Knowing (2009) Poster

(2009)

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1/10
This is propaganda
clement-reber5 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is bad propaganda for Scientology. This is already obvious after five minutes watching. First, evolution is called "Theory of Randomness" and described as something sad by Nicolas Cage. Of course, there's no mention at all of all the proofs of evolution, even when Cage is supposed to be this serious MIT teacher. The little girl Lucinda is born in 1952, year of Scientology creation. The time capsule is sealed under a seven branch star, the symbol of Scientology. Then, the story is very closed of the one in the book "Scientology, A History of Man" written by L.Ron Hubbard, Scientology founder. The movie described a numerological prophecy of apocalypse, something frequent in Scientology's mythology. The more ridiculous is the final image of the Eden Garden with Adam and Eve running to the knowledge tree! When you're watching such a movie, remember that Quentin Hubbard, the son of Scientology founder, was probably murdered for having told the world that his father is a liar and and criminal. And - mainly - remember Darwin...
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6/10
Did Writers Know When It Jumped The Shark?
hardykh21 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This film started out with a real grabber. The whole time capsule thing was working as was the predictions and it had me riveted waiting to find out what was going to happen next.

Then everything went left and the movie bounded over the shark as Cage begins a wild chase to tell everyone about the end of the world.

I absolutely believe this screenplay wasn't written with the ending that was in the movie. I figure around one third of the way through someone said, "hey this is way too M. Night Shymalan, better beef up the special effects!" That's when the explosions started.

Then another Hollywood big-wig said, "hey, we need to add some extraterrestrials or this will never hit" and so enter the blond guys in the woods. These scenes look like they were re-shot after the fact.

Finally as Cage is on his knees waving to his son on the space ship, I expected the credits to roll, but no. I feel pretty sure a focus group was show the first cut and they said it was a downer, so...after a rewrite and lots of money on special effects. Voila! End of the world.

Ten, after another focus group, comes the two kids in Eden ending that looked completely out of place and I feel pretty sure was tacked on after audience reactions ranged from"but what about the kids?" to "that's a downer".

All in all, the whole thing went way off the rails and squandered any viewer interest in favor of bad theology and worse writing.

If anyone can confirm my theories of rewrites and re-shoots, please let me know. Otherwise, I have to believe the producers just got lost somewhere along the way to what promised to be a good film.
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6/10
Am I bonkers? I thought it was kind of stupid
Smells_Like_Cheese22 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Nicolas Cage, I feel like an addictive gambler when it comes to this man, because there are times where he has some really great movies(i.e. Face/Off) then he has moments where I wonder if he was drinking when he accepted other movies(i.e. Wicker Man). He has some really great acting moments, but it seems like his movies lately, he just looks tired and like he stayed up the whole night memorizing his lines not realizing he hasn't had any sleep for 6 weeks. I don't know, I'm not quite sure why this has a high rating right now, but we'll see in the next few weeks, because honestly I wasn't all that thrilled with Knowing. From the trailer this looked really exciting, but instead we got a movie that just took itself too seriously. I thought it was mainly just poor writing for the story and the characters.

In 1959, a competition is held amongst the students of a new elementary school to celebrate its opening. The winning plan, from student Lucinda Embry, is to bury a time capsule containing the students' drawings of the future to be opened 50 years later in 2009. She is prevented from finishing her image, which is actually a series of seemingly random numbers, and goes missing during the ceremony. Her teacher later finds her in a gym closet frantically scratching the remaining numbers on the door. Fifty years later, the time capsule is opened and the pictures are handed down to the new generation of students. Caleb, the son of MIT professor and astrophysicist John Koestler, receives Lucinda's envelope. While initially dismissing them as random numbers, John accidentally discovers that the numbers have accurately predicted the dates, death tolls, and locations of every major disaster in the last 50 years; three of the events have not yet occurred. Decoding and discovering that one of the three may lead to the end of the world.

Is this a movie that you have to see in the theater? There is one scene that only the big screen can do justice and that was the airplane crash scene, even though it was unrealistic it was great to watch. I just love how Nicolas Cage reacts to it, he goes to "save" the people who are burning and one person passes him screaming in flames and Nic just says "hey!", what exactly was he planning on saying to him? Like "HEY! Just to let you know, you're on fire". I thought the ending was weak and there wasn't enough character development. The story was too serious, while intense, the characters were not real and I felt like the effects got too cheesy at the end. I would say if you're going to see this in the theater, see the matinée, otherwise, just stick with the rental.

6/10
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7/10
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
pugmahorn26 March 2009
The good: Strong start to the movie, the plot hooks you in, excellent sound, confronting disaster scenes, haunting images, Rose Byrne, at times quite freaky, The Bad: Special effects looked like they were from a video game, ripped off basically every science fiction movie ever made, poor acting from Nic Cage, very predictable.

