Knowing

Film
3 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars
Nicolas Cage in Knowing
COMFORTABLY NUMB-ERED Cage realizes that it literally all adds up.
 

At the opening of a school’s time capsule sealed 50 years earlier, quiet kid Caleb (Canterbury) comes across a letter full of strange numbers. His father (Cage), a brilliant astronomer who lectures on causality and randomness (what science course is that covered in again?), notices that the numbers seem to be a chronicle of a half century’s worth of large-scale disasters, complete with death tolls. Naturally, the last few entries feature dates that are just around the corner. Uh-oh.

Knowing tosses around paranormal-thriller clichs with gleeful abandon: Strangers stand menacingly still, watching our heroes from afar; pale, eerily impassive little girls pop up as though on loan from The Shining; and we even get a visit to that old standby, the “crazy room,” where an obsessive person has covered the walls with annotated newspaper clippings. Director Alex Proyas (The Crow) keeps things breezily enjoyable for a while, even as he’s unleashing such mayhem as a subway disaster and an airline crash (including burning people running at the camera). Then comes the film’s final third, a melange of Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Christian eschatology that will make you wish the film had ended 15 minutes sooner.
—Hank Sartin

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