Three decades have passed since the first recognition of restriction checkpoints in the plant cell cycle. Although many core cell cycle genes have been cloned, the mechanisms that control the G1-->S and G2-->M transitions in plants have only recently started to be understood. The cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) play a central role in the regulation of the cell cycle, and the activity of these kinases is steered by regulatory subunits, the cyclins. The activities of CDK-cyclin complexes are further controlled by an intricate panoply of monitoring mechanisms, which result in oscillating CDK activity during the division cycle. These fluctuations trigger transitions between the different stages of the cell cycle.