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A time capsule containing a cryptic message about the coming apocalypse sends a concerned father on a race to prevent the horrific events from unfolding as predicted in this sci-fi thriller directed by Alex Proyas (Dark City) and starring Nicolas Cage. 1958: As the dedication ceremony for a newly constructed elementary school gets under way, a time capsule containing student drawings of the future is buried on the grounds and scheduled to be unearthed on the school's 50th anniversary. Instead of submitting a drawing, however, one little girl scribbles a series of seemingly random numbers on her paper before it is buried. Fifty years later, the time capsule is unearthed for a new generation of students to examine. Young Caleb Koestler (Chandler Canterbury) is one of those students. The mysterious sequence of numbers falling into his possession, Caleb takes the paper to his father, Professor John Koestler (Cage), for examination. Studying the numbers, Professor Koestler soon discovers that they aren't random at all, but an encoded message containing the precise dates, death tolls, and coordinates of every major disaster since the time capsule was buried. Not only that, but the document also indicates that there will be three more such events, the last of which indicates a doomsday scenario that appears directly tied to Professor Koestler and Caleb. His desperate plea to authorities falling on deaf ears, Professor Koestler realizes that his only hope for preventing more lives from being lost is to take personal action. Though the author of the prophecies is no longer living, Professor Koestler is eventually able to track down her daughter Diana Wayland (Rose Byrne), and granddaughter Abby, who reluctantly agree to aid in the investigation. As the final date on the list draws near, Professor Koestler enters into a frantic race against time to prevent destruction on a global scale, in the process realizing that in order to save millions of lives, he may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 178
- Fresh: 59
- Rotten: 119
- Average Rating: 4.7/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: If Alex Proyas' Knowing were reasonably entertaining -- instead of just dour, pointless and tedious -- it would be a camp classic.
Rotten: Things started to fall off of the deep end very quickly.
Rotten: There's nothing really special about this film, other than an interesting premise.
Rotten: The CGI is unconvincing, the big shock-and-awe finale is a throwback to the days of Deep Impact, and underneath it all is the nervous American insistence that there is life beyond the stars.
excellent, and a few remarks
One thought I have shortly after the movie ended (which is when I am writing this, after reading all the other reviews) is that this movie may have the best CGI and special effects I have seen in any movie (though it's not like I've seen all the potential contenders). Second, it is irritating to read reviews containing spoilers, which a couple of reviews do (at the time of writing this). I consider saying whether the ending was happy or sad or uplifting or depressing, etc., as a spoiler (which at least one review does); and especially a no-no is mentioning a specific plot event that happens at the end (which at least one other does). Third, this is just my opinion, but I completely disagree with the host of people whining about the "ending" (when exactly does the end begin?). Like Dark City, also directed by Alex Proyas, this movie has an artistically excellent and thought-provoking plot development/resolution. Maybe a surprising apparent shift in plot is indicative not of a defect in the movie but rather either as an intentional surprising development of the storyline mid-stream (who says good stories can't be like this?) or as a call to revise one's understanding of what comes before in the light of what comes after, re-interpreting the former in the more complete context of the latter so that the apparent discontinuity is seen to be only apparent. Another potential stumbling block for some people may be the mysteriousness and lack of clarification concerning certain events and characters; I found myself wanting more explanation and interpretation and fleshing out of certain things. But this, as far as I can see, is not a defect at all. The movie is 2 hours long as it is; and maybe much of what happens is intended to provoke thoughts and speculation into the more detailed nature and context of the events that are transpiring (and the reasons behind them). Much food for thought is given concerning both spiritual and scientific matters (and additionally, as many reviewers seem to miss, the movie potentially challenges the assumption that there is a stark dichotomy between entities or events traditionally classified under one and not the other - maybe some stereotypes need to be re-assessed?). Cage is excellent as the lead actor, and the movie is excellent, thought-provoking, and spell-binding in parts. It raises big and deep questions about the existence of something transcendent (perhaps divine, though not necessarily), about the nature of reality as deterministic or open-ended, and about the point (and trajectory) of human existence in the larger scheme of things (and perhaps concerning a particularly moral scheme of things, though this is not pressed). For some these issues, or the angles at which the movie approaches them, may not be interesting, fine (everyone has their own priviliged styles/genres); but that's not the same thing as a perception of some objective fault with the movie.
This movie was very good until the last half hour then it got very unrealistic and had nothing to do with the rest of the movie
Spoiler! The ending makes complete sense for those who say it didnt follow the plot. The ending is God destoying the Earth to restart just like Noah's ark, its obvious, the two rabbits and deer they saw in the headlights when they got to the trailer home, and the people are angels! DUH! Yes the ending was wierd but it follows the plot and I think the movie was great. You just need a some what understanding of Noah's Ark to understand the ending and enjoy it.