In this stylish, sci-fi / horror / crime thriller, Jennifer Lopez plays Dr. Catherine Deane, a child psychologist who uses a secret, experimental method of therapy which allows her to actually experience and interact with the dream-state thoughts of comatose patients.  The theory is that the patient will react to her presence and council, providing doctors with information that could eventually help awaken them from the coma.
   Vince Vaughn plays F.B.I. Agent Peter Novak.  Agent Novak is hot on the trail of a serial killer, and Dr. Deane's method may be the only way to save that killer's next victim.

   Vincent D'Onofrio plays Carl, the killer, who is one of the most twisted and frightening fictional characters I have ever seen in a movie.  Much of the action takes place within the mind of this killer.  The imagery was extreme and disturbing, but perfectly appropriate in showing the motivation for his demented behavior.  Nothing I write here can prepare you for the visual horrors depicted in this movie.  Like Silence of the Lambs, this is a film that will stay with you long after it has ended.
   The method used to access and enter the killer's thoughts, involving a body suit hooked up to computers, is no more believable than a Vulcan mind-meld, but that was not the focus of the story.  There are many major perils in this film, which are skillfully interwoven to create an experience that is sure to have you reeling.  I will abide by my spoiler-free promise and not describe any more of this film.  You can thank me later! 
    This is a terrific movie, with the emphasis on terror.  The Cell has the effects of The Matrix, but has a story that rivals Silence of the Lambs and Seven for sheer intensity and drama.  If you have been waiting for a movie that will amaze you visually, boggle your mind, and scare the hell out of you, this is it.

Directed By:  Tarsem Singh
Written By:  Mark Protosevich   
Starring:  Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn, Vincent D'Onofrio
MPAA:  Rated R (bizarre violence, sexual images, nudity, language)
Review published
November 15, 2000
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The Cell
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory