The operators at any 911 headquarters are the unsung heroes of emergencies. They calm people who are dealing with horrifying situations and dispatch the proper help as quickly as possible.
Veteran 911 dispatcher Jordan Turner (Halle Berry) is having a regular day when she gets a call from a teenager at home alone while a man is trying to break in. Turner gives the girl some smart advice and is keeping her on the line until help arrives. When the connection is cut, Turner calls back.
The phone rings once and the criminal realizes there is someone in the house. Turner hears the man take the girl and before he hangs up the phone, he gives her a brief, chilling message. When the girl's body is found, Turner blames herself.
Six months later, she still is a mess. Her police officer boyfriend Paul Phillips (Morris Chestnut) does his best to console her, but she has nightmares about the girl's death.
She now trains new dispatchers and has them in the call center when a young operator gets a call from a teenager who has been kidnapped from a shopping mall parking lot. Luckily, she has a friend's prepaid cellphone.
The new dispatcher cannot handle the situation, leaving Turner no choice but to take over the call.
Casey Welson (Abigail Breslin) finally calms down enough to listen, and take the advice Turner is giving. She knocks out a back light and waves to get attention. She does, but it also alerts the driver that he needs to change his plans.
The cat-and-mouse game between Turner, the police, the kidnapper (Michael Eklund) and his victim is a good one. When it looks like there has been a break in the case the kidnapper manages to slip away from them, Casey in tow.
While parts of “The Call” could have come from any number of TV procedural dramas, a sinister plot is unfolding. The kidnapper may be the same one who took the young girl on the phone with Turner six months before.
Will Casey die the same tragic way as the other girl?
“The Call” is a devious movie. It moves from a straightforward kidnap caper to a dark, twisted suspenseful film in a heartbeat, ending with such a shocking conclusion that the audience at the screening gasped at the final scene.
Director Brad Anderson took what could have been a “by-the-book” crime drama and added undertones of “Silence of the Lambs,” “Kiss the Girls” and Quentin Tarantino's “Grindhouse” movies.
When trailers for “The Call” first came out, it didn't look like a movie that would be anything special or hint at why an Oscar-winning actress would agree to be its star. When it's over, you'll know.
You'll want to tell your friends to see this movie, but you can't tell them why
— Sandi Davis