The Ugly: Last third of movie was shamefully ridiculous.

Summary: If you are a science fiction fan, you will probably not be able to resist seeing this movie. Be warned, you will think you are seeing the sci-fi great that you have been waiting for but mid way the film gets lost. You may very well groan out loud at the ending. This had the makings of a great movie but unfortunately it couldn't come up with the goods.
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1/10
Sucks like a neutron star
prezidanto25 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I can't believe people are calling this the "best SF movie of the year", unless there aren't any other SF movies this year. Ebert obviously needs to adjust his meds if he gave this four stars.

Plot holes? Plot holes? The rocks... do they mean *anything*? How come the aliens can't find *some* way to communicate with people? How do they expect to leave their numeric clue hidden for 50 years and have just the right person run across them? Why does the son get all bent about being treated as a child... for 30 seconds? My God -- it's full of holes! This abomination makes Swiss cheese look like battleship armor.

"Thought-provoking" only in the sense that if you start thinking about it, you'll be astounded at how little sense in makes, and how much thinking you have to do to force any of it to work.

I've been reading science fiction for 30 years. I know SF. SF is a friend of mine. And if this is the best SF movie of the year, I'm a monkey's uncle. And aunt. And male offspring. And second cousin once removed.
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7/10
Anti-Armageddon, as far as Michael Bay goes
revival0516 October 2009
I feel a strange shift of priorities within moviegoers today, when a movie like District 9 can use very familiar content and simply shake it around a little, and then be hailed as a masterwork of originality and become immensely popular - while a movie like Knowing will be heavily questioned and criticized beyond it's proportions despite, or perhaps due to, the fact that it actually takes an actual leap of originality. I wonder when the latest time it was I saw a Hollywood-movie end up where this one ends up. While not being perfect, Knowing still is a proper science-fiction film in the vein of 2001 - A Space Odyssey and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Certainly not as good, for various reasons, but at least clearly part of the genre.

The storyline of Knowing is kind of a reversed bottle neck, by the end the multitude of the story is as big as it gets but to begin with, we are in a kind of X Files territory where we get a spooky prologue with a mystery note being dug under the ground (I won't go into the details, because it's really not important for me to go over them) and post credits we pick it up 50 years later when the note ends up in the hands of MIT professor John Koestler (Nicholas Cage) who is one of those I-lost-my-wife-so-I-lost-my-faith kind of guys, believing that the universe as we know it is all random and coincidental. Easily cracked, the numbers on the note, written by a little girl and buried for five decades, declare the dates and places of all future disasters to come, including death tolls. Cage sees 9/11 predicted from this little girls hands in 1959, as well as the Katrina and several disasters that haven't taken place yet. Without saying too much, he doesn't like what he sees at the end of the list of numbers.

I have heard the movie be called predictable. Looking back, I must admit there's a lot of places where I could have seen a lot of things coming. Many quite blatant clues are placed right in the very first couple of scenes and if you know your plot and character mechanics, you would spot some obligatory scenes to come. However, I didn't. It seems I was in on the ride. The plot of the movie, I think, expands in such a methodical way that as long as you get sucked in to begin with, you don't ask any more questions. The mystery is intriguing enough to have you focus on the next shot, not the overall story. I was fairly annoyed by the story device that was seemingly on the side of the plot, dealing with Cage's kid being stalked by a couple of evil, albino trench-coat-guys looking like a bunch German electro-goths. I found that they distracted the viewer from the more interesting, down-to-earth kind of story going on with Cage. But come the ending of the movie, nothing is really earthbound and they seem kind of forgivable in retrospect. Just like in Close Encounters, Knowing is a movie that starts out cryptic but ends out in big scale cathartic satisfaction and harmony, as if it all (*all*) makes sense in the end.

