“911, what is your emergency?” This is a phrase that almost everyone in America is familiar with. So, who would make a movie out of a 911 call? And, who would want to watch it? Well, writers Richard D’Ovidio, Jon Bokenkamp, and Nicole D’Ovidio along with director Brad Anderson did just that, and The Call has proven that a movie about an emergency call can be a successful thriller.
It starts like any other day at “hive” (the 911 call center). All the worker bees-911 operators-are at their stations and busy working. Jordon Turner (Halle Berry) is among them. Jordon is following her everyday routine when a call comes in from a young girl named Leah Templeton (Evie Thompson). Leah says that someone is breaking into her house. Jordon give her instructions on what to do until the police arrive. Everything is going fine until the call disconnects, and Jordon makes the mistake of calling Leah back. The ringing of the phone leads the killer to Leah’s location. Leah is capture and later found murdered. Jordon is devastated.
After Leah’s murder, Jordon tells her boyfriend, police officer Paul Phillips ( Morris Chestnut ), that she can’t handle taking the 911 calls anymore. She then becomes a 911 trainer for new recruits. During one of Jordon’s training sessions, a call comes in from Casey Welson(Abigail Breslin) who states that she has been abducted from a local mall and is in the trunk of a car. The first operator doesn’t know how to handle the situation, and Jordon takes the call. It is later discovered that Casey’s abductor, Michael Foster (Michael Eklund), is the same person who kidnapped and murdered Leah Templeton. Jordon feels personally drawn to Casey’s case because of her mistake in the Leah Templeton case. After the identity of the abductor is discovered, it becomes a race against time to rescue Casey.
If I could only use one word to describe The Call, it would be “gripping”. The Call is surprisingly exciting. It is an adrenaline rush from start to finish. I found myself literally gripping my seat and holding the hands of complete strangers during the movie.
Each actor in The Call delivers a believable and heart wrenching performance. This is Halle Berry at her best. She successfully draws the audience inside of the world of Jordon Turner and the world of real 911 operators. Abigail Breslin is also moving as frightened teen Casey Welson. And, Michael Eklund is terrifyingly brilliant as psychopath Michael Foster. Even supporting actors Morris Chestnut, David Otunga, Denise Douse, Roma Maffia, Michael Imperioli, and Evie Thompson give outstanding performances.
The Call is unforgettable. It is rated R for violence, disturbing content, and language, and I feel that this is an accurate rating. There are scenes in the movie that I feel would be too disturbing for a young audience. The Call runs for 1 hour and 35 minutes. On a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest), I would give this movie a 5. This is one of the best movies I have seen lately, and I would not be surprised to see this movie and/or some of its actors nominated for an Oscar.