M.I.T. professor John Koestler links a mysterious list of numbers from a time capsule to past and future disasters and sets out to prevent the ultimate catastrophe.
2.35 : 1
Rated PG-13 for disaster sequences, disturbing images and brief strong language.
Action, Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Time Capsule, Teacher, Prediction, School, Person On Fire
DTS, Dolby Digital
Sci-Fi Disaster Film
End of the World, Race Against Time, Fathers and Sons, Psychic Abilities
Gritty, Menacing, Ominous, Tense
Number, Disaster, Time Capsule, Student
Has Detailed Data (New)
1, 2, 3, 7, 8
US Box Office
USA, UK, Australia
Country Of Origin
USA, UK, Australia
Knowing is a 2009 science fiction thriller film directed by Alex Proyas and starring Nicolas Cage. The project was originally attached to a number of directors under Columbia Pictures, but it was placed in turnaround and eventually picked up by Escape Artists. Production was financially backed by Summit Entertainment. Knowing was filmed in Docklands Studios Melbourne, Australia, using various locations to represent the film's Boston-area setting.
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In 1959, student Lucinda Embry hears whispers as she stares at the sun. Later, she writes a page of seemingly random numbers and adds it to her school's time capsule, set to be opened in 50 years.
In 2009, Caleb Koestler is a student at the same school. When the time capsule is opened, Caleb is supposed to read and write about some of the capsule's contents. He's given the page of numbers written by Lucinda. His widowed father Jonathan (Nicolas Cage), a professor of astrophysics at MIT, notices the numbers have a specific set of sequences referring to the times and locations of fatal disasters over the last 50 years, including 911012996 (the date and death toll of the 9/11 attacks). The last three sets of digits are dated in the immediate future.
In the following days, a car drives by the family home with two strangers. They give Caleb a small smooth stone. Caleb later dreams of one of the strange men, who points to the window showing the world on fire with burning animals running out from the forest.
Jonathan tracks down Lucinda's daughter Diana and granddaughter Abby. Though apprehensive and scared, Diana eventually decides to help Jonathan. She says that her mother used to hear voices and that the next date in the document, October 19, was the day Lucinda always said she would die.
Copy of Matthäus Merian's engraving of Ezekiel's "chariot vision" (1670)
Searching Lucinda's mobile home, they find pictures of the disasters she predicted, a copy of Matthäus Merian's engraving of Ezekiel's "chariot vision", and a pile of small smooth stones near Lucinda's bed.
The last number in the document appears to be "33" but they notice that it is really "EE" written backwards. They figure out that EE means "Everyone Else", representing a cataclysm that no one will escape.
Outside, more alien strangers walk up to the children waiting in the car. John drives them away only to have Abby say that the "whisper people" want her and Caleb to go with them.
The next day, John has a sudden revelation and rushes them to the MIT observatory, where he discovers that a massive solar flare will soon reach Earth, making it uninhabitable.
Diana wants to hide in some caves. John reluctantly agrees at first, but Diana decides to take the children and heads for the caves without him. As Jonathan chases after them, he calls Diana and tries to persuade her against relying on the caves. He warns her that the solar flare will penetrate miles under ground.
While Diana stops for gas, the aliens take the children. Diana chases them but is broadsided by a truck. John arrives at the accident just as Diana dies, finding the small stone in Diana's hand. He goes back to Lucinda's mobile home, finding the children and the aliens waiting in a dry river bed covered with the stones. A space ship descends from the sky. John is refused entry but allows his son to leave with the aliens. The ships departs with the children and a pair of rabbits, and a distant shot shows many similar vehicles leaving Earth.
The next morning the skies are on fire from the solar flare. John fights his way through the chaotic streets of Boston, arriving at his estranged father's home. They embrace as the solar flare burns away the atmosphere and incinerates the surface of the Earth, destroying all life on the planet.
The film ends as Caleb and Abby are deposited by the aliens on an Earthlike planet. They are seen joyfully running through a beautiful mountain field towards a giant white tree.
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Directed by Alex Proyas
Genres - Science Fiction, Thriller | Sub-Genres - Sci-Fi Disaster Film | Release Date - Mar 20, 2009 (USA) | Run Time - 121 min. | Countries - USA | MPAA Rating - PG13
Synopsis by Jason Buchanan
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 submitting a drawing, however, one little girl scribbles a series of seemingly random numbers on her paper before it is buried. Fifty years later, the time capsule is unearthed for a new generation of students to examine. Young Caleb Koestler (Chandler Canterbury) is one of those students. The mysterious sequence of numbers falling into his possession, Caleb takes the paper to his father, Professor John Koestler (Cage), for examination. Studying the numbers, Professor Koestler soon discovers that they aren't random at all, but an encoded message containing the precise dates, death tolls, and coordinates of every major disaster since the time capsule was buried. Not only that, but the document also indicates that there will be three more such events, the last of which indicates a doomsday scenario that appears directly tied to Professor Koestler and Caleb. His desperate plea to authorities falling on deaf ears, Professor Koestler realizes that his only hope for preventing more lives from being lost is to take personal action. Though the author of the prophecies is no longer living, Professor Koestler is eventually able to track down her daughter Diana Wayland (Rose Byrne), and granddaughter Abby, who reluctantly agree to aid in the investigation. As the final date on the list draws near, Professor Koestler enters into a frantic race against time to prevent destruction on a global scale, in the process realizing that in order to save millions of lives, he may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Rated PG-13 for disaster sequences, disturbing images and brief strong language
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