The Cell (2000)



Critic Consensus: The Cell offers disturbing, stunning eye candy, but it is undermined by a weak and shallow plotline that offers nothing new.

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. … More

Rating: R (for bizarre violence and sexual images, nudity and language)
Genre: Horror, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: , , , , , ,
Written By: Mark Protosevich
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 19, 2000
Box Office: $60.0M
New Line Cinema - Official Site


as Catherine Deane

as Peter Novak

as Carl Stargher

as Dr. Miriam Kent

as Gordon Ramsey

as Henry West

as Teddy Lee

as Lucien Baines

as Julia Hickson

as Young Carl Stargher

as Anne Marie Vicksey

as Ella Baines

as Dr. Cooperman

as Edward Baines

as Mrs. Hickson

as Officer Alexander

as Swat Team Member

as FBI Technician

as FBI K-9 Agent

as Stargher's Victim

as Stargher's Victim

as Stargher's Victim

as Stargher's Victim

as Stargher's Victim

as Stargher's Victim

as Stargher's Father

as Woman in Tub

as Mother

as Helicopter Pilot

as Valentine
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Cell

All Critics (148) | Top Critics (35)

Lopez is hard to take as the empathetic psychologist who uses a synaptic transfer machine to penetrate the comatose killer's tortured psyche in hopes of finding his latest victim.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Tarsem uses the dramatically shallow plot to create a dream world densely packed with images of beauty and terror that cling to the memory even if you don't want them to.

March 7, 2005
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Rewarding even beyond the shockingly bold images that almost exclusively make up the film's final hour and change.

Full Review… | July 25, 2015
Antagony & Ecstasy

The Cell is a dazzling mind-bender of a film that features spectacular visuals from the elegant sets to the gorgeous costumes, all encompassed in a thrilling story that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Full Review… | July 6, 2015

A movie with no plot, no logic, no meaning.

Full Review… | December 28, 2010
Common Sense Media

Sigmund Freud's description of the id as "a cauldron full of seething excitations" could just as easily apply to this literal exploration into the darkest, filthiest corners of a serial killer's mind. A chilling journey into dark religious iconography.

Full Review… | September 25, 2010

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 Magalh„es

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

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

Super Reviewer

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