Critics Consensus

Roland Emmerich's 2012 provides plenty of visual thrills, but lacks a strong enough script to support its massive scope and inflated length.



Total Count: 242


Audience Score

User Ratings: 508,116
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2012 Photos

Movie Info

Disaster movie maven Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow) crafts this apocalyptic sci-fi thriller following the prophecy stated by the ancient Mayan calendar, which says that the world will come to an end on December 21, 2012. When a global cataclysm thrusts the world into chaos, divorced writer and father Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) joins the race to ensure that humankind is not completely wiped out. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Danny Glover, Amanda Peet, Thandie Newton, and Oliver Platt round out the cast of this end-of-the-world thriller co-scripted by the director and his 10,000 B.C. writer/composer, Harald Kloser.

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John Cusack
as Jackson Curtis
Chiwetel Ejiofor
as Adrian Helmsley
Thandie Newton
as Laura Wilson
Oliver Platt
as Carl Anheuser
Tom McCarthy
as Gordon Silberman
Woody Harrelson
as Charlie Frost
Danny Glover
as President Thomas Wilson
Liam James
as Noah Curtis
Morgan Lily
as Lilly Curtis
Zlatko Buric
as Yuri Karpov
Zlatko Burik
as Yuri Karpov
John Billingsley
as Professor West
Chang Tseng
as Grandfather Sonam
Lisa Lu
as Grandmother Sonam
Blu Mankuma
as Harry Helmsley
George Segal
as Tony Delgado
Stephen McHattie
as Captain Michaels
Patrick Bauchau
as Roland Picard
Jimi Mistry
as Dr. Satnam Tsurutani
Merrilyn Gann
as German Chancellor
Henry O
as Lama Rinpoche
Patrick Gilmore
as Ark Communication Officer
Dean Marshall
as Ark Communication Officer
Ronald Selmour
as Ark Boarding Officer
Viv Leacock
as Ark Boarding Officer
Chris Boyd
as Ark Boarding Officer
Donna Yamamoto
as AF1 Science Officer
Doron Bell Jr.
as AF1 Science Officer
David Orth
as AF1 Lieutenant
Lyndall Grant
as Governor
Jason Diablo
as Ark Tech Officer
Ty Olsson
as AF1 Officer
Zinaid Memisevic
as President Sergey Makarenko
Vincent Cheng
as Chinese Colonel
Igor Morozov
as Russian Interpreter
B.J. Harrison
as Woman Comforting Child
Karin Konoval
as Sally - President's Secretary
Mary Gillis
as Jackson's Neighbor
Rick Tae
as Megaphone Officer
Parm Soor
as Saudi Prince
Gerard Plunkett
as Isaacs - M6 Officer
Paul Tryl
as Zultan
Andrei Kovski
as Zultan's Trainer
Val Cole
as News Reporter - Tikal
Eve Harlow
as Cashier
Sean Tyson
as Interrogating Officer
Leonard Tenisci
as Italian Prime Minister
Michael Buffer
as Boxing Announcer
Daren A. Herbert
as Ship Waiter
Craig Stanghetta
as Vegas Rescue Worker
Mateen Devji
as Ajit - age 5
Qayam Devji
as Ajit - age 9
Jody Thompson
as CNN Anchor
Tanya Champoux
as Mrs. Birnbaum
Kinua McWatt
as Yoko Delgatto
Laara Sadiq
as British Newscaster
Gillian Barber
as Cruise Ship Lady
Candus Churchill
as Cruise Ship Lady
Beverley Elliott
as Cruise Ship Lady
Agam Darshi
as Aparana
Raj Lal
as Gurdeep
Pesi Daruwalla
as Dr. Lokesh
Jacob Blair
as AF1 Steward
Jay Williams
as AF1 Steward
Denny Miller
as Ark Naval Officer
Anna Mae Routledge
as Ark Naval Officer
Ryan Cook
as Surfer
Betty Phillips
as Elderly Driver
Georgina Hegedos
as Elderly Driver
Luis Javier
as Vegas Tow Truck Driver
Dean Redman
as Vegas Fireman
Gordon Lai
as Security Commander
Mark Docherty
as Field Reporter - Tikal
Mark Oliver
as Fundrariser Security
Andrew Moxham
as Policeman
Alexandra Castillo
as Paris Reporter
Farouk A. Afify
as Saudi Senior Security
Shaun Wilson
as US Army Worker
S. Leo Chiang
as Chinese Soldier
Elizabeth Richard
as Queen Elizabeth
Kyle Riefsnyder
as Cho Ming Platform Officer
John Mee
as Angry Billionaire
George Trochta
as American Ark Steward
Geoff Gustafson
as Ark Bridge Crew
Alex Zahara
as Ark Bridge Crew
Jase-Anthony Griffith
as Ark Bridge Crew
Jill Morrison
as Ark Bridge Crew
Thomas Parkinson
as Ark Bridge Crew
Leona Naidoo
as Ark Bridge Crew
Quentin Guyon
as Ark Bridge Crew
Nicole Rudell
as Ark Bridge Crew
Chad Riley
as Ark Bridge Crew
Simon Leung
as Ark Bridge Crew
Kevin Haaland
as Ark Bridge Crew
Leigh Burrows
as US Army Worker
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News & Interviews for 2012

