Knowing - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Knowing Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 30, 2009
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.
Super Reviewer
½ June 11, 2014
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.
Super Reviewer
February 9, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
½ March 22, 2009
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.
Super Reviewer
March 30, 2009
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.
Super Reviewer
February 5, 2012
An interesting premise is one thing, but executing it is a different story in the process of making a movie. I wish the writer for Knowing could've listened to that saying before he made this movie. I was intrigued by the plot, but then anything that got my attention was forgotten about. The gist of the movie is a professor finding a paper written 50 years ago and it has a bunch of numbers on it relating to disasters in the past and future. Along the way, his kid is visited by weird stalker men who give him a rock and whisper stuff to him. It's all just a recipe for a shit movie. The professor is played by Nicholas Cage so right away you know the acting is going to be downright goofy. That's exactly what it was, not just by Cage, but the kid actors and other adult actors. His son does nothing but whine all the time and the other characters you just don't care for. The disasters in the movie everybody seemed to be praising were a plane and train crash. They weren't anything special, but they were alright. The thing with the special effects in Knowing I have a problem with is how they deviate. During the disasters, the CGI looks good, but in one scene where the forest is on fire and a bunch of animals are burning up it just looks incredibly bad. The film is also riddled with plot holes. One, what's the point of showing this random guy dates for certain disasters when they clearly can't be prevented? Two, why didn't he think the paper was just a hoax? He stated early in the movie that he believes "shit happens" and he always looks to a rational solution to everything, but one look at a piece of paper with numbers on it and suddenly he takes everything so seriously? I really wonder what goes on in Cage's head when he accepts roles like this. But hey, as long as he gets to be in a scene that will eventually go viral on YouTube or become a meme, he's fine with his role. The thing that really pissed me of about the movie though, was the ending. I won't give it away, but here's a small glimpse at it:
"The lives of two bunny rabbits are worth more that the lives of humans."
Confused? So was I. I can honestly say though, the disjointed dialogue and convoluted plot devices are actually funny. Not intentionally though, but to me, I find the idiocy of the movie laughable. Just the sight of Nicholas Cage beating a tree with a baseball bat gets me to laugh every time. It definitely is an unintentional comedy, and for that, I salute the movie.
Super Reviewer
March 6, 2009
Surprisingly enjoyable (coming from a usual non-Sci-fi person). The film got better as it went on and some of the effects were pretty impressive.
Super Reviewer
March 26, 2009
Now this was a good surprise, I was expecting a really lame Cage flick like we've been used to recently but I really enjoyed this :) The film feels very much like the next M. Night Shyamalan offering to be honest, the same kind of spooky plot with afew little twists that do make things more interesting, the main for me being the ending which is actually pretty good and shows Cage NOT being the world saving hero amazingly (as that is what you come to expect).

Its a decent story all round which is easy to follow and very gripping, ranges from a kind of ghost story to hard hitting sci-fi as you finally see what happens. The acting is good from all, Cage being sensible and not going over the top with hair or movement haha but the special effects are really decent, the major events that take place during the film are quite brilliant looking and brutally realistic in afew places, make yr hairs stand on end I tell ya.

Really decent film which just gets better as it reaches its climax, in my opinion, and from outta nowhere too as I hadn't heard of this until it was released, thumbs up (shame about the film title).
Super Reviewer
½ March 22, 2009
It's hard to rate a film that starts out so interestingly and is really well done for the majority of its running time, but then decides to take a direction it can't handle just to basically screw everything up in the end. The premise is really enthralling: a school time capsule from the 50s reveals numbers predicting every major catastrophe of the last decades, with three numbers remaining...
Nice Cage does well as father who's son seems to have a special connection to what's going on. The first of the last bunch of disasters, a plane crash, is wonderfully disturbing and offers excellent special effects. Sadly, the film loses his direction shortly after that, adding Christian motifs and a really silly solution, that even may have worked if handled differently. As it is, the ultimate chaos among humanity is filmed really well, but the final shot is cheesy beyond belief. And what the hell is it with the bunnies?
Pity about the wasted second half, even if the majority of the film remains entertaining and well done.
Super Reviewer
December 1, 2009
Well Mr.Cage it is time to quit. I expected a disaster, but it was entertaining. Well a tiny bit of lack in acting and plot. It is such a shame Hollywood running out of Ideas.
Super Reviewer
April 22, 2011
Knowing was a horrible movie, mostly because terrible stuff happened in it. First of all, Nicolas Cage was pretty good in this, espically if you compare it to other movies that hes done lately, but it still felt flat. The concept was cool, but the story was cliche and boring at many times. It had also many stupid and weird moments. The cinematography in this movie is gorcious. The effects were really well doned also, even if it had some sketchy moments. Overall this movie was bad, but had strongpoints.
Super Reviewer
May 1, 2011
Although very visually striking, a bad plot and an even worse ending spoil any entertainment the film could've provided. A few disastrous scenes (the plane and a train) is the only reason to see this movie.
Super Reviewer
September 17, 2010
Nic Cage loves to be set on fire. His role in the film is just as successful as many of his films you have seen him in recently and the films story was not what I expected at all, but it was not hard to follow the predictable but enjoyable storyline. The special effects were inventive and looked really awesome.
Super Reviewer
½ June 26, 2010
Seeing this again I hated it even more. This movie is just stupid. Its also really boring. The movie has an interesting plot though. The movie is just silly and boring and too long.
Grade: C-
Super Reviewer
½ January 23, 2011
I had incredibly low expectations for this movie, and their was one reason for that: Nicolas Cage. He's such a terrible actor. The whole movie is stupid.

