The Call

Too many critics and pundits were too busy making fun of Halle Berry’s hair instead of noticing how tight and compelling her newest movie was. The picture has a corker of a premise, with Berry playing a 9-1-1 operator who must help a kidnapped girl stuck a murderer’s car trunk. It’s the kind of film where the characters are smart enough to do that thing you shouted at the screen for them to do and still find themselves in danger. It’s a genuinely thrilling bit of B-movie goodness that deserved its surprise box office success.

While it somewhat collapses in its final reel (like Speed or Red Eye, it loses steam once it “gets off the bus”), the first 75 minutes or so of this “9-1-1 operator must save a kidnapped girl’s life by talking her to safety” thriller is one of the purest “bruised-forearm” films I’ve seen in ages. In a time when B-movies are indeed making a comeback, this may be my favorite honest-to-goodness B-movie of the year. The Call is just the kind of thing that Saturday night date nights at the movies were invented for. See it with someone you want to be a little closer to.