Still, the wait has been well worth it, as 'Phone Booth' is a taut, paranoia-inducing thriller that does for public telephone facilities what 'Psycho' did for showers. Set almost entirely in and around a phone booth on 53rd and 8th in New York, the film follows the trials of fast-talking, self-serving publicist Stu (Farrell) after he answers a ringing telephone. Soon he finds himself the pawn in a cruel game, where all the rules are dictated by the unseen but all-seeing sniper on the other end of the line.
Schumacher's history as a director has been very uneven, with estimable films like 'Falling Down' or 'Flatliners' overshadowed by worthless 'Batman' sequels, or by the almost comically terrible '8mm'. 'Phone Booth', however, is a real return to form, with Schumacher using every trick in the book to make his very confined setting remain interesting. Farrell skilfully portrays Stu in all his odiousness while still somehow engaging the filmgoer's identification with him; and Forest Whitaker puts in yet another reliable performance as a police captain who manages to keep his head amidst all the mayhem.
The film's real main character, however is the mysterious all-seeing, all-knowing 'caller'. Looking down from on high, punishing sins, brooking no disobedience, demanding arbitrary sacrifices and smiting without mercy, he is a new version of the Old Testament God, transforming what would otherwise have been a fairly conventional cat-and-mouse thriller into a modern-day morality tale, where the phone book has replaced the bible.
As arresting as a ringing telephone - and with a theological twist. Brilliant.