Do You Know God?
Release Date: March 20, 2009
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Chandler
Canterbury, Lara Robinson,
Rose Byrne, and Alex Proyas
Genre: Science Fiction
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 122 minutes
Distributor: Summit Entertainment
Director: Alex Proyas
Executive Producer: David Alper, David J.
Bloomfield, Tropher Dow,
Norman Golightly, Steven
Jones, Aaron Kaplan, and Sean
Producer: Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal,
Alex Proyas, and Steve Tisch
Writer: Ryne Douglas Pearson, Juliet
Snowden, Stiles White, and
Address Comments To:Rob Friedman, CEO
1630 Stewart Street, Suite 120
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Phone: (310) 309-8400
Fax: (310) 828-4132
The story opens in 1959 with an Elementary School placing a time capsule in their sidewalk, to be opened 50 years later. An obviously tormented young girl places a sheet of paper covered in numbers into the capsule. She is last seen with bloody fingers after trying to scratch the remaining numbers in a door.
Going forward 50 years, MIT professor John Koestler (Cage) lives with his elementary school aged son, Caleb (Chandler Canterbury). Both were adversely impacted by the death of Caleb’s mother in a hotel fire.
On the day the elementary school opens the time capsule, Caleb receives the pages filled with numbers. Caleb asks his father if it’s some kind of Code. John scoffs at the idea until he notices consecutive numbers match both the date 09/11/2001 and the number of people killed in the Trade Tower terrorism. He goes on to find the page is filled with a record of major disasters with their dates and casualty numbers over the last 50 years.
John’s evolutionary understanding of the universe is further shaken when some of the final numbers on the sheet reveal future catastrophes complete with their location and casualty count. From this point, the suspense builds as he tries to avert horrible events he knows are coming.
KNOWING has clear Christian implications. John’s father is a preacher with whom John has refused to speak to for years because he wants nothing to do with belief in God. His core atheistic beliefs in a random universe are shattered by his realization that some Being has foreknowledge of events. He tracks down the home of the now-deceased girl who wrote the numbers and finds a Bible and a famous old illustration of Jesus Christ’s Second Coming.
The people who made KNOWING are to be commended for making a major thriller that draws attention to God. MOVIEGUIDE would have appreciated a clearer explanation that salvation comes through belief in Jesus Christ, but this movie was made to provoke thought.
Those who might see this movie would do well to study what the Bible has to say about the issues raised by the movie. It’s tempting to go into a detailed discussion of these issues right in this review but that would be unfair to the filmmakers who worked hard to make a suspenseful movie. It would be fair game for a church youth group of those who have seen (or never intend to see) the movie.
Despite the positive Christian references in KNOWING, including a very clear sign on a truck that “Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Light,” MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution, because some scenes are very intense and contain graphic portrayals of natural disasters, complete with burning bodies.
KNOWING is a riveting thriller with astounding special effects and an even more astounding plot. Cage gives a good performance. KNOWING contains strong Christian elements and says that “Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Light”, but the focus is more on an all-knowing God rather than an all-loving one. While very entertaining and thought provoking, KNOWING is extremely intense with nightmare-inducing visuals.