☕ books + film

Film Review: Knowing (2009)

IMDb [image]

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Rose Byrne, Chandler Canterbury

Running time: 121 min

Rating: 4.5/5

Caleb (Canterbury), the son of astrophysics professor John Koestler (Cage) receives a piece of paper with a seemingly random sequence of numbers from his school’s 50-year-old time capsule.


The viewer is shown the author of this work, Lucinda (Lara Robinson), a rather strange little girl, dressed in drab colors, who sits in the back of the classroom and hypnotically writes out the numbers, while the other children draw pictures of what they believe the future will be like. Caleb takes the paper home to show his father, thinking it may have some significance. John spends the night staring at it, and certain sequences seem to leap out at him. He does some research online, and realizes that they are the dates of global disasters that have occurred the last 50 years, including the number of casualties.

According to this theory, three events at the end of the list have yet to occur.

John searches for Lucinda, only to find that she had committed suicide several years earlier. Her daughter Diana (Byrne) and Diana’s daughter Abby (Robinson) are still in town, and though Diana is very reluctant to answer John’s questions, she finally decides to help him after the first of the three remaining events takes place. She takes John to her childhood home, a motor home in a remote location, where they find clues that reveal what happens “when the numbers run out.”

During the course of events, Caleb catches sight of young albino-like beings, who seem to whisper things only he can hear. He is then shown a vision by one of the beings, who enters his bedroom. It is an apocalyptic nightmare that catapults the viewer into the heart-pounding second half.

As the second of the three final events occurs and John realizes the extra numbers in each sequence are the exact coordinates of those events, he does some research on solar flares, only to discover that a major one is about to hit the planet and incinerate Earth: the third and final event. While the rest of mankind catches on, John is preoccupied with warning his colleagues, and getting Diana and the children to safety.

As Caleb, and now Abby, have increased communication with the mysterious beings, Caleb tries to convince his father that they are only trying to help. John doesn’t believe it at first, but when he does, and discovers that Lucinda’s former home is the only place where they will be safe, Diana panics and takes off with the children.

The children are subsequently abducted by the beings. John reaches Lucinda’s home and there he meets many more of the mysterious beings who are about to board a large spacecraft.

Through Caleb, the leader asks John if he can take his son and Abby with them. John, realizing it is their only way out, tearfully agrees, but is also told he must remain behind. John then joins his estranged family for their final hours on Earth, while Caleb and Abby willingly board the craft, and after the earth is incinerated by the sun, many spacecrafts, including the one bearing the children, touch down on a “new” Eden-like Earth, to begin anew.

IMDb [image]

Wow. Great film. I didn’t expect to speak these words after seeing a Nicolas Cage movie. But here I am. Cage’s acting was still a little stiff in some places, but Byrne’s performance and the tight, well-written script saved him and this film. Canterbury and Robinson deserve kudos for their well-played portrayals. Fantastic special effects and suspense that didn’t lag one bit, as well as a script that left no loose ends make this film a must-see. An unexpected and profound twist on the typical hero-saves-the-world-no-matter-what formula, Knowing will leave you dumbfounded as you exit the theater and gaze heavenward, wondering, “What if…?”

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