Phone BoothThe hardest thing about a movie like Phone Booth is for the filmmakers to figure out a way to hold the audience's attention, since it is so short. The movie is nothing more than a guy in a phone booth. That's why the film is under ninety minutes long. It's about a guy that is trapped in a phone booth while a sinper is watching his every move. Although this movie is different enough as not to seem too eerie, the delay was probably good in terms of PR and publicity. If you don't know what I'm talking about, think Washington DC in 2003.
The first chunk of this movie is extremely tense, due to director Joel Schumacher using every trick in the book. Split screen and pounding music establish a frenetic pace that refuses to let up. Things go bad a little while after Whitaker's character arrives. This is no fault of Whitaker, whose performance is pretty good. The same goes for Farrell, who ably conveys how his character completely falls apart due to some unknown tormentor. Cohen and Schumacher establish the Shepherd character in a minimal amount of time, so one can see both the before and after, and can empathize with the sniper when he rails on Stu's character flaws. This would be a step in the right direction for Farrell's roles if it hadn't been completed before his string of mediocre ones began.