Box art for The Call

The Call


When veteran 911 operator, Jordan (Halle Berry), takes a life-altering call from a teenage girl (Abigail Breslin) who has just been abducted, she realizes that she must confront a killer from her past in order to save the girl's life.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 17
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
4 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
2 out of 5
5 out of 5

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.

what families can talk about

  • 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?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 20
    see all The Call reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Yes, it's cheese, but it's good cheese.

- Adam Graham, Detroit News, Friday, March 15, 2013

Rotten: Can't someone come up with screenwriting software that signals when a script has made the fatal slip from hyped-up suspense to sheer ludicrousness?

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Friday, March 15, 2013

Rotten: Thinking about seeing The Call? You may want to put that on hold.

- Bruce Demara, Toronto Star, Thursday, March 14, 2013

Audience Reviews

1 star

Having not learned her lesson from a Perfect Stranger, Halle Berry shows real Monster's Balls trying to sell moviegoers on seeing a movie so ridiculously bad that it makes Catwoman look like AFI's Top 100 Greatest Movies rolled into 1. Sure, this actress has a Call-ing, but it's not for starring in wannabe faint makers so laughably piss pour that they should've skipped right to being ridiculed for laughs on Mystery Science Theater. Not only does it pull out every cliched trick in the book (no, don't render your attacker completely unconscious when opportunity knocks, just lightly bop them on the head so they can pull you back by the hair moments later). But this is the least of The Call's infractions. The movie actually switches gears mid-race, giving up on the only hint of premise, er, promise in an otherwise painful moviegoing experience. In this R-rated thriller, veteran 911 operator Jordan (Berry) takes a life-altering call from a kidnapped teenage girl (Breslin), only to realize that she must confront a serial killer from her past to save the victim. Oscar-winner Berry has slummed it before (BAPs, Dark Tide). Her latest vehicle, however, starts out as a Sorry, Wrong Number-style thriller about an operator who's helplessly confined her desk listening to a murderous game. Oh, it's not entertainingly tense by any stretch, but it's more interesting than what develops-a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure bout of heroism with a ludicrous 11th Hour twist. The scariest call must've been Berry signing off on this flick to her agent after reading the script. Bottom line: Dial M For Moron.

- jeffboam, Tuesday, March 19, 2013

3 stars

It's a good thriller, it doesn't bring anything new to the table but it's good. We also get an insight on how things works at 911 operations and how difficult it can be to cope with some calls.

- ascordeiro108, Friday, May 17, 2013

3 stars

For being a thriller about a 911 operator sitting in a chair, "The Call" actually builds enough suspense to keep the audience involved. Although most of the situations feel incredulous and uninspired, the overall kitsch of the story is unique enough to keep one interested. Produced by WWE Studios, as one professional wrestler as an extremely small supporting role, the film never falls off the deep end like most of their previously produced endeavors. Halle Berry comes off a tad out of place in her starring role, still the highlight of the film but never able to carry it beyond what it actually is, which is an average thriller with little to no follow through, displaying one of the worst final acts to grace the screen yet this year. Wow, how Abigail Breslin has grown up, displaying a maturity when she's not screaming incoherently or strapped, topless, to a medical chair. However horrid I was picturing this film to be, I was pleasantly surprised to find it reach the annals of "alright".

- xas5, Saturday, March 23, 2013