The Cell (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Cell2000

The Cell (2000)



Critic Consensus: The Cell offers disturbing, stunning eye candy, but its visual pleasures are no match for a confused storyline that undermines the movie's inventive aesthetic.

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Movie Info

Within the confines of an abandoned rural farmhouse, Carl Stargher, a psychologically disturbed killer has built The Cell, a glass-encased chamber where he drowns his innocent female victims before continuing a sadistic post-mortem ritual with their bodies. As the FBI finally closes in on the killer, he is rendered comatose by a violent seizure and is ultimately apprehended into their custody, but not before leaving his latest victim alive in The Cell with only forty hours to live. Unfortunately, only Stargher knows where she is. Enter Catherine Deane. Deane, a child therapist, is part of an advanced neurological study at the Campbell Center, a research division of a large pharmaceutical company, where she's been using her empathetic abilities along with breakthrough technology to enter into the mind of a catatonic young boy to help bring him back to his loving parents. While FBI agents Peter Novak and his partner Gordon Ramsey follow clues to uncover the missing girl's whereabouts, the FBI enlist Catherine to use her "gift" to embark on an uncharted and perilous journey through Stargher's demented mind.

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Jennifer Lopez
as Catherine Deane
Vince Vaughn
as Peter Novak
Vincent D'Onofrio
as Carl Stargher
Marianne Jean-Baptiste
as Dr. Miriam Kent
Jake Weber
as Gordon Ramsey
Dylan Baker
as Henry West
James Gammon
as Teddy Lee
Patrick Bauchau
as Lucien Baines
Tara Subkoff
as Julia Hickson
Jake Thomas
as Young Carl Stargher
Catherine Sutherland
as Anne Marie Vicksey
Musetta Vander
as Ella Baines
Gerry Becker
as Dr. Cooperman
Colton James
as Edward Baines
Lauri Johnson
as Mrs. Hickson
Kamar de los Reyes
as Officer Alexander
Christopher Janney
as Swat Team Member
Nicholas Cascone
as FBI Technician
Joe La Piana
as FBI K-9 Agent
Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls
as Stargher's Victim
Jennifer Dawn Day
as Stargher's Victim
Alanna Vicente
as Stargher's Victim
Aja Echols
as Stargher's Victim
Vanessa Branch
as Stargher's Victim
Elena Maddalo
as Stargher's Victim
Gareth Williams
as Stargher's Father
Glenda Chism
as Woman in Tub
Alan Purwin
as Helicopter Pilot
as Valentine
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News & Interviews for The Cell

Critic Reviews for The Cell

All Critics (164) | Top Critics (44)

Jazzy photography and fancy design in no way compensate for a dull, suspense-free screenplay and unwise casting.

April 1, 2019 | Full Review…

Ultimately, the reliance on a dream world tends to reduce suspense and even narrative logic. Thus, everything is possible and nothing is necessary.

April 1, 2019 | Full Review…

The Cell is pretty silly. But I admired its cinematic ambition until the final scenes.

March 31, 2019 | Full Review…

The summer's silliest cinematic experience has to be The Cell, ostensibly a slightly futuristic serial killer movie but, subtextually, a commercial for the Saatchi collection.

March 31, 2019 | Full Review…

Like [anyone's] imagination, the movie's landscape is littered with half-remembered pop artifacts... what's different is that Tarsem, a commercial and video director here making his feature debut, sticks the protagonists in a garden of unearthly delights.

March 31, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The deeper the movie goes into its characters' heads, the more it finds shallow, familiar scenes of sexual domination and submission

March 31, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Cell


It is certainly a gorgeous film to look at but the plot is weakened by the fact that Jennifer Lopez is seriously miscast and not at all convincing as a psychiatrist well suited for her job, especially given how the character's motivations are so unprofessional and confusing in the last act.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Visually stunning but thematically scant take on what it would be like to enter another's psyche, in this case a serial (psycho/sexual) killer whose last victim is still trapped in a cell somewhere. Lopez and D'Onofrio are competent as antagonists delivering the drama but Vaughn is very good in this, his least Vaughn-like of roles.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

I really do admire Tarsem's The Cell for it's amazing nightmare sequences. However, the hit-or-miss casting and lack of interest make this a lot worse than it theoretically should be. While Jennifer Lopez and Vince Vaughn are fine on their own, this miscasting wasn't beneficial to either of their strengths. Thankfully Vincent D'Onofrio's complete tour-de-force makes the movie as intriguing as it is, making you want to see nothing but a two hour dream sequence with him being bizarre. The visuals are landmarks for their time, mainly because it avoids heavy CGI and focuses on optical illusions. When I think about it, these were some of the best "dream sequences" i've ever seen. They were so visually and stylistically unsettling and surreal.

Conner Rainwater
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

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