As for the flaws, I didn't mind the story or any of the plot holes (which mostly are arguable anyway). What did bother me probably more than anything else about the movie, though, was it's unfortunate big-time flirt with the melodrama. Take the score for instance, by Marco Beltrami, not really king of the subtle, and it's unfortunate for a movie which deals with this unusual hypothesis to have such operatic and stereotypical acting. And why, WHY, do Hollywood-movies nowadays feel the need to use those HORRIBLE matte paintings? They look like a 50's parody! As for plot, Knowing certainly bites off a lot more than it can chew. I quickly noted in the credits, with fear, that while the story credit went to one person there were like three or four guys behind the actual script. That usually means what we also get in Knowing. Messy conflicts within the narrative and sudden "moronic behavior as plot device" from characters. Also, not every mystery thread thrown up on the floor ends up with a sensible conclusion. But despite a lot ends up as fairly arbitrary anyway, I think a lot of the questions are meant to be left unanswered. Knowing picks up a lot of ancient SF-ideas, that probably would seem tired if this genre had been over-represented in any way, and at the end of the day, you didn't ask the monkey in 2001 how he figured out how to use that piece of bone, right? In all fairness, the movie is partly a thriller so it needs certain plot devices in order for the it to have a good spook value which, I might add, it surely delivers. This is the kind of movie that creeps you out just by having a character flip a bed on to it's side. I'm not sure if these abandoned mysteries is a giant flaw or just one of those things you can roll with, but I know that it makes sure it doesn't reach the top. Knowing is a movie made I'd say for 80% entertainment, and I could say I was 80% entertained. The remaining 20% is sci-fi fodder and that made me happy too. No masterpiece then, but a good ride that I certainly will recommend.

Also. I get the feeling that a lot of people who dismissed Knowing this summer were the same guys who were angry at the Bay bashers of Transformers 2. I wonder, why on Earth are the flaws of Transformers 2 forgivable, whereas the strengths of Knowing dismissible?
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1/10
I don't want to know!!!
phantasmagoric-128 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
If, like me, you expect films to have a cohesive plot, intelligent writing and an imaginative ending then this is NOT the film for you. What is the point of giving an astrophysicist a list of predictions and telling him when the world is going to end if there's nothing he can do about it? For the first two thirds of the film I was waiting for some clever twist or original storyline that would bring together all the disjointed pieces of the film but instead it ended in the most anti-climactic and least original way - aliens! The second worst cop out in history - the first being 'he woke up and it was all a dream'. It's not even poignant enough to be thought provoking or depressing; it's simply utterly pointless!
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Proyas delivers his best yet
Cujo1088 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
In 1959, an elementary school buries a time capsule that holds drawings of what the kids think the world will be like in 50 years. When the capsule is dug up in present day, each child is given a drawing from the capsule. The drawing that Caleb Koestler gets isn't a drawing at all. Instead, it's a page full of random numbers. When Caleb takes the paper home, his astrophysicist father stumbles upon the discovery that the numbers seem to have predicted the dates of major disasters which occurred in the 50 years since. Not only the dates, but the number of victims from each incident as well. A fascinating discovery, but more important matters lie hidden in the numbers, as there are three dates and three major disasters to come... and they're coming soon.

"Knowing" is more ambitious than a typical disaster movie. Not really a surprise coming from director Alex Proyas. The closest he's come to generic is "I, Robot", by far his weakest work. While certain plot points may be hard to swallow for some, I had no qualms with any of it. Of course, I fully expected the film to be bashed unmercifully by many just because Nicolas Cage is in it. I know people like to criticize Cage every chance they get, but his acting is just fine here. Some of the tender moments between he and his son were actually quite effective from an emotional standpoint. Reading through several of the reviews I've seen, it's clear that some people just have a hate-on for the guy. My girl Rose Byrne shows up halfway through the picture, and while her character is that of a tortured woman relegated to looking distraught and flipping out, she does both well. Her panic at the gas station brought a smile to my face, as I just love watching her work.

Proyas handles the suspense exceptionally, particularly the buildup to the various disasters. The screws turn slowly, but ever so tightly. As for the disasters themselves, the scene with the crashing airliner is wicked in it's execution. Shot in the pouring down rain and all in one take, we witness the crash followed by Cage sulking amidst explosions, burning rubble and burning passengers. The subway sequence isn't as effective. Not even close, really, but the build makes up for it. The final disaster, which I won't spoil here, is positively fantastic both in buildup and execution. One scene in relation to the final disaster involves a discovery on the bottom of a bed. I felt that this scene made for a very strong gut punch, just well-done all around in leading up to it, music, everything. Chaos aside, I also liked some of the human touches that Proyas threw in. Caleb watching a video of his mother singing him a lullaby is a really strong little character moment in the midst of everything else going on. I also thought Cage's reaction was well-played.

Now for some faults. The score could be overpowering at times. I also feel that the final scene was not needed. The line about starting over was enough to get the point across, I didn't need to see it. More subtlety would have been most welcome, and ending the film with the earth in cinders would make for a more potent final image. Aside from that, the worst I can say is that some of the acting from bit players was rather on the weak side.

