Knowing (2009)

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Knowing - An Entertaining Science Fiction Thriller With Nicolas Cage

Apr 6, 2009 (Updated Nov 14, 2010)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Entertaining movie overall.  Interesting idea for the plot.

Cons:Ending.  Won’t appeal to everyone.

The Bottom Line: Knowing is a decent thriller, though certain things could have been better.


I've seen many of the movies that Nicolas Cage has made and I usually end up enjoying them - even when the movies have had some issues.  I decided to go see Knowing when I recently had the chance.

In 1959, a new elementary school opens and a decision is made to bury a time capsule to mark the occasion.  The day the capsule is buried one of the students at the school disappears.

Fifty years later, Caleb Koestler is a student at the elementary school.  He lives with his father John, a professor at MIT, who is still grieving over the death of his wife.  When the time capsule is opened, each student gets an envelope from inside it.  Caleb ends up with a paper full of what seems to be random numbers.  John notices something by chance and ends up connecting the numbers to all the major tragedies from the last fifty years.  Some of the last numbers indicate that more tragedies will happen and John decided to try to do something about that.  That causes him to meet Diana, a woman who is connected to what is going on, and her daughter Abby.

When Knowing begins, some time is taken to show when the time capsule is buried, including show the child responsible for the page full of numbers.  It isn't explained why the child wrote all the numbers at that point.  After the capsule is buried, the movie jumps forward fifty years, which is the setting for the rest of the movie.  The main plot deals with the numbers and what they mean.  A few things end up going on without the movie being complicated.  Some people could be a bit confused by a few things that happened.

Knowing has been advertised as a thriller, and I think it is one for the most part.  There are a few suspenseful moments in the movie that work fairly well.  Those few scenes didn't make the movie that suspenseful overall though.  The page full of numbers did provide a tiny bit of mystery since it isn't clear what the numbers mean at first.  It doesn't take John long to start figuring things out.  Certain things connected to the numbers were shared during the trailers which eliminates most of the mystery for anyone who has seen the them.  I got an idea about something at one point that ultimately was right.  I don't think there are many surprises in the movie and it ends up being rather predictable.  I still enjoyed the movie for the most part, but some people may feel differently.  

Some unusual things happen throughout Knowing.  I think those things helped to keep the movie interesting.  The plot isn't going to appeal to everyone though and some people may be bothered by the unusual things going on.  A few of the things that happen are just downright weird and may turn off some viewers.  The unusual things work with what is going on for the most part.  I don't really like the ending even though I was still entertained by the movie overall.  Something just didn't work with the ending for me.  It does fit in considering certain events, but I still didn't care for it.  

Caleb is a young boy who has some hearing issues.  He seems like a good kid even though not a lot about him is shared.  The paper full of numbers did get his interest, which leads to John seeing it.  Caleb ends up being very important to what is going on.  Chandler Canterbury is fine in the part.  John is still trying to deal with the death of his wife.  That cased him to have doubts about faith, which also caused conflict with his father.  The trouble between John and his father is only mentioned a few times, and it really isn't effectively dealt with.  It seems a bit pointless for it even to be in the movie since it was barely touched on.  John clearly loves his son and is willing to do anything to protect him.  It does seem like John is drinking more than he should when the movie is starting.  Nicolas Cage is fine in the part, though nothing that special.  

Diana is the young woman who has a connection to what is going on with the numbers.  She tries to avoid John when he first talks to her, but as more happens, she ends up working with him.  She does end up in denial even when it seems clear that she should know better.  Rose Byrne is fine in the part.  Abby is Diana's young daughter.  She seems to be the same age as Caleb and the two of them share a connection.  Lara Robinson does well with the part.  John's sister Grace turns up in a couple of scenes with basically nothing to do.  Other characters are shown without any of them having that much to do.

Main Cast

Rose Byrne - Diana
Nicolas Cage - John
Chandler Canterbury - Caleb
Lara Robinson - Abby

Alex Proyas - Director

I think Knowing is a mostly entertaining movie that is a decent thriller even though it has some issues.  The plot alone with keep it from appealing to many people.  Fans of Nicolas Cage might find something to enjoy about the movie.

Nicolas Cage Movie Reviews
Amos & Andrew ~ The Ant Bully ~ Ghost Rider ~ Matchstick Men ~ National Treasure ~ National Treasure: Book of Secrets ~ Next ~


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