Sunday, March 22, 2009

Movie Review: Knowing - PG13

cross-posted from A Catholic View

In 1958, a class in an elementary school makes drawings and messages to be put in a time capsule. Most of them write about, or draw, what they think the future will be like. One girl, Lucinda Embry, writes a paper full of numbers, but her time to write it is cut short by the teacher, so she is not able to finish it.
The time capsule is opened 50 years later, on the anniversary of its burying. Each kid in the class in 2008 receives one of the drawings. The boy who gets Lucinda's page of numbers is Caleb Koestler, the son of John Koestler (Cage), an MIT professor. John's wife died approximately a year ago. As the previews show, Koestler figures out that the numbers represent dates, and the numbers of people that will die on those dates. It is accurate for the 50 year period, including the 2,996 people who died on 9/11/2001. He even tracks down Lucinda's daughter and granddaughter to find out about Lucinda's gift of prophecy. He does figure out the part Lucinda didn't finish. The sheet of numbers ends with a backwards EE. It is discovered that the EE represents "Everyone Else", the end of the world. That leads me to my main problem with this movie:

I certainly didn't expect it to be a 'religious' movie, and early on, John Koestler states that he is not sure there is a heaven, but have you ever heard the expression "there are no atheists in foxholes"? The government discovers the same information that Koesler has discovered, and they broadcast a warning, telling people to flee underground (the warning has to do with the sun). I would have expected at least some people to turn to prayer, but Koestler is sort of playing God thinking he can stop this, and most of the people shown are simply trying to save themselves. Only a few people are helping others, and no one mentions praying or turning to God, which would be a natural reaction to facing the end of the world. The closest anyone comes to that is Koestler's father, a minister, who simply says when it's his time, it's his time.

I really did like 'Knowing'. There is plenty of action, and the special effects are spectacular.


Ida said...

Having just watched the movie, I think your review falls a little short. Though I also thought he should have been seeking out a church at the end, your saying that no one is helping others or turning to prayer really doesn't make sense. The movie only follows a very small handful of people. How could you possibly know what the other people in the world were doing? The movie didn't show that.

Jeremy said...

This was a great film - i loved it.

But a question - why was it necessary (beyond the requirements of a script) to have the whole 50-year prophecy message - surely if the ending of the film is to be taken seriously (i'm trying not to give it away here) then it was just not necessary to leave a message in 1959 about what was to unfold in the ensuing 50 years?

this is my only misgiving - a feast of a film


Dave said...


I thought the film was an "obvious" push by atheists and the scientific community to show how the world didn't need God at could count on a bunch of super advanced aliens to pluck a few adam/eve "couples" away from the calamity so that life could go on. It's very interesting to me that so many people see this as a "religious" movie putting forth a biblical view, when in my opinion it is a "science" movie forcing a "logical/Godless" view. This film was great for the first 2/3 and then spiraled into absurd and disappointing. I'm amazed that the Christian community is not in an uproar about this film. Don't they see that God was taken out of the picture and replaced by aliens? Cage's character and his family (dad/mom/sister) all huddle together to die with no hope of going to a heaven...because there is no heaven in this movie. There are only aliens who transplant a few kids every several thousand years in order to carry on the species. As a Christian with deep conviction of the divinity of Christ and His future advent, I was deeply offended by this films ending. I thought it was a clear mockery of Christian beliefs/doctrine. Thanks for the forum to comment.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Dave, for pointing out what I thought as well. I was just reading my local diocesan newspaper and saw an ad for this movie with an endoresement from the USCCB. I was in shock that the USCCB would praise this movie since, as you said, it is an obvious attempt to replace God with aliens!
Yes, it was nice that Nicolas Cage's character learns the value of family and is willing to let his son go in the end, but there was no doubt in my mind that those were not angels, but aliens, and that there are dozens of new "Adams and Eves" being spread throughout the universe.

El Ojo said...

Perhaps the last two commenters had to get up get their popcorn buckets refilled when the rest of us heard Nicholas Cage's character tell his son that, even though they must part for now, they would all be together -- including the character's deceased wife -- very soon. And, because you were up getting popcorn, you also missed the part where these "aliens" display their wings before ascending into the 'wheels within wheels." (Ezekiel 10:10-11)

Then again, maybe you just didn't make the mental connection each time you saw the "Strangers" giving someone a "chysolite stone" (Ezekiel 10:9)

As for people helping others, I saw a lot of that in the film. Of course, I also saw a lot of disbelief, and people acting selfishly. You know, kind of like I do in real life.

While this was no "Left Behind," it caused me to come away from the theater thinking about something meaningful. That's something not many movies do.

gflores1 said...

Well What I've read in all the comments have a little of truth...
I can say that I liked the movie in terms of special effects and the story itself...
The problem I see is that the end resembles more the idea of the rapture. And that does not go with christian catholic believe...

Can somebody share light onto this matter??