Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 323 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In 1958, as part of the dedication ceremony for a new elementary school, a group of students is asked to draw pictures to be stored in a time capsule. But one mysterious girl fills her sheet of paper with rows of apparently random numbers instead. Fifty years later, a new generation of students examines the capsule's contents and the girl's cryptic message ends up in the hands of young Caleb Koestler. But it is Caleb's father, professor John Koestler, who makes the startling discovery that the encoded message predicts with pinpoint accuracy the dates, death tolls and coordinates of every major disaster of the past 50 years. As Ted further unravels the document's chilling secrets, he realizes the document foretells three additional events—the last of which hints at destruction on a global scale and seems to somehow involve Ted and his son. When Ted's attempts to alert the authorities fall on deaf ears, he takes it upon himself to try to prevent more destruction from taking place. (Summit Entertainment) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 27
  2. Negative: 11 out of 27
  1. 100
    Knowing is among the best science-fiction films I've seen -- frightening, suspenseful, intelligent and, when it needs to be, rather awesome.
  2. Reviewed by: Stan Hall
    By being judicious with CGI, Proyas gives the film's handful of disaster sequences great impact.
  3. Early scenes of mayhem and destruction are marred by subpar special effects; those in the final reel are spectacular, but there's a long wait for them because the movie is so maddeningly, portentously slow.
  4. Reviewed by: Christopher Borrelli
    Until it jumps the tracks into self-righteousness, though, Knowing, directed by Alex Proyas, can also be as unnerving as the best episodes of "The Twilight Zone."
  5. Reviewers sometimes insult actors by saying they don't vary their expressions across an entire movie. But until Knowing, I never thought that could literally be true. Nicolas Cage does widen his eyes with about 15 minutes left in the film.
  6. 38
    UH-UH. Non. Nein. Negative. Sept. 11 is not to be used as the setup for a cheesy disaster prophecy flick.
  7. Isn't prophetic ... just pathetic

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 48 out of 187
  1. Jul 19, 2011
    I thought this movie was amazing, the best I've seen in a while. The plotline was cool and the special effects were amazing. Nicolas cage and Rose Byrne were awesome in it. I can't believe how some people didn't like this movie. Expand
  2. MovieJay
    Mar 22, 2009
    I think this movie is terrific and that the critics are once again dismissing a sci-fi film that in 10 years they will speak of with enthusiasm. Yes, just like Alex Proyas' previous sci-fi effort, "Dark City". I don't know what it is with this genre of film, but more than any other genre, the cream tends to rise to the top over a period of a couple decades. "2001" was dismissed in many quarters, and now it is frequently cited as one of the 10 best films of all time. Some people just don't like Nic Cage. That's their problem, not the movie's, which is one of his best, along with "Leaving Las Vegas", "Matchstick Men", and "Adaptation", to name a few. All I can say is, FINALLY!!! A big budget Nic Cage movie that also happens to be frickin' awesome and thought-provoking. Expand
  3. JaneD
    Apr 11, 2009
    The critics got this one wrong. There are a few minor flaws, I admit, but it's mostly solid. I've seen it three times just so I could better assess it. That's because I couldn't decide what to make of it at first, but couldn't let go either. The first time, the cgi/action scenes blew me away. The second time, the story carried me through. The third time, it was a balance of both. Interestingly, Ebert got it mostly right, though in the past he's been way off the mark--i.e., he simply didn't get Gilliam's cult classic Brazil. Minor flaws: the airplane scene has Cage yell "Hey!" at a burning man (well, people do strange things under extreme conditions). Stupid line from MIT colleague, "You were there?" (Hence the strained delivery.) I thought the scene involving the subway was confusing. What was moving where (or was it just me)? Would the female lead really get an ambulance when all hell is breaking loose? (I guess the announcement was just recently made, so full chaos hadn't yet set in.) Why does Cage's character get beyond the cops when they're firing warning shots at everyone else? These flaws aren't necessary for the plot either. For example, eliminate the cops and the ambulance and you have a much more believable scene. Ultimately, there's more than one ship involved here! Why do so many people miss this? The alien/angel intervention is going on all over the world and we merely get a glimpse at two families caught in the mix. The adults are mostly helpless, and the children have the weighty decisions. Is there value in knowing? Not for the reasons Koestler originally thinks. I'm not Christian. Aliens or angels? They've got wings when they ascend, so it begs the question. I don't care. The spiritual fantasy and the sci-fi interweave here so brilliantly we can't tell which is which and who is who. Expand
  4. Oct 3, 2010
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Knowing's writer needs to have an IQ check. While the film was enjoyable, the logic was just horrible. if your going to make aliens come to preserve the human race, then they either shouldn't predict the future, except maybe the solar flare, or they just shouldn't be aliens. The aliens were a little bit unexpected after you see the pictures of God and the sun or the priest dad. Otherwise, great film. Expand
  5. Johnny2cents
    Jul 12, 2009
    I'm on the fence on this one. Only because I love Alex Proyas. Two of his past movies have been landmarks in thier genres but I 'm not sure of 2 things here. One, why why why use Nick Cage? His hair and teeth are a constant distraction. Two, shouldn't M. Night Shyamalan sue for infringement? Like many movies they start of with great hope and then fizzle into the hamster wheel trying to catch up with its self. Grant it the special effects, plane crash in particulair, were pretty cool but Lord the ending was a mish mash of everything you can possibly think of. Speaking of thinking, me is thinking that Alex wasn't thinking but at least it was still better than anything M. Night has done since The Sixth Sense. Expand
  6. Aug 16, 2010
    This review contains spoilers. okay, the film was nicely made and the story worked for itself and it was quite simple but catching and tense. but there is one big problem. why on earth would the aliens play with people by giving them cryptic messages, being mysterious weirdos and throwing black stones around for fifty years, if they can simply come, take the kids and go away?! ah, i know, then there wouldn't be any movie... Collapse
  7. Feb 18, 2012
    Why such a graphic, horiffic air plane crash? And at Logan Int'l Airport, 100 miles from where I live, no less. I've flown more than a few times-I know flying is safe-but I'm flying in less than 4 months..I can't get the scene, the jet chrashing, multiple explosions, burning, screaming people, out of my head. Millions of people fly..Why include such a graphic scene to such a large demographic? Poor taste.To those of you who fly, please avoid this movie. Rated XXX for graphic, horiffic violence. Expand

See all 187 User Reviews