Knowing (2009)



Critic Consensus: Knowing has some interesting ideas and a couple good scenes, but it's weighted down by its absurd plot and over-seriousness.

Movie Info

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 … More

Rating: PG-13 (for disaster sequences, disturbing images and brief strong language)
Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Alex Proyas, Juliet Snowden, Richard Kelly, Stiles White, Ryne Douglas Pearson
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 7, 2009
Box Office: $79.9M
Summit Entertainment - Official Site


as John Koestler

as Caleb Koestler

as Diana Wayland

as Lucinda Embry/Abby W...

as Phil Beckman

as Miss Taylor (2009)

as Miss Taylor (1959)

as Reverend Koestler

as The Stranger

as Younger Caleb

as Principal Clark (195...

as Lucinda's Mother

as Lucinda's Father

as Donald

as Spencer

as Principal (2009)

as Carlpool Mate 1

as Carpool Mate 2

as Patrolman

as Paramedic

as Paramedic

as Flight Attendant

as Jessica

as John's Mother
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Knowing

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Critic Reviews for Knowing

All Critics (178) | Top Critics (31)

A damned entertaining movie despite the fact that it stars Nicholas Cage.

Full Review… | November 24, 2011

A shotgun spray of metaphysics, cosmology, the Old Testament, flying saucers, angels, spooky blonde-haired men in black trench coats, mysterious little black rocks, two cute kids and a moose on fire.

Full Review… | September 29, 2011
American Profile

Suffice it to say that the last third is a mélange of Close Encounters and Christian eschatology, and you'll wish the film had stopped about 15 minutes sooner.

Full Review… | September 23, 2011
Time Out Chicago

If those space-dudes are so friendly, why drive children insane with a bunch of weird code? Why not just show up on The Tonight Show and tell everybody the exact date and time? Lame! Also: Why fake Massachusetts? Why not just say: 'This is Australia.'

July 25, 2011

Knowing is about faith; the belief that one day the mysteries of the universe will be explained to us, and the knowledge that anything is possible.

Full Review… | October 27, 2010

It's a folly and a failure, but an intriguing one - an ambitious vision from a tremendous filmmaker that, sadly, had too much going on with not enough to say.

Full Review… | August 9, 2010

Audience Reviews for Knowing

Im not sure what to say here. I was very disappointed at the end. I just felt that it got kinda preachy and I don't know what else to say. Had me for a while and than just fell at the end for me.

John Manard

Super Reviewer


Enjoyable Science Fiction thriller, Knowing managed to be a more impressive film than what I'd initially thought. Although not a great movie, this is nonetheless a good film, well worth your time. The film had a very good concept, which kept me entertained, however at times I did feel that there were aspects of the film could have been improved upon. Halfway through the film, the film seems to lose its vigor, and in turn, the vibe of the film sort of falters a bit, and instead of being a truly memorable, standout feature, it lingers on as a good, entertaining picture that never realizes its ambition of being a thought provoking, truly interesting film. I mean, the film is good, and it's entertaining, but it could have been so much more as well. Director Alex Proyas, who has experience in the Sci Fi genre, helms the project, and through his lens, he captures a good atmosphere that is engaging, but does lack in terms of unrealized potential. I was hoping for something truly great with this film, but as a whole, it's a good affair, one that is one of the better of recent Nicholas Cage films. If you can forget the film's flaws, you'll like it for what it is, just don't expect a truly grand sci fi epic, as the film leaves a bit to be desired. Proyas has directed better movies, but Knowing for what it is, is worth seeing if you enjoy mindless entertainment, and it's far better than what you might think. Although not a great movie, this film definitely doesn't deserve the negativity it has received. Go into the film with an open mind, and you might enjoy it.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

John Koestler: The numbers are the key to everything. 

"Knowing is Everything..."

By no means is Knowing a perfect or great film, but it isn't nearly as bad as everyone claims it to be. In fact, I've always enjoyed this movie. Sure it's silly in ways, sure the ending leaves a lot to be desired, but come on this is a visual masterpiece and an extremely interesting take on the whole doomsday, apocalypse prophesy. There's a lot of people out there that just won't like it no matter what because of Nicholas Cage and the obsession that goes along with hating the guy. Is he great in this movie? No, but he isn't bad either, and movies like this don't call for amazing acting. They call for silliness from the actors, so Cage fits the bill perfectly. 

50 years prior to the events that unfold an elementary school buried a time capsule to be dug up 50 years into the future. The children of the school were to draw a picture of what they thought the future would look like and then 50 years later, the future kids would get to see them. One girl, Lucinda, didn't draw a picture. Instead, she wrote endless, "random" numbers. When the capsule is dug up a little boy named Caleb gets Lucinda's numbers. He takes it home and his father who is a M.I.T. professor decides to try to decode the number sequences. When he does, he is left with startling information.

Whenever this movie is brought up around me, it is constantly ridiculed for its stupidity and silliness. When in fact this one of the more serious doomsday movies you'll probably ever see. Silliness comes with the territory for sure though, but why is that a bad thing? It's the genre, either accept it or stop watching the movies. Like 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, and countless others; the movie is built around accepting the silly factor. Shouldn't all you of haters had learned this by now?

Overall, this is an enjoyable, entertaining, and often suspenseful movie that has good pacing, amazing effects, mesmerizing cinematography, and a nice little score to boot. It's not going to change the face of cinema or anything, but as an addition to the apocalypse thriller genre;  it's one I accept with arms wide open.

Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Knowing Quotes

– Submitted by Matthew D (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Javis C (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)

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