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2012 (I) (2009)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi  |  13 November 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 262,542 users   Metascore: 49/100
Reviews: 1,047 user | 365 critic | 34 from

A frustrated writer struggles to keep his family alive when a series of global catastrophes threatens to annihilate mankind.


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Cast overview, first billed only:


Dr. Adrian Helmsley, part of a worldwide geophysical team investigating the effect on the earth of radiation from unprecedented solar storms, learns that the earth's core is heating up. He warns U.S. President Thomas Wilson that the crust of the earth is becoming unstable and that without proper preparations for saving a fraction of the world's population, the entire race is doomed. Meanwhile, writer Jackson Curtis stumbles on the same information. While the world's leaders race to build "arks" to escape the impending cataclysm, Curtis struggles to find a way to save his family. Meanwhile, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes of unprecedented strength wreak havoc around the world. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Mankind's earliest civilization warned us this day would come... See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense disaster sequences and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »


Release Date:

13 November 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

2012: An IMAX Experience 3D  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$200,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£6,489,809 (UK) (13 November 2009)


$166,112,167 (USA) (19 February 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Roland Emmerich told MTV the cover-up name for this film was "Farewell Atlantis", which is the title of lead character Jackson Curtis' book. See more »


An old portable TV (with rotary dial tuner) has a distorted picture on screen, as if it's been watched recently. The June 2009 Digital Television switchover should have rendered it useless without a ATSC converter. While full-power NTSC broadcasts in America ended in June 2009, the TV could be tuned to a low-power regional, religious, or foreign-language station, which were still broadcasting in November 2010. It would also explain the poor reception. See more »


Lama Rinpoche: Do not believe in something simply because you have heard it, Nima.
Nima: But great Lama, Tenzin is my brother. He works inside the tunnel, where the ships are built. But where is in your wisdom, great Lama, if Tenzin is right... what if our world is indeed coming to an end?
[Rinpoche responds by pouring tea into Tenzin's cup, causing it to overflow]
Nima: It is full, great Rinpoche.
[after a moment, Rinpoche stops]
Lama Rinpoche: Like this cup, you are full of opinions and speculations. To see the light of wisdom... you ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening scene of the movie shows the years and events leading up to 2012 (2009...2010...2011). The title card not only states the movie's title, but also seems to indicate, "And in the year 2012..." See more »


It Ain't the End of the World
Written by Harald Kloser, Thomas Wanker and Matt Charman
Produced by Harald Kloser and Thomas Wanker
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

What happened to the Mayan prophecy?
11 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I went to an advance screening of 2012 a few nights ago and I have to admit that this movie was entertaining at best and that's it. The whole movie is almost entirely comprised of special effects. Of course you'll see all of the lead characters survive scenarios that a regular human being would not. Some of the scenes are so ridiculously unbelievable that you want to laugh at the fodder that's being expected of you to believe. Emmerich certainly pushes "suspension of disbelief" to its limit.

John Cusack and Woody Harrelson are the only actors that attempt to hold the film together, while Danny Glover and Thandie Newton were an utter and complete let-down considering their previous work history. You won't see any remotely Oscar-worthy performances here. The casting of this film seemed off and poorly executed. You could tell the bulk of the financial budget went to the special effects and not the actors.

The thing that I found thoroughly disappointing about 2012 is that it's almost entirely lacking of any interesting backstory or intellectual substance whatsoever. There's very little mention of the Mayan calendar, Mayan history, or any of the prophetic wisdom that has foreseen the supposed end of days. The fear, analysis, curiosity, and everything else you've ever wondered about this new mysterious year that is quickly approaching is almost entirely removed from this film. That would have and could have made this film closer to a 10 if I didn't feel like my brain was utterly wasted on this CGI and special effects bonanza. They try to cram so many explosions, eruptions, earthquakes, and natural disasters into two hours that I might be a little desensitized to the real thing if it ever happens. After awhile nothing felt realistic or interesting about it at all.

It's novelty entertainment at best and that's it. You won't wince at how painfully awful this movie is, and you won't walk away knowing anything meaningful about 2012, but hopefully you'll help repay Sony pictures for the exorbitant amount of money that they and Roland Emmerich spent on their special effects budget. Don't say you weren't warned.

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