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The Cell (2000)

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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
1,440 ( 403)
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


enter the mind of a killer 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?


This was the last time Jennifer Lopez starred in a science fiction horror movie. See more »


(at around 1h 3 mins) Carl's first victim is sitting up with her breasts partially covered by bloody water; in subsequent shots, the water is higher on her body. See more »


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

Alternate Versions

One scene, where Vincent D'Onofrio hangs on his piercings, masturbating over the dead body of a woman, was not included in the US theatrical or DVD release, but can be seen in the European one. However, the US blu-ray happens to contain the director's cut of the film, despite not being labeled as such on the packaging and the R-rating listed on the back. The runtime is listed as 109 (the length of the director's cut) which marks the first time the film has been released uncut in the US. See more »


Referenced in Face Off: Off with Their Heads (2014) See more »


Written by Milton Drake, Al Hoffman and Jerry Livingston
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

trivial, dismal, dull
21 September 2000 | by steven.goughSee all my reviews

Somewhere in "The Cell" among the cut-and-paste MTV visuals, the cure-for-insomnia storyline, and the wooden acting from the leads there are some disturbing, offensive and just plain dumb ideas.

Did you know, for instance, that if the water is REALLY cold, a drowned woman's nipples will remain rosy and erect for days? We also learn that schizophrenia is a viral infection. (Ah-choo! Oops, sorry, you're mad.) Or is it some strange, water-activated brain lesion, a kind of dehydrated Alzheimers?

Deranged science aside, though, this film stands but mainly falls on its visuals. The director and designer are trapped in the MTV groove, in the sad belief that saturated colour and an unhealthy obsession with cloaks and cleavage make a feature film look as interesting as, say, the average Mariah Carey video. Someone on the production team obviously saw the Matrix then spent a few fevered hours over a hot copy of Photoshop cranking out the huge-scale post-industrial backdrops. The dully unprovocative bondage gear, piercing and chains are a tired combination of Victoria's Secret photo-shoot and second-hand Hellraiser. The late entry of some vaguely Catholic iconography looks like a cynical attempt to offend.

What's truly disturbing is the idiotically sentimental "final solution" handed out in the climax, as if assisted suicide is a preferred or natural choice for someone with this kind of mental illness. More depressing and sad is the intelligent story arc which threatened to develop, contrasting victims of abuse who become abusers and others who find the strength to live normal lives, just before they all put scarves over their faces and beamed up into a Spice Girls video.

Save your money, win back two hours of your life, just watch the Spice Girls video instead.

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