidio. Directed by Brad Anderson. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Call”

Halle Berry
Jordan (Halle Berry) Mans Her Post in ‘The Call’
Photo credit: TriStar Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Call”

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