Critics Consensus

Shoddily crafted and devoid of suspense, Cell squanders a capable cast and Stephen King's once-prescient source material on a bland rehash of zombie cliches.



Reviews Counted: 51

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,760


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 2.1/5

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Movie Info

Stephen King's best-selling novel is brought to terrifying life in this mind-blowing thriller starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. At the Boston airport, Clay (Cusack) witnesses a scene of chaotic mayhem when an electronic signal turns hundreds of cell phone users into rabid killers. Desperate to find his estranged wife and son, Clay teams with a train driver (Jackson) to battle the horde of murderous "phoners" as the city descends into apocalyptic madness.

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Critic Reviews for Cell

All Critics (51) | Top Critics (12)

  • This is the undead equivalent of fast food. Some might find comfort in all these known quantities. Those looking for anything of substance would do better to wait for an upgrade.

    Jan 1, 2017 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

    Steve Greene

    Top Critic
  • Cusack and Jackson aren't on their finest acting form, and this is one to forget.

    Aug 25, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • What makes this movie about a zombie attack different from any other movie about a zombie attack? Nothing but its ineptitude.

    Jul 8, 2016 | Full Review…
  • The concept of humankind turning into one enormous mobile hotspot for use by an evil mastermind has legs. It's too bad Cell cuts the idea off at the knees.

    Jul 8, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Even if it weren't cheap-looking and dreary, "Cell" would still be hobbled by an entertainment landscape already lousy with zombies, and a hive-mind premise that - at least metaphorically - has been all but realized.

    Jul 7, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Even King's commentary on how cyber-connectivity breeds brainlessness feels shoehorned-in - mostly limited to a few lines from a snooty private-school administrator played by Stacy Keach.

    Jul 7, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Cell


Having never read the book I'm rating it as just a film and it's really a film that starts well then gets predictable then got silly and confusing, The story was not new but it had a different take on it, It wasn't acted very well but it had some good intense scenes that were done well, With a good cast the story should of been told more deeper and we never really know how it all started which was quite annoying, I did like the ending but the scenes before that completely ruined the film as they didn't make sense or were done that well, It's not a bad film it's just poor for what was on offer.

Jamie Clarke
Jamie Clarke

Super Reviewer


I've never read Cell, so I'm not sure if this is an accurate adaptation of a bad Stephen King book, or just another inaccurate adaptation of a Stephen King book. But either way, it's bad. For a decent Cusack/Jackson team up in a King adaptation, just watch 1408.

Gimly M.
Gimly M.

Super Reviewer

Well, how about that - there's lots of interesting stuff here. I should always remember to heed the advice of messers Mark Kermode and Kim Newman and pay less attention to the Rotten Tomatoes score. Cell's biggest issue is it's obviously meagre budget vs it's ambition and ideas. It's a very weird film, with some strange, funny moments and some surprisingly moments of levity and beauty. It has the same essence of the Stephen King book but is also radically different (it's its own thing). Colour me surprised. I enjoyed Cell, quite a bit.

Daniel Parsons
Daniel Parsons

Super Reviewer


In this corner, Stephen King, perhaps America's premier horror writer. And in the other, zombies, America's favorite horror genre of the moment. Put these two together and there's gonna be some major sparks, baby, or at least that's what you'd think. Maybe it's what Stephen thought when he put this together. Or maybe it's what somebody, maybe his agent or his manager, told him. Whatever the case, it just doesn't happen, the premise not jelled enough at the source. And even though Cusack and Jackson have good chemistry together (they' ve done the Stephen King thing before, and swimmingly, 1408), there's not enough good chem in the world to make this clunker click. Oh well.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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