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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)
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Popularity
4,937 ( 1,109)
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

After dropping her son off at the bus stop, the doting mum and high school science teacher, Jessica Martin, is kidnapped at gunpoint, and thrown in an unknown attic with only a nearly unusable phone. As her world turns upside down in an instant, the desperate mother manages to jury-rig the device and connects with the cell phone of the young college student, Ryan. Now, Jessica's life is literally in Ryan's hands--and as the ruthless abductors threaten to kill her--Ryan has to act fast to rescue the woman on the other end of the line. However, with a dying battery, how can Ryan save Jessica when this could be her last phone call? Written by Nick Riganas

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:

Cellular 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

Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber did uncredited rewrites of the script. See more »

Goofs

When Ryan steals the school security guard's car, he drives off without having to switch gears (the car would have been in park or neutral). 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

Them Jeans
Written by Master P (as Percy Miller) and Michael Robinson
Performed by Master P
Courtesy of Koch Entertainment
By Arrangement with Sugaroo!
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User Reviews

 
"Cellular" Division
19 January 2005 | by PlacematSee all my reviews

"Cellular" has the setup for a solid straight-ahead thriller: A kidnap victim who does not know where she is being held phones a total stranger who must then stay connected on his cell phone to find her before she is killed. Joel Schumacher scored earlier with a similarly phone-themed Larry Cohen story, "Phone Booth." As executed by tone-deaf director David R. Ellis, however, "Cellular" becomes an unintentionally hilarious cousin to Brian de Palma's "Raising Cain" and "Snake Eyes."

Ellis seems to have unwittingly spliced together two different films with mismatched tones: Kim Basinger as the kidnapee and Jason Statham as the kidnapper occupy the deadly-serious, straight-to-video thriller half, while Chris Evans as the rescuer and William H. Macy as a police officer seem to be in a "Saturday Night Live"-alum action comedy. Nowhere else is the disjointedness in tone more apparent than when Basinger and Evans's performances are placed side-by-side during their conversations: The scenes keep cutting between an overwrought Basinger wringing out every drop of melodrama, while a blissfully inept Evans seems to be channeling a cross between Chris Kattan/Jimmy Fallon and Ben Affleck/Keanu Reeves.

Meanwhile, Ellis pulls out tricks intended to generate thrills and surprises. He throws in out-of-nowhere "shocks," a la "Final Destination"; he throws in flashbacks; he throws in a gun-blazing Macy in Jerry Bruckheimer action-hero slo-mo; and yet, Ellis has no handle on staging any of them competently. Case in point: "Cellular" is the proud owner of one of the most ineptly scored chase sequences ever, as if Ellis simply heard a snippet of the song's lyrics ("...where you gonna run to?") literally and paid no attention to the inappropriateness of the accompanying music (which just bop, bop, bops along). (The song is even reprised during the closing credits, which itself is misbegotten in conception.)

And yet, for all of its failures as art, "Cellular" is always entertaining for those very same faults.


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