Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. 88
    By occupying their roles believably, by acting as we think their characters probably would, they save the movie from feeling like basic Hollywood action (even when it probably is). This is one of the year's best thrillers.
  2. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    80
    A thriller that isn't kinky isn't much of a thriller. And Cellular has the best kinky phone gimmick since "Sorry, Wrong Number" (1948).
  3. This unpretentious little bit of superior craftsmanship will be utterly mesmerizing to two kinds of people in particular: those who love cell phones and those who hate them.
  4. Very slick, very compelling and not nearly as predictable as it sounds.
  5. The 23-year-old Evans has been acting just four years, and his near-anonymity makes him well-cast: He's an Everyslacker breezing through life in Santa Monica, the kind of guy who could turn into a hero under the right circumstances or remain a zero the rest of his life.
  6. Its adroit use of suspense makes you overlook the silliness.
  7. It's an honest, unpretentious, well-made B picture with a clever, silly premise, a handful of sly, unassuming performances and enough car chases, decent jokes and swervy plot complications to make the price of the ticket seem like a decent bargain.
  8. 70
    Basinger's debasement in the early part of the film is unpleasant to watch, and it's an unsettling bump in the context of the entertaining sheen of the rest of the picture. So much of Cellular is right on the button. If only it hadn't gotten its wires crossed.
  9. 70
    The film works by putting the accelerator to the floor and never looking in the rear-view mirror.
  10. Chris Evans is blithely likable despite a few faux-Cruise mannerisms, Basinger makes a vividly frightened yet resourceful woman in peril, and William H. Macy scores as a mild L.A. cop who lets out his inner macho.
  11. 67
    It's mad, bad nonsense of the summer, popcorn variety, disposable but oh-so-much fun to endure, a roller coaster on a wobbly cinematic track.
  12. 63
    A ludicrous little abduction thriller that boasts an entertaining cocktail of gunpowder, suspense, adrenaline, and cheese. I just couldn't hate this movie, and I really, really tried. It's tightly made and well written in deceptive ways that don't reveal themselves until past the halfway point.
  13. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    A well-paced action film in the vein of "Speed."
  14. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    60
    Because plot is the sum total here, the alarming holes, inconsistencies and impossibilities in Chris Morgan's script corrode this drama of distress.
  15. Reviewed by: Amy Nicholson
    60
    The whole thing skims along on suspension of disbelief.
  16. Basinger takes her shuddery Stanwyckness very seriously, but everyone else has a ball.
  17. If you can cast all semblance of logic aside, it's sort of fun.
  18. Macy once again brightens an otherwise mundane character.
  19. Slickly produced, well cast and very excitingly made, it's based on plot hooks so silly, most of them blow up in your face.
  20. 50
    Cohen and a crew of script doctors have thrown in some of the oldest cliches in the book.
  21. 50
    Basinger appears to be literally phoning in from another movie in the highly improbable, maniacally action-packed thriller-cum-comedy Cellular.
  22. 50
    That's not to say it isn't entertaining, only that the scenes which rely entirely on the fragile interplay between Jessica and Ryan suggest a more compelling movie that got lost in the welter of high-speed highway recklessness.
  23. Illustrates what happens when a viable premise is spoiled by sheer preposterousness.
  24. 50
    Entertaining in spite of itself.
  25. Reviewed by: Karen Karbo
    50
    What's truly disheartening about Cellular is that just as logic has become a luxury in a thriller, so has anything resembling tension.
  26. As Ryan, Evans attempts to graduate from "Not Another Teen Movie"-type fare to more adult stuff. He holds his own, but he has no edge.
  27. Distressingly predictable and not a tad scary. But as a parody of the genre, it's a scream, like the "Scream'' franchise, only funnier. It's as if all the ingredients for a thriller coagulated into Silly Putty.
  28. 50
    The movie crosses the line between offering mindless entertainment and insulting our intelligence.
  29. Using a kidnapping plot to call up some old-fashioned suspense, it doesn't even get a dial tone.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 68 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 31
  2. Negative: 8 out of 31
  1. Jul 12, 2014
    5
    Cellular: 5 out of 10: I'm having Falling Down flashbacks again. Cellular resembles that superior 1993 thriller right down to the sameCellular: 5 out of 10: I'm having Falling Down flashbacks again. Cellular resembles that superior 1993 thriller right down to the same locations. (If I see one more shootout on that damn pier.) Cellular however is strangely mixed with a collection of those only in Los Angeles crackpots similar to those found in everything from Volcano to Out in Fifty.

    The resulting mismatch of tones is one part thriller (Kim Basinger trapped in an attic) one part Speed (Chris Evans driving around L.A.) and one part Randy Newman video.

    Credibility (usually important to a thriller) is thrown out early with great force. Kim Basinger shows her kid of to a private Los Angeles Academy (she is a science teacher but surprisingly not at work herself) walks back to her Brentwood home (I'm guessing 2.5 million) greets her live in maid and is quickly kidnapped. The kidnappers drive off with her in her own Porsche minivan. So when the first thing she says to our hero Chris Evans is "I don't know why they kidnapped me. We aren't rich. I'm just a school teacher?"

    Well needless to say Sigourney Weaver's upper west side apartment in Ghostbusters had more credibility. The "it" the kidnappers are after is even sillier. Without giving too much away one wonders why the husband didn't turn "it" into the nearest TV station.

    The villains themselves are right out of a rejected script for The Shield. The movie has enough action that works to be entertaining for stretches and Kim Basinger does a commendable job with a strangely written role. (Besides her I'm not rich howler she is also saddled with a monologue, right out of the talking killer handbook, where instead of running away after stabbing a man she explains at some length how as a science teacher she knew exactly which artery to cut.)

    Lackluster villains, a constantly changing tone, and contrived credibility sink the film at the end however. Sadly if my High School teacher looked like Kim Basinger and the curriculum consisted of how to steal phone service and stab people (not to mention live like a millionaire on a teachers salary) I probably would have ended up at MIT rather than some party school named after a drugstore.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 31, 2014
    5
    "Cellular" attempts to recreate a 90s thriller featuring kidnap. Kim Basinger shows off her talent portraying a not so convincing teacher and"Cellular" attempts to recreate a 90s thriller featuring kidnap. Kim Basinger shows off her talent portraying a not so convincing teacher and Evans displays something of a charisma. However, the film has a bland and too familiar plot with pretty predictable twists, and the whole thing seems too old-fashioned. It is somewhat gripping, mostly due to some decent acting, but has hardly any value as a film overall. Full Review »
  3. Jun 8, 2013
    5
    A pretty good thriller. Nothing spectacular, but this film is very entertaining. The plot is simple, but very affective. It does take a fewA pretty good thriller. Nothing spectacular, but this film is very entertaining. The plot is simple, but very affective. It does take a few more "convenient" twists than I would have liked, but if you take this film for what it is, it's a fun ride. Full Review »