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Cellular (2004)

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A young man receives an emergency phone call on his cell phone from an older woman. The catch? The woman claims to have been kidnapped; and the kidnappers have targeted her husband and child next.

Director:

David R. Ellis

Writers:

Larry Cohen (story), Chris Morgan (screenplay)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Caroline Aaron ... Marilyn Mooney
Kim Basinger ... Jessica Martin
Brenda Ballard ... Irate Customer #1
Will Beinbrink ... Young Security Guard
Jessica Biel ... Chloe
Chase Ellis Bloch Chase Ellis Bloch ... Timid Boy (as Chase Bloch)
Chelsea Ellis Bloch Chelsea Ellis Bloch ... Surf Girl's Friend (as Chelsea Bloch)
Chantille Boudousque ... Chloe's Chilly Friend
Robin Brenner Robin Brenner ... Excitable Customer
Richard Burgi ... Craig Martin
Paige Cannon Paige Cannon ... Girl at Concert
Nikki Christian Nikki Christian ... Porsche Girl
John Churchill ... Young Guard
Greg Collins ... Aging Security Guard
Valerie Cruz ... Dana Bayback
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Storyline

A young man receives a call on his cellular phone from a woman who says she's been kidnapped, and thinks she's going to be killed soon, along with her husband and son who the kidnappers have gone after next. The catch? She doesn't know where she is... and his cell phone battery might go dead soon. Written by Tru Blu

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If the signal dies so does she.

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence, terror situations, language and some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 September 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Final Call See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,100,571, 12 September 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$32,003,620, 12 December 2004

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$56,422,687
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the airport when Ryan goes to find Jessica's husband, the airport announcer talks about a flight to Paris flight 180. Flight 180 to Paris was the same flight in the first Final Destination. See more »

Goofs

When the shooting occurs at the Santa Monica Pier, the responding officers are from the LAPD. Since the pier is within the Santa Monica city limits, the correct responding agency would be the Santa Monica Police Department, not the LAPD. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ricky Martin: Mom, will you still be a science teacher when I get into high school?
Jessica Martin: Hmm... You never know. Why?
Ricky Martin: 'Cause I think it'd be kind of weird to have your mom as a teacher.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The first part of the closing credits show cast and crew names on cellular telephone screens, in scenes from the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cleanflix (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Lottery
Written by Garrett Dutton
Performed by Lottery featuring Garrett Dutton (as G. Love)
Courtesy of Philadelphonic Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
All lines are busy...
24 September 2004 | by majikstlSee all my reviews

I like a movie that takes an idea or a theme or just an amusing gimmick and then runs with it. There is something exhilarating about being able to exhaust the possibilities of an idea without beating the whole thing to death. A great example is GROUNDHOG DAY; just when you think the filmmakers have milked the idea for all it's worth, they take off on a totally new tangent and the film ends up getting better and better. It is a sign that the writer and/or the director are thrilled with the sheer joy of creative exploration. They aren't just playing by the numbers, but are eager to go beyond expectations. This is film-making as a challenging game.

CELLULAR, while not in the same league as GROUNDHOG DAY, is nonetheless a good example of this type of storytelling. This time the linchpin of the story is the cell phone. The filmmakers seem to have made a list of everything that makes cell phones great (emergency use, portability, digital photography, etc.) as well as what makes them a nuisance (ringing at inappropriate times, crossed connections, lost signals, dying batteries, etc.) and incorporated both lists into a story. The trick isn't just to gerryrig the list into a story, but to do so in a coherent and plausible fashion. CELLULAR is a crackerjack piece of storytelling. The storyline is unlikely, but not impossible and it all unfolds at a steady clip that makes any loophole or implausibility fly by so fast that the viewer has little time to raise a question.

Beyond the gimmickry of the storytelling, the film also benefits from being a solid, efficient, no-nonsense piece of film-making. Directed by actor-turned-stuntman-turned-director David R. Ellis, this is an action-packed thriller that knows the value of blending action with humor and character. Without loosing its manic pace, the film nevertheless takes time for puckish humor and character development. As the damsel in distress, the Hitchcockian innocent man sucked into a web of intrigue and the retiring cop facing his one last case, the actors could have been saddled with one-note, cliché characters. But Kim Basinger, Chris Evans and William H. Macy are given ample room to not only act, but to create characters who are, more importantly, smart. They aren't at the mercy of the complicated plot, they are what moves it along.

My one genuine reservation with CELLULAR is that it is destined to become dated so very fast. Technology, the film's driving force, will quickly be its undoing. It brings to mind old episodes of the "Columbo" TV series, where Peter Falk's Lt. Columbo is seen to be in awe of computers and answering machines and video cameras and VCRs, and he has to go into great detail explaining how such gadgets and gizmos work and how they can be used as part of a murder plot. The cutting edge technology of the time now seems so elementary that Columbo's naivete seems rather silly. Yet, the Columbo stories still hold up thanks to clever storytelling and strong characters played by good actors. And from that perspective, CELLULAR just might hold up to be a minor classic, albeit as a period piece.


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