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The Cell (2000)

Trailer
2:29 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Tarsem Singh
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Popularity
2,711 ( 479)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

This Summer... 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 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 August 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Cell See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$33,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,515,050, 20 August 2000

Gross USA:

$61,334,059

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$104,155,843
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39:1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Known as a comedic actor, Vince Vaughn accepted the role of Peter in this film and in Psycho (1998) as Norman Bates to step out of his comfort zone and play against type in more serious and dark film roles. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 22 mins) After Peter revives from entering into the subconscious, he takes the cloth off his face and places it at his left side. In the next shot, the cloth is moved to right under his chin. See more »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

The DVD release features a few deleted scenes:
  • Two scenes featuring the girl in the water tank: one where she beats on the glass in the dark, screaming randomly, and another where the water comes on as she tries to eat, she counts to thirty, and screams when the water doesn't shut off when she reaches thirty (this sceen was, in part, in a version of the trailer)
  • A scene where, shortly after arriving at the institute, Peter and his partner talk by a statue (completely improvised, according to the director's commentary)
  • A previously unseen session with the child in the desert; the session is interuppted by outside influence, and we see a 'green man' speak for the technicians and place the fabric over Lopez's eyes as she passes out (immediately before the scene where one of the technicians says 'We have a situation')
  • An extended and modified version of the conversation between Lopez and D'Onofrio at the bathtub (where Carl is taking apart his first victim)
  • A modified version of the initial strike on Carl's house, involving a single FBI agent running across the street, over the fence, and onto Carl's lawn; he sees Carl, unconsious on the floor in his kitchen, via mirror (followed immediately by the initial infiltration)
  • An incredibly long and slow pan across the ceiling of Carl's room after the long shot of the schoolyard at the very end of the movie
  • The European version of the 'hanging' sequence, complete with Carl finishing the preparation of the body
See more »

Connections

References The City of Lost Children (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

MAIRZY DOATS
Written by Milton Drake, Al Hoffman and Jerry Livingston
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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.


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