User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 52 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 52
  2. Negative: 5 out of 52

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  1. May 5, 2012
    9
    I am having a hard time wrapping my head around these bad reviews. I am a movie lover who normally is not a big fan of style over substance, but I found this film to have a good story with a well written screenplay. The film uses it's wild imagery to create suspense and to ultimately create a very engaging well paced film. The movie's themes were well laid out and developed and find resolution in a very subtle way. Overall the film ranks high on my favourite serial killer films. Not quite as good as the silence of the lambs but still good none the less. Expand
  2. Aug 19, 2012
    8
    I have rarely seen a film that has the scope of this one; it really tests the little grey cells to the maximum. Some scenes are truly off the wall but at the same time totally beautifully conceived and enthralling. It
  3. Jun 23, 2012
    6
    I was quite disappointed by this movie. After seeing The Fall by Tarsem I was expecting to be taken on a journey, with interesting characters, a fantasy like story and stunning visuals. But after I Watched the movie I just felt like I had seen your average police thriller. This might be because this was Tarsem's first feature film, or maybe it was because he didn't write the screenplay (whereas he did do in The Fall) but I just wasn't as blown away as I was when I saw The Fall. The overall story basically boils down to your average "we have x hours to find them before they die", which I thought was quite unoriginal. The concept of doing into someone's conscious was interesting, similar to eXistenZ, or Being John Malkovich or the more recent Inception. The acting was alright, nothing really special. The visuals were good (not as good as The Fall or Immortals), there were some interesting scenes but not as much as I hoped for. All in all it was a alright movie, interesting concept but uninteresting story. 6/10. Expand
  4. Jun 26, 2014
    10
    The cell is one of the most underrated movies ever. The plot is superb, the acting is superb, the special effects are mind bending. Every aspect of the cell hit the bullseye and the movie is absolute genius !
  5. Sep 26, 2010
    6
    Tarsem Singh's directorial debut, The Cell, contains more style than substance, and is weighed down with it's special effects and a side-story that should have been left on the cutting room floor. At the same time, elaborate costuming and great shots that turn the most desolate sand dunes into beautiful landscapes, present a great director in the making and enough story to keep the audience along for the ride.
    Catherine Deane (Jennifer Lopez) is a psychotherapist who has been working with a comatose child by getting inside his mind via a virtual reality styled setup that includes a breast accentuating suit, suspension from wires, and a face covering towel that looks like a computer circuit-board. Meanwhile, there's a killer on the loose and the FBI hopes that Catherine can get inside the killer's mind to find his latest victim before it's too late.
    It's difficult to discuss The Cell, without mentioning Tarsem's 2006 film The Fall. Because everything Tarsem did wrong in The Cell he did right in The Fall. The Cell was a learning experience for Tarsem, and he learned his lessons well. The Cell is set up like a coin, there are two sides that come together to make one movie, unfortunately one side of the coin is more polished than the other. In this case the polished side is Tarsem's non-CGI visuals, many of which are influenced by great paintings, but the CGI effects are in overload throughout many parts of the film and it's distracting. There are several moments within The Cell that hearken to David Lynch's Twin Peaks (1990-1991), which stands to reason as both, Tarsem and Lynch, are visual directors.
    Catherine's story line with the killer, Carl Stargher (Vincent D'Onofrio), is interesting and provides many great visuals. The parallel crime drama storyline, however, is lame, even by C.S.I. standards. Vince Vaughn is passable as Peter Novak, the FBI agent who has a past of his own to overcome, but the character is uninspired. Any actor could have played Peter Novak and it wouldn't have made a difference.
    Jennifer Lopez's performance improves with the increasing bizarreness of her costumes, which both come to a peak in the third act. Vincent D'Onofrio is good as the killer, whose fetishes would give Jeffrey Dahmer a run for his money. Although D'Onofrio executed the part well, I can't help but wonder what Philip Seymour Hoffman would have done with the role.
    Despite it's flaws, The Cell doesn't leave you empty handed, and it shows a first time director learning his strengths and weaknesses, which payed off six years later when he directed The Fall.
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  6. May 19, 2013
    5
    The Cell is rated R for bizarre violence and sexual images, nudity and language. To call The Cell disturbing is a bit of an understatement. I've never winced so many times during one film in my life. However, that is exactly the reaction Tarsem is going for. He doesn't want you to be unmoved. He wants you to be horrified--so horrified that you sometimes can't even watch. There are moments which are so hard to watch, you may feel as if you are really there, experiencing it all firsthand. I won't try and convey the disgusting acts portrayed on screen, as it isn't easy to put into words. This is a film based solely on visuals, and visuals alone. It works. And I know for sure, I won't be forgetting it anytime soon. Expand
  7. Sep 15, 2014
    10
    A mesmerizing thriller with beautiful imagery and an ingenious plot that sets the movie apart from others.
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  8. Sep 15, 2014
    10
    A brilliant psychological thriller that is mentally absorbing and has exquisite visuals and clever acting.
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  9. Sep 15, 2014
    10
    A mind-bending thriller that is classically entertaining similar to the matrix concept. One of my faves.
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  10. Sep 18, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The Cell is a masterful thriller.

    A murderer is kidnapping and murdering young women.

    His victims are easily noticed because he has a modus operandi.

    A child psychologist and an FBI agent attempt to find him and arrest him.

    Unfortunately he slips into a coma from which he'll never wake up.

    Jennifer Lopez as Catherine decides to enter his unconscious mind .

    A woman is still missing locked in a tank that fills with water at intervals.

    The tank is located underground and only the killer knows where it is.

    Catherine attempts to get the location from him while in his mind.

    His mind is a dark dungeon of surprises and uneasiness that disturbs her.

    Vince Vaughn as Peter enters his mind as well to acquire key information about the girl.

    He finds the chamber she's in at the end and Catherine battles Carl in his mind.

    Peter rescues the girl and Carl loses the battle against Catherine, he passes away in his mind.

    He also passes away in reality, like in the matrix if you die in the dream world you die for real.

    A grossly underrated movie that is ingenious and a monumental triumph of intense thrills.
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  11. Sep 18, 2014
    10
    The Cell has beautiful hypnotic visuals, mystery, tremendous acting and and a complex screenplay.
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  12. Sep 18, 2014
    10
    The Cell is an intense masterpiece similar to Seven and Copycat. The movie was revolutionary and
    will thrill you for every moment of the movie. -----
Metascore
40

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 32
  2. Negative: 12 out of 32
  1. 60
    Repetitive, aimless, and as frustrating as you'd imagine any two-hour music video to be.
  2. 50
    A high-tech freak show, a gallery of grotesqueries that are fascinating and repellent.
  3. 50
    Mr. Singh may have an artist's temperament, and he shows signs of being a director