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.
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