The Cell

  • Review Date: May 20, 2003
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 107 minutes

Common Sense Media says

A movie with no plot, no logic, no meaning.
  • Review Date: May 20, 2003
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 107 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
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15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Violence

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

Sex

Nude corpse, sexual references.

Language

Some strong language.

Consumerism
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.

Parents say

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?

QUALITY
 

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 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.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 15 year old Written byMr. Boxbox February 18, 2010
AGE
15
QUALITY
 
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
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

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 Written byCourtK May 15, 2015
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Stay as far away from this movie as possible.

This is the most disturbing movie I've ever seen. It's one of my entertainment regrets in life - images I can never un see. I don't know how anybody could in good conscience recommend this to kids of any age. I was in my 30s when I saw it and wonder how a movie like this was ever made. It makes me sad (and terrified) to see that a kid saw this and claims it is his favorite movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence

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