Overall, I was very satisfied with the final product. It could have used some tweaking here and there, but most films are flawed in some way or another. The twists in the storyline won't work for everyone. It seems a lot of the time when a new film tries to shoe in aliens or any sort of spirituality aspect, it gets branded as some sort of new age crap. I don't subscribe to that thought process. I think it's a strong piece of filmmaking from a filmmaker who doesn't work as often as he should. The masses can have their popcorn films, but I like my popcorn with a few extra layers of butter on top.
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1/10
OMG, what in the world
EricBosarge29 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, this is a movie that I would classify as "I lost two hours of my life for this?" It was almost as if one person wrote the beginning, one person wrote the middle, and one person wrote the ending, and none of it meshes together at all. This movie has horror, religious, and sci-fi aspects that are all over the place. The first thirty minutes are okay, but it just plummets from there. There was not really any back story and it was kind of all over the place. The best part was when the lead female role was killed. Her whiny butt was getting on my nerves. The whole aliens are angels things was not put together very well at all, and the special effects were not that great. This would have been so much better if they had just concentrated on the story line and not have made it so goofy.
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6/10
Judge this movie yourself, but I felt swindled.
xaltered_rissax21 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Now, I have nothing against religious films, but this movie came out a bit too loaded for my comfort. I felt like the commercials made you think that it was going to be a run of the mill disaster movie when in actuality it had a heavy religious undertone. The storyline doesn't live up to the amazing graphics (granted, I was horrified during the airplane scene) and the larger-than-life suggestions that the commercials entail. It's definitely worth seeing for the imagery; and, hell, the storyline is pretty interesting, but the last half is like a scurrying attempt to shove all the loose ends into one ridiculous ending: alien/angels and the saving of innocent Adam and Eve children because they "believed." No thanks, Hollywood.
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3/10
Wow ... what a pile of garbage
andy_pf29 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I don't expect a film about the apocalypse or premonitions to be the smartest movie ever ... hell, those 'disaster' movies where the hero charges around saving people are pretty much standard Hollywood fluff, and aren't too intelligent - but they are rarely this stupid. Its like they took all the annoying elements out of these movies and put them all in one (think Independence Day but without the bad jokes to forgive it for the stupidity) In parts I felt like I was watching a kids flick with gory disasters and spooky pedophile stalkers added in for effect. The kids were (as is often the case in these type of movies) annoying. But this time around the adults were so much worse. And the acting was just plain awful all round.

The most annoying thing though was the plot - it didn't make any sense. These advanced aliens can predict the future and feel the need to impart this to some kids to write it all down as a set of numbers in the hope some college professor figures out what they mean. But in the end, it doesn't matter what they mean, they're all going to die anyway. Lucky the aliens feel like saving the kiddies. Now I get the whole religion-aliens/angels take on the movie, but it doesn't feel any less dumb.

To sum it all up: Nicholas Cage's acting was awful, his 'son' was annoying, Rose Byrne's character was plain stupid, Cage's character was a total idiot, the aliens ending was ridiculous, and really, the only good thing was that they got what they deserved - toasted to death in a fiery inferno (too bad they kids escaped with their bloody rabbits).
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7/10
Worth Seeing – Before the End!
treadwaywrites19 March 2009
From the trailers of Knowing you'd be convinced that you're going to watch a cheesy, try to save the world picture with a wound tight Nicolas Cage at the center gritting his teeth and ducking his way to the perfect ending. Well, you'd be partially correct. Cage is definitely giving his wound tight hero routine that he's worked so hard to develop over the last half dozen films. As for the cheese factor, that's where you'll be surprised. Director Alex Proyas manages to deliver a rather decent sci-fi flick that has plenty of suspense and intelligence.

The plot turns around John Koestler (Nicolas Cage), an MIT astrophysics nerd turned Indiana Jones when a time capsule is discovered at his young son Caleb's (Chandler Canterbury) school. Inside are drawings from students in 1959 predicting what things would be like in 2009 some 50 years later. The drawing that Caleb comes home with isn't a drawing at all but a series of seemingly random numbers. Koestler becomes obsessed with the numbers and their meaning or what they seem to mean. The whole thing shakes him to his scientific core and a quest has begun.

The film is very lucky to have director Alex Proyas from films such as Dark City which is his true geek film and critical acclaim as well as I, Robot and Garage Days. The visual and special effects are outstanding. It was surprising how much suspense was in the script (Ryan Douglas Pearson and Juliet Snowden) which gave the film a real thriller atmosphere which continues to build in tone as the mystery is unraveled.

I admit I went into this film expecting a rehash of National Treasure on a more global scale. The sci-fi aspect of the premise is very well thought out and told. The acting by co-stars (Chandler Canterbury, Rose Byrne and Lara Robinson) are solid performances and stand in complementary contrast to that of the tightly wound Nicolas Cage. The geek factor of Knowing is rather high with lots of number configurations and what-if scenarios which is great for the sci-fi fans. At times your brain may have to turn on in order to follow the film, but that is what made Knowing such a pleasant surprise to me.*
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4/10
Knowing how easy it is to sum up
ttandb22 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
'Knowing' can be summed up in four short words. Great film - rubbish ending.

