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Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 46 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 32
  2. Negative: 12 out of 32
  1. 100
    It's one of the best films of the year.
  2. 63
    Impresses more than it entertains.
  3. 60
    Repetitive, aimless, and as frustrating as you'd imagine any two-hour music video to be.
  4. 50
    Mr. Singh may have an artist's temperament, and he shows signs of being a director
  5. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    38
    There's so little action or suspense that this Cell isn't too likely to multiply itself into a sequel.
  6. Reviewed by: Emanuel Levy
    30
    A slender story that's not particularly suspenseful or involving, resulting in a movie that's a feast to the eye but not much for the intellect.
  7. Some movies make you sorry you've seen them, and The Cell is one of those. Creepy and horrific, it's a torture chamber film.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 19
  2. Negative: 3 out of 19
  1. 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 ! Expand
  2. 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
  3. 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 Expand
  4. 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. Collapse
  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.
    Expand
  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

See all 19 User Reviews

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