The Cell – Nostalgia Critic

Before you see The Immortals, take a look at what the directed made long, long before. It’s The Cell!

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.


  1. I have to finally say this; I have a problem with the NC making fun of the detective saying “He ain’t gonna stop himself”. That is actually a good assessment in a psychological profile of a murderer. Some of them want to be caught. Some of them seriously know that what they are doing is wrong and they wish they didn’t do it. In fact, there are some people who have the psychological disorders that drive a lot of killers, and they manage to keep it under control because they know right from wrong and take the necessary steps. Therefore, an important part of any psychological profile in a case like this is going to be whether or not the unsub is aware of the morality of their crimes, whether they have empathy towards those they hurt, and whether they could be reasoned with to cease what they are doing. Not all serial killers are pure evil, some feel a real emotional need to do what they do, and they cannot help themselves. So while the line is poorly written and delivered, the message behind it makes sense; they are not dealing with a moral person. They are not going up against someone who regrets his actions. The investigators are officially the only thing that stands between this killer and decades more of torture and death…

    Movie still sucks, though.

    • It’s funny, I came to this to copypasta my comment about the same thing. Here:

      “One thing I have to disagree with him on here is the idea that it’s obvious that he won’t stop himself. Many killers still feel remorse for their murders, and some do try to stop themselves, usually unsuccessfully unless it’s with a firearm. For example, after Jeffrey Dahmer was caught, he expressed massive remorse for what he had done, saying he knew it was wrong but it was a compulsion he couldn’t resist, and that he hated himself for it. He said he’d tried to stop numerous times, but couldn’t. Some serial killers are like that. Others, however, are more of the typical “enjoys it” type, and those are the more common ones. But, it is important to know what you’re dealing with in order to select the proper tactics. Tracking a killer who has remorse like Dahmer, it’d be more useful to do public pleas to turn himself in, appealing to that sense of guilt. Others, however, would just use that as wank fuel. “

      • Even some of the ‘enjoy it’ killers sometimes just…. stop. No explanation, no morality, they just stop. Why? Who knows, sometimes it could be as simple as they got bored with it.

      • “Many killers still feel remorse for their murders”

        Not exactly. Where Dahmer was concerned, killing was, indeed, more of a compulsion than something he derived pleasure from. First and foremost, his goal was to “keep” his victims, because he was so lonely and afraid to part with them. But that doesn’t mean he felt any genuine remorse for his crimes. He showed remorse in interviews, but even then, he showed a bit of pride. Like in that one with his father where, at the end, he points out a box that looks like one he used to conceal one of his victim’s heads.

    • I wonder. If they really regret killing people why don’t they turn themselves in to the police if they know they cannot stop killing by themselves? If you would be a truly moral person, wouldn’t that be the right way to go about it if you wanted to protect innocent people?

  2. The magic word is “impulse control”.

    And let’s not forget that there have been series of murders that stopped for no apparent reason. Although it’s believed that those killers most likely couldn’t continue because certain circumstances in their lives didn’t allow them to carry on, like illnesses, advanced age / death or prison sentences for other crimes, but it’s not entirely impossible that the urge to kill disappears at some stage in a serial killer’s life, just like some urges / needs disappear or wane to an insignificant level in a many normal people’s lives or get replaced by something else. The majority of serial killers never “stop themselves”, though.

    • Watched the rest of this. This movie IS asinine. “A form of schizophrenia that infects blah-blah-blah…”? I just hope this production didn’t have any medical advisors or, if it did, they’ve had their licenses to practice revoked in the meantime. Fucksakes!