SPOILER!! SPOILER!! SPOILER!! SPOILER!! READ FROM HERE AT YOUR OWN RISK!!

----------------------------------------------------

The ending lets the whole movie down - yeah it's not the happy 'save the world' ending we were (in a way) dreading. But that just certain kids were the only ones being saved and no adults at all was just ridiculous.

Have the producers, etc never read 'The Lord of the Flies'? Kids do not do well on their own. They also do not just happily accept being taken by aliens to a strange new world; they do not happily accept not only the deaths of their families and friends (assuming friends are not of the 'chosen') but also the death - apparently - of even their planet.

Why couldn't they have had the aliens stay with them as the 'adult' influence at the very least? Why were only certain children rescued, why no adults? Why were the children behaving like mini 'stepford wives' at the end, in spite of the trauma they had gone through? The film is fantastic up to the last fifteen minutes and then it all goes to hell in a handcart.

It was like the writer, and later the director, thought this was a good way to just end it as they were bored. Come up with some ridiculous reason to end the world - have the men in black (yes we all got that little 'wheeze') actually be the aliens, save the kiddies (punters like to see 'little timmy' survive) and there you have it; the perfect ending if you've got bored with your project.

Well, I can vouch for the fact it's NOT. Next time, if you're going to make a movie this good - make the ENDING as good too, or else we (the viewers) just feel cheated. If you get bored - walk away and let someone else finish it.

Out of 10 - I give it 4; and that's just because of the rubbish ending.
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9/10
Kudos To Proyas For This Surprisingly Good Flick!
RosenKratz6 March 2009
It may seem improbable, but Knowing actually adds something fresh and inspiring to the disaster genre.

Certainly the action scenes are well staged – they are as grand and tense as the previews would have you expect. But Knowing really stands out from the likes of Next and various Roland Emmerich movies because of its heart (there is a profoundly human element amongst the chaos and destruction), and because of the surprising, riveting turns the story takes. In no way was it a generic "save the world" flick, like I feared going in. It is an original with a memorable ending that should not be spoiled, but it will almost definitely have people talking.

In my mind, director Alex Proyas deserves a lot of the credit for the fact that the film is brave, and does not try to replicate a typical Hollywood blueprint. In fact, he even has Nic Cage back on solid footing, an actor I used to love but have been quite weary of lately. But I think Proyas deserves the main kudos for turning this into something creative and special, and I'd go as far as to say this it is his best movie since Dark City.

There really isn't much to complain about regarding the film, but the one exception might be the middle, where the action sags a bit. Still, I think the captivating final third more than makes up for it.

I definitely recommend the film - you will be pleasantly surprised!
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9/10
I don't understand the negativity behind this movie
AngieeeBabayy11 February 2010
I thought this was arguably one of the best movies of our time. With that said, I've gotta admit I'm a scifi movie lover and these movies are my kinda thing.

This movie literally had everything I typically LOVE in a movie, a great beginning, a thriller climax, and a killer ending. There were no plot holes to this film, which initially made me love this movie in the first place. One thing I love about this movie has to be after I watch it a couple of times- I actually notice little hidden things in the climax that ultimately lead up to the ending, things you don't typically notice when you first watch this movie.

Those who love the indie film-type endings, or those who love horror or slasher films, or actually anyone who likes cliff-hanger endings- this might not be for you. But if you love apocalypse type movies, or are a thriller fanatic then you'll hopefully like this movie. This movie also supports the Christian/Catholic faith- so if you are against it in any way- this movie may not suit you. With that said, it's NOT a Jesus loving movie. The ending has a lot to do with the Christian faith and if that's not for you- don't watch it.

All in all, this is a pretty spectacular movie. The music was on cue with everything in the movie and the scenes were incredible. Each scene had you gripping onto your seat in anticipation. Although this is very under-appreciated, I hope you will give this movie a try.
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1/10
It's all about the bunnies
tsobk5 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This was by far the worst movie I have ever seen. The disaster scenes were ridiculous - people on fire walking around after a plane crash? come on, that's just stupid. The direction was awful. I felt embarrassed for the actors the whole movie. And the end, stupid beyond words... only the kids that can hear the creepy whispering people can go off in the spaceship... no parents allowed... and the kids don't really mind that their parents are either dead or about to die, because they each get to have a white fluffy bunny to hold... most of the audience was laughing, and those that weren't sat there with their mouth hanging open. Save yourself Don't go It's 121 minutes you'll never get back
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6/10
And in the end...
MaxBorg8911 July 2009
What has happened to Alex Proyas? Back in the '90s, he directed dark, edgy pieces of sci-fi/horror, like The Crow and Dark City, that didn't necessarily pander to studio or audience expectations. Nowadays, he's gone in exactly the opposite direction, first with the fun but uneven Will Smith vehicle I, Robot (which doesn't have much in common with Asimov, despite the title) and now with the Nicolas Cage-starring Knowing. Entirely bad it ain't, but boy, does it struggle from time to time.