Critic Reviews for 2012

All Critics (242) | Top Critics (48)

  • Cusack, with his one-of-the-guys face and his nice way with child actors, does creditable work as an Average American Dad trying to put things right.

    Sep 7, 2011 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • 2012 is the rare case of a bad film that I'm nevertheless obliged to recommend you see.

    May 6, 2011 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

    Laremy Legel

    Top Critic
  • 2012 is reminiscent of yesteryear '80s shlock-tastic blockbusters -- total popcorn entertainment with ridiculous dialogue and impossible situations and special effects that will boggle the brain for a good two-plus hours.

    Dec 7, 2009 | Full Review…
  • Even though this movie's running time of two and a half hours is about one hour too long, there's still some pretty cool disaster stuff on the way.

    Nov 16, 2009
  • 2012 is so long, and its special effects are at once so outrageous and so thunderously predictable, that by the time I lurched from the theatre I felt that three years had actually passed and that the apocalypse was due any second.

    Nov 16, 2009 | Full Review…
  • [Nothing] will give you more respect for how difficult it is to be an actor than watching top talent like John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet and Oliver Platt struggling to treat the film's ungodly language and situations with perfect seriousness.

    Nov 13, 2009 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for 2012

  • Jun 26, 2016
    While it may have the occasional fun sequence, 2012 is too self-serious for it's own good - as well as having characters and acting that are boring, stale and wooden. The implausibility of the events is to the point of ridiculousness.
    Matthew M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 20, 2016
    This disaster flick really goes for the brass ring and tries to destroy the entire world. The concept for the plot is interesting as solar radiation is heating up the earth's core. The action sequences are fairly good and the special effects are excellent. The veiled message at the end comes across as almost too "in your face" though, much like in "The Day After Tomorrow." As disaster films go, however, this one isn't the worst.
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 20, 2016
    This is a horrible movie. The plot really have potential to create something smart and special, but because of horrible writing and mediocre directing from Roland Emmerich, it just becomes another big scaled disaster movie. The characters are definitely the worst thing about this movie, because they are so uninteresting and the acting is so bad. John Cusack's character is so horribly written that Cusack himself, didn't even bother giving a somewhat acceptable performance. Woody Harrelson just plays Woody Harrelson, and while that may not be a bad thing, his character is just as insane and crappy written as every other character. Chiwetel Ejiofor is the only actor who gives a somewhat good performance in this movie, but his character is really just there for exposition and to narrate the various events that go down in the movie. The effects on the other hand are spectacular and follow the trail of great effects in Emmerich's movies, except for "Godzilla," of course. In the end, this is a really bad movie with some bad writing and badly written characters. Still excited for "Independence Day: Resurgence," though...
    Lasse G Super Reviewer
  • Dec 18, 2015
    The false-predictable 2012 had its good moments, but unfortunately ended up being a disaster all over the place as soon the first disaster came.
    EpicLadySponge t Super Reviewer


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