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Cell (2016)

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When a mysterious cell phone signal causes apocalyptic chaos, an artist is determined to reunite with his young son in New England.


Tod Williams


Stephen King (based on the novel by), Stephen King (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »





Cast overview, first billed only:
John Cusack ... Clay Riddell
Samuel L. Jackson ... Tom McCourt
Isabelle Fuhrman ... Alice Waxman
Clark Sarullo ... Sharon Riddell
Ethan Andrew Casto ... Johnny Riddell
Owen Teague ... Jordan
Stacy Keach ... Charles Ardai
Joshua Mikel ... Raggedy
Anthony Reynolds ... Ray
Erin Elizabeth Burns ... Denise
Jeff Hallman ... Hog-Tied Man (as Jeffrey Hallman)
Mark Ashworth ... Bartender
Wilbur Fitzgerald ... Geoff
Catherine Dyer ... Sally
E. Roger Mitchell ... Roscoe


When a strange signal pulsates through all cell phone networks worldwide, it starts a murderous epidemic of epic proportions when users become bloodthirsty creatures, and a group of people in New England are among the survivors to deal with the ensuing chaos after. Written by mystic80

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When everyone is connected no one is safe

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent content, terror, brief sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

10 June 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Signal See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Distribution for the film was doomed from the start. Back in 2013, Benaroya Pictures and Miscellaneous Entertainment formed an international sales company, International Film Trust, and took the as-of-yet unfilmed Cell (2016) to Cannes to sell off distribution rights. No U.S. distributor signed on to the project. In February 2015, new start-up distributor, Clarius Entertainment, picked up U.S. distribution rights for Cell (2016), and planned on a late 2015 wide release, and the extent of their marketing efforts was uploading a still image with their acquisition press release, no trailers were cut. Clarius released their first three pictures in 2014, and all three were box-office flops, Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return (2013), And So It Goes (2014), and Before I Go to Sleep (2014). Their other films weren't better off: She's Funny That Way (2014) went through a bidding war, where Clarius won. However, if any of the studios that were bidding on the film, took the rights, the film would have seen its theatrical roll-out, but after Clarius left the film in limbo, the producers were only able to sell the film to Lionsgate for a video-on-demand release, and small token theatrical release. My All-American (2015), now as Aviron Pictures, flopped hard, grossing a mere two million dollars in theaters, and The Outcasts (2017) saw itself in a similar bind as Cell (2016). Unable to provide payment for She's Funny That Way (2014), and its pending litigation, it is more than likely Cell (2016), and The Outskirts (2017) would go down a similar path. Enter Saban Films, the same company who swooped in to save Rob Zombie's 31 (2016), did the same for Cell (2016) on March 31st. Saban's marketing campaign revved up in April 2016, revealing the first official poster and trailer on April 26th, as well as U.S. theatrical release date: July 8, 2016. See more »


In the Boston Airport chaos scene, we see cops attacking their own German shepherds. Later on, when the main characters run into a kid petting a small dog, this kid should have attacked the dog instead of petting it. See more »


Tom McCourt: Clay, I'm really sorry about your family.
Clay Riddell: Don't be sorry because there is nothing to be sorry about yet.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the closing credits have finished, the catalyst signal from the movie plays for approximately 5-10 seconds, with no image, as if attempting to convert the audience. See more »


Referenced in Sean Bradley Reviews: The Dark Tower (2017) See more »


To Be Loved (Forever)
Performed by The Pentagons
Written by Kenneth D. Goodloe, Ted Goodloe, Joe C. Jones, Carl Rudolph McGinnis, Willie Otis Munson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Zombie movie with phones.
5 November 2018 | by g-hbeSee all my reviews

This sounded promising but several issues combined to spoil it. First of all John Cusack was acting like he was fulfilling a contractual obligation rather than trying to play a role, then we had the confusing editing/direction which made the film feel as though it was made from off-cuts and finally there was no explanation (as far as I can recall as I lost interest) for the phone attack. It ended up as a very poorly-resolved zombie movie. We were really disappointed as it could have been so much better.

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