Cisplatin is one of the most effective anticancer agents widely used in the treatment of solid tumors. It is generally considered as a cytotoxic drug which kills cancer cells by damaging DNA and inhibiting DNA synthesis. How cells respond to cisplatin-induced DNA damage plays a critical role in deciding cisplatin sensitivity. Cisplatin-induced DNA damage activates various signaling pathways to prevent or promote cell death. This paper summarizes our current understandings regarding the mechanisms by which cisplatin induces cell death and the bases of cisplatin resistance. We have discussed various steps, including the entry of cisplatin inside cells, DNA repair, drug detoxification, DNA damage response, and regulation of cisplatin-induced apoptosis by protein kinases. An understanding of how various signaling pathways regulate cisplatin-induced cell death should aid in the development of more effective therapeutic strategies for the treatment of cancer.