Cage plays a physics professor at MIT, named John Koestler, who teaches students about the notion of determinism, i.e. the theory that everything is part of a precise, already established plan. The irony is that he doesn't believe any of that stuff since his wife died in a tragic accident, leaving him alone with his young son Caleb (Chandler Canterbury). One day, something special occurs at Caleb's school: a time capsule, which was buried fifty years earlier, is unearthed so that the new generation can see what kids thought the future would look like back then. Instead of a drawing, Caleb ends up with a page containing a bizarre sequence of numbers. John takes a look at the sequence, and quickly (?) realizes that the numbers represent the dates and body count of every major disaster of the last five decades, including 9/11, Katrina and - big surprise - the death of the missus. Three of the predictions, however, have yet to come true, so John must find a way to prevent them from happening. Additionally, he has to deal with a group of weird-looking people who are interested in Caleb.

If it all sounds a bit familiar, that's because it is: while the story develops on its own terms, the premise alone, coupled with the creepy atmosphere, could come from an episode of The X-Files. In case the similarities weren't clear enough, the writers have even replicated the Mulder-Scully dynamic in the shape of John and his reluctant partner Diana (Rose Byrne) and added the inevitable religious subtext, which is hinted at from the very beginning (John's dad is a preacher). Also, the Strangers look kind of... In short, it's the sense of déjà vu that brings down most of Knowing: the third act is very easy to guess, the father/son relationship is sketchy, yada yada yada.

And yet Proyas manages to get some things admirably right: the tension is actually pretty consistent, with a few professionally delivered jump-scares along the way, and the visual effects are state-of-the-art, most notably in the impressive central set-piece which - a true stroke of genius, this one - is depicted in a single, continuous shot. Additionally, Cage's performance is one of his most convincing in quite some time. Okay, so it's not that difficult given his recent body of work includes the likes of The Wicker Man, Ghost Rider and Next, but his portrayal of a man who questions his beliefs (there we go again) adds some emotional weight to the picture. And that's without mentioning the refreshingly merciless conclusion...

Knowing is nothing new, meaning that the few unexpected elements it contains are rapidly sidelined by textbook scripting. Still, even on an off-day Proyas manages to pull off a collection of oddly compelling images (Cage's hair not included). Not quite enough, but we already sort of knew that, right?
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8/10
There's nothing like Knowing!
chodebalm-115 March 2009
First of all, yes I did see this movie, and no I'm not much of a talker when it comes to discussing and reviewing movies. Therefore, I will keep it short and simple.

Nicholas Cage's movies have lately been a lot of action flicks that may or may not seem like movies we've all seen before. This one, however, brings a new fresh feeling to this genre.

I think we've all seen the whole "I see it coming" type of movie where the main character has to prevent something from happening. This is one of those, and yet it isn't. It doesn't bore you, it doesn't make you feel like you've seen it before, and yet you have a comfortability with it that intrigues you throughout.

I found myself quite entertained and the movie didn't lose my attention or have me checking my watch. Good direction and acting. Nicholas Cage does a good job.

I believe anyone who sees this movie will enjoy it for what it is. Go see it, it's a fun flick!
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3/10
What was that?
nkunze22 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
SLIGHT SPOILERS NOTHING MAJOR I just saw Knowing and it was one of the worst movies i'd seen in a while. It started strong with a flashback to the page of numbers being made , then it went to Cage as a MIT professor and his son gets a mysterious page of numbers. He goes around trying to stop disasters, and never does anything. Then his kid is stalked by pale people that seem straight out of the Davinci code. They realize an impending doom.

It is incredibly violent at parts, but most of it is boring. He spends most of the movie looking at a sheet of paper and driving around looking worried. Some people say the ending is 'thought provoking', but i found it ridiculous. I would skip this one.
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10/10
This is one excellent. Imaginative movie. Which could happen
michaelthompsonmcgill27 November 2011
I have read a lot of totally negative views about this film, and so I can only say that some people simply have no imagination.

"Knowing" works at every level. It is a brilliantly executed film. And the final is breathtaking.

I watched this film with my wife and we are not easily pleased movie watchers.

