The Cell Movie Poster Image

The Cell



A movie with no plot, no logic, no meaning.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 107 minutes

What parents need to know


Graphic, gruesome images, torture, murder, child abuse. Very scary.


Nude corpse, sexual references.


Some strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Cigarette and marijuana smoking, alcohol abuse.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the movie has many gross, upsetting, and scary moments, including child abuse, torture, murder, perversion, mutilation, a terrifying full-immersion baptism, and characters in peril. A character smokes marijuana to calm her nerves.

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

A serial killer is in some sort of irreversible catatonia, and the police need to find where he has hidden his last victim, who may still be alive. So they turn to Catherine Deane (Jennifer Lopez), who has developed a means to communicate with comatose patients by entering their dreams. The police decide to allow her to see if she can make any progress with the serial killer.

Is it any good?


I think the idea here was to cross The Silence of the Lambs with The Matrix. THE CELL's so-called plot seems to be just an excuse for lots and lots of stunning but often gruesome surreal visual effects that fall somewhere between the hyper-clarity of a nightmare and the claustrophobic grotesquery of a bad acid trip.

The movie is all sensation, no plot, no logic, no meaning, no effort to explore or illuminate. It is filled with juxtapositions that seem more meaningful than they are, creating an illusion of profundity that dissolves before your eyes.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what it would be like to enter someone else's mind and about the differences in the ways individuals think. They may also want to talk about mental illness, its causes and treatments.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 18, 2000
DVD/Streaming release date:December 19, 2000
Cast:Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn, Vincent D'Onofrio
Director:Tarsem Singh
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Science Fiction
Run time:107 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:bizarre violence and sexual images, nudity and language

This review of The Cell was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

this is my favorite movie its a comlete mind bender

this is the kind of thing you would see when you where on an acid trip. imagine going deep into the mind of a killer and seeing his world and wht he thinks about his victims, scary right well watch this movie and see hwat it would be like. note this is the tripy'est movie i have seen in my life its one of the best to
Parent of a 15 year old Written byMr. Boxbox February 18, 2010
An extremely surreal and disturbing film. I have never seen anything quite like it. It captures the mood and atmosphere of a nightmare so perfectly. If you have not watched it yet, you must. One of my all time favorites. As for content, it is VERY disturbing and creepy overall and has some violent and gory scenes.
What other families should know
Too much violence


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?