  3. in all honesty, the only thing this movie ever did for me was show pretty awesome visuals in the killer’s dreamstate. I did know what the “philosophical” notions the movie was going on about, but I also found that even they didn’t know what the hell they were getting to. happens to every person who thinks they’re philosophers after having attended a class or two, and not a single “deep thought” before or after said class.
    other than looking pretty here & there, this movie has no sustenance, not in depth nor sense.
    all’s I can really say is; I just hope the director learned from his mistakes in this movie, & consideres well to not repeat them…

  4. I will say this though…
    this flick at least had good samples to put in music.
    Hypoxia, by Velvet Acid Christ. it’s a good listen. {;-)

  5. This is a dumb movie
    -Why are the dreams so clear and why are there like this they would not be this stable
    -This first disturbed is not a disturbed scene its art
    -Would you not want to see Lopez in pretty dresses
    -This bad guy is having a fetish and its a normal one people in our world hang them self two cause there masochists
    -Seriously why is the guys mind so organized it should be more broken
    -The victims in his mind is clearly fetish porno
    -Why did that guy even had kids if he hates him
    -In the brain time moves faster
    -Why did she returned it was unnecessary
    -They all have been idiots what did you expected them to arrest her

    • 1. She is especially skilled at making them clear.
      2. Tomato, tomahto
      3. Hear hear.
      4. Yep
      5. It is broken. J-Lo is sorting it out, which is why we mainly see the dream parts through her eyes.
      6. Yep
      7. That may not have been the real father. Real life studies show that kids are most threatened domestically by mothers’ boyfriends.
      8. Again we are seeing J-Lo’s interpretation of it, as rendered onto a movie screen. Timing could be adjusted to allow for sorting out.
      9. Conscience and professional duty. She sees a little boy, she helps him out. It’s how she rolls.
      10. They were all idiots, but DREAMS ARE NOT ADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE IN COURT. IF they could prove trauma to his (say) temporal lobe and IF they could certify that as cause of death and IF they could link it to her, she could say that she was in the fight of her life and stabbed him with a spear launched from a ballista on the deck of the Enterprise. The only guy who could have called her on it, bailed.

      In the actual real world, she never laid a hand on him. Prosecutors can’t turn that into murder.

  6. I count this movie as a guilty pleasure of mine. For the sake of devils advocacy, here is why.

    1. This came out in 2000. CGI was still fairly new. A solid case can be made (maybe NC made it) that just because a movie is groundbreaking, that doesn’t make it good. 2001 A Space Odyssey was groundbreaking but (imho) nevertheless lame. I would put The Cell in that league, nothing better but not worse either.

    2. I didn’t need to understand the killer any more than was presented to be entertained. A normal happy child becomes abused, repeatedly, and grows to become a resentful psycho. A lot of real life killers aren’t necessarily more complicated than that. (“Buffalo Bill” wasn’t a lot more complicated.)

    3. Others have pointed out but I concur, “he won’t stop himself” isn’t always an obvious conclusion with serial killers.

    4. When the “expert” of whatever skill is needed just happens to resemble Miss America, I agree that that’s a tired cliche. That said, it’s not implausible that a dream “infiltrator” would be a beautiful woman. First, social workers are overwhelmingly women. Second, anyone audacious enough to enter someone’s dream (among the few who have such a skill) would have to be an attractive, inviting face to not precipitate a nightmare. Going even farther, a really skilled worker at this job could look ugly, but project in her mind that she looks like J-Lo.

    5. “How did the guy know what the room looked like when he was in a coma?” Because he read J-Lo’s memory of the room. We establish that J-Lo doesn’t always keep “home-field advantage” when linked with another mind, so that switcheroo is the beginning of his establishing that he is framing the world for her.

    However, I couldn’t agree more about how lame and shallow the “reality” part of this plot was. A more accurate title instead of “The Cell” would be “Silence Of The Lambs For Dummies.” The reality part was just a hollow shell and placeholder to give an excuse to enter the soft porn dream world of fantasies. However, the dream world was visually arresting and I thought very interesting and edgy for its time. Like a very demented 2001 A Space Odyssey for its time.

  7. 6. The reason she isn’t arrested is that a) dreams are not admissible in court and b) even if they were it’s her word against…what? The detective bailed.

    His cause of death would physically identical to congestive heart failure, owing to complications of resisting arrest. And that would be that.

  8. i wonder if i’m the only one who hears be disturbed sung like be prepared when it appears

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