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  • Series Premiere Date: Dec 4, 2005
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Sleeper Cell Image
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 53 Ratings

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  • Starring: Oded Fehr, James LeGros, Henri Lubatti
  • Summary: An FBI agent goes undercover in a Los Angeles-based terrorist sleeper cell in this 10-hour Showtime limited series.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Action & Adventure
  • Creator: Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris
  • Show Type: Ended
  • Season 1 premiere date: Dec 4, 2005
  • Episode Length: 60
  • Air Time: 10:00 PM
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 26
  2. Negative: 2 out of 26
  1. In theme and execution, in caliber of performance and level of dramatic tension, "Sleeper Cell" is an impressive, relentlessly gripping drama.
  2. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    80
    A rich character drama and riveting suspenser that makes Fox's "24" seem lackluster.
  3. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    80
    This engrossing and unnerving nail-biter is a rare treat: a thriller with a brain and a soul.
  4. Highly compelling most of the time.
  5. 60
    Despite the mostly awful dialogue, “Sleeper Cell” succeeds on the strength of its plot.
  6. Fehr's performance is worth noting, if only because his cool demeanor is frighteningly at odds with the insane rhetoric pouring out of his mouth. His portrayal may be the show's greatest point of interest -- that is, if you aren't annoyed by Shields, or hypnotized into a slumber by Ealy's never-ending "haunted past" routine.
  7. 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.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 36
  2. Negative: 4 out of 36
  1. NancyH
    Dec 20, 2006
    10
    Extremely chilling, terrific acting and very realistic. Can't wait for 3rd season to see if Darwyn survives.
  2. martins
    Apr 29, 2006
    10
    excellent
  3. lucl
    Dec 12, 2005
    10
    it is an awesome picture of what the truth might be. If the truth is less than the movie, well I am sure the terrorist will use these ideas, it is an awesome picture of what the truth might be. If the truth is less than the movie, well I am sure the terrorist will use these ideas, if the reality is more... Be afraid. Expand
  4. DeydelT
    Aug 26, 2006
    10
    excellent must watch it little kiss from France
  5. Angel
    Apr 13, 2006
    9
    love it!! so real, it's scary! can't wait for season 2
  6. 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.
    Expand
  7. TrentB
    Dec 13, 2006
    0
    More mindless neocon propaganda vomited onto our screens. This country is going to collapse into a police state if people are actually More mindless neocon propaganda vomited onto our screens. This country is going to collapse into a police state if people are actually believing this garbage. Fellow citizens, start questioning your government for God's sake! They're taking away our liberties and expanding federal police control over states and cities. Terrorists don't have any power over us--in fact they have less power to threaten us than street criminals. It's all a facade, and the Feds are using it to grab more control over our lives. Expand

See all 36 User Reviews