682 user 233 critic

The Cell (2000)

2:29 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

An F.B.I. Agent persuades a social worker, who is adept with a new experimental technology, to enter the mind of a comatose serial killer in order to learn where he has hidden his latest kidnap victim.


Tarsem Singh
2,182 ( 213)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Lopez ... Catherine Deane
Colton James ... Edward Baines
Dylan Baker ... Henry West
Marianne Jean-Baptiste ... Dr. Miriam Kent
Gerry Becker ... Dr. Barry Cooperman
Musetta Vander ... Ella Baines
Patrick Bauchau ... Lucien Baines
Vincent D'Onofrio ... Carl Stargher
Catherine Sutherland ... Anne Marie Vicksey
Vince Vaughn ... Peter Novak
James Gammon ... Teddy Lee
Jake Weber ... Gordon Ramsey
Dean Norris ... Cole
Tara Subkoff ... Julia Hickson
Lauri Johnson ... Mrs. Hickson


Catharine Deane is a psychotherapist who is part of a revolutionary new treatment which allows her mind to literally enter the mind of her patients. Her experience in this method takes an unexpected turn when an F.B.I. Agent comes to ask for a desperate favor. They had just tracked down a notorious serial killer, Carl Stargher, whose method of operation is to abduct women one at a time and place them in a secret area where they are kept for about forty hours until they are slowly drowned. Unfortunately, the killer has fallen into an irreversible coma which means he cannot confess where he has taken his latest victim before she dies. Now, Catherine Deane must race against time to explore the twisted mind of the killer to get the information she needs, but Stargher's damaged personality poses dangers that threaten to overwhelm her. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@home.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Can beauty tame the beast? See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for bizarre violence and sexual images, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site


USA | Germany



Release Date:

18 August 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ćelija See more »


Box Office


$33,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,515,050, 20 August 2000, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Director Tarsem Singh asked Tara Subkoff during her interview if she could swim, to which she responded that she could and that she had been a lifeguard. It turned out that she could not go underwater without holding her nose. Singh would have switched her role with Catherine Sutherland, but it was too late, and there was not enough money or time to re-shoot. See more »


(at around 1h 9 mins) The gemstone on Julia Hickson's engagement ring is tucked under her hand when she is looking for loose fits, thus making it appear to be a wedding band (though she isn't married yet). The stone is visible when she yanks on the pipe. See more »


[first lines]
Catharine Deane: Thank you for the horse.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Australian DVD from Roadshow contains the extended European version, with Stargher masturbating in suspension over the bleached female victim. This release was granted an R rating by the OFLC, whereas the shorter version was rated MA. See more »


References Nostalgia (1983) See more »


Written by Bachir Attar, Talvin Singh and Brad Somatik
Performed by Master Musicians of Jajouka featuring Bachir Attar
Courtesy of Point Music, Decca Music Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

So-so film that relies heavily on visuals above and beyond everything else
20 June 2006 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Catherine Deane is a psychotherapist who has become involved in an innovative project to treat a catatonic boy who has not responded to normal treatment. The technique involves entering the boy's mind space and working with his subconscious to treat him. Progress has been slow though and the project is close to being wrapped up. Meanwhile, the FBI are close to catching a serial killer who drowns women as a form of torture before making them look like dolls and dumping their bodies. Clues lead them to find Carl but only as he falls into a coma of his own. With a girl still missing and no clue as to where she is slowly being drowned, the FBI turn to Deane and her team to go inside Carl's mind and try and find out where the girl is, before it is too late.

I'm not sure if the plot is harder to swallow than Lopez's casting but certainly both these things take a certain amount of swallowing to get into this film. The plot takes elements from other films including all manner of serial killer movies to produce a setup that is hardly that inspiring a narrative on paper. However it works reasonably well enough as a frame for imaginative visual development. Naturally filling a film with style risks the substance falling down but here the former just about covers up for the weaknesses in the latter. Of course it never gets above the level of derivative serial killer movie and a load of obvious psychoanalysis stop it becoming very dark but in this area music video director Singh comes into his own.

His visions are impressive and he directs really well with his expensive range of effects. True the material limits the meaning within the visual but it is hard to find the scenes dull! The cast are more part of these visuals than characters. Lopez is unconvincing and just simpers her way across the film, unable to really get any depth out of the story. Vaughn makes for a solid if unspectacular leading man while D'Onofrio hams it up the main villain. Support from Weber, Jean-Baptiste and a few others add a bit of interest and credit to Subkoff who produces a convincing turn despite being isolated from the majority of the story.

Overall this is an average serial killer movie that is only really worth seeing because of the visuals. The story could have been much stronger but it works as a frame for the visual effects – which is pretty much the same for the cast, who are just part of the look of the film rather than well developed characters.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 682 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed