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Knowing (2009)



Average Rating: 4.7/10
Reviews Counted: 178
Fresh: 59 | Rotten: 119

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


Average Rating: 4/10
Critic Reviews: 31
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 27

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



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 430,031

My Rating

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

Jul 7, 2009


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All Critics (178) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (59) | Rotten (119) | DVD (14)

Mixing Spielbergian child-like wonder, disaster movie spectacle and the cod-religious silliness of M Night Shyamalan's 'Signs'. The premise is compelling, but the execution is over-cooked.

March 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's nothing really special about this film, other than an interesting premise.

March 23, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Things started to fall off of the deep end very quickly.

March 23, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If Alex Proyas' Knowing were reasonably entertaining -- instead of just dour, pointless and tedious -- it would be a camp classic.

March 23, 2009 Full Review Source: | Comments (5)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If you want to know how inept the movie is...well, it's so inept that you may wish you were watching an M. Night Shyamalan version of the very same premise.

March 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Comments (8)
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie begins shameless, grows stupid and winds up silly. If the ending had less of the air of a crackpot religion and more pretentiousness, you could almost call it Shyamalanish.

March 20, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Post | Comments (8)
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

November 24, 2011 Full Review Source:

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.

September 29, 2011 Full Review Source: American Profile
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.

September 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out Chicago
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.

October 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Quickflix | Comments (3)

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.

August 9, 2010 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

A slog through lazy writing, indifferent acting and blase direction with no hope of anything but chaotic violence as reward.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source:

A broad, leisurely jumble of Alfred Hitchcock-style suspense architecture and a dreary, paint-by-numbers Sci-Fi Channel Original, Knowing only seems to extract two reactions: nail-biting and eye-rolling.

June 2, 2010 Full Review Source:

... starts off as director Alex Proyas's take on "Final Destination" before going all "Close Encounters" on us. If only we hadn't seen it all before.

October 31, 2009 Full Review Source:

Basically two movies wrestling around in a burlap bag full of rocks: one an ambitious, big-idea sci-fi yarn, the other a horror movie as dumb as ... well, that's where those rocks come in.

September 10, 2009 Full Review Source: Florida Times-Union | Comments (2)
Florida Times-Union

Pay attention to Mr. Proyas' lighting and set design as well as the intense disaster sequences that dot Knowing: As with the rest of his oeuvre, the movie looks great.

August 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Washington Times
Washington Times

This year's prize for most ludicrous set-up and most ludicrous punchline

August 25, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion | Comment (1)

Knowing feels like a bunch of cool ideas that were strewn about a table, picked up, shoved together, tied up with duct tape and, somehow, managed to stay working for the ride.

August 14, 2009 Full Review Source: UGO

Knowing is a bit of a revelation. Against all odds, it's not actually half bad.

August 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Moviedex

Even with its intriguing, sci-fi-ish setup Knowing finds a way of consistently striking all the wrong notes.

July 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune | Comment (1)

Excessive finale aside, its novel concept makes for a mental and action package worth seeing.

July 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Signals
Cinema Signals

Among the most troubling elements of 'Knowing' are its dark cinematography, outlandish plot, and a less-than-memorable performance by Nicolas Cage.

July 11, 2009 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews | Comments (4)
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Sometimes it's nice when movies do things you never saw coming. Knowing is an exception.

June 17, 2009 Full Review Source: SFX Magazine | Comments (4)
SFX Magazine

Knowing that 'Knowing' is not worth your money is probably your best bet in movies to not pay for this weekend.

June 10, 2009 Full Review Source: | Comments (3)

Some producers sat in a screening room and thought, "Wow, this is gonna be great!" I give the filmmakers kudos for fully committing to an ending that others might have tried to mitigate or avert. They also fully committed to the immensely stupid surprise

May 31, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinerina | Comment (1)

Audience Reviews for Knowing

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.
December 20, 2012
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

A school girl puts a list of numbers into a time capsule. When the time capsule is opened 50 years later, a MIT professor discovers that the list predicted global disasters - the date, the location and number of fatalities. There are 3 future dates, but what happens when the numbers run out? Good cast, storyline and special effects. The movie is exciting and will have you on the edge of your seat until the end. The ending was very lame though. It's like A.I. good movie until the last half hour. If you like disaster and thriller movies like Unbreakable, Final Destination, Mercury, Deep Impact or A.I. you will like this movie.
October 14, 2012
T Tsang

Super Reviewer

It's the end of all life as we know it again, only instead of the Mayan prophecy we get a homegrown girl with the lowdown ... and Nicholas Cage competently plays the astrophysicist who deciphers the code in a night ...
The CGI guys care about their jobs here, and thank goodness, cause they've made most of the film. Look for a pretty spectacular plane crash halfway through.
July 25, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Reverend Koestler: This isn't the end, son.
    2. John Koestler: I know.
    – Submitted by Matthew D (21 months ago)
    1. John Koestler: Everybody else.
    – Submitted by Javis C (2 years ago)
    1. John Koestler: Don't let him watch the news.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
    1. Diana: What happens when the numbers run out?
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (4)

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