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The Call Review

Movies.com Critics

2.0

Dave White Profile

Hair show. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0
    51

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times

    A sputtering, so-so B thriller with a neat hook but very little personality.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The action starts with a bang, but deteriorates and grows more absurd as the story strays farther from the LAPD call center.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    The Call for the most part is a tense, extreme-jeopardy thriller that delivers the intended goods.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    Surprisingly good, and surprisingly gruesome, fun.

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  • See all The Call reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 17 & under

Gripping thriller has tons of violence directed at a teen.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Call is a gripping but very violent thriller about a heroic 911 operator trying to rescue a kidnapped teen girl. The girl is punched, beaten, stripped to her bra, and briefly tortured. Her age isn't specifically mentioned in the movie, but actress Abigail Breslin is 16. There are also scenes in which characters are stabbed with a screwdriver and lit on fire. Other aspects of the movie are fairly mild, including language, with just a few uses of "f--k" and "s--t," as well as some mild sexual innuendo involving teens (and one grown-up kiss). Several of the 911 calls heard on the soundtrack describe acts of violence, including drug use. Ultimately, because all of the movie's intense, serial killer-related violence centers around a teen victim, this movie isn't recommended for any but the most mature viewers.

  • Families can talk about The Call's intense violence. How did it affect you? Do you think the story could have been told with milder violence?
  • Why do you think there are so many movies (and other types of media) about serial killers? Why are we so fascinated by them?
  • Do you feel that the teen characters were sexualized in any way? If so, do you feel this was acceptable or unacceptable? Why?
  • What's the movie's take on revenge? Do you think it's realistic? Justifiable?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: A woman learns to face her fears, though she marches into a dangerous situation to do so. She also tries to forgive herself for a past mistake. On the downside, the movie promotes revenge.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: The movie takes a close look at the difficult work of 911 operators, who can be seen as heroic in a certain light. One such operator, the movie's main character, works tirelessly to save a teen girl's life.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: A teenage girl is kidnapped, punched, beaten, stripped down to her bra, and briefly tortured. She's shown with a swollen eye. In an earlier scene, a prowler breaks into a home and attacks another teen girl. This girl is later shown dead (pixilated) on the evening news. A man is beaten with a shovel, stabbed with a screwdriver, and killed. A serial killer's gruesome hideout is shown, with bloody smears on the walls and a collection of girls' scalps. A man is lit on fire with gasoline and a lighter. Verbal descriptions of violent crimes and murders heard on the 911 calls.

  • sex false2

    Sex: A teen girl is shown in her bra, but it's not in a sexual/romantic context. Two teens talk about sexual matters at a mall, with mild innuendo (with phrases like "bone you"). Two adults kiss.

  • language false4

    Language: "Motherf----r," "s--t," "bitch," "hell," "oh my God," and "goddamn" are all used a few times each.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: A Pepsi logo is seen (backwards, in a window) in one scene. Another scene takes place in a mall, though businesses are never shown clearly.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drugs are mentioned during several of the 911 calls in the opening scenes. Two teen girls mention that someone they know "smokes dope."

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