Movie: Cellular

Length: 1 hour, 35 minutes
Studio: New Line Cinema
Release Date: 2004-09-10
Cast: Chris Evans, Kim Basinger, Jason Statham, Jessica Biel, Noah Emmerich
Director: David R. Ellis
Screenwriter: Larry Cohen, Christopher Morgan
WorkNameSort: Cellular
Our Rating: 2.50

It's a red-letter day when you can say an American studio release is "not awful" and not worry about saying three Our Fathers next Sunday. And Cellular – based on a story by Larry Cohen (It's Alive, God Told Me To) – is 1/3 of a terrific thriller. Math teacher Jessica Martin (Kim Basinger) is mistakenly kidnapped by thugs who squirrel her away in her attic, threatening to whack her and her tyke unless she shares some info she doesn't have. Putting together a smashed phone, she reaches the cell of an Everyhunk named Ryan (Chris Evans), whose mission it becomes to save the distressed lady – as long as his cell signal doesn't crap out. Though the thugs' unnecessary roughness borders on the sadistic, there are entire stretches in which Cellular achieves the seemingly paradoxical breeziness particular to old-school thrillers, attaining a sense of play and abandon amidst the tension and goofball contrivance.