I find myself being critical of the negative reviews, because I am astounded at their lack of imagination.

Without imagination, we would never have had The Time Machine thanks to Herbert George Wells. This is just one example.

Another is Steven Spielberg's "Close Encounters". Imagination is the key word here, and so many reviewers did not have any whatsoever.

Knowing kept my wife and I on the edge of our seats, it was clever, it was imaginative, it was first class.
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1/10
"Knowing" when to avoid a movie
teldrassil993 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
** SPOILERS ** The earth will end. Some weird aliens want to take away a few children and rabbits to repopulate a planet with strange white trees and lots of pollen. Let's hope they brought their asthma-puffers.

And that's it. What does this have to do with the strange sequence of numbers, a plane-crash, and a New York subway train derailment that you have seen in the trailers? Well, actually, nothing at all. There is no connection whatsoever between the prophecies of disasters and the alien abduction plot that is revealed at the end of the film.

Who came up with this plot? And moreover, was there really not one person among the hundred or so individuals who worked on this movie who was able to stop think for a moment and say, "hang on, the first 1 hour and 45 mins of this film have no real bearing whatsoever on the overall premise"? Because, let's face it, those aliens directly intervene and take the kids to their spaceship, by abducting them at a petrol station. This really didn't require the parents of either child to believe in, or even care in the slightest way about, the so-called prophecies. And it didn't require the audience to sit through all of those drawn out scenes, either.

In fact, the only practical purpose of these prophecies seems to have been to satisfy a sadistic streak in the aliens, to drive a child in the 60s mad by whispering to her until she takes her own life!

Aside from the incompetent storytelling (the whole "aliens will save a few humans just before the world ends" storyline has been done over and over), this also film excels at over-acting (Cage), over-screaming (Byrne), and over-CGI-ing (while the effects were generally quite good, was it really necessary to show a tortured burning CGI moose running through a forest?).

Please, directors and script writers, don't torture the audience with nonsensical drivel!
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9/10
Better, and different than expected
Zulu4225 April 2009
First off, Nicolas Cage was pretty good as a science teacher who's initial skepticism over a batch of numbers (scribbled on a piece of paper found in a school's time capsule from the 1950s) is tested and eventually worn away by a quest to find out what they mean. Cage runs hot and cold when it comes to the characters he plays; he's awesome in films like "Raising Arizona", "Con Air", or "National Treasure", while not so believable in stuff like "The Family Man". He's maturing as an actor and getting better, it seems, with every role. Another standout is Rose Byrne, as the daughter of the odd little girl who wrote out the bizarre number sequences that Cage's character is analyzing. Byrne's always good at playing pensive women with something mysterious in their back stories. Yet as good as the actors were, the special effects and the twists in the storyline are what make this movie really entertaining. The writers didn't take the easy, obvious route with the story which was refreshing. The plot continues to surprise throughout taking some very different turns with the outcome of the story which made it even more unpredictable and better for it. I like movies that keep me guessing and this is one of those. See it if you like the unexpected.
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2/10
Knowing when to walk away, knowing when to run...
CourageMonkey25 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
My goodness, where to begin. Lets just begin at the beginning. There are going to be some spoilers in this one as it is necessary to make a point.

A friend of mine told me this was one of the most mind-blowing movies he had ever seen. He was correct. That someone freed $50,000,000 of cold hard cash to make this cut and paste drivel definitely blew my friggin' mind.

I didn't have high expectations for this movie, hadn't even planned on seeing it, but I held out a little hope because I loved Dark City so much. Those meager hopes were dashed against the rocks.

Lets start with the first contrivance of a distant introverted young girl, Lucinda, in 1959 who hears voices. Its her idea (we learn through awkward exposition, exposition that sadly never learns to walk) that her elementary school drop a time capsule into the ground to be excavated 50 years into the future. The children are assigned to draw what they think the future will look like, the art to be placed within the capsule. Lucinda furiously scribbles a series of numbers on her paper. It is put into the capsule.

Fast forward 50 years.

October 2009. Heat wave. Indian summer. Nicholas Cage is showing his son some cosmic formation in his telescope. Without warning his son admonishes him for never listening, forgetting school events, and generally being a neglectful father. While this is done through more awkward exposition, what is more maddening is that Cage spends the entire movie being an almost overbearingly doting father, rushing to events, forgoing outings with friends and potential blind dates that would replace is dead wife. One would think that perhaps he is turning over a new leaf after 5 minutes, but his best friend informs us this is not the case.