Spoiler Alert:
Everyone dies in the end except for Nic's kids.

Grade: F
Super Reviewer
½ December 26, 2010
If only some alien voices had whispered to me not to waste my time on this overly self important, stiltifyingly obvious piece of ruined celuloid, I could have spent the time contemplating the only interesting issue the film brought into play: determinism vs random chance.

Here we start out with an interesting beginning; a new grammer school, circa 1959, has the students draw pictures of what they think things will be like 50 years into the future when a time capsule that they are planning on burying will be unearthed. One young girl instead draws a series of numbers, which get placed into the time capsule anyway (first leap of faith and questionable logic - but don't worry, there's many more to come).

Flash forward 50 years to Nicky Cage (whose acting I believe has become almost a parody of itself) who is an MIT professor (read: real smart guy) living with his young son and struggling with the recent loss of his wife in a fire.
We are introduced in a scene where the little brat sasses back to his dad, using phrases way too sophisticated for an 8 year old (hmm, maybe he's a pod person, taken over by aliens - oops, wrong movie).

From here we move to MIT where Cage ruminates whether there is a grand theme to everything, or if we're all just molecules bumping into one another and things only happen by random chance (the right molecule bumps into the right molecule and voila, life happens). This is cool stuff and gives hope that the film will not slide down the slippery slope into just another oddball sci-fi type flick... said hope not only gets dashed on the rocks of ill-logic, but then stomped on, torn apart and spit at.

The film attempts to build on the question of randomness vs determinism when we discover that Cage's kid goes to the same school and wow, hold on to your hats, it's been 50 years!!!!! so the time capsule is going to be unearthed. All the pictures, placed in envelopes within the capsule, will be given to the current students for a day (seems odd, why only a day, etc?). Of course the page with all the numbers is given to Cage's son... and then things really start to unravel.

Through a series of absurdities, brainiac Cage (never thought you'd see those two words together now did ya?) unravels the mystery - the little girl was predicting the dates and number of deaths in disasters that were in her future. Cage tries to hunt down the young girl (who would now be in her 50's) but ends up with her 30 something daughter (and granddaughter who is Cage's son's age)instead. Now the slippery slope starts gaining speed, like a snowball that becomes an avalanche, and the film falls into cliche and badly written convention as Cage the brainiac turns into Cage the action hero... maybe he thought he was doing another National Treasure film.

Remember on the original Star Trek that whenever Kirk and Co. beamed down to a planet the first order of business was to split up, so that some poor security guy gets killed (the heck with safety in numbers... maybe they'd forgotten that axiom in the 26th century). Well, for some really absurd reasons, that is exactly what happens in Knowing. Not once, not twice, but over and over - as if the damned woman (and what a laughingly bad performance in what I hope will be Rose Byrnes' last role) has a death wish, or thinks she is somehow smarter than an MIT professor. But of course, all the split ups lead to harrowing car chases "I'll save ya" kind of stuff that is totally over the top melodrama. She actually utters at one point "we've got to save the children" - ouch!!!!!

Just when you think the film couldn't get any worse... it does; throwing in a goofball deux ex machina (guided by a set of rules that makes no sense either). The final scenes are gratutious, silly, and totally devoid of all the gravitude the filmmakers had supposedly intended. The CGI scenes were superflous, made, I imagine, only to spice up the trailer, as they really didn't add anything to the story (and that's saying a lot in this case).

Ebert gave this steaming pile 4 stars - he must have been heavily medicated that day. I've read comic books with better story lines than this.
Super Reviewer
½ August 6, 2009
A time capsule is opened after 50 years and seems to contain predictions about every catastrophe that has happened in the world over the time it has been underground. It has always disturbed me how a lot of these hokey conspiracy chillers often seem to contain an underlying "stealth" agenda that depicts modern science as a load of quackery unable to grasp the "truth" contained within a 2000 year old book of contradictory fairy tales and gibberish, and atheism in particular as " just a phase" undergone by misguided buffoons who are sulking about losing a wife/child/cocker spaniel/favourite budgie. That aside, Knowing is actually a decently made supernatural thriller containing some initially intriguing hooks, atmospheric visuals and appropriately spectacular ID4 style destruction. The children managed to be bearable and love or loathe him, Nic Cage is Nic Cage. All of that is really rather unimportant though, because all of these "twist" based one idea stories live or die by their initial concepts and if they're not good enough, the entire thing is built on quicksand. Without wanting to give away the "big surprise" ending, I could point out that this film's plot is virtually identical to that of the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still, so anyone who has seen that doesn't need it spelt out ot them. To those who haven't: L-A-M-E. Worse than The Happening.
Jason Lalljee
Super Reviewer
April 22, 2010
Though Knowing contains fantastic visuals and a couple of interesting scenes, weak action and a -barely there plot makes the Knowing fall flat.
Super Reviewer
½ August 1, 2010
Again Ebert with the 4 STARS!! Really this movie is very silly and mostly cliche.
Super Reviewer
½ July 30, 2010
Dreadful. Absolutely awful.
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