Cell – Good, Bad & Ugly Review


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

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 11% (Critics) / 17% (Audience)
Directed By: Tod Williams
Written By: Stephen King and Adam Alleca
Starring: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Isabelle Fuhrman and Stacy Keach
Studio: Saban Films


The Good:
The early scenes when the people were first being effected were well done and the chaotic violent nature of the airport attacks were entertaining.
I liked what Samuel Jackson and Isabel Fuhrman did with their parts.


The Bad:
John Cusack was really not a good pick for the lead role in this film. Not because Cusack is a bad actor but just because Cusack seemed to be in a really low energy place as far as his performance goes and even if this was vintage Cusack I doubt he would have been a good fit to lead a survival horror/zombie movie. It just isn’t his lane as an actor.
I also defy anyone to make sense of the clumsily convoluted nonsense that happened at the end of this film.


The Ugly:
While not my favorite King book by a mile, I did enjoy Cell so I am a bit surprised that King himself would write a screenplay that stripped so much of what made the book really enjoyable from the screenplay for the movie. I would have expected it from someone else writing the screenplay but for King to do it himself is pretty disappointing especially when the subject of the book is so rife with potential for a feature film especially with how society has become even more dependent on mobile devices in the years between the book’s release and the film being made.


Final Verdict: A clunky, at times confusing and not very scary or suspenseful survival horror film that wastes the good actors in the cast while getting a lackluster turn from its star. A pretty disappointing adaptation of a good Stephen King book.

Grade: D

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3 thoughts on “Cell – Good, Bad & Ugly Review”

  1. Agreed! Cell was a huge disappointment, given the story’s potential. I love Stephen King as a novelist. Not so much as a screenwriter, from what I’ve seen in Desperation, and this film.

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    1. Oh my goodness! I Completely forgot about how bad the Desperation TV movie was. Not even Ron Perlman chewing up scenery like a rabid beaver could save it. I think he wrote the screenplay for The Shining miniseries too which was not very good.
      Thanks for posting, btw!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah! I love the film The Shining, and have been actively avoiding the miniseries. Haha! And no problem, I’m happy to stop by whenever. 🙂

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