Cage is an MIT professor, though we never learn what type we can only assume astrophysics. We only see him teach one class. And what would a professor, inhabiting an acclaimed technical college, in a classroom surrounded by equations on a chalkboard, images of celestial bodies, and a model of the solar system assign for his students at the end of the class? Write a paper on determinism vs randomness. Does life have meaning. In a physics class.

Naturally, his son is singing at the event to open the time capsule. Naturally, he receives Lucinda's paper filled with indecipherable numbers. Naturally, he brings it home when he's not supposed to. Naturally, Cage sees it. He sends his son to bed and in a inexplicable drunken rage deciphers most of the numbers, starting with the first number, picked at random: 911012889. In two seconds he discovers that it means 9/11/01 and the number who perished. Baffled and enraged he spends all night finding the dates and casualties of major human tragedies and googling them for confirmation. We won't mention that casualty estimates often very by source and more so for natural disasters and large numbers. He verifies every major tragedy for 50 years on this paper, including the event where his wife died. Except there are 3 events that have yet to occur.

What does an astrophysicist do with this info? Takes it to his friend who predictable tells him in copy and pasted dialogue how crazy this all sounds and he's taking his wife's death too hard. And what do the rest of the numbers mean? After half a glass of whisky he found the first date from the first set of numbers he looked at, after a whole bottle and a sleepless night he found the rest, but it took his trucks GPS product placement ad to find out the rest of the numbers are latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates. Naturally, he is at the location of the next accident just as he discovers this, a hideous plane crash complete with passengers running around covered in jet fuel and fire. This is where the audience laughter begins. It never stopped.

The dialogue is maddeningly formulaic, awkward, and uninspired. The acting ranges from sub par to excruciating. The story is as predictable as Wednesday's meatloaf. When Cage's son, who can hear the voices, starts writing down more numbers, even after the final revelation, Cage dismisses it as his son's impetuousness. The whole event is a contrived plot device.

One wonders why he is estranged from his father, a pastor, and family. One wonders why he doesn't take his discovery to the other MIT scientists. One wonders why he feels the pressing need to run headlong towards the disasters he knows will happen, only to be saved by dumb luck. One wonders whether anyone involved in the making of this film has ever been to MIT for longer than the time it takes to create B roll or has ever stood on a New York City subway platform.

I won't even mention the sci-fi allusions to the Christian concept of rapture.

In the end this movie is a spectacular disappointment. It is a fun concept amateurishly executed on every conceivable level.
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10/10
Wow! Outstanding in every way.
williamzim200020 March 2009
I went to see this because Roger Ebert gave this a 4/4 stars. I completely agree. This is an amazing science fiction movie, with some fresh twists on the genre that makes it amazing.

An MIT science teacher (Nick Cage) disillusioned by his wife's death, now believes in randomness. One day, he is confronted by mysterious events. A document found by his son in a time capsule seems to predict the dates of catastrophes. In his struggle to interpret the meanings and magnitude of the events and warn society of them, he comes across a profound and terrifying insight into what may lie in the future. His effort to save his son and loved ones becomes his desperate objective. I won't give away the ending, but trust me, this is one well made, sophisticated picture.

This story is filled with suspense, great terror, and frighting scenes that have deep emotional impact. The sound effects are awesome. There are some crashes in here that rocked the theater, and filled every expectation I have of well filmed disasters. The visual effects are superb and emotionally powerful.

If you are a picky film goer like me, you'll be delighted with this. Not only worth your money, but worth your time. This moved along with speed and excitement, and I got lost in it. Everyone in the theater was gasping in exhilaration when the credits rolled. Amazing! Don't miss it!
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6/10
Pretty good if you stop watching at 01:40:00
DrLex27 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
There's little new I can tell you in this review, as my criticism is exactly the same as what has been repeated countless times. What I can tell you is how to watch this movie in a way that won't let itself ruin your experience.

It starts out really well, with a good build-up of suspense and some impressive disaster scenes. But at a certain point it suddenly gets completely ridiculous, as if the director got an aneurysm and his kids had to finish it. Because this movie is all about numbers, here are some of my own. That disastrous point is at 01:40:00 on the DVD if you're watching the NTSC version (at PAL frame-rate it should be about 01:35:54). Just hit the stop button and assume Cage crashes his car into a tree at lethal speed and the credits start rolling. That's a silly ending but believe me, perfectly acceptable compared to the real thing. The actual ending reeks of propaganda for a certain 'religion', although the director nor any of the main actors seem to have any connections to it, so it probably wasn't intentional. It may just have been a case of "hey, we've created an awesome build-up but we forgot to come up with a good finale, so let's summon a Deus Ex Machina and lots of CGI."

Well, now you're probably too curious to skip the ending anyway, so go ahead and let yourself be disappointed. Don't tell me I didn't warn you.
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