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Review: 'The Call' must-see, heart-pounding thriller

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An exhilarating ride from start to finish, the new Halle Berry thriller "The Call" is a high-energy thriller that will keep audiences hanging on despite some of its implausible, if not ridiculous, scenarios.

Berry is terrific as Jordan Turner, a calm and collected 911 operator who is left devastated by an emergency call from a kidnapped teen girl who ends up being murdered by her deranged captor.

Confidence shattered and feeling emotionally helpless, Jordan shifts into a new role as a 911 trainer. Determined to never pick up another 911 call again, Jordan is forced to confront her demons when she hears the desperate pleas from another kidnapped teen, Casey (Abigail Breslin) -- especially since she's figured out that the perpetrator is the same kidnapper (a very creepy Michael Eklund) responsible for the first horrific crime.

See my review of the film with Diana Pierce on "KARE News at 11" below.

Director Brad Anderson has constructed an amazingly effective thriller with "The Call," weaving the unappreciated environment of a 911 call center with a nail-biting circumstances of a crime in progress. The action transpires at a breakneck speed, rivaling the sort of heart-stopping real-time action the Kiefer Sutherland TV thriller "24" offered at its peak.

The interesting thing is, just when you think "The Call" has hit its stride, Anderson unexpectedly takes us into "Silence of the Lambs" Buffalo Bill territory, where we learn the kidnapper's lurid back story and the horrifying fate that awaits his victims.

"The Call" is far from perfect -- Berry turns from a brilliant character into an utterly stupid one, forging the use of 911 when she needs it the most -- but in this case, it doesn't matter. That's when the film turns from a chase thriller into a crowd-pleasing revenge thriller, and in this case, revenge couldn't be any sweeter. For thrill seekers, it's a must-see film.

"The Call," rated R, 3 1/2 stars out of four.

See the trailer from "The Call" below.

What other local critics are saying ...

Chris Hewitt of the Pioneer Press gives "The Call" 3 stars, calling the film "smart, suspenseful and, even though Berry spends practically all of her time on the phone, poignant to watch her character work through her issues as she tries to piece together clues to Casey's whereabouts."

Bring Me The News film critic Tim Lammers is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and annually votes on the Critics Choice Movie Awards. Locally, he reviews films on “KARE 11 News at 11” and WCCO Radio. As a feature writer, Tim has interviewed more than 1,000 major actors and filmmakers throughout his career and his work is syndicated nationwide.

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