"Who Shall Be Saved?"

Content: -1 Discretion advised for older children.

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What You Need To Know:

2012 stars John Cusack as Jackson Curtis, a writer whose passion for writing has led to a divorce. When he take his children Noah and Lilly on a family vacation to Yellowstone National Park, he learns that the government has discovered the planet’s core is melting and Earth is about to change. With help from the United States, world governments secretly have built multiple spaceship arks to save the human race, but there are only thousands of tickets, not billions. Can Jackson and his family, including his ex-wife Kate, manage to get seats on one of the arks anyway?

2012 is full of special effects and lots of disaster. The movie does an excellent job creating real chaos, but it sometimes seems too contrived and clichéd. The cast does a good job, however, evoking real emotion, desperation, and a sense of urgency. Though it makes some strong moral points and contains some Christian, redemptive moments, 2012 doesn’t offer much spiritually speaking. It does destroy two Christian monuments, but, of course, no Muslim ones. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for children due to this problem, some intense moments, and too much foul language.


(BB, C, FR, Pa, Ab, PC, LLL, VV, S, N, A, M) Strong moral worldview with some Christian, redemptive moments including some allusions to Noah’s ark, a positive reference to the first line of Psalm 23, and a couple other nods to Christian faith, but with some silly, false predictions regarding the pagan Mayan calendar and two characters are Buddhist monks, plus two Christian icons are destroyed, including the Vatican and a statue of Jesus, but the filmmakers reportedly were too afraid to destroy any Muslim artifacts, which seems terribly politically correct; at least 21 obscenities and 14 profanities, includingb several strong ones; plenty of intense action violence with scenes of entire cities destroyed and near escapes; a mention of a woman sleeping with one man while dating another and some light kissing; upper male nudity; social drinking; no smoking; and, vast depiction of selfishness and greed with regards to the selection of who gets a seat on the arks leaving Earth, plus a crack appears between the hands of God and Adam in the Sistine Chapel ceiling, symbolically suggesting that God’s life-giving support of Man has been withdrawn somehow.

More Detail:

2012 is the depiction of the end of the world on December 21, 2012. 2012 is based on the sun lining up with the center of Earth’s Milky Way galaxy, which supposedly coincides with the end of the Mayan Calendar.

2012 begins with the discovery of neutrinos by an academic researcher Adrian Helmsely (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) causing physical reactions and creating microwaves to warm the Earth’s core. In 2012, countries unite once they validate the fact that the world will end soon. With the help of Adrian, Carl Anheuser (played by Oliver Platt), and the President of the United States Thomas Wilson (played by Danny Glover), world leaders come together to put a plan in place to save heads of state, scientists, artists, plants, animals, and prized artifacts of civilization.

2012 is a story about family. In 2012, Jackson Curtis (played by John Cusack) a writer, whose passion for writing has destroyed his family, stumbles on the government’s secret when he takes his children Noah and Lilly (played by Liam James and Morgan Lily) on a family vacation to Yellowstone National Park. Jackson meets Charlie Frost (played by Woody Harrelson), who tells Jackson of the government’s plan, a map to a safe zone, and the space ship they are building. Jackson, his children, and his ex-wife, Kate (played by Amanda Peet), embark on a trip to make it to the safe zone – China.

Jackson’s family, his boss, and the Russian President Yuri Karpov (played by Zlatko Buric) meet a roadblock in their own trip to the safe zone, but with the help of Jackson and his family they make it to China. After teaming up with Jackson and his family, Yuri, a ticket holder on the “ship,” takes his children and selfishly abandons Jackson and his family. Jackson and his family have to find another way to get on to the “ships” or Arcs since they are not ticket holders.

2012 tells the story about the type of selection process that might be in place to save humanity, and the covert operation that governments might undertake. 2012 is also a modern day equivalent to the story of Noah’s Ark. As such, it echoes the instruction given to Noah in Genesis 6, because the Chinese build multiple arks, and animals are flown in on helicopters, presumably two by two.

2012 depicts several instances of self-sacrifice. [Some Spoilers follow] President Wilson abandons his seat on the ark to warn the American people and give families an opportunity to say goodbye to each other. Adrian convinces the Heads of State to re-open the ark doors to save thousands of people left stranded outside the ark doors. In a surprising twist, Yuri sacrifices himself to ensure that his two sons, Alec and Oleg, make it aboard.

The cast of 2012 evokes real emotion, desperation, and a sense of urgency. 2012 is full of moral conflicts and dilemmas, and even minor villains, some of whom believe that nature will choose for itself who or what will survive. 2012 is full of special effects and lots of disaster. 2012 does an excellent job creating real chaos, but it sometimes seems too contrived and clichéd. It also contains too much foul language, so caution is warranted.

Overall, 2012 has an excellent story about the importance of family, the importance of selflessness, and the importance of doing away with trivial disputes and making amends before it is too late. It also contains some brief Christian, redemptive moments, including examples of bravery and self-sacrifice, compassion, a few references to faith, and a positive line quoting the first line of Psalm 23.

There is no truth, however, in people who use the Mayan calendar to predict the end of the world. The end of our world is actually described at the end of the Book of Revelation, which says that Jesus Christ will return to Earth to judge all the living and all the dead and to create a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21:1), where God “will wipe every tear from [our] eyes” and “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Rev. 21:4). This is something we can all believe.

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