• Network: Showtime
  • Series Premiere Date: Dec 4, 2005
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 26
  2. Negative: 2 out of 26
  1. 38
    Cobbled together out of hundreds of undercover/caper movie clichés, Sleeper Cell is so absurdly detached from the real world, it makes 24 look like a documentary.
  2. The one thing “Sleeper Cell” does commendably is to suggest that there is a struggle going on for the soul of Islam, and that al-Qaida does not have the only say in the matter. But that message is swamped by predictable thriller filler and cheap production values.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 53 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 36
  2. Negative: 4 out of 36
  1. Dec 7, 2014
    8
    It is a common misconception that Sleeper Cell was cables first failed attempt to recreate the hit show 24, in a more extreme format, and thatIt is a common misconception that Sleeper Cell was cables first failed attempt to recreate the hit show 24, in a more extreme format, and that Sleeper Cell was the precursor to the smash hit Homeland. In reality, Sleeper Cell was a highly rated mini-series that was picked up for another year. The show was actually the inspiration for Homeland, as if one were to take Sleeper Cell and mix it with 24, the result would be Homeland.

    The story follows Darwyn Al-Sayeed (Michale Ealy), the FBI's best undercover agent, who also happens to be a Muslim, making him the perfect choice to infiltrate the domestic side of Al-Queda. Darwyn poses as a recently paroled Islamic militant, who wants to strike a blow against the country that imprisoned him.

    Through his prison contacts, Darwyn is connected to a mysterious man named Farik (Oded Fehr), who even the FBI can't identify. Through a series of tests, Farik introduces Darwyn to the rest of his cell and together they start to plan an attack on Los Angeles.

    Michael Ealy stars and played the role of Darwyn as if it were specifically written for him. Ealy is the kind of actor who is easily recognized from dozens of minor movie roles, but I've never seen him star before. The character he's playing, Darwyn, is basically Jack Bauer with a lot more self-control. He's cool and collected, but ready to take action at a moments notice, making for a great character.

    Ealy is paired with Oded Fehr, of the Mummy series, and he too was terrific. Obviously you need an actor with a Middle Eastern background to play this role, but Farik isn't you're typical Al-Queda, as he is able to easily fit into the suburban community. Farik is a ruthless killer, but also has a peaceful, caring side, that really comes across in the episode where they go to Mexico.

    Sleeper Cell has all the action and edge of your seat drama that 24 had, and more, because let's face it, This was a cable show. Thanks to a top notch cast, some well known Directors, and a great team of Writers, Sleeper Cell was a sleeper hit on Showtime, that was easily overlooked, because it was only on for a short time. Besides only having 18 episodes, Showtime originally presented the show in a very strange way, airing all the episodes on back to back nights. This means that combined, both seasons were on the air for less than a month, and in a time before on demand had gotten popular. That is why this series was so overlooked, but thanks to Netflix, Me and thousands of others have been exposed to this hidden gem, that is worth every second that you put into to watching it.
    Full Review »
  2. Apr 15, 2012
    1
    What a bad show. The dialogue, acting, plot and music is all just horrible. Beyond unrealistic (in the worst ways).

    A friend recommended this
    What a bad show. The dialogue, acting, plot and music is all just horrible. Beyond unrealistic (in the worst ways).

    A friend recommended this and said it was similar to Homeland. This show is much worse and a far cry from Homeland. I'm surprised that the ctritic's and user reviews are so high.
    Full Review »
  3. DQS
    Jul 20, 2007
    5
    Wildly uneven episode to episode, and character to character. The dialogue seems borrowed from Tom Clancy novels (which is not a compliment) Wildly uneven episode to episode, and character to character. The dialogue seems borrowed from Tom Clancy novels (which is not a compliment) and most of the characters are two dimensional (some less than that). If you're watching just for action - search elsewhere. If you're watching for a dialectic on America's confusion of Islam with Terrorism - search elsewhere. Full Review »