Parents' Guide to

The Cell

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

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

Movie R 2000 107 minutes
The Cell Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 16+

Better than face off, thus far.

From halfway through. Selected this, because ... a bit like wanting to see Notorious? for Dali's backdrops? Some artistry in the costumes, camera arrangement, somewhere. Male gaze, definitely. Vince Vaughan stroppy- doesn't commit to the role, I felt.
age 18+

Excellent plot! This is not for the faint of heart though...

This movie is a depiction of society if soicety were to discover telepathy by mehcanics. Also if society were to move foward with psychology as a primary tool for remedy in regards to society's flaws. The plot gets mixed up in the demented mind of a serial killer and his haunting past. The appropriation for the disturbing nature of this film is that the movie...takes place inside of a human mind / serial killers mind. We all have thoughts that are distorted, if not every thought. The purpose for this is to unlock a memory of where he put his next victim, and to find the next victim before they die.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (3 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

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.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: August 18, 2000
  • On DVD or streaming: December 19, 2000
  • Cast: Jennifer Lopez , Vince Vaughn , Vincent D'Onofrio
  • Director: Tarsem Singh
  • Inclusion Information: Indian/South Asian directors, Female actors, Latino actors, Middle Eastern/North African actors
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Run time: 107 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: bizarre violence and sexual images, nudity and language
  • Last updated: March 30, 2022

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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

See how we rate