Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Cellular Movie Poster Image
So-so thriller that is too intense for tweens.
  • PG-13
  • 2004
  • 92 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Extreme tension and peril, characters killed, mother and child in peril.


Some sexual references.


Some strong language at the edge of the PG-13 rating.


Intrusive product placement for cell phone company.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

References to drug dealers.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this thriller has strong language for a PG-13, references to drug dealers, and a lot of tension, peril, and violence. A mother and her child are in peril and characters are killed.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bykobe333 February 24, 2011

Great but intense violence

lots of intense violence but gret movie to watch with kids that dont get scared easily.
Parent of a 12-year-old Written bylittleone522 February 17, 2011

Great for adults, not for kids!

I think this is a great movie for adults but for kids under 14, I don't think its appropriate. The language in this movie is my main concern. Sh*t is said... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old February 11, 2013

Great movie but contains strong language, terror and violence.

WARNING: This movie contains bloody torture and violence. There is disturbing images. Some strong language. Profanity contains two uses of
f--k, 37 sh-ts, 5 p--... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bySkyrock5 April 3, 2011

Simple plot + Encouraging storyline = Spectacular Formulation

It's one of those films that you know will get your heart pounding with every scene. Exhilerating, undefiable and gobsmacking action sequences with a groun... Continue reading

What's the story?

Kim Basinger plays Jessica, a loving mother and high school science teacher who is abruptly kidnapped from her luxurious Brentwood mansion after dropping her son at the school bus. They leave her in an empty attic, smashing the phone with a sledgehammer. But she is a science teacher, so she McGyvers the bits together and clicks the wires until it randomly dials some number which fortunately happens to be a cell phone that is right in the neighborhood. The guy who answers is Ryan (played by unmemorable Chris Evans). Ryan realizes Jessica is telling the truth and after a half-hearted attempt to get some help from the police, decides he will rescue her.

Is it any good?

This serviceable little thriller suffers even more than most from the dreaded "none of this would have happened if our hero had even made one logical choice" syndrome. But it more than makes up for it with its brisk pace (less than 90 minutes long) and the satisfyingly clever use of some of today's most universal annoyances: people who blare loud rap music from their cars, cell phone dropped connections; obnoxiously unhelpful salespeople; cell phone battery failures; arrogant people in ostentatious sports cars; and cell phones that ring at the wrong time.

Ryan's behavior for the first 2/3 of CELLULAR is so purely idiotic that there is no room left over to feel much tension or indeed any emotion other than irritation at the complete failure of logic or intelligence by just about every character except for Mrs. Wizard up there in the attic. Once it gets going, though, there are some clever twists and pleasurable thrills, mostly provided by the always-watchable William H. Macy as a cop named Mooney who is just about to retire to run a day spa. The result is a silly summer thriller somehow languishing as a fall release.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what Jessica's husband should have done that could have prevented much of what happened and why Moon did not give up.